Contract Negotiation Soccer

(CB)A – League

Good news today as the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and the Football Federation Australia (FFA) came to a historic agreement: The first A-League CBA. [FFA create bargaining agreement]

The A-League has been in operation for 3 seasons (or ‘versions’ as it is more commonly referred to), and while there have not been major problems in regards to player welfare, this document enables protection for players.

While only a summary of the CBA Summary is available to the public, it outlines many important areas, such as:

Player Payments: The Total Player Payments (TPP) will increase by $125,000 a year over the next 3 years. The base salary cap will increase by $100,000 each year.

Introduced into the cap is the recently announced ‘Under 23 Marquee Player Payment’, which is capped at $150,000 per season. This is to keep the upcoming talented Australian players playing in the A-League instead of transferring to overseas clubs.

The minimum salary for next season will be $42,000, increasing to $45,000 the next year. After these seasons, the increases are in line with the Consumer Price Index.

Injury Payments: In the event of a player being injured, they will receive their renumeration until their contract expiry, which basically insures them if they get injured. If the injury is career ending, an annual payment between one and ten years will be handed out.

Minimum one day off per week from football.

Players retain their own image rights.

Although the CBA runs till the end of the 2013 season, it will be reviewed if the TV rights (which are due to expire in 2013) are re-negotiated before this time. These rights are said to be worth much more than they are worth now, and free-to-air networks will almost certainly be interested in outbidding current holders, Foxtel.

The Summary of the A-League CBA may be found here.

4 replies on “(CB)A – League”

Chris- I think you meant to say reopened instead of “reviewed” in the last paragraph. In a CBA, if the contract is reopened to negotiate one provision (in this case TV rights), it is referred to as a “reopener” in US labor parlance. I’m not sure if this applies to Australian labor…Either way, it’s good to see organized labor spreading to other areas of the world in sports.

Will be disastrous for the A-League.

How do you compete with the European divisions with a salary cap in place? None of them have a salary cap, so I can’t see how it will work. It’s an obvious disadvantage which could cripple the league. It needs to do away with a salary cap until it’s introduced worldwide. Football is not like it’s dinky counterparts League, AFL and Union…it’s worldwide. We see the top Union talent leaving NZ and Australia because of the low salary cap set by the Super 14s. Football is already a far more international game, with far bigger grounds. Players leave because of the standard, something not necessarily seen in the other codes.

MLS is not the right blueprint for football, Australia doesn’t have the potential market of 300 million odd people.

The salary cap will prevent further investment in new players, limiting the level of play. Sure, it helps level the playing field…but split tv, sponsorship, etc. evenly and set up a pooling fund of a percentage of profits instead.

Football is a different beast, the salary cap eventually needs to go if the FFA wants to compete worldwide. Either that or all leagues need to adopt it through new FIFA guidelines.

lw, I see your points on the salary cap but I don’t think they are basising themselves around the European system. The A-League does not have a relegation/promotion system, so with one league a salary cap works well. The salary cap will eventually go, or there will be more concessions, but at the moment I think it is working well. Australia isn’t trying to create a competitive league that can match European ones, it never will. If there was no salary cap, then teams would spends millions obtaining players, money they couldn’t afford, and hence would go under. If teams go under, the league goes under.

The ARU will be moving towards privatizing the super 14 teams over the next few years. Have it from a source that they will start off by selling small stakes in the teams, and slowly increase the outside investment over time. It should get the general public onside. The long term plan is to get rid of the salary cap or significantly raise it if possible due to outside investment being a success, so the super 14s can compete with the French/English leagues who are poaching talent. Thought you may be interested.

The A-League needs to eventually compete with the European leagues, it can’t be a poor cousin forever. Obviously it won’t be on the same level as the EPL or Spain, but it needs to compete with the lower leagues. All who don’t have salary caps and don’t go out overspending and subsequently going under. A salary cap is put in place to save owners from themselves, if they can’t run a business without overspending and going under they shouldn’t be in charge of a team in such a cut-throat business.

Don’t quite see how a relegation system affects whether a salary cap would work, no salary cap would still essential work without a relegation system. I do believe the A-League will try to introduce one in 5-10 years. I agree the system is working well for the time being, but it inhibits growth and will be hard to negotiate out of a CBA deal.

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