Pay talks stall on revenue sharing again

Cricket Australia’s ongoing pay dispute has yet again hit a hurdle after it seemed progress had been made in the last two weeks.

Despite CEO to CEO talks between the player’s representatives the Australian Cricketer’s Association and CA.

CA has reportedly sent a draft of a proposed Memorandum of Understanding that contains zero reference to revenue sharing.

The ACA has been steadfast in their insistence that revenue sharing be part of any new deal as they seek to ensure the welfare of domestic and female players.

ESPN Cricinfo obtained an email from ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson sent to the players that reads: “Contrary to this progress and ACA’s attempts to resolve the dispute, on Thursday night the ACA received draft legal wording removing any reference to ‘revenue share’ in a proposed new Article 5 of the next MOU.

ALSO READ: Johnson: Pay dispute damage has been done

“This was unexpected. It has setback negotiations and thwarted the prospects of agreement.

“The ACA will seek clarification on this as a matter of priority, as it seems to ignore a number of our proposed solutions in the Terms Sheet. These actions would have the effect of taking the negotiations back to ‘square one’ minimising the good work and good faith acquired over the last two weeks and again jeopardising upcoming tours.”

The latest developments have put the tour to Bangladesh and even the Ashes series in doubt.

The ACA had been willing to make some concessions including accepting CA forecasted revenue which fell AUS$100m short of their own estimates.

The compromised deal proposed by the ACA included a new players grassroots investment fund to ensure funds reach an area of the game suffering from under-funding.

Nicholson wrote: “On Wednesday of this week and with the endorsement of the ACA Executive, I provided CA with a revamped ACA plan to break the current deadlock.

“We offered this in the new spirit in which the talks were being conducted. And with an understanding that agreement was being built around the concept of ‘modernising revenue sharing,’ the agreement which kick-started this latest round of talks.

“We therefore offered a modernised model including the making of substantial concessions by the players in good faith. Namely, that players would accept a formal mechanism for redistributing amounts of revenue from the players to grassroots cricket via a new Players Grassroots Investment Fund (PGIF).

“Dependent on the achievement of revenue forecasts, we have proposed that this would be approximately $30 million injection from all male, female, international and domestic players. It is a show of the players’ respect for growing the game and the next generation of players. And a desire for a resolution.”

Given the amount of time it will take to complete the MoU once it has been agreed in principle time has now become a serious factor.

Nicholson further wrote: “We have provided this breakthrough plan in the form of a Terms Sheet as the suggested basis of an agreement.

“If agreed to it would effectively end the dispute. This is standard practice in large commercial negotiations.

“If there is agreement, the next step would be the more intensive MOU and contract drafting period. Given past experience and the massive detail involved, this would take some time and still may not be completed with time enough to meet the needs of fans, sponsors and broadcasters invested in the upcoming tours and the summer of cricket. I add that it is hard to conceive of any further flexibility the players could possibly offer in these negotiations.”