The AFL announced they secured a line of credit of more than $500 million to support the league. The loan will compensate for the massive broadcast revenue and attendance loss.
To secure a line of credit, the AFLPA and AFL need to have an agreement regarding the payment of the players for the league to inform the bank regarding revenue projections. The AFL also expects each club to return a signed document which contains financial instructions and to refrain from any private commercial arrangements.
It was also announced that the players will be paid 50% of their wage for the month of April and May while the remaining 50% will be given if the game will resume.
If the league will not resume, the players will receive 30% of their overall wage. However, the contractual implications of this year’s season progressing beyond October 31 is still in discussion.
When the AFL bought the Marvel Stadium in 2016, the league gained management rights and freehold ownership of the Docklands venue. This being said, the AFL opted to buy out the owner’s share for around $200 million.
The Marvel Stadium is actually the league’s biggest asset and critical to the bank’s approval for a loan exceeding $500 million. It was reported that the venue’s cost is more than a billion dollars.
All of the previous distributions the clubs received from the league have been thrown out the window. It was also reported that 80% to 90% of the AFL staff was forced to stand down due to the coronavirus crisis. On the other hand, most of the essential employees have been retained but most of their work hours are reduced.
Grand Final Proposal
It was revealed that a best-of-three Grand Final series is one of the options considered to compress the fixture in case the league resumes later this year. A wildcard final on a weekend is another option considered.
However, the league will need more time to accommodate all of the changes whether the choice would be a best-of-three or wild card finals.
‘We are (open to wildcard weekend) except it’s going to add length to the season. If we have got the time maybe but things would have to change really quickly for us to be in a position where we have spare time. If we had kept going from Round 1 we would have had spare time but every week that goes by you lose that space’, AFL fixture boss Travis Auld said.
‘Getting 17 rounds away in a shortened period of time and then four weeks of finals is our base’, he added.
This year’s season is suspended until May 31. There is still no assurance whether a further suspension would be required.