The Suncorp Super Netball league and the Australian Netball Players’ Association (ANPA) have agreed on a reduction in total player payments for five weeks to assist the league to deal with the impact of COVID-19.
Contracted players will take two weeks leave from all club duties from Monday 30 March and then remain at home on “active rest” for seven hours per week for the following three weeks at a 70% reduction in pay.
The Super Netball League Commission earlier this week announced that the start of the season was to be postponed until at least June 30 with a review of this date to be completed by late May.
Suncorp Super Netball CEO Chris Symington said he appreciates the playing group doing their bit to assist the league and the teams through this time.
“These are difficult and unprecedented times, not only in netball, but right across the world. In a less than ideal situation, our players have shown maturity and understanding throughout these discussions and we’re pleased to have reached an outcome for the near future,” he said.
“The league has put measures in place to ensure that all players have wellbeing support during this time, and, over the next five weeks, we will have further discussions with the ANPA to determine any further changes to conditions that might need to be made.”
Australian Netball Players Association CEO Kathryn Harby-Williams said the players, just like many other Australians and people around the world, recognise the significant impact COVID-19 is having on lives and economies.
“Our sport is not immune. Over the past few days we have endured some of our most difficult times when faced with the harsh reality of an uncertain future. We fully understand we need to play our role to enable netball to get through these bleak times, hence we have agreed to take a pay cut,” she said.
“Our game has worked really hard to continue to increase the minimum wage and allow players to be contracted for 12 month periods, but the brutal truth is that our minimum wage is $30,000 per annum and this pay reduction will be severely felt. However, we know we are not alone and many others throughout our community are suffering.
“On a positive note, the players feel well supported and are particularly grateful that the sport has introduced a wellbeing taskforce to help them through this extraordinary period. We look forward to getting to the other side to do what we do best – and that is play the game we love.”
Club training partners will have their 2020 payments honoured in full and the league is working with its partners to explore potential employment opportunities that may supplement the players income during this period.