A layperson's guide to Australia's contract kerfuffle

A compromise has finally been agreed upon to end the pay dispute between Cricket Australia and its players ESPNcricinfo Ltd

It's time someone finally explained the Australian cricket pay dispute in simple, easy-to-understand language. So here goes.

The CEOs say the HOA paves the way for an MOU between CA and ACA, who will share ACR via the PP and the PPP. Don't confuse the PPP for the PP - it has 50% more Ps. And don't confuse the PPP in this HOA for the PPP in the last MOU - this PPP is 27.5% of ACR, the last PPP ranged from 24.5% to 27%. See? At least half a percent more.

But - and here's where it gets a little complicated - there's also an adjustment ledger, so if ACR exceeds $1.67 billion, players receive 19% of the upside to $1.96 billion ACR and grassroots receive 8.5%, whereas above $1.96 billion, players receive 27.5%.

Meanwhile, the players gain greater control over IP, and the ACRA will be improved via a CA/ACA working group.

Reports have also suggested that the pellet with the poison is in the vessel with the pestle, and following a breakage of the chalice from the palace, the brew that is true is held by the flagon with the dragon, while Who's on first, What's on second and I Don't Know is on third.

So, now that you have all the relevant information, the obvious question is this: after 10 months of negotiations, 34 days of unemployment and one cancelled tour, who won?

Actually, here's a better question. Who cares?

Seriously. Outside of the players and administrators themselves, who even cares which side came out better at the end?

For the majority of the cricket public, only one thing matters. It's over. Now the players can play, the administrators can administrate and the spectators can spectate.

Come November 26, when Mitchell Starc is steaming in to bowl the first ball of the Ashes, or David Warner is waiting to face the first delivery, how many of the 40,000 fans at the Gabba will be thinking, "I still reckon that PPP percentage was a little high"?

To see James Sutherland and Alistair Nicholson sitting at their press conference at the MCG indoor nets on Thursday was like watching a pair of political rivals forced to come together in uncomfortable coalition. That image was only heightened by Nicholson, representing the players' union, wearing a red tie, and Sutherland, the board's man, sporting a blue one.

And the past 10 months has played out like a political campaign. Both sides have put forward their cases via press releases or propaganda videos, infographics claimed to show that only they truly cared about the grassroots of the game. There was only one problem. The public wasn't voting in this campaign. This could only ever be resolved behind closed doors by the two parties themselves.

Does the average punter think the players were greedy? Maybe. But the average punter will have forgotten about that by tomorrow. Footy season is still going strong, and by the time the cricket rolls around again, this will all be a distant memory. A few million here, a few million there, to most people these figures are so abstract they might as well have been painted by Jackson Pollock.

There are two great shames in all of this. One is that Australia A's tour of South Africa last month had to be cancelled. A chance for the likes of Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Kurtis Patterson and Chadd Sayers to be rewarded for their domestic performances and audition for higher honours has been lost.

The other is that this agreement is a landmark for women's sport in Australia. Under this deal, female player payments will increase from $7.5 million to $55.2 million, and the female cricketers will share in revenue like their male counterparts. That is a significant step that should not be overshadowed by the acrimony of these negotiations.

Anyway, the winter of discontent is over. Whether it turns into a glorious summer remains to be seen.

And if you're still reading now, congratulations. Your prize is a glossary of all those abbreviations, all of which were actually used in press releases explaining the agreement on Thursday. FWIW.

ACA - Australian Cricketers' Association
ACR - Australian cricket revenue
ACRA - Australian Cricketers' Retirement Account
CA - Cricket Australia
CEOs - Chief executive officers
HOA - Heads of agreement
IP - Intellectual property
MOU - Memorandum of understanding
PP - Performance pool
PPP - Player payments pool