What next for sacked footy coaches, staff?
Coaches have been told to apply for Centrelink payments or pick up a job as a manual labourer as they fight through several months without their AFL incomes.
While the 18 senior coaches remain employed during football's unprecedented shutdown, almost all of the 190 coaches in the game have been stood down without pay indefinitely.
Several are resigned to the fact that this will likely be their last year at the elite level because of the shrinking AFL industry and a soft cap is getting slashed.
I am incredibly fortunate to have been involved with the @CarltonFC and @NBluesFC for the last 5 years. These are unforeseen circumstances and there will be people doing it tougher than I am. Hopefully everyone is keeping themselves and loved ones safe. #AntsSpirit 🐜🔵— Josh Fraser (@jfraser17) March 26, 2020
Carlton cut ties with VFL coach Josh Fraser on Thursday as the club ended its alignment with Northern Blues because of the cost-cutting measures.
Some assistants earn as little as $80,000-90,000 annually, although senior assistants can take home more than $250,000.
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The AFL Coaches' Association has learned that while the treatment of its constituents has been harsh, clubs have acted within their legal rights.
Assistants have been told that they should qualify for the $550 fortnightly government payments and they can also access their superannuation early.
They have been encouraged to spread their annual leave or long-service leave, rather than taking it all upfront, to help manage their cash flows in 2020.
"There's a raft of advice we're providing to the coaches, starting with legal advice which, thankfully, hasn't been called upon," AFLCA chief executive Mark Brayshaw told the Herald Sun.
"Through to professional development, because many of the members have got time on their hands now and are wanting to lift the tempo of their PD during this break.
"We are also helping them to become aware of some of the federal governments initiatives that people that have been stood down can get access to, including superannuation and Services Australia opportunities.
"We have also invited them to put their hand up for short-term manual labour-type jobs that some industries are looking for."
Fremantle chief executive Simon Garlick and football boss Peter Bell told their club's assistants on a virtual chat on Tuesday that they would be stood down under the Fair Work Act.
Dockers midfield coach Anthony Rock, who is looking for part-time work and has two kids in private schools, said: "I need to bring the bacon home. We're doing a renovation, so it's not a great time financially for us."
Coaches fork out $500 annually to join the AFLCA union. Half of that is reimbursed by their club.
The Herald Sun has contacted several disgruntled football figures that are struggling with the personal fallout to the coronavirus crisis.
They are frustrated that they will be victims of spending cuts after years of both clubs and the AFL splashing cash on business decisions that have not paid off.
Low-profile AFL assistant coaches are also concerned that they will struggle to land a job at state-league or local level in 2021, because former superstars will snap them on the back of their names.
Geelong has stood down 100 out of its 135 staff while recruiters at some AFL clubs were stood down on Monday and then sacked on Tuesday.
Some of those employees were living pay cheque to pay cheque, with mortgages and young families intensifying the financial strain.
Originally published as What next for sacked footy coaches, staff?