Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today published the organisation’s annual A-League Men (ALM) Report, detailing the competition’s employment conditions for elite male professional players. 

The Report, which assesses the 2022-23 A-League Men season and includes player feedback through PFA’s annual survey, identifies several emerging trends, including: 

  • record levels of contract stability for players, driven by the long-term Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the PFA and Australian Professional Leagues; 
  • record investment in player payments; 
  • a record influx of transfer revenue for Australian clubs, with an estimated $10m received;  
  • 56% of players who made an appearance last season were aged 25 or under at the start of the 2022-23 campaign; and
  • over half of survey respondents believe the A-League’s planned expansion of two teams into new markets for the 2024-25 season is “about right” 

To read the full report click here

PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said the Report provides critical insights into how the CBA has helped to stabilise the competition and drive positive outcomes for clubs and players. 

“Much has been said and written about the state of the professional game in Australia and this report provides an important evidence-based assessment of its current status.

“Whilst the Leagues’ recovery continues, the Collective Bargaining Agreement is providing clubs and players much needed certainty and clarity, and the A-League Men is exhibiting several positive trends. 

“These include record levels of investment in players, returns on that investment in the transfer market, enhanced contractual stability, and more opportunities for young players.  

“At a time when the competition is expanding, this Report provides crucial insights into how clubs are successfully building models to fulfill their potential on and off the pitch, which in turn is improving the quality and longevity or careers and opportunities for players. 

Key findings at a glance: 

Increased Contract Stability 

  • The share of A-League Men players coming off contract in March 2023 hit a historic low of 33.2%, showcasing a significant drop from the pandemic-driven spike of 68% in 2020-21. 
  • The first season under the new CBA, 2021-22, witnessed the share falling below half for the first time on record, with a continuing downward trend. 
  • Stable contracts have not only benefited players but have also contributed to clubs’ ability to attract transfer fees from international clubs, showcasing last season’s record transfer revenues. 

Record Transfer Fees 

  • The 2022-23 season saw a record influx of transfer revenue for clubs, with an estimated $10 million across mid-season and off-season windows for 14 player sales. 
  • This collective take is nearly double the previous high in 2017-18 and almost triple the amount received in 2021-22. 

Player Profiles 

  • For the second year running, 56% of players who made an appearance were aged 25 or under at the start of the season. This share was just 35% in 2017-18.