PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 25: Adam Simpson, coach of the Eagles sits on the bench at ground level during the AFL 2018 JLT Community Series match between the West Coast Eagles and the Port Adelaide Power at Leederville Oval on February 25, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Extended benches and unlimited interchange rotations have become key issues for AFL coaches as the league deals with the coronavirus pandemic. 

Many of the 18 coaches are pushing for 24-man playing squads as well as the removal of the 90-rotation cap.

According to SEN‘s Sam Edmund, the AFL maintained during in a phone hookup yesterday that they want to maintain the status quo. The AFL is determined to play a 17-game season, mid-week time-slots with irregular breaks are being considered in anticipation of clubs being quarantined and the season paused.

Instead of the coaches proposed changes, league bosses have told the coaches that it’s likely that games will be reduced to 16-minute quarters, plus time-on

Up to five state-league players can be signed by clubs via a newly-created supplementary list, with specific windows to draft players to open throughout the season.

Some coaches, such as Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge, have been vocal that teams should be able to recruit players all year-round and only as needed as clubs have confirmed costs will need to be cut.

A five-question survey was handed out to players last night in which they told the AFL Players’ Association they are happy to be flexible, but many are angered with a proposed 20 per cent pay cut.

Many players were angry that the 20 per cent pay cut proposal was made public before being presented to the playing group.

Other options have been mooted instead of the 20 per cent cut, with some player managers believing that only those over a certain pay band should be affected, while others are proposing that any foregone money be placed in a loan agreement which will be paid back upon retirement.

The common view is that nothing will be agreed upon in the near future regarding the pay cut, with the prevailing view being that it’s unlikely the playing group will agree to the figure but there will be a mountain of factors to consider in the coming weeks and months.