Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Chief Executive Adam Vivian today said that the negotiation of Australian football’s first ‘whole of game’ collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is the essential first step in the delivery of Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) Whole of Football Plan.

Mr. Vivian represented Australia’s elite professional footballers at the launch of the Whole of Football Plan on Tuesday the 5th of May in Sydney, which sets out a 20-year vision for Australian football, and highlights the players’ important role in contributing to the game’s success.

The PFA was delighted to see FFA expressly commit to making Australian football the biggest sport in Australia over a 20 year horizon.

The PFA’s vision and strategy has long maintained that there is an ever present opportunity for football in Australia. The players’ desire to reform the game more than 10 years ago was not only to develop a world class career path for Australia’s professional footballers, but to create a platform to help shape the future of the game at home and Australia’s standing in the sport.

In 2013, FFA and the PFA historically agreed to align the Socceroos, Matildas and A-League CBAs as well as the FFA / PFA Memorandum of Understanding and negotiate a whole of game CBA by 30 June 2015. The parties are presently involved in extensive negotiations to deliver such an agreement on time.

The challenges of the coming years require a CBA that addresses the strategic challenges that the game will confront.

The PFA is pursuing a CBA that is committed to growth, safeguards the economic viability of FFA and the clubs and delivers an enhanced career path for players in terms of remuneration, facilities, opportunity, pathways and player education, development, wellbeing and transition programs.

The players’ objectives align with the FFA’s Whole of Football Plan and can be achieved through practical measures in the CBA, including:

centrally involving the players to enhance the game’s good governance, decision-making and commitment to growth;

a revenue sharing plan that recognises the common interests of all the game’s stakeholders to grow the game and sustainably invest in development and the rewards available to players;

provided A-League players are assured a fair share of game revenue and their contracts and earning are secured, a soft and flexible salary cap that promotes the competitiveness of all teams and the overall strength of the league in the international marketplace;

integrating the playing career path ensuring the end to its current fragmentation and uncertainty. Australia seeks international success with a comparatively small talent pool in contrast with football’s major powers. Accordingly, every playing career is precious;

making better people as well as better players particularly in light of the targeted increase in the elite player development pathway from the age of 12;

helping players prepare for life during and after football including having enhanced PFA player development, education and wellbeing programs incorporated into FFA’s national coaching curriculum; and

establishing a world class sporting workplace that builds on football’s natural advantages such as its safety, universality and appeal to elite athletes of both genders.

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