An important aspect of the 2004 – 2006 Socceroos Collective Bargaining Agreement was the establishment of a revenue sharing model based on similar principles to those adopted by Australian cricket and rugby.

Socceroos were entitled to 30% of “Player Generated Revenue” and Prize Money, resulting in a players’ pool presently estimated to be around $5.2 million for the World Cup financial year of 2005/2006.

Where Australian football’s model differs, however, is that the Socceroos and the A-League players are not covered by the one collective agreement. Cricket and rugby take a holistic approach to collective bargaining, meaning that First Class (State) cricketers and Super 14 rugby players are covered by the same agreement that covers international players.

The PFA is giving serious consideration to adopting this approach in its CBA negotiations with FFA, enabling a “whole of game” approach to player relations and development, either now or in the next round of collective bargaining. Such an approach would see players allocated a share of game revenue that would also protect the game’s ability to invest in key areas such as elite player development, the grass roots, marketing and the development of the game’s administrative infrastructure.

In the meantime, comparing player payments in Australian football, cricket and rugby makes for interesting reading. It should also be noted that the investment being made by cricket and rugby in player programs for education, retirement and players’ association purposes is presently significantly higher than football’s.

Estimated Player Generated Revenue (2005/2006)

Player Payments
Number of Players
Estimated Average Player Income


$101 million
$28.29 million


$100 million
$25.0 million


$ 74.8 million
$20.2 million

  • Rugby – 1996 – 2000: players received 25% of net defined revenue, increasing to 30% between 2001 and 2004. From 2005, players received 25% of gross defined revenue. Bonus payments for World Cup etc. are in addition to player payments pool.
  • Cricket – Players receive 25% of defined Australian cricket revenue (smoothed over 4 years). Payments in players’ pool exclude prize money – players receive 100%.
  • Football – (1) estimated player generated revenue assumes: (a) FFA revenue as per 2005/2006 annual report including prize money less government grants; and (b) A-League clubs generated on average $3.0m in 2005/2006 before FFA payments; (2) estimated player payments: (a) includes prize money for Socceroos; (b) assumes A-League clubs pay on average $1.875 million (including marquee players, replacement players and Additional Service Agreement allowances); (c) excludes authorised payments outside salary cap for A-League players (e.g. FIFA Club championships, expenses etc); and (d) number of players assumes 20 per A-League Club and 23 Socceroos.