One month from the new A-League season, Professional Footballers Australia (the PFA) has published its Annual A-League Report, evaluating the competition’s employment conditions and key performance indicators.

The timing of the release is significant given the 2019/20 season, which commences on October 11, represents a new era for the competition, with the Report providing key benchmarks to track and measure the league’s future progress.

Click here to download the PFA Annual A-League Report

Key findings of the report include:

  • 61.5% of A-League players were coming off contract at the end of the 2018/19 campaign
  • 57% of players were ‘slightly’ or ‘not at all’ confident about career direction 
  • 85% of A-League players believe the salary cap should be scrapped

The 44-page Report is the PFA’s third annual assessment of Australia’s domestic men’s league, with the latest edition providing a review and analysis of the 2018/19 season.
The 2018/19 season was the last the A-League was governed and managed by Football Federation Australia (FFA), with the A-League clubs set to manage the league independently this season.

The previous campaign was also the final season before the latest round of A-League expansion, with Victoria-based Western United entering the competition next month, marking the end of the A-League’s most stable period of membership.
The A-League had featured ten clubs for the past eight seasons and the current roster of clubs for the past seven seasons.

PFA Chief Executive, John Didulica, welcomed the release of the Report, set within the context of a forthcoming independent and expanded competition.

“The Club owners now have the control they have fought for. And with that they now have the responsibility for building a legacy for the A-League that realises the collective ambitions we have for the sport.”

“The A-League Report underscores the challenges facing the competition. The owners now have the responsibility to improve the career path for Australian footballers – from youth development pathways to respecting a player’s rights to represent their country.”

“They have a responsibility to rationally reimagine the economic model for the A-League to ensure the broken salary cap is scrapped and clubs are given the opportunity and incentive to build value in their players and their clubs.” 

The Report delivers an evidence-based examination of the A-League Employment Framework, an assessment of competition benchmarks, and features player analysis, a technical overview and the PFA’s long-standing injury report.

The Report further examines the impact of scheduling, comparative match minutes from across the globe, stadium atmosphere and pitch ratings. Within the Report, methodology and data from Opta compares the A-League to other global competitions including the Bundesliga, MLS and the J1 League.

Importantly, it critically examines emerging issues such as competitive balance and the concerning increase in, and impact of, player churn.

In the same manner as the W-League 2018/19 Report, the A-League 2018/19 Report incorporates direct feedback from players via the PFA’s Annual Player Survey on a range of topics impacting their A-League careers.