Players vote down CBA deal, season start in limbo

NEGOTIATIONS for the AFLW players' collective bargaining agreement will drag on and the season start remains uncertain after the AFL's latest offer failed to capture enough support.

Players had until Sunday to vote on the revised CBA proposal for the 2020-22 seasons after Friday's 5pm deadline was extended due to technical problems with the electronic voting link.

They were notified on Sunday afternoon that 70 per cent of players supported it and 30 per cent voted against it. 

The AFLPA had sought a player support vote of 75 per cent.

It was confirmed the deal was subsequently not approved in a statement released by the union. 

"The AFLPA will now conduct a series of meetings with players to determine the next steps in this process," the statement said. 

Had the deal been ratified, players were set to start pre-season late next month and round one was to be played in early February. Those dates are now up in the air. 

They will now return to the negotiating table to continue to thrash out the intricacies of the deal, largely focusing on the length of the season. 

The next step will see the AFLPA speak to the players to get more clarity around exactly what is stopping the proposal from gaining the required support.

The CBA presented to the players last month had an eight-round season in 2020, building to nine by 2022. That was later revised upwards to 10 rounds plus three weeks of finals in the CBA rejected by the players on Sunday. 

A group of players opposed to the CBA recently engaged the services of law firm Maurice Blackburn to help secure what they believe is a better deal. 

The Age reported on Sunday the group is led by Carlton's Darcy Vescio and Geelong's Meg McDonald and wants a 13-round season where all teams play each other once, among other things.   

The competition is scheduled to expand to 14 teams in 2020 with Richmond, St Kilda, Gold Coast and West Coast to join.