30 July, 2011

International Rules in doubt; this time for off the field reasons:

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International Rules fighting; this time off the field
         This year's International Rules Series could yet be scrapped as an escalating pay row between Australian Rules players and their bosses threatens its existence.
         A boycott of the international series is one of the weapons that AFL players are now reportedly considering in their battle to break a deadlock in pay negotiations, which have intensified in recent days.  The AFL Players Association (AFLPA) brought 400 players to a landmark meeting in Melbourne in midweek and another 300 were involved via video link, when the union were given a full mandate to do whatever is needed to secure a new collective bargaining agreement.
         Whilst strike action is the last option Australian media sources have revealed that the players have discussed the nuclear option of going on strike but only for the International Series and the AFL's pre-season NAB Cup.  The players apparently expressed a desire not to do anything that would impact on their Premiership season.
         The current deal does not expire until the end of the AFL season in September and negotiations are expected to intensify in the coming weeks.  Worries have also increased because today was originally set as a nominal deadline for the new pay deal.  
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