Over a quarter of last season’s A-League players off contract and facing an uncertain future, as Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) renews it calls for the short term and precarious nature of player contracting to be addressed.

The PFA made the announcement after its research revealed that 70 players were unemployed as of June 1, with the 2014/15 season having seen 134 players with one year or less remaining on their contracts.

With the A-League now approaching its 11th season and the PFA currently involved in negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with Football Federation Australian (FFA) PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian said the time had come to address the issue.

“The stability of the league must be a priority for all and player contracting is fundamental to this,” said Vivian.

“The current level of transition, where we have over half the league coming off contract, does little to enhance the attractiveness of the A-League to players of the highest possible quality, with players, like all workers, eager to have high levels of security.

“Sincere efforts must be taken to ensure growth and development opportunities for players and, in turn, for players to enjoy their work and time within the A-League, which is amongst the most unique football leagues in the world.

“Over the course of the A-League we have regularly witnessed clubs utilising short term contracting, however with the league growing year on year, a strong and economically sound domestic football industry can better reward players with longer term contracts. We have consistently seen a positive correlation between longer term contracting and success, specifically with the Brisbane Roar over the past five seasons.”

The PFA’s Retired and Transitioned Players Report illustrated the difficulties players face in preparing for life after football and chief among them was the uncertain nature of their employment and Vivian said these figures further highlight this.

“It is essential that we tackle the issue of instability created by short term contracting if we are to develop professional football as a genuine and attractive career path for the nation’s best athletes.

“The PFA has tabled a number of solutions during the CBA negotiations, which the players believe could address this issue. Whilst the PFA recognises that international player movement is an inevitable and welcome aspect of Australian football there must be incentives designed to encourage the retention of Australia’s elite footballers, which also safeguard the objectives of financial sustainability and competitive balance.

“For the A-League to continue its success, as represented by record memberships and attendances, it is essential that the largest possible national audience is attracted to the sport. In light of the intense competition offered by Australia’s other major professional sports the best way to do this is to retain the best possible football talent.

“Through the PFA Player Development Program, the PFA will continue to support all our members during what can be an extremely difficult and uncertain time.”


Beau Busch | PFA Media and Communications Manager

P: +61 (0) 432 763 485

E: beau@pfa.net.au