Jack Riewoldt says he has taken a pay cut in his new contract to help Richmond keep its team together
RICHMOND star Jack Riewoldt says he has taken a pay cut in extending his contract until the end of 2021.
On Tuesday, the Tigers confirmed Riewoldt — who was already contracted for 2019 — had signed a two-year contract extension.
Later that evening, Riewoldt confirmed he had taken a pay cut on his new deal, which included restructuring the final year of his current deal (2019) — meaning he is on less money next year than he is on in 2018.
“No, I took a pay cut. I definitely took a pay cut,” Riewoldt said on Fox Footy’s AFL 360.
“So I had another year on my contract, next year, so it’s basically a restructuring, really. So next year’s wiped and it’s a three-year contract.
“No, I am on less money next year than I am on this year.”
The Tigers have a number of key players, including in-form defender Jayden Short and veterans Bachar Houli and Shaun Grigg, out of contract — while they have been consistently linked to a free agency move for Gold Coast star Tom Lynch.
Riewoldt said he believed a number of Tigers were taking pay cuts — in the vein of Hawthorn players in their premiership era of 2013-2015.
“I don’t think I’m on my own in this as well,” Riewoldt said.
“I’m nearly 100 per cent certain that Rancey would be in the same situation, and from the conversations I’ve had with him. And I think a lot of our players have taken unders in where their market value probably is and that’s just the sign I reckon of a successful club.
“And I’ve had these conversations with Jordan (Lewis) up in the green room about Hawthorn in their heyday, he’s whispered a few figures to me on what some of the Hawks players were paid and I think ‘oh, how were they playing for that much’ because it’s phenomenally lower than what the market value of a player like that is.
“So hopefully it’s a sign of being a strong club.”
Riewoldt said while list manager Blair Hartley could have some tough decisions to make, he believed the Tigers were doing their best to keep the club together.
“I think there’s a happy medium to it and I reckon being a list manager of a footy club is a very tricky job — because you’re emotionally invested as well … everyone buys in,” he said.
“So there is tough decisions to make at an AFL club but I feel like I’m doing my part and I feel like all of our players are doing their part to keep this group together.”
Melbourne veteran and four-time premiership Hawk Jordan Lewis said players taking pay cuts was “the path” to ongoing success, and if Lynch wanted to join the Tigers, he would have to take “unders” to make it happen.
“It’s certainly the path to get there, no doubt,” Lewis said.
“And if a player wants to go to a successful side, he’s going to take unders than the market suggests.
“So there’s a lot of money getting floated around about Tom Lynch. I mean, he can’t come out and say ‘this is what I’m demanding’ — it’s out there saying ‘he wants this, he wants that.’
“I can guarantee, if he goes to Richmond, he won’t get as much as if he were to go to another club.”
Riewoldt said his negotiations had been “as casual as contract talks can be”, having broached the subject with the Tigers’ list boss after a discussion with teammate Alex Rance.
“As casual as contract talks can be,” Riewoldt said.
“I remember sitting, Myself and Rancey were sitting down at the Brighton Sea Baths and just having a yak and I sort of said ‘where do you see yourself at?’ and he goes ‘I think I’m pretty close.’
“And I thought ‘I’ll go and ask the question and see where the club think I’m at’ and what I can do to shore up the finances for the club to know where we’re at going forward as well because we want to keep progressing. And within three weeks we both re-signed until season 2021.
“So it was a couple of text messages, I went in and talked to Blair Hartley, our list manager, and then it was done basically.”
Source : Foxsports