Australia news July 11, 2017

Out-of-contract Australian cricketers to get external funding boost

ESPNcricinfo staff

Play 03:46
What is the pay dispute all about?

Most of Australia's cricketers are out of contract but they are unlikely to be out of pocket, as various sources of funding emerge to help tide them over during the impasse between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA).

"The ACA is in the process of securing a multimillion-dollar line of credit to support the unemployed players to counter attempts by CA to starve them out," an ACA spokesman said.

"Major international financial institutions have shown strong interests in supporting the players at this difficult time. The ACA is fielding support from private individuals who are also willing to back this move."

With little headway being made in the deadlock - the players want to retain the existing revenue-sharing model, while CA does not - 230 of Australia's cricketers, including all the top players on central contracts, have been without a contract since July 1. Ordinarily they would have been paid on July 15 but with that agreement now invalid, the Sydney Morning Herald also reported the "injection of millions of dollars in 'loans' from several wealthy backers" into a hardship fund set up by the ACA that could, according to the report, last "until Christmas."

Currently, only the Australia women's team is in action, in the ongoing World Cup in England. They came to an agreement to do so with CA, but will be out of contract if the dispute isn't resolved by the time the tournament ends. The first casualty of the pay dispute was Australia A's tour of South Africa, which was scheduled to begin on July 12 but has been called off after the Australian players refused to tour.

The Australia senior men's team are scheduled to tour Bangladesh in August, but that series is dependent on the ACA and CA arriving at an agreement. And though the Ashes, to be hosted by Australia later this year, is still some time away, the spectre of it not going ahead looms uneasily.

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  • Bruce on July 12, 2017, 9:40 GMT

    Budybear55: The ACA is going down a dangerous path here. A line of credit means it has to be repaid and from what has been reported elsewhere the private funding is also in the form of loans. If CA follows through with its threat of no back pay and also pull its funding of the ACA (4 million pa), who is going to be repaying the loans.?

  • prbowr4785367 on July 12, 2017, 7:14 GMT

    My understanding is that CA wants to keep half the money it owes the players and roll it into their next contract. Any regular punter want to try that - You're on maybe $70K/ year, and your boss says, I'm going to short pay you by $35K until next year and we'll roll that into your next years salary.

  • Jonathan on July 12, 2017, 6:12 GMT

    @CU 21:25, not sure how deep CA's pockets are but it really should be up to the board to a demand a resolution from the CA team before they get to the point of going broke. I think Mark Taylor's public statement might be a friendly reminder that they've got a job to do that has not yet been done.

  • rob on July 11, 2017, 21:25 GMT

    With private and corporate money coming in to back the players things are really starting to hot up. The players might be off contract, but aren't the CA boys in the same boat in a sense? How long can they hang out and keep paying themselves if there is no cricket to generate fresh income? My guess is they've got enough fat in the hump to last 12 mths, maybe more, but certainly not indefinitely. There has to be a breaking point for them too. I wonder if they ever considered the possibility of outside money supporting the players? If not, this might make them a bit nervous.

  • Garry on July 11, 2017, 15:15 GMT

    Maybe getting some help from Kerry Stokes of Channel 7? No summer of cricket would improve the tennis ratings. Soccer owners are probably keeping their money though, even if there is zero cricket nobody would watch The A-League.

  • Steve on July 11, 2017, 14:58 GMT

    Australian cricketers are some of the most marketable players, that's why there so many of them in IPL, so I would have been completely surprised if they couldn't secure funding, internal or external.

  •   ravi.narla on July 11, 2017, 14:12 GMT

    This is a Professional game and Cricket is a profession for these players and the cricket field is their office and Cricket Australia is not a non profit Organization either. So nothing wrong in asking for a Salary Hike

  • Robin on July 11, 2017, 11:28 GMT

    Money before loyalty? Says it all about Aussie players. Prefer the Indian team to be honest.

  • Geoffrey on July 11, 2017, 11:15 GMT

    Wow, now they really are mercenaries.

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