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A-league Collective Bargaining Agreement 2008 – 2013

5 YEAR A-LEAGUE CBA

FFA and the PFA are now in the 2nd year of the 5 year CBA for the A-League signed in May 2008.  Whilst the new CBA saw a major boost in player payments within the discipline of the salary cap, the annual review of the A-League Player Contract Regulations by FFA and the PFA in 2009 resulted in an 18% increase in the A-League salary cap, with the cap rising from $1.9 million to $2.25 million instead of the $2.0 million provided for in the CBA.  This was achieved through the merger of 50% of the optional Additional Services Agreements (“ASA”) Allowance with the cap, resulting in a substantial boost to the compulsory collective payments pool for players.

The new cap arrangements were signed off by FFA and the PFA in April 2009 through a formal variation to the CBA, and are set out in the following table:

AVERAGE A-LEAGUE PLAYER PAYMENTS, 2008/2009 – 2010/2011

The table above illustrates the minimum, maximum and total payments that clubs are entitled to make to players.  The averages are calculated based on a roster of 22 (the maximum roster exclusive of the marquee player) and the following payments:

  • maximum and minimum player payments;
  • additional services agreements; and
  • under 23 marquee player(s).

Accordingly, the following payments are not taken into account, although these are permitted outside of the salary cap.  This is because they are subject to individual negotiation or circumstance and cannot be easily quantified.  Taken together, however, they are potentially of considerable financial benefit to players:

  • payments to marquee, guest and replacement players;
  • player testimonials (capped at $75,000 (introduced for 2009/2010));
  • relocation;
  • insurance premiums (sporting insurance and income insurance);
  • injury payments;
  • Finals Series payments;
  • Asian Champions League and exhibition match payments;
  • prize money;
  • player percentages of transfer or compensation fees; and
  • termination payments to injured players.

The first 3 A-League seasons were played without a Collective Bargaining Agreement between FFA and the PFA, as the PFA rejected FFA proposals and fought to establish important conditions for players including injury pay, a higher and more flexible salary cap, a more reasonable minimum wage, increased guaranteed payments and larger roster sizes.  The signing of the CBA between seasons 3 and 4 had a major positive impact on both average and minimum A-League salaries:

 

 

 

 

 

Other key benefits for players include:

ISSUE

CBA

Term and Review

5 year CBA (2008/2009 to 2012/2013 playing seasons), to coincide with FFA broadcast deal. This is subject to the good faith review process built into the CBA:
if the media rights deal is earlier renegotiated; and in 2010/2011, for the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 A-League seasons.

Player Rosters

20-23 unless otherwise agreed by FFA and PFA.

Free Movement/
Transfer and
Compensation Fee
System

Prohibition on introduction of transfer and compensation system within A-League.

Minimum Wage

Minimum annual salary to be as follows:
2008/2009 - $42,000 ($35,000 for players under 21);
2009/2010 - $45,000 ($36,330 for players under 21);
2010/2011 - as per previous year + CPI; and thereafter, as agreed between FFA and the PFA (or CPI).

Injury Payments -
Remuneration and
Entitlements

To include all player remuneration and entitlements (including match payments) and to run to later of contract expiry date or 104 weeks from date of injury.

Career Ending
Injury

On top of 104 week injury payments, players entitled to between one and ten years annual income in event of career ending injury (capped at $500,000 and subject to player’s age and other conditions).

Medical Support

Clubs to be contractually obliged to comply with prescribed minimum national standards developed by FFA in consultation with the PFA. Players are contractually entitled to seek a second medical opinion if necessary.

Relocation
allowance

Salary cap relocation allowance increased to between $10,000 and $25,000 subject to the nature of the relocation (intrastate, interstate, international) and the player (single, family).

Superannuation

Player may nominate his own superannuation fund. 9% superannuation paid by club on top of annual salary, match payments and certain other entitlements.

Hours of work

Minimum 1 day off per week. Additional ½ day off per week for professional development (subject to criteria). Clubs to give players football calendars at least 2 months in advance with at least 7 days notice of change.

Player Image
Rights (Computer
Entertainment
Industry)

Players retain individual image rights. PFA right to license collective player images to FIFPro with the authority of players.

Player
Appearances
(Commercial
and Game
Development)

Annual calendar to be provided to players by FFA and Club.

Player Welfare

Formal induction program; transition program for delisted players; FFA financial contribution to PFA for purposes including PFA Education and Special Assistance Funds; FFA and PFA to implement the comprehensive My Football Career Program.

THE ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE A-LEAGUE PLAYER CONTRACT REGULATIONS

An important part of the A-League CBA is the annual review of the A-League Player Contract Regulations.  These regulations vitally impact on players and, subject to the overriding terms of the CBA, deal with issues such as roster size, the administration of the salary cap and player contracts and transfers.

2009/2010 REVIEW

In addition to the agreed increase to the salary cap and floor, major agreements reached between FFA and the PFA in the 2009/2010 review of the A-League Player Contract Regulations include:

    • allowing all players coming off contract to sign with a new club from 1 October (6 months before the prescribed contract expiry date of 31 March).  There are some important exceptions and implications to this rule, so players are encouraged to contact the PFA before taking advantage of it;
    • increasing the number of foreign players permitted on the roster of an A-League club from 4 to 5;
    • introducing a salary cap allowance for player testimonials (capped at $75,000);
    • allowing clubs to share the $150,000 youth marquee allowance between up to 3 players (as originally proposed by the PFA in 2007); and
    • the abolition of “club based” ASAs, in consideration of the merger of 50% of the ASA allowance into the salary cap and floor.

The PFA’s agreement to increase the number of foreign players is based on 3 important policy considerations: (1) to enhance the quality of the A-League as it expands by 50%; (2) to promote an open labour market in Australia (just as we want the rest of the world to do, so that Australians can access the jobs on offer throughout the world); and (3) to ensure there are plenty of opportunities in the A-League for Australian players.  As the table below shows, the lion’s share of A-League opportunities remain with home grown players:

FOREIGN PLAYERS IN A-LEAGUE (2008/2009 – 2010/2011)

Notes:

    • Assumes all Clubs run a roster of 23
    • All National Youth League players must be Australian or eligible for Australian citizenship
    • Excludes Guest Players, Replacement Players and promoted National Youth League players
    • New Zealand players treated as Australian Players at Wellington Phoenix 

 

 

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(c) Getty Images.

The PFA has announced the 2009-2010 players’ A-League Team of the Season.

Click here to view the team in formation.
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(c) Getty Images.

The PFA is delighted to announce, with the support of LUCRF Super, Simon Colosimo and Mitch Langerak as the PFA Footballer of the Month and Young Footballer of the Month respectively. Visit our news section for more.

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Craig Johnston received the PFA Alex Tobin OAM Medal in Sydney at the PFA’s annual awards evening. See the news section for further details on all the winners from the night. Click here to view footage from the evening.

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