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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

Relationship still "strained" despite pay agreement

Australian Netball Players Association Chief Executive Kathryn Harby-Williams says she is ‘delighted’ about the pay deal, and now focuses can shift to growing and maximising the game’s potential. 


The ongoing dispute between Netball Australia and the Players Association came to an end, as a new collective player agreement was announced on Wednesday. 


This came one day after Kelly Ryan stepped down from Netball Australia’s chief executive. 


Harby-Williams while the relationship between Netball Australia and the Player Association is ‘strained,’ productive discussions have been held. 


“There’s been frustrations, it’s been a really rocky road,” she said.


“We’ve now got a new CEO in place for now 48 hours and we’ve had some really productive discussions with Stacey West. 


“We have to start moving forward now as a sport collectively, with all the stakeholders, with the teams, with Netball Australia to make sure that we can maximise the potential of this sport and allow it to thrive and see where it can go, so that’s our priority as a playing group.

 

Players will receive an 11 per cent pay rise over the next three years, including backpay to October 1st. The average salary also increases to $89,221. 


Players also receive 20 per cent of revenue above an agreed sponsorship forecast. 

Harby-Williams said it was the revenue aspect of the CPA that delayed to announcement, due to misunderstandings between the parties.  


“A lot of sports in this country are moving to a revenue share model,” she said. 


“We paired it right back because it's our first step into that realm to share above forecast sponsorship revenue only. 


“It really took a long time for the other party to actually understand revenue share, understand what we were asking for and once that was accepted, we advanced a lot more quickly than we had over the past 8 months or so.


Harby-Williams believes the pay deal will help with talent retention and pathways across the country and solidify netball as a career option. 


She called it a ‘war on talent,’ with talented netballers transitioning to other sports with similar skills like Aussie Rules. 


Former Diamond and West Coast Fever player Verity Simmons is the Netball-Aussie Rules convert, signing a rookie contract with the West Coast Eagles AFLW team.  

 

“We need to make sure all areas of our game are attractive to those young talented athletes coming through because we have participation levels that are really high,” she said. 


“We also need to make sure that those talented youngsters see netball as a career opportunity and seeing a pay deal that’s come together where athletes are recognised for the contributions they make to the game, that’s all part of it. 


IMAGE: FILE


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