Players solid behind AFL wage claim

AFL players are rock solid in their solidarity to fix a percentage share of the game’s income to player wages, and won’t rule out industrial action to make it happen.

The percentage claim looms as the major sticking point in negotiations for a new player pay deal.

The AFL and AFL Players Association (AFLPA) have begun talks for the new collective bargaining agreement for season 2017 and beyond.

While AFLPA chief Paul Marsh is set on including a fixed figure, AFL supremo Gillon McLachlan is reportedly against its inclusion.

A similar model is used in cricket and major US sports.

If there was a doubt that players stood firmly behind the AFLPA ask, Alan Toovey removed it.

The tough defender is Collingwood’s player delegate and said the ask was no ambit claim.

“Everyone wants that percentage share,” he told AAP.

“All the players want to be a part of the game and want to be considered a part of the AFL industry.

“If the game grows because of us and we’re helping then we reap the benefits.

“If we’re not helping out and the game doesn’t grow then it affects us as well.”

Toovey said Collingwood players from top to bottom supported the their union.

“The percentage share is something players are very, very serious about getting,” he said.

“There are a lot of steps to get it done but we’re willing to go the whole stretch to get it.”

Former AFLPA president Luke Ball explained the basis behind the wage claim.

“The basic theory is the players rise and fall with the success of the game they’re involved in,” he told radio station 3AW.

“The fact it happens in other sports and seems to happen okay is the theory behind why it should happen.”

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