AFL should decide today whether its season will start in time with Thursday’s Richmond and Carlton game at MCG.
Here are the latest news as the coronavirus epidemic continues to upset the footy world:
DEAR SLAMS NRL BOSS
Ranked panelist Footy Caroline Wilson slammed Australian President Peter V’landys of the Rugby League Commission after his failed grab for his shit code in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
Vlandys has filed a passionate request to the federal government for funding as the NRL addresses the financial pain caused by the games in empty stadiums and a potential suspension of its season.
“Our money will last so long and once it is extinguished we are in big trouble,” said V’landys.
“An Australia without a rugby league is not Australia. The government must help us in this crisis because it is not on our initiative. “
Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded by saying that the NRL was not high on the list of priorities for public funds, but Wilson went even harder on Monday night.
“Peter, it was scary in its absolute worst,” said Wilson. “I know that NRL clubs don’t have the associative support that AFL has, but that wasn’t an excuse.
“At a time when people get sick, potentially die, companies go into crisis and people lose their jobs, to open the conversation asking for public money has shown a lack of grace.
“Your behavior reminded me of those selfish panic merchants who stripped the shelves of supermarkets and highlighted Australia’s worst response to this terrible plague.”
“He opened the conversation by asking for public money at a time when … Australians are terrified of the financial results that will occur on them,” he added. “It made Gillon McLachlan (CEO of AFL) look like an impressive leader.”
THE PENDLES VIRUS TRIAL BACK TODAY
Scott Pendlebury is one of four Collingwood players experiencing flu-like symptoms as AFL faces the oncoming coronavirus crisis. Captain Magpies has been tested for COVID-19 with expected results for Tuesday.
Any AFL player who tests positive for coronavirus will force the competition to close for at least 14 days, possibly longer, meaning that plans to play this weekend could be immediately shelved today.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said he expects more players to be tested for the coronavirus soon.
“(Pendlebury) is one of three or four of our boys who have had cold symptoms and who have had a checkup,” said Nine’s Footy Classified.
“I would say it would be a coherent scenario among the 18 clubs.
“In practice Pendles had a little runny nose and was diligent in presenting it to the doctor and there was enough to justify the exam.
“While the focus is on a player at the moment, I have little doubt that there are other people in football programs who are in the same situation.”
PLAYERS DO 20 PER CENT PAY CUT
AFL players will be forced to cut wages as the whole sector prepares to “tighten their seat belts”.
AFL chief Gillon McLachlan said all sectors of the league will suffer financially from COVID-19. Reportedly, players will be asked to take cuts of up to 20% during a short season.
“Obviously we had those discussions with the PA (AFL players association) to say there will be a lot of pain to be felt across the industry,” said McLachlan.
“Everyone will have to tighten their belts. They are the clubs, they are the AFLs and of course they include the players. “
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said he would be happy to give up part of his salary for the sake of the AFL.
“We should find a fairly consistent skim … any percentage from the top that helps fill the hole,” Buckley told Nine’s Footy Classified.
WHAT HAS BEEN DECIDED SO FAR
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announced on Monday that the 2020 tournament would be cut from 23 to 17 rounds.
Richmond and Carlton are expected to open the season behind closed doors at MCG on Thursday night, but this remains in limbo.
McLachlan said that if a player tests positive for coronavirus, the AFL will completely shut down for at least 14 days, probably longer.
State leagues, including VFL, SANFL, WAFL, NEAFL and TSL, as well as associated women’s competitions, have been postponed to at least May 31st.
AFLW has two rounds to go before the final and the future of its season should be decided on Tuesday.
All 18 teams will play once in the program affected by the coronavirus, with the first four game rounds to be run as scheduled, before a new draw is created for the rest of the competition.