Eddie bites the bullet: ‘It’s all over’
The AFL and its clubs are reeling following a brutal day of job cuts prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has halted the season after just one round and plunged the industry into financial chaos.
Here's the latest:
EDDIE'S BLUNT REALITY CHECK
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has outlined the dire financial situation facing the AFL now the season has been suspended because of coronavirus.
Money from TV broadcast partners has dried up and both the league and all 18 clubs are cutting costs.
Yesterday, 80 per cent of staff at AFL headquarters were stood down and pay cuts are also expected in every area of the game.
Although the players have been paid up until now, what their future looks like is unclear.
"The situation is that the players have received money for this half of the year already, because that was fair enough, everyone's getting paid," McGuire said on Triple M Melbourne's Hot Breakfast.
"It's the next part of the journey that we have to get through until we actually start playing games again and we can get some money coming in.
"The Channel 7 money, the Foxtel money, stopped this week. It's finished, it's all over.
"There's no gate receipts, the AFL is cutting through its costs, all the clubs are cutting through their costs, and we have to come to an elegant situation here … if there's no money, there's no money.
"We need to not screw the players at the same time. These are the centrepiece of our game, they're wonderful people, they're great young men, and we have to do the right thing."
PLAYERS SLAMMED OVER PARTY
Footy Classified host Craig Hutchison has slammed two North Melbourne players for ignoring social distancing restrictions and having a party at home after their Round 1 AFL match.
Nick Larkey and Cameron Zurhaar reportedly hosted a gathering of at least 10 people, annoying neighbours who complained about the noise.
Royal Melbourne Hospital anaesthetist Patricia Ky told the ABC she confronted the Kangaroos youngsters about their irresponsible actions, but they didn't listen.
On Channel 9 last night, Hutchison took aim at the Kangaroos stars for being so careless and putting others at risk during the coronavirus crisis.
"On face value, this is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen," Hutchison said.
"It's decisions like that, as hard as this is to understand, that can cause a passage of this illness that can get someone killed."
"This is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen."@craighutchy is critical of the decision of North Melbourne players to host a party in their house on Sunday night, despite the government's plea to avoid unnecessary gatherings.#9FootyClassified | Watch @channel9 pic.twitter.com/grFMNupKkN— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) March 23, 2020
Fellow Footy Classified panellist Caroline Wilson had some sympathy for the youngsters, saying she didn't want to be too harsh because just hours earlier they'd been told by the AFL they were safe to play a game of football and mingle in change rooms with a bunch of other people.
However, Hutchison wasn't as forgiving.
"That was a decision (to play footy) that they were asked to make, and they made it," Hutchison said. "They weren't asked to take that home with them and to bring other people into their homes.
"The community are going through all sorts of woes."
IMMEDIATE IMPACT OF SHUTDOWN
Roughly 80 per cent of the AFL's workforce has been stood down, with the competition postponed until at least May 31.
Staff at all 18 clubs were let go on Monday as Australia's richest sporting code grapples with the most challenging period in its history.
Players have offered to take a 50 per cent pay cut for at least the next two months, while coaches last week agreed to a 20 per cent reduction in salary when games were being played in empty stadiums. That figure is sure to increase.
After Wednesday, players will be unable to return to their clubs for at least five weeks as the industry shuts down to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
The @GWSGIANTS players yesterday leave the club taking their gym equipment home after the AFL suspended the season until at least May 31 including all training. @telegraph_sport @heraldsunsport #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/tD5TvBXPDR— Phil Hillyard (@philthy295) March 23, 2020
- with AAP
Originally published as Eddie bites the bullet: 'It's all over'