Player pay cuts on way

The fortnightly payments for the country’s premier netball players are set to take a hit.

Netball New Zealand staff have already taken a pay cut as the financial impact of Covid-19 starts to become a lot clearer.

The ANZ Premiership has been on pause since the opening round in mid-March.

Player payments have continued as normal, but New Zealand Netball Players’ Association executive manager Steph Bond said the association was "working through a process with Netball New Zealand to see what that was going to look like moving forward".

Netball New Zealand and the various netball zones have tapped into the available Government subsidy to top up the player’s wages.

That has bought some breathing space, but the pay cuts are being negotiated.

"We’re in the middle of that process at the moment to see what it will look like across the netball system and how we can manage it across all employees, really ... hopefully we’ll have that tidied up in the next week or so."

Bond is optimistic the ANZ Premiership can return before 2021, but it was too early to say what shape the revamped tournament might take.

"Everyone wants it to continue in some form or shape sometime soon before the end of the year. But things change every 24 hours at the moment, so it is a little bit difficult to set anything in stone."

New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association chief executive Rob Nichol suggested professional rugby may struggle to bounce back from the financial crisis brought on by the pandemic.

New Zealand Rugby is facing a loss of north of $100million and that will have a serious impact. Rugby may return as more of a semi-professional sport, he said.

For some players their only form of income could shrink drastically or dry up.

But Bond said top netballers were better placed. Most of the country’s elite players need a secondary income, so in that sense had more to fall back on.

Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie was not available for comment yesterday. But she told Stuff she had a "huge amount of respect" for her staff who had agreed to pay cuts.

"Everyone has fully 100 percent opted into the proposals we have put to them. I couldn’t be more proud of their unselfish behaviour at this time."


 

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