RAC­ING will re­sume in Victoria to­day af­ter a Mel­bourne-based jockey re­turned a neg­a­tive COVID19 test late last night.

The Aus­tralian rac­ing in­dus­try shut down on Wed­nes­day af­ter learn­ing that jockey Mark Zahra was on a March 12 do­mes­tic flight with a pas­sen­ger who had tested pos­i­tive. Zahra was im­me­di­ately tested and race meet­ings stopped.

Rac­ing will re­sume to­day with War­rnam­bool and Pak­en­ham meet­ings.

A BREAK­THROUGH pay deal be­tween the AFL and the game’s 850 play­ers re­volves around mul­ti­ple sce­nar­ios play­ing out this year.

The deal, which could be signed to­day, will be flex­i­ble and re­sult in play­ers earn­ing var­ied amounts in 2020 de­pend­ing on whether there are no more games, some games or a full 17 rounds, plus fi­nals.

Matches be­ing played with or with­out crowds and the fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity of key AFL spon­sors and part­ners will also de­ter­mine the size of the stop-gap ar­range­ment to be struck be­tween the AFL and play­ers’ union.

Pre­cise de­tails will be fi­nalised in the com­ing weeks of the coro­n­avirus cri­sis, but both par­ties were de­ter­mined to agree in prin­ci­ple to mul­ti­ple mod­els and al­low the AFL to ac­cel­er­ate plans to se­cure a bank loan to se­cure the game.

The pay deal will cater for play­ers on min­i­mum wages, the loss of match pay­ments and play­ers with heav­ily front or back-ended contracts.

The AFL is also keen to re­draw the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment with play­ers that ex­pires at the end of 2022.

In ne­go­ti­a­tions with AFL Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion boss Paul Marsh on Wed­nes­day, AFL chief Gil­lon McLach­lan of­fered to match the per­cent­age of the pay cut suf­fered by play­ers this year.


Carl­ton’s Kade Simp­son trains at Gosch’s Pad­dock yes­ter­day dur­ing the AFL shut­down.

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