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Peever peeved over "reckless" union tactics in cricket pay dispute

Cricket

Cricket Australia chairman David Peever has broken his silence on the pay spat, accusing the players' union of "reckless" tactics.

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Peever also claims he is the victim of “personality focused myth-making” and that CA’s board has been insulted and disrespected in the ugly stoush.

Peever is one of many CA officials pushing to scrap the revenue-sharing model that has shaped the salaries of players since the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was brokered 20 years ago.

It is a stance that has caused much friction between administrators and unemployed players. The previous MoU expired on June 30 but CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) remain deadlocked.

Peever, who had previously kept quiet publicly throughout protracted negotiations, teed off in a scathing opinion piece that was published in The Australian today.

“CA has put what in any normal circumstances would be regarded as a very generous offer,” Peever wrote.

“The ACA has responded by not only rejecting that proposal (and recent concessions) out of hand, but by launching a campaign of such sustained ferocity that anyone could be forgiven for thinking CA was proposing the reintroduction of slavery rather than healthy pay rises.

“Not content with that level of overreaction, the ACA has gone much further.

“Refusing to allow players to tour, threatening to drive away commercial sponsors and damage the prospects of broadcast partners, lock up player IP into its own business ventures and even stage its own games.

“It’s a reckless strategy that can only damage the game and therefore the interests of the ACA’s own members.”

CA claim the current revenue-sharing model is untenable and starving community clubs of much-needed funds.

Peever took exception with recent reports that his organisation was guilty of “union busting 101”, claiming his view on unions had been misreported.

“Of all the claims swirling around… perhaps the most tawdry is the suggestion that CA has been motivated by some extreme industrial relations agenda, supposedly imported from the mining industry,” the former managing director of Rio Tinto wrote.

“It’s a complete myth, and deeply insulting to many people across the cricket spectrum. It has been deliberately fabricated.

“I respect the role of the ACA – and unions in general – to negotiate on behalf of their members.

“The suggestion that CA’s push to modify the player payments model has nothing to do with genuine issues facing the game is an insult to everyone involved at CA, including other members of the board.

“Even worse, it disrespects all those from across the cricket community who have flooded CA and me personally with messages of support because they see first-hand the chronic underfunding of the game at the grassroots level.”

Peever attacked the role of unions in 2012, suggesting they were disruptive and should be removed from the bargaining process.

“Those repeating the myth point to a speech I made years ago in a completely different context,” he wrote today.

Peever added he “spent almost every summer weekend until age 30 playing cricket and my life revolved around the game”.

-AAP

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