Melbourne Victory Youth Marquee Player Nick Ward © Getty Images

The PFA has again lodged a comprehensive submission in the annual review of the A-League Player Contract Regulations. Under the A-League Collective Bargaining Agreement, FFA has agreed to negotiate the terms of the contract regulations with the PFA with a view to reaching agreement on any changes.

Key aspects of the PFA’s submission, which is available in the football policy section (click here), recommend:

  • rolling the Additional Services Agreements (ASA) allowance into each club’s Maximum Player Payments (MPP);
  • fixing minimum roster sizes at 23;
  • giving clubs greater flexibility and incentive to retain Australia’s leading young players by allowing the “youth marquee” allowances to be shared between up to 3 players per club. This would increase the potential pool of Australian players who could be encouraged to stay in Australia for longer from a maximum of 8 to 30; and
  • requiring replacement players to be contracted until the end of the season in accordance with the requirements of FIFA.

“The implementation of the PFA’s recommendations would promote the quality and competitiveness of the A-League and Australian football, without threatening the economic viability of the clubs,” PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab said today.

“There is an emerging concern that the current salary cap rules will see a massive differential in club payrolls, something which is contrary to the intent of the salary cap to deliver an even and exciting competition. At the same time, our proposals have been carefully framed to ensure they are implemented in a phased and affordable manner,” Schwab added.

The PFA proposes that the ASA allowance be rolled into the salary cap from the 2009/2010 season. To ease the impact on clubs that are currently at or close to 85% of the current salary cap, the minimum payment in the first year would be 75% of the cap ($1,875,000.00). It would rise to 80% of the cap the following year (2010/2011) and return to 85% in 2011/2012.


Current PFA Proposal
2009-2010 2010-2011 2009-2010 2010-2011
MPP $2,000,000.00 $2,100,000.00 $2,500,000.00 $2,625,000.00
ASAs $500,000.00 $525,000.00 n/a n/a
Maximum Payable $2,500,000.00 $2,625,000.00 $2,500,000.00 $2,625,000.00
Minimum Payable $1,700,000.00 $1,785,000.00 $1,875,000.00 $2,100,000.00
minimum @ 85% minimum @ 85% minimum @ 75% minimum @ 80%

The proposal acknowledges that the salary floor – a vital component of the salary cap – is arguably the greatest barrier to the immediate merging of the MPP and ASA amounts. Under the proposal, clubs presently operating at the minima would only be asked to spend 93.75% of the already established MPP of $2,000,000:

Current Minima % Cap Proposed Minima % Current Cap % Proposed Cap
$1,700,000.00 85% $1,875,000.00 93.75% 75%

There are compelling competitive balance arguments that arguably demand the merger of the two amounts as a matter of urgency. As the following table suggests, in 2009/2010 will see the scope for a massive differential in club payrolls:

Club A (Minimum Player Payments) Club B (Maximum Player Payments)
Salary Cap $1,700,000.00 $2,000,000.00
ASAs $0.00 $500,000.00
Youth Marquee $0.00 $150,000.00
Marquee $0.00 $350,000.00
Total (Comparative %) $1,700,000.00 (56.67%) $3,000,000.00 (100%)