Football Federation Australia (FFA) has taken the unprecedented step of withdrawing recognition of Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), the exclusive collective representative of Australia’s professional footballers since 1993.

Due to take effect on Friday, FFA’s decision was communicated to the PFA as negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) reached an impasse when FFA terminated the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that has underpinned the game’s relations with its players for the past eight years.

With the Socceroos, Matildas and A-League CBAs having all expired in recent months, the termination of the MOU removes the last legal protection for Australia’s professional footballers.

PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian informed PFA members of FFA’s decision to terminate the MOU during Sunday’s general meeting. Attended by 177 players, the meeting also saw PFA members vote in favour of rejecting FFA’s CBA proposal due to a number of fundamental concerns:

  >> an A-League salary cap freeze for at least the next two seasons, despite the PFA having agreed to less    than cost of living adjustments for the previous four seasons;

  >> inadequate protections for A-League player contracts, with outstanding player remuneration presently totaling approximately $1.4 million for the past two seasons;

  >> a refusal to implement a robust licensing system in accordance with international standards to ensure all A-League clubs meet their financial obligations to players as well as other key stakeholders;

  >> FFA’s written proposals reducing player payments for Socceroos, whilst at the same time substantially increasing the commercial commitments of the players;

  >> FFA’s written proposals failing to reasonably reward Matildas players who continue to receive part-time benefits despite the full-time nature of their commitments;

  >> inadequate proposals to address the needs of players in transition and retirement; and

  >> a refusal to introduce a contracted revenue sharing model aimed at fairly rewarding players and ensuring the growth and stability of the Australian professional football industry.

“Yesterday’s media announcement by FFA about changes to the A-League Player Contract Regulations was made without the knowledge of the PFA and introduces overdue reforms to the cap tabled by the PFA as early as 2013 to promote greater development and stability in the league,” said Vivian.

“However, the announcement unilaterally imposes the salary cap freeze rejected by the players in the CBA negotiations which will largely undermine the reforms and place even greater pressure on the A-League’s core player group.

“The PFA has a long track record of supporting the players and building the game. It is clear that FFA’s CBA proposals and its decision to withdraw recognition of the PFA are very damaging to both.

“FFA has left the PFA and the players with no option but to take the necessary steps to secure the rights and wellbeing of Socceroos, Matildas and A-League players under Australian industrial law.”


Beau Busch | PFA Media and Communications Manager

Ph: +61 (0) 432 763 485