The Suncorp Super Netball league has announced that player pay reductions until 31 May will be capped at 50% and that international athletes will be supported to the same level as Australian athletes.
The league and the Australian Netball Players’ Association (ANPA) yesterday agreed that, until 31 May, all contracted players will be paid at least the $1500 per fortnight JobKeeper payment plus superannuation, and players earning more than $78,000 will be paid at 50% of their current contract.
This means the majority of athletes, who are currently contracted for less than $78,000 annually, will be receiving more than 50% of their normal salary, and international athletes will be supported to the same level as Australian athletes, despite not being eligible for the JobKeeper payment.
Athlete training has also been increased from seven to 12 hours per week and athletes will be required to fulfil club and league content and social media commitments on a pro rata basis.
This is the second phase of Suncorp Super Netball player pay reductions following the announcement that the 2020 season would be postponed due to COVID-19. Previous reductions saw players taking a two-week break from March 30 before returning for seven hours per week for the following three weeks at 30% pay.
Suncorp Super Netball CEO Chris Symington said he is delighted that the league, clubs and ANPA have again cooperatively come to a solution for the next phase of player payments.
“It really is a credit to our sport how well all parties have approached these discussions. It’s not an easy time for anyone and I’m proud of our clubs’ and playing group’s maturity and willingness to ensure the league will survive and bounce back strong,” he said.
“This player payment model, made possible by the Morrison Government JobKeeper package, will see all athletes considerably better off than what they are within the current COVID-19-impacted payment structure, and further discussions with the clubs and ANPA will continue to take place as the COVID-19 situation progresses.
“Our decisions have been consistently guided by the health and safety of the players, staff and fans and this will remain the case until we decide when competition can resume. We hope by the end of May, we will have some indication of how when the 2020 season might be able to take place.”
ANPA CEO Kathryn Harby-Williams said negotiations have continued to occur in good faith.
“The ANPA is pleased to have locked in arrangements through to the end of May to provide certainty to players in a world full of uncertainty,” she said.
“Whilst the environment remains extremely difficult for our athletes, they continue to be considerate of the circumstances which confront our sport and will continue to play their role to help it get through these difficult times.”
Suncorp Super Netball management are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and exploring all possible options in relation to what shape the 2020 season may take if, and when, restrictions are lifted.