Saturday, July 07, 2007

Australia signs new player partnership agreement

Football Federation Australia today signed a new partnership agreement with the Australian Professional Footballers’ Association, the exclusive representative body of Australia’s elite professional footballers, including the Qantas Socceroos and Hyundai A-League players.

This new agreement features three (3) main components:

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the FFA & PFA which outlines mutual recognition and respect for each party’s roles and a commitment to work together to protect, promote and develop football in Australia. Among several initiatives, the MOU emphasises the importance of addressing the unique aspects the career path of a professional footballer, and commits FFA and the PFA to enhancing existing programs such as My Football Career and the PFA Education Fund to assist players in developing both as people and players and preparing for life after football.

A Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that covers the Qantas Socceroos for the vital 2007 AFC Asian Cup and up to the completion of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. This new CBA details payments to players for matches and tournaments, commercial and licensing agreements between the FFA and players, community and game development initiatives and provides players with a world class high performance environment when representing their country.

A commitment to constructing a CBA for Hyundai A-League players by the end of October 2007. Together with the MOU, this commitment also immediately provides improved benefits to A-League players on matters such as injury payments and career education.
“This new agreement recognises the importance that all players, at the Qantas Socceroos and Hyundai A-League levels, play in the ongoing growth and development of football and recognises and addresses the issues that were of most importance to the players,” said FFA Chief Executive Officer Ben Buckley.

“Importantly it is a fair and appropriate level of remuneration for the players given the financial plans of FFA and in addition to the organisation’s priority of making investments in the areas of junior and youth development. I would like to thank the players and the PFA for the manner in which the negotiations for this agreement were held. All talks were constructive, positive and recognised the varying needs of each party for the next 4 years,” concluded Buckley

PFA Executive Chairman Brendan Schwab said the negotiations were conducted in a positive spirit which recognises that the game and the players must work together to not only entrench football’s major developments of recent years, but build an even stronger platform for the future.

“Our new agreement with FFA sees Australian players provided with benefits that are increasingly competitive at international and national level,” Schwab said. Equally, the agreement helps ensure FFA will continue to grow its investment in areas of critical importance to the long term well being of the game, including elite player development and engagement with Asia.

“The PFA is very pleased with the professionalism and openness FFA brought to the table. We are also very impressed by the support for the negotiations we have received from the players, especially the Socceroos, who deeply appreciate the honour of representing Australia and the importance of the A-League career path to the long term development of the game,” Schwab added.

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