The AFL’s decision to cover the costs of players bring their families into hubs proved “critically important” in convincing Adelaide, Port Adelaide, West Coasts and Fremantle players to temporarily relocate to the Gold Coast to restart the season.
AFL Players’ Association chief executive Paul Marsh said it would have been a “significant ask” for players to head into hubs without the option to bring family members along.
“That’s where we were two weeks ago where we were genuinely looking at the prospect of all teams being away with no families,” Marsh told reporters.
“The players were very clear to us that that was going to be problematic so I’m pleased we’ve been able to work through that with the AFL.
“It’s still not a perfect solution because we’ve got partners who work and have got kids at school.
“It’s not necessarily automatic that you can just relocate but at least the players now have got an option.
“They’ve got an option to bring their families up, (for) parts of it rather than having to go in at the same time.”
Marsh said the AFLPA had also completed another deal with the AFL on player pay, covering the period from June 1-10.
It ensures players will be paid 50 per cent of their original salaries, rather than the 30 per cent they would have received if football did not return.
Meanwhile, Marsh emphasised the AFLPA didn’t feel the need to see interchange benches extended to six players.
“There was a lot of talk about that early in the season because we were going to compress the week-to-week fixture,” Marsh said.
“Now that it’s more like a traditional fixture as we’ve known it, the need for it is not so much there – particularly with the reduction in the length of each quarter.
“I don’t think this is a massive issue from a player’s perspective.”