AFL coaches feel community responsibility

Oliver Caffrey
Hawks head coach Alastair Clarkson is happy to put the AFL community before his pay packet

With the financial effects from coronavirus to last for years, Alastair Clarkson believes how much money AFL coaches will sacrifice is irrelevant.

Instead, the Hawthorn coach feels a responsibility to give a community reeling from effects of the virus some entertainment.

AFL Coaches Association boss Mark Brayshaw confirmed all 18 AFL mentors have agreed to a 20 per cent pay cut with the entire 2020 season likely to be played without crowds.

Players' finances will take a hit, so will everyone's at AFL headquarters, right down from chief executive Gillon McLachlan.

Clubs are bracing for losses of up to $5 million as fans are locked out of games and membership numbers decrease as a result.

Four-time premiership coach Clarkson said he wanted the AFL to continue for as long as possible during the health crisis.

"We can't deny that this is going to affect every industry, including our industry," he told reporters via video conference.

"But we don't want to be so precious just to think we're the only industry that matters.

"That's why we don't really want to talk about money, because we feel like the best way to get everything back to normal is try to play games of footy.

"It's not so much about the financial stuff for mine, it's about being leaders in terms of our actions.

"For as long as the authorities ask us, or allow us - as a coaching group, a club, a playing group - to provide some sort of entertainment in a pretty tough time (we'll do that)."

Brayshaw said coaches were embarrassed the 20 per cent pay cut figure had become public.

"There's no question that all coaches, not just senior coaches, are frightened about what lies ahead for the game," he told SEN.

"I wasn't surprised at the speed with which they offered to do this."