Mitchell Johnson insists pay dispute will leave long-term scars

| Updated: Jul 20, 2017 00:12 IST

Sydney [Australia], July 19 (ANI): Former Test paceman Mitchell Johnson has said that although the negotiations between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association regarding the fixed revenue model continue to take place, the damage which tends to happen has already been done. While the discussions between two governing bodies- including the chief executives James Sutherland and Alistair Nicholson - were resumed in Melbourne on Wednesday, Johnson insisted that the pay dispute has already strained relations between the players and Cricket Australia to such an extent that it might never recover or it would take a really long time to heal fully. "It's been pretty disappointing and once it's all dealt with, the player and CA relationship is going to be a struggle . it's going to be very ordinary. Even if it gets sorted, the damage has already been done. There's been personal insults about the players being greedy. That's not the case," ESPNcricinfo quoted Johnson as saying. "The relationship is going to have to build again. The last time I felt this way - not to this extent - was the Argus Review [in 2011]. That was the last time we had a little bit of trouble between the players and CA," he added. Players, having central contracts and state players without multi-year deals, were left unemployed after the deadline for a new MoU was not brokered by June 30. More than 200 leading cricketers are affected by the dispute between CA and the ACA. The ACA and players subsequently opted to boycott the upcoming Australia A tour of South Africa after the CA and ACA failed to reach the common grounds in their pay dispute. And Johnson believes that the CA and its chairman David Peever, a former Rio Tinto managing director, are trying to break the players' union. "The players have fought so hard, the ACA, for the last 19 years, and got this model that we have in a really good place, and other things as well. From the CA point of view, I know David Peever, ex-Rio Tinto ... no unions. So that is the thing that concerns me a lot. If we lose this battle as players, does then the ACA start getting their legs chopped from underneath them and the players lose the ACA?," Johnson said. ACA had earlier rejected the new pay offer from the game's governing body, saying the proposal will be a win for cricket administrators but a loss for the game. In March, CA made an offer, proposing that the average pay of Australia's international women's players would rise from $A79,000 to $A179,000, while the average remuneration of state cricketers would more than double to $A52,000. Under CA's proposal, only male international players would have the chance to share in any surplus revenue, while other domestic male players and women at both domestic and international level would have to settle for fixed amounts which would not fluctuate according to the game's income. However, the ACA pointed out a series of concerns with the proposal, saying that it "disrespects the value of domestic cricketers and the role they play in Australian cricket". The major reason behind the ACA's opposition is CA's proposal to scrap a shared revenue model for player payments, which has been in place for nearly 20 years. Cricket Australia had in May threatened that players would not be paid beyond June 30, the date of expiry of their current five-year financial deal, if they don't accept the governing body's new proposed offer.(ANI)

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