2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the PFA.

The PFA was, of course, created as the “Australian Soccer Players’ Association” with the twin objectives of supporting the players and building the Australian football industry into one respected throughout the nation and the football world.
Two decades ago the football landscape in Australia was starkly different to the one that exists today: player contracts could be terminated on 7 days notice by clubs without cause, there were no minimum employment standards, and the transfer system at the time treated players as if they were the property of their clubs. The response of the players’ union movement – at home and throughout the world – to these challenges has been phenomenal.
Our 20th anniversary highlights the imperative need for all professionals to understand the history of both our game and their association.
Many of our great achievements: the establishment of a guaranteed standard player contract, the abolition of the domestic transfer and compensation fee system, the creation of national team and league collective bargaining agreements and, indeed, the establishment of the A-League itself were only achieved because the PFA fought vigorously for what was in the best interests of the game and the players.
Kimon Taliadoros, Greg Brown, John Kosmina, Joe Palatsides, Stan Lazaridis, Oscar Crino and Alan Hunter were the first in a long list of players to sit on the PFA Executive Committee, spearheading the push towards world-class standards. Although the personnel has changed, their contribution to our game remains embedded in the experience today’s players have. Equally, players since and those that are yet to come, influence the football landscape in our country.
The PFA, like the elite professional footballers we represent, cannot be content with an industry that is merely respected, although respect is essential.  We are driven to see our industry be recognised unambiguously as a world-class example of professional football, on and off the field.
This will call for a major and continuing contribution from the players.  The players must, and will, happily make that contribution.  In so doing, however, it will be necessary for the game to not only establish, but warmly embrace, world class employment conditions and practices.
Although much has changed, the PFA’s aim has always remained the same; to safeguard, protect and promote the best interests of the game and the players.
Further reading: “For the Good of the Game: Twenty Years of the PFA” by Joe Gorman