Former Melbourne forward David Schwarz has labelled AFL players as selfish, following Scott Pendlebury’s comments that he is willing to strike if the AFL does not agree to terms on an improved collective bargaining agreement.
Despite long negotiations, a resolution seems no closer, with players demanding a rumoured 29 per cent of the game’s total revenue, while the league has offered a far inferior deal.
“I think it’s something that we’ve got to fight for, and I don’t think the players are going to blink either,” Pendlebury said on Thursday.
“If the AFL’s not going to blink and the players don’t blink who knows what happens when the ball goes up in that first NAB Cup (JLT Series) game.
“I have no qualms sitting down at the first quarter, not at all.”
But Schwarz any strike action could work against the players even further.
“When the players start putting themselves before the game and become selfish…they’ve lost it and we’ve got a big issue,” Schwarz said on SEN radio.
“If players were striking because there wasn’t enough money going into junior development then they’d get some support.
“But if a player earning $300,000 wants $360,000 then the sympathy isn’t going to come their way.
“In fact there could be a backlash against the players and their cause.
“I don’t think they are going to get any sympathy from the public and I think people will be looking at the players and thinking ‘how much is enough?”.
Schwarz said he believes that game must first be thriving at grass roots level before the players can request such a large slice of the pie.