Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today welcomed the findings of the 2016 PFA Review as it seeks to be a model of international best practice in football.

Undertaken to ensure the players’ association is well positioned to prosper during the next exciting stage of growth for Australian football, the review was conducted by well respected union and governance expert Tim Lyons and leading sports academic Braham Dabscheck, aided by a Player Liaison Committee including Life Member Francis Awaritefe, Melbourne Victory Captain Carl Valeri and Matildas Vice Captain Clare Polkinghorne.

Having examined the governance structures, performance of the organisation, the recent collective bargaining negotiations and the outcomes for the players and the game, the full report has been supplied to all PFA Members.

PFA Chairman Craig Foster said the findings would be invaluable in ensuring the PFA’s efforts to further enhance its reputation as the champion of the players and the game.

“Particular congratulations should go to the Executive and Members for their insistence on conducting a courageous and independent process to ensure the PFA scrutinised itself to the highest level,” said Foster.

“Few organisations in football have such a capacity and this demonstrates the values of the PFA in ensuring world class representation of the profession and respect for the game.

“If more football bodies were so courageous in their self assessment, the game would be in a far better place.”

A number of key recommendations were made regarding the structures and administration of the PFA, including:


>> increased support and training for Executive Committee Members and Delegates;

>> the Executive Committee to include 30% female and indigenous representation;

>> ensuring balanced representation of the Executive Committee across the four areas of the profession – Socceroos, Matildas, A-League and W-League;

>> establishment of an eminent Strategic Panel to aid the Executive Committee;

>> providing guidance on the position of Chief Executive; and

>> the importance of the role of PFA Chairman to the player’s association.


In addition, the review identified a number of matters the PFA should pursue to ensure further growth for the game and enhance the attractiveness and competitiveness of Australian football; including:


>> the establishment of a W-League collective bargaining agreement and continued advocacy for women’s football;

>> further enhancement of player development and wellbeing services, with the code lagging well behind the other major codes; and

>> the salary cap to be tied to rises in marquee and guest player payments.


“The players’ engagement and commitment throughout this process was remarkable, as was that of our former members and Life Members,” said Foster. “Surveys were conducted with our members, Life Members, staff and other stakeholders. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, both for the protections the PFA provides the players, and as the voice of the profession. Public advocacy was rated of very high importance to our members which is tremendous to see. Thought leadership and promotion of the profession and the game has always been at the heart of the PFA’s mission.

“There are many areas to improve and the PFA will confront every challenge to maintain the highest standards in the game. This is the expectation our members rightly have and they are shared by all connected to the PFA.

“The review will create more robust systems and processes so that every player, male or female, now and in the future, will know that their interests and those of the game are optimally promoted and protected.

“It is particularly exciting to see that the PFA is now at the forefront of football internationally in mandating a minimum of thirty per cent female participation at Executive level in line with the importance the female game represents to both the PFA and the broader game.

“This reflects discussions undertaken at FIFA level, though as yet such an important symbolic and substantive step has not been taken. I am delighted the players have chosen to lead the way.

“Moreover, our first Australians will always play an active Executive role. This strengthens the aim of the PFA to support indigenous football along with the recent partnership with John Moriarty Football.

“There has already been considerable change at Executive, staff and management level and this will continue in the near term with the announcement of the Strategic Panel and new Executive Members. I thank all those who have recently stepped down for their contributions to the organisation and the game, as well as Tim, Braham and the Player Liaison Committee.

“An independent process involving Life Members, current members and industry experts is currently underway to appoint a new CEO and I look forward to announcing the outcome shortly.

“A strong PFA means a stronger Australian football and this report means the organisation will not just maintain, but increase, its influence in the game and continue to advocate for the fundamental reforms the game requires.”