Aussie cricketers dip into pocket to support netballers

Australia's cricketers are supporting the Diamonds during their pay dispute with Netball Australia.

Australia's cricketers are supporting the Diamonds during their pay dispute with Netball Australia. Photo: AAP

Australia’s cricketers have thrown their weight behind the country’s netballers amid a bitter pay dispute with Netball Australia, creating an unprecedented financial fund to help support the players.

Officials are this week still confirming the finer details of the deal, but the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) confirmed on Wednesday a “fighting fund” would be created for the nation’s netballers.

The ACA have also led a push for other players’ unions across multiple sports to offer similar support to the netballers, who have officially been off contract since September 30.

At the crux of the issue is the players’ push for a revenue-sharing model, as opposed to the eight Super Netball clubs and Netball Australia (NA) who want a three-year profit-share deal.

The issue exploded last week with both the Australian Netball Players Association (ANPA) and NA hitting out at each other in the lead up to Australia’s Constellation Cup series against New Zealand.

Australia’s cricketers have previously fought hard to maintain a revenue-share model in the sport, including in their own ugly pay dispute with head office in 2017.

That is part of the reason why players have agreed to pay out of their own pocket to assist the country’s netballers.

“Much like our female players in 2017, the netballers at the moment are leaning on friends and family for financial support.” ACA CEO Todd Greenberg said.

“What is disappointing is that the netballers’ requests are modest and affordable for the sport.

“The ACA believes they should be given the same partnership opportunities as our players – the same opportunities that has seen cricket thrive.

“The ACA stands with the netballers and will do so until this campaign is successful.”

Netball’s players union had last week called for mediation on the matter, claiming players had “bent over backwards” in their offer.

They also claimed that NA had rejected their “real partnership model” and in turned presented an “unfair” deal.

NA, meanwhile, claim that the union have “rejected a groundbreaking CPA proposal”.

The organisation also do not consider a revenue-share model as sustainable.

NA doesn’t consider a revenue-sharing model sustainable, leaving the situation at a stalemate with players unable to sign new deals for 2024 at any clubs.

“Australia’s netballers are brave and resilient people,” ANPA CEO Kathryn Harby-Williams said.

“When your minimum wage is $40,000 you have to show a lot of courage to take a stand.

“That’s why this expression of support is so welcome. It lets the netballers know they are not alone.”


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