Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) will seek a fund to guarantee A-League player contracts when negotiations for new Socceroos and A-League Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) open with Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the A-League Clubs in Sydney next Tuesday.
PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab said that A-League players feel the current employment framework is failing to adequately protect them despite the many benefits achieved in recent rounds of bargaining.

“With Players’ contractual entitlements not being observed at North Queensland Fury in 2009/2010 and there being considerable doubt about whether contracts at Newcastle Jets will be honoured, the establishment of a player contract guarantee fund is essential,” Schwab said.

The PFA will seek to establish the fund under an enterprise agreement to be negotiated under the Australian Fair Work Act 2009 so that it has statutory force.

Schwab said football is in a strong position despite some of the challenges presently confronting the A-League.

“It is clear that the negotiations will begin at a time when the A-League is under some stress,” Schwab said.  “However, the market for football in Australia continues to grow.  The players have been very responsible in both their claims and their conduct, and have performed at a very high level on and off the field in recent years.”

The PFA will be pursuing five objectives in the negotiations:

Objective 1:  To establish a strategic partnership with the players to grow the game.

Objective 2:  The commercial, sustainable and fair determination of player payments and entitlements.

Objective 3:  A secure career path.

Objective 4:  Develop the players as people and as champions of the game.

Objective 5:  A workplace that respects the rights and the professionalism of the players.

In recent months, the PFA has met with players at all A-League clubs in preparation for the negotiations.  According to Schwab, the support for the PFA’s strategy including the establishment of the player contract guarantee fund is “overwhelming” and mirrors the establishment of similar funds in other industries and football nations.