Today, the players have finalised an agreement with Football Federation Australia and the A-League clubs on a plan to restart the competition and finish the season. 

It’s an agreement that has demonstrated the leadership and commitment of the players to Australian football.

Just like the decision to stop play in March was the correct one, the players firmly believe for the game in Australia to prosper and for players’ livelihoods to be adequately protected, this too is the right decision.

However, it is not one the players have taken lightly, nor is it the consequence of a knee-jerk reaction. It has involved hours and hours of careful, considered conversations involving 250-plus professional A-League players, countless discussions with the clubs and the FFA, and expert guidance from the PFA.

For two months the players have held detailed, daily discussions on how to chart a path forward to secure the competition’s future during this unprecedented event.

The health of players and the broader community has been central to our discussions but, given the wide-ranging complexities this pandemic has posed, the final agreement spans far beyond that.

We have had to consider the economic impact on the game from grassroots all the way up to the top tier, the strain on players’ mental health, their individual and collective financial situations, sporting integrity and player contracting. Without a deal, hundreds of players would have been left unemployed this Sunday.

Throughout this process, the players have shown incredible patience, leadership and collective unity to intelligently navigate through one of the most challenging situations our game has ever faced.

We are incredibly proud of the leadership that the players have taken to make individual sacrifices to place the wellbeing of the game ahead of any other interests and to collectively shoulder the burden the pandemic has imposed on our game.

In doing so, the players have demonstrated the leadership required to ensure the game can adequately recover from a crisis of this magnitude.

On behalf of the Executive, I would like to thank the A-League players for their central role in the negotiations and lending their voices to generate a solution.

The players would also like to thank the PFA staff for their unwavering support and guidance throughout the negotiations.

Further challenges no doubt lie ahead as we chart a post-coronavirus recovery, but we hope this deal issues in a new era for our game; one of collaboration, smarter management and one that continues to place the players at the heart of decision-making – as we have seen we are the stakeholder who has given the most to get the game back on.

The players look forward to resume training with their clubs, to completing the season with Fox Sports as a broadcast partner and to demonstrate their ongoing belief in our game.

PFA President, Alex Wilkinson