Melbourne Rebels captain Dane Haylett-Petty has pointed to a rival code for their handling of the coronavirus-enforced cost cutting as talks between players and Rugby Australia (RA) go in circles.
In a week RA announced a $9.4 million 2019 loss, the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) has held firm on its request for the organisation to reveal a clearer financial picture before negotiations can continue.
So far RA have refused to do so, arguing they have done enough to satisfy what’s needed for decisions around player pay cuts to be made.
Haylett-Petty said he was frustrated and disappointed with the stalemate.
“We care about the game as much as anyone else,” the Rebels and Wallabies outside back told AAP.
“We’ve been left out of the loop and left out of the decision making process to date… hopefully that’s changing and we’ll know a bit more in the next week.
“I felt like the AFL the very next day went straight to their players to sit down and talk about where they are at and how we’re going to fix it… (for rugby) it’s been probably over a month now.
“The players want what’s best for the game and the whole game from grass roots up to the international level.
“We are only one of the stakeholders but we feel like we can add a lot of value in the process.”
Under-pressure RA chief executive Raelene Castle will take a 50 per cent pay cut, her executive will lose 30 per cent of their wage and 75 per cent of their staff have been stood down without pay for three months.
But former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is among those backing RUPA boss Justin Harrison’s call for more transparency, he also challenged Castle to follow NRL counterpart Todd Greenberg’s lead and take the same cut as the players.
Harrison said on Friday they wouldn’t be able to resume “open and honest negotiations” without a clearer picture of RA’s finances.
“Our players approach this long-term transformation with a collegiate and team approach and with an acknowledgement the game has to change,” Harrison said.
“We see no reasons why RA refuses to engage, despite the provision of protection under a non-disclosure agreement.
“At a time when governing bodies in the other major football codes have been open and transparent with their players RA continues to refuse our requests.”