Netballers take pay reduction in shutdown

Super Netball players have become the latest professional sportspeople to commit to a pay reduction due to the coronavirus pandemic while Netball Australia has stood down half its staff.

The league and the Australian Netball Players' Association (ANPA) announced on Saturday a reduction to player payments for five weeks.

Contracted players are set to take two weeks' leave from Monday and then remain at home on "active rest" for seven hours per week for the following three weeks at a 70 per cent reduction in pay.

Half of the staff from from Netball Australia and from the Super Netball league have been temporarily stood down, while those remaining are working reduced hours and taking pay cuts - including NA chief executive Marne Fechner and Super Netball boss Chris Symington, who are giving up 50 per cent of their salaries.

These reductions will be in place until 31 May 2020.

These measures follow the postponement of Super Netball, the Australia Netball League and potentially Australian Diamonds international matches, as well as all community netball competitions around Australia.

The 2020 Super Netball season has been postponed until at least June 30.

The AFL has already announced its players will take a 50 per cent pay until the end of May while the NRL is in talks with the RLPA for a similar arrangement.

"Our sport is not immune," ANPA chief executive Kathryn Harby-Williams said

"Over the past few days we have endured some of our most difficult times when faced with the harsh reality of an uncertain future.

"We fully understand we need to play our role to enable netball to get through these bleak times, hence we have agreed to take a pay cut."

Harby-Williams said with the minimum wage for Super Netball players at $30,000 per annum, the pay reduction would have a severe impact.

"However, we know we are not alone and many others throughout our community are suffering," she said.

Fechner said the past few weeks had been the most challenging in her professional career and advising staff of the workforce impacts was heartbreaking.

"There just isn't an easy way to come to terms with the measures we've needed to put in place to ensure there is a Netball Australia for our workforce to return to, when the COVID-19 pandemic has passed," Fechner said.