THE AFL Players' Association is eager to agree upon a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the AFL, but won't be forced into signing the deal unless all of its demands are met.
AFLPA president Paul Marsh said it was up to the League to compromise to ensure the protracted discussions reached an end point sooner rather than later.
"I don't think the delays have come from our side of things," Marsh told SEN.
"We're keen to get this deal done. The players are, the clubs are, but we're not there yet."
"We've just got to keep working at it."
Players are demanding the salary cap be based on a set percentage of AFL and club revenue, while the League has been reluctant to agree to such a model.
The players have been irritated in the past that recent agreements based on AFL revenue forecasts have seen them receive what they consider less than their fair share, when League revenues have far exceeded the forecast the initial agreement was based upon.
Clubs are also having issues with signing players beyond next season, as players are keen to capitalise on their market share as part of the new CBA.
"We're getting to a point now where 2017 has been difficult for the clubs and the players," Marsh said.
"2018 is looming. We're all ready to get this done. We've been ready for a long time to get this deal done.
"There has to be a bit of give and take and we're certainly prepared to do that.
"We're willing, ready and able to get the deal done whenever the AFL are."
But Marsh has rejected a proposal from Melbourne president Glen Bartlett, which would see an offer put straight to the players and potentially cut the AFLPA out of any talks.
It has been reported the League could explore Bartlett's proposal as it looks to finalise any deal.
"The question I'd ask is who does Glen, or anyone else think we represent? We represent the players," Marsh said.
"We'll obviously negotiate this agreement to a point where we think it meets the objectives of the players.
"Then the players will actually vote on that. It's a bit bemusing to be honest.
"It's certainly not something I would think the AFL would do. It's reasonably disrespectful to the players if they were to bypass the organisiation that they've set up to represent their interests."