Riverina Umpires Association (RUA) will take a pay cut this season in a bid to help clubs survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
The local umpiring organisation has come to an agreement with AFL Riverina to offer their services at a reduced rate for the 2020 season, should it get underway.
RUA president Ryan Dedini said it was the least umpires could do to help the local football community during the tough times.
"We've come to an agreement with AFL Riverina and we'll jump on board and take a pay cut in the 2020 season, just to help," Dedini said.
"We acted on this pretty early, because if football does get up and running again in the 2020 season, we know, following the stories and everything, most clubs are looking at a projected 70 to 80 per cent reduction in revenue for the season.
"The main goal is that we want to save the local football community a reduction overall in financial losses for the year, so if that means we've got to take a pay cut, to get football up and running, so be it."
Dedini, also RUA's field umpire coach, said it was heartening to see the response from members on the issue.
"We put it to our members and had a fair bit of response come back, both angles, but 99 per cent of our guys were happy with a pay cut, and would pretty much go to the extent the players would, umpire for nothing, if it meant we could get football up and going and underway again for the season," he said.
"The really positive thing for me, as the president of the association, is we had some of our younger members, like 16, 17, 18-year-olds coming back and saying that they would umpire for free.
"That's massive and it just goes to show that everyone is out there looking to help, overall, not just in regards to football but sport in general, to get it up and running again."
RUA has agreed to put on hold a pay increase for goal and boundary umpires that had previously been negotiated.
Field umpire payments are expected to be cut by about 30 per cent.
RUA is also considering not taking seeking any sponsorship this season as it looks to do the right thing by the community.
"If we take a financial hit for the year, for the greater good, so be it," Dedini said.