AFL cuts season, opener in doubt

Original article by John Ferguson, Tessa Akerman
The Australian – Page: 3 : 17-Mar-20

The Australian Football League has responded to the coronavirus crisis by reducing the 2020 home-and-away season from 22 rounds to just 17. The AFL has yet to decide whether to cancel round one or stage matches in empty stadiums. Delaying the start of the season until late May is also an option. CEO Gillon McLachlan has stressed that protecting the community is the league’s top priority. Reports have suggested that AFL players may be asked to take pay cuts of up to 20 per cent.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE

ATP Tour shuts down for six weeks because of outbreak

Original article by Russell Fuller
bbc.com – Page: Online : 13-Mar-20

The ATP has cancelled all tournaments on the men’s ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour until 27 April, due to growing concerns about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi says the decision was not an easy one, but it believed it was in the best interest of players, staff and the broader tennis community. The ATP says the impact of the cancellation of matches on world rankings will be considered carefully, while the Women’s Tennis Association has not yet announced its stance on upcoming tournaments.

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ATP TOUR WOMEN’S TENNIS ASSOCIATION

Domain calls stumps on Test naming rights in middle of four-year deal

Original article by Chris Barrett, Daniel Cherny
The Age – Page: Online : 20-Feb-20

Property listings group Domain Holdings has advised Cricket Australia that it will not extend its naming rights sponsorship deal for men’s Test matches. Domain replaced Magellan Financial Group as naming-rights sponsor in June 2018, in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. Domain’s four-year deal included an option to walk away from the arrangement after two years. Cricket Australia will seek a new sponsor, while it is holding talks with Domain about its future involvement in the sport.

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CRICKET AUSTRALIA, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, MAGELLAN FINANCIAL GROUP LIMITED – ASX MFG

Sporting body prepares for life without Holden

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 19-Feb-20

Seven West Media CEO James Warburton says the impending demise of the Holden brand will have a big impact on the advertising market, adding that the car-maker also sponsors many big events. Meanwhile, Supercars CEO Sean Seamer says it had already been holding discussions with a number of car brands following General Motors’ decision in late 2019 to discontinue the Commodore. Warburton notes that there has been a shift in the focus of Supercars to the racing teams rather than the traditional Holden-Ford rivalry.

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SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, SUPERCARS, GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION, GM HOLDEN LIMITED, FORD MOTOR COMPANY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Barty to donate winnings to bushfire fund

Original article by Courtney Walsh
The Australian – Page: 22 : 6-Jan-20

Australian tennis star Ash Barty has pledged to donate her entire earnings from the upcoming Brisbane International tournament to bushfire relief. Barty could potentially earn up to $382,000 if she wins the tournament. Meanwhile, the Australian Open’s defending champion Novak Djokovic says organisers may have to postpone the Grand Slam event if air quality in Melbourne worsens due to the bushfires. Barty is not concerned about delaying the Open, arguing that tennis is trivial compared with the ongoing crisis.

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AUSTRALIAN OPEN TENNIS

Cricketers set sights on clean sweep

Original article by Peter Lalor
The Australian – Page: 5 : 3-Jan-20

Cricket Australia has confirmed it has guidelines in place in the event that smoke from the current bushfires causes play in the Third Test between Australia and New Zealand in Sydney to be halted. The match starts on 3 January, with CA and the SCG Trust advising that shirts worn by the players in the game will be sold to raise money for victims of the fires. CA CEO Kevin Roberts says any halt in play because of smoke will need to be treated in the same way that rain delays are. The ‘Pink Test’, which raises money for the McGrath Foundation, is now in its 12th year.

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CRICKET AUSTRALIA

Sorry rugby chiefs pay Folau millions

Original article by Remy Varga
The Australian – Page: 1 & 7 : 5-Dec-19

Rugby Australia has agreed to a confidential settlement with sacked player Israel Folau, who had been seeking $14m in compensation. He is expected to be paid several million dollars to settle the dispute, with Rugby Australia issuing an apology for any hurt or harm caused to Folau and his wife. Folau in turn has used a joint statement to apologise for any hurt or harm his social media comments had caused. The Australian Christian Lobby has advised that people who donated money for Folau’s legal defence will be entitled to a pro-rata refund.

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RUGBY AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIAN LOBBY

Rugby at risk of state breakaway

Original article by Paul Garvey, Steve Jackson
The Australian – Page: 3 : 21-Nov-19

Former media executive David Leckie says Rugby Australia chairman Cameron Clyne should step down immediately rather than waiting until March. He has also called on CEO Raelene Castle to resign, describing her as a "complete disaster". Meanwhile, mining magnate Andrew Forrest says RA’s new leadership team must demonstrate more support for Western Australia, rather than continuing to treat the state as a "poor cousin". He has flagged the possibility of WA fielding its own team at international level.

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RUGBY AUSTRALIA, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WESTERN FORCE LIMITED, RUGBY WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Matildas have AFLW to thank for pay parity

Original article by Michael Bailey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 7-Nov-19

Deakin University’s Professor David Shilbury says the success of the women’s Australian Football League was a major driver of the pay-parity deal for the national women’s soccer team. He notes that negotiations over new pay deals for female cricketers and soccer players only made progress following the AFLW’s launch in 2017, which provided those sports with competition for female athletes.

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DEAKIN UNIVERSITY, AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE, AFLW, FOOTBALL FEDERATION AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MATILDAS, SOCCEROOS, CRICKET AUSTRALIA

Tedesco on the cusp of the game’s greatest season

Original article by Brent Read
The Australian – Page: 32 & 31 : 3-Oct-19

Sydney Roosters fullback James Tedesco has won the National Rugby League’s prestigious Dally M Medal for 2019. Tedesco was widely expected to win the award for player of the year, while Melbourne Storm’s Cameron Smith was the runner-up. Tedesco, who has also won the 2019 Brad Fittler and Wally Lewis awards, will be seeking to cap a stellar season with a victory against the Canberra Raiders in the NRL Grand Final on 6 October.

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SYDNEY ROOSTERS RUGBY LEAGUE FOOTBALL, NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE, CANBERRA RAIDERS