PLAYERS remain opposed to the AFL's final pay offer, leaving this week's deadline for an agreement in doubt.
The AFL Players Association board and delegates met last Thursday and remain unified in the belief the conditions the AFL has put forward in its revised $1.144 billion offer are of concern.
Several senior players reiterated this to The Age at the weekend. The issue is expected to be a major talking point, at least privately, at tonight's AFL Players Association Most Valuable Player awards presentation at Crown Casino. Several high-profile player managers are also opposed to the AFL's latest offer to broker a new collective bargaining agreement.
Players are angered by Thursday's deadline issued by AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou when he delivered his final offer to the players on August 31, claiming they will not be bullied into meeting this as the AFL had taken six weeks to respond to their revised offer.
Demetriou said if the deadline was not met, the league would step up negotiations with clubs and determine what their share of the $1.25 billion broadcast rights agreement would be. Clubs have become increasingly agitated as they have been unable to budget for next season.
Players remain fundamentally opposed to the AFL offer on several fronts.
The players want a set percentage of overall revenue, except gambling earnings and government grants. AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson says a fixed share of revenue would be ''destructive'' for the game, and widen the gap between the rich and poor clubs.
Players also want a pension fund and have concerns about signing over their image rights.