Are Australia’s cricketers becoming greedy?

Andrew Young Roar Pro

By Andrew Young, Andrew Young is a Roar Pro

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    Directly shared with almost 700 thousand followers, Australia’s two premier fast bowlers, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, have taken to social media to express their sentiments on the current impasse regarding the proposed pay deal.

    One, a touch cryptic, the other was less so.

    Before we delve into the world of re-tweets, followers and favourites, let’s take a step back and give some context to the problem that faces Australian cricket – one a bit bigger than our perpetual gripes with selection.

    The current pay model was established 20 years ago under the leadership and fortitude former captain, turned commentator and CA board member, Mark Taylor. It is, as we have constantly been reminded, a revenue-sharing model.

    For those of us studying Arts as opposed to Business, a simple explanation is that of all the revenue coming in to CA, they share a percentage of that – 26 per cent to be exact – with the players.

    As it stands, the claim is that 70 cents from every dollar earned by the sport’s governing body in Australia, end up with the players. This model expires June 30. Under the proposed deal, Cricket Australia would instead control a pool of $500 million dollars – from which all contracted players would be paid.

    This is the cause of angst. While ostensibly about equality for players around the country, specifically for female cricketers, who can expect a 125 per cent increase, the ACA led by Alistair Nicholson, continue to reject a “lack of detail in the terms and conditions that underpin the agreement.”

    This lack of clarity is said to come in the percentage scheme section of the agreement. Whether or not the 18 per cent rise for state cricketers will accompany a percentage share pay packet as well…

    josh-hazelwood-mitchell-starc-cricket-australia-2017-tall

    (AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford)

    The issue that continues to frustrate the players is equality right the way down. At a time when the domestic scene, excluding the BBL, is being seen as little more than a trial for the international XIs, this proposed pay model doesn’t go far to suggest long term ambitions of changing this and returning the Sheffield Shield to the fiercely competitive breeding ground it once was.

    Combine this with Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland’s blunt email declaring should the players not accept the deal, they ‘won’t be paid’, and we start to get a picture of a business that operates unilaterally – with little regard for the players.

    Hence the sentiments from our tweeters mentioned above. Or at least, that’s what the ACA wants us to think.

    Indeed the top-level players in men’s Australian cricket can expect a 30 per cent increase to their pay deals, should the proposed Memorandum of Understanding be accepted. To add some perspective, this year David Warner, and our favourite tweeter, Mitchell Starc, will have pocketed $2 million.

    So when considering legitimate equality right they way through the cricketing scene, are they the ones who really need an increase? Cricket Australia is taking steps in the right direction, but at the moment it seems to be negated by a constant need to fund the international men to the point of excess.

    I am in support of the players’ calls for #Fairshare – if that is what it really is. For me, the ones who deserve an increase as a part of the pay deal are the female teams, and those at a domestic level. Until there is clarity on how this will happen, I can’t see a Memorandum of Understanding being reached before June 30.

    As for Mitch and Pat, I really hope that when tweeting they aren’t thinking with their own pockets.

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    The Crowd Says (27)

    • May 16th 2017 @ 3:13am
      jeff dustby said | May 16th 2017 @ 3:13am | ! Report

      so your argument is that those who no one watches, can name, raise revenue or care about need more pay?

      • May 16th 2017 @ 11:10pm
        Felix said | May 16th 2017 @ 11:10pm | ! Report

        Of course, why shouldn’t they? You’ll have a pretty shit XI in 3 years if you don’t support those who are embarking on making a career of it.

        • May 18th 2017 @ 11:55pm
          Don Freo said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:55pm | ! Report

          Nah! You have to be good if you want to be paid for playing a sport you love. When you are the best and draw folk through the gate, that’s when you get paid.

          Players play because they love the game. They are not going to stop because they are not professional. The good ones will be sought after, contracted and paid.

          Don’t pay them until then…and then pay them the major part of the profit they generate.

          Would you pay struggling musos just in case there is no music in 3 years? Should all budding actors be on a retainer? Where will the fine artists be in 3 years? Time to pay exercise book doodlers.

    • May 16th 2017 @ 4:10am
      joe said | May 16th 2017 @ 4:10am | ! Report

      Why should the women get equal compensation when they don’t draw huge crowds,big TV ratings & huge TV contracts for cricket the same way the mens team does?
      Its a ridiculous argument.
      Im for fair pay.Not equal pay just because of your gender.

      • May 16th 2017 @ 8:50am
        Ross said | May 16th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        Mate we have to follow the tennis model where we give rhe women equal amount as men otherwise their game won’t grow

        • May 16th 2017 @ 10:33am
          BrainsTrust said | May 16th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

          As I have pointed out before if India and England did not come here the revenue would be almost halved, they don’t get paid a cent though for generating almost half the revenue.
          Women are being paid about 5% of what the men are getting which makes it easier to increase their share.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 12:01am
          jeff dustby said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:01am | ! Report

          because in tennis people like to watch womens tennis, they dont in cricket

      • May 16th 2017 @ 10:08am
        Joe Bell said | May 16th 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        Do you think the men’s game would have become the supremely professional and continually improving entity that it currently is without massive investment?

        How do you propose the women’s game improves to its maximum potential when the best players in the game have to be working a second job just to make ends meet?

        Without the same access to physios, coaches, facilities ect that the men have the women’s game will remain stagnant.

        Invest and professionalise the game further and you will see better cricket being played >>> bigger crowds >>>> bigger tv deals >>>> increased revenue

        Your argument is incredibly short-sighted and disappointing how many people comment the same stuff on cricket forums…

    • May 16th 2017 @ 7:03am
      qwetzen said | May 16th 2017 @ 7:03am | ! Report

      “a simple explanation is that of all the revenue coming in to CA, they share a percentage of that – 26 per cent to be exact – with the players.

      As it stands, the claim is that 70 cents from every dollar earned by the sport’s governing body in Australia, end up with the players.”

      This does not make sense. Nor have you said whose “claim” it is. As it’s unsupported I assume that it’s CA’s.

      This dispute is going to get even nastier as there’s no room for compromise. It’s not as if they’re arguing over the percentage, as per normal pay dispute, CA want a fundamental change to the system. They want to turn back time and make the players employees rather than partners. CA’s biggest problem with this, including the arrogant bullying of Sutherland, is that they’ve never given any reason whatsoever as to why they want to abolish the revenue model. The players are happy with it and CA finances are booming ahead, so why sweep it away. The cynics would suggest that the CA model will decrease player costs, which of course would mean bonuses for the suits at Jolimont.

      Go #fairshare !

      • May 17th 2017 @ 12:02am
        jeff dustby said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:02am | ! Report

        a rarity – a sesible comment from you

    • May 16th 2017 @ 7:51am
      Pope Paul VII said | May 16th 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      Solidarity comrades. However if everyone goes on strike I’m available.

    • Roar Guru

      May 16th 2017 @ 8:07am
      Rellum said | May 16th 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      Isn’t the share 22.5% to the players, 22.5% to the grassroots and 55% to CA. Plus the contracted payers all put a sizable amount of money aside for grassroots and lower grades.

      The ACA has issues with how the domestic game is run as well so things are just coming to a head and CA is acting like a bully which will lead to all sorts of trouble. Strikes do no sport good. MLB us just really recovering now more than 20 years later.

    • May 16th 2017 @ 9:29am
      Timmuh said | May 16th 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      Conspiracy hat on:
      Are CA and the ACA just doping this to come up with another excuse not to tour Bangladesh?

      [I don’t think so, but I can’t write it off]

      I also wonder if the ACA will be so wedded to the share of revenue model when rights values decline in future years.

      • May 16th 2017 @ 1:29pm
        Sydneysider said | May 16th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

        “I also wonder if the ACA will be so wedded to the share of revenue model when rights values decline in future years.”

        That’s where it is heading. CA know that Channel 9 has been advised to not hand over more money for the TV deal.

        The changes in media laws that are coming, the demise of Channel 10, Fairfax sacking journalists, News Corp sacking photographers. The media landscape is changing.

        Cricket Australia have been told that the new tv deal being negotiated won’t have an increase. Channel 9 lose $40 million per year televising international cricket. The direct subscription model won’t produce the same amount of revenues that Cricket Australia currently gets, hence why the anti-siphoning list exists.

        Interesting scenario coming for the ACA and CA.

        • Roar Guru

          May 16th 2017 @ 1:44pm
          Rellum said | May 16th 2017 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

          That is surely just a negotiation tactic, I haven’t heard about how the next League deal is going to suffer because of the bad state of 9 or the shifting landscape. Deals are up for negotiation and CA and 9 are trying to play everyone for their own benefit.

          • May 16th 2017 @ 3:37pm
            Sydneysider said | May 16th 2017 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

            “I haven’t heard about how the next League deal is going to suffer because of the bad state of 9”

            http://www.news.com.au/sport/cricket/channel-nine-urged-to-end-its-international-cricket-coverage/news-story/731c334afb95db14e90b80d449d518a1

            Channel 10: http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4661911.htm

            Channel 7 already has AFL and tennis and the Olympics.

            Channel 9 will be the only serious bidder thus the TV rights won’t be as high as before.

            Cricket Australia want the status quo to remain so that they can maximise their tv revenue but it’s not going to happen.

            AFL and NRL have sucked all the FTA TV money out of the market for sport. Cricket Australia will still get a very good deal BUT it won’t be enough for the players who want more and are threatening to go play in T20 tournaments around the world.

            • Roar Guru

              May 16th 2017 @ 5:28pm
              Rellum said | May 16th 2017 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

              Sorry when I say league I mean rugby league, the NRL. None of those links mention how ch9 is going to have to renegotiate/alter rethink it’s deal with rugby league because ch9 is in trouble. They only talk about Cricket coverage. Hence it fells like a negotiation tactic.

              The players are not wanting more, they want the status quo to remain, which could mean less money. I support them because they are in this representing all levels of the game, past, present and importantly future, not just their own wallets.

              • May 16th 2017 @ 11:17pm
                Felix said | May 16th 2017 @ 11:17pm | ! Report

                League TV numbers are solid this year by all accounts, and that’s despite non FOXTEL viewers having to endure 5 more of Rabs’ Ramblings. The change to media licensing laws will definitely place downward pressure on all sports negotiations in the near future. Let’s just hope it doesn’t end up in an Optus style EPL debacle.

              • May 17th 2017 @ 12:10am
                Timmuh said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:10am | ! Report

                As Felix says, viewing numbers and general interest are holding up for League.
                International cricket is in danger of being overtaken by its own domestic bastard child, and to an extent is under the pump from the A-League. If Nine have to drop one, it would be international cricket – which in terms of general interest seems on the decline.

                Ten aren’t in a position to bid for the North Ryde Snooker Championships, nor can Seven afford to pay top dollar for any more sport, thanks to their AFL rights. Nine will probably retain the rights, but with a drop in value (unless it comes bundled with BBL, buit the costs involved in having two production teams and dedicating 10 hours a day to cricket – on combined Test/BBL days – might be too high).

              • May 19th 2017 @ 12:04am
                Don Freo said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:04am | ! Report

                I dream of the day when CA and the AFL…and maybe the other winter also rans…buy Channel 10 and establish a Free To Air sports channel that will fill their coffers and send Rupert the Fox, sadly, to his next life.

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