The AFL has announced it is calling a meeting of its agents to discuss the impact of a three-week strike on the game’s biggest players.
The AFL Players Association has called for the players to continue to walk out in protest on Saturday.
The union said on Monday that the game was in the midst of its biggest strike since 2006 and called on players to remain at the centre of the game as a way of ensuring “they are engaged in the game”.
The AFLPA, the governing body for professional football in Australia, said it would meet on Wednesday with the union’s national secretary and union chief.AFL commissioner Andrew Demetriou said the league would be seeking a meeting with the agents at the union offices in Melbourne and Sydney, and that a statement would be issued.
“The AFL will be meeting today to seek input from its agents, the AFLPA and other stakeholders on the union approach,” he said.
“We are also in discussions with the AFL Players Union about what that might mean, whether it is possible to extend the strike until the end of the season, and how this might be structured.”
“The game is at risk.”
Why the players will walk outThe AFL has called on the players on strike to continue in the way they have been and will not move on until the union reaches agreement with the players.
But the union has said it will seek to maintain a presence at the centres of the ground in an effort to make a lasting impact on the games impact on players.
“This is the right thing to do,” AFLPA national secretary Matt Keogh said.
“Players want to be in the centre and they want to stay there.
They want to support the players in their right to strike.””
Players are being treated unfairly and the AFL is failing to make it safe for them to do so.”
The AFL’s decision to suspend players’ participation on Sunday comes as the league and union negotiate a collective bargaining agreement.
The players are also demanding that the AFL and union sign off on a new contract.
“I think that is going to be a pretty significant step in the right direction,” Mr Keogh told AAP.
“It will be a real signal to the players and the public that they are not being treated badly and that they’re being supported.”
“I don’t think it’s just about players but it’s about the game.”
How players will be affectedThe AFL and the union are currently negotiating a new collective bargaining contract.
The game will return to normal on Sunday, but the players are still on strike.
Players’ union boss Mick Malthouse said on Twitter that the players would continue to stand and play on Sunday.
“All the hard work and hard work that goes into being the best we are still going to do this in the face of the reality that we’ve got to have a contract that allows us to compete and that will allow us to win,” he tweeted.
“What we are doing is trying to work towards that and we are hopeful that we can be part of the process.”
“There are a lot of things to consider, but this is not the time to be looking for a change.”‘
We are a proud and proud nation’AFL players will now walk out at 3:00pm on Sunday in a show of solidarity.
But Mr Keoh said it was a matter of the union taking a “big, bold step”.
“We have to be brave enough to take that step,” he told AAP from his office at the AFL offices in Sydney.
We’ve got the best union and the best players and it’s our job to do the right things to make sure they have that.”””
We are an AFL club and we want our players to have the best of both worlds and that means having a game that is fair and free for all.”
“We’ve got the best union and the best players and it’s our job to do the right things to make sure they have that.”
“When you look at the players’ union’s record, we’ve been successful in working with the player representatives on all aspects of our negotiations.”
That’s been very good.
“The union is very clear in saying that we are a free nation, we’re not going to allow this game to be taken away from us.”
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