THE Players Football Association has questioned whether Football Federation Australia is conducting itself “in good faith” by unilaterally implementing significant changes to the A-League salary cap.
In addition to confirming the marquee rule change — where clubs are now permitted to sign either two foreign marquee players, two Australian players or one of each outside of the salary cap — Football Federation Australia has introduced allowances for home grown and loyalty players, as well as mature age rookies.
The salary cap of $2.55 million has not been increased, though the introduction of salary cap banking will allow clubs to carry money not spent in the previous two seasons over to the following season. The minimum annual salary for players over the age of 21 has also risen from $51,000 to $55,000.
But the changes have been imposed at a sensitive stage in Collective Bargaining Agreements between FFA, its clubs and the PFA. With no CBA currently in place — the old one expired at the end of June — FFA is free to implement the new structure as it sees fit as part of its review.
This, despite the fact that salary cap changes have been, and continue to be, a major sticking point during negotiations.
“The decision of FFA to unilaterally impose their own player contract regulations whilst CBA negotiations are ongoing is of significant concern,” said PFA boss Adam Vivian.
“Many of the regulations imposed are still being negotiated and agreement is yet to be reached.
With most A-League clubs already close to finalising their squads for the new season, the timing of the announcement is also an interesting one. But A-League boss Damien de Bohun says FFA remain committed to working with the PFA to finalise a new CBA that will ensure “player salary growth increases in line with the sport.”
“We believe these changes allow flexibility for the A-League clubs with different objectives and structure the opportunity to build their rosters to suit their individual needs, while adding benefits at both ends of a player’s career.
“These changes will allow clubs to bring talented players through their expanding youth systems, retain cult heroes such as Melbourne Victory’s Archie Thompson and continue to search for marquee and guest players that can add impact to the continued growth of the A-League.”
Meanwhile, Aaron Mooy has been elevated to marquee status by Melbourne City despite attracting strong interest from abroad.
It’s understood that Mooy accepted a mega $850,000-a-year-plus deal to stay with City.
The new deal, where he will earn in excess of $2.5m over three years, makes him one of the highest ever paid locals in the A-League, while the new deal usurps Mooy’s original contract, which had another year to run.
© 2015 The Daily Telegraph | This article was written by Carly Adno and first appeared in The Daily Telegraph on 12 August 2015.