FFA marquee plan to start next season

At the launch of the FFA four year strategic vision, CEO David Gallop revealed a new centralised approach to marquee player recruitment that he hopes will assist A-League clubs in luring international star footballers.

After Tim Cahill accused the A-League of having no vision when it comes to signing big name players, it appears the FFA has heeded the record Socceroos goal scorer’s words.

Starting from next A-League season, the FFA will support A-League clubs financially in pursuing star players from across the globe.

The FFA says this new approach will depend on the next TV deal but even though the benefit of a new agreement will not be for another two years, the FFA says they will start the centralised model next season.

“We will look for a seven figure investment into a marquee player or players,” said Gallop.

“I think that will be welcome not only across the A-League but also amongst fans of all clubs.

“Because as well all know when a player comes into a club he is also going to add to box office success when his team is on the road so everybody benefits.”

In terms of the actual dollar amount that will be on offer to assist the A-League clubs, the FFA did not reveal any figures.

“There is no set percentage at the moment,” Gallop said.

“What we are saying is that we will lift our contribution and we will look to do it in a joint initiative. So rather than a club coming to us when they have already 99% secured a player we will try and do it more collaboratively.”

At the end of this month Tim Cahill will be back in Australia for the Socceroos remaining World Cup matches against Tajikistan and Jordan.

Regarding the super star striker playing in Australia next season, Gallop says the FFA have left the door open for talks.

“We’ve said before that we’d love Tim to play in the A-League at some point,” he said.

“There is a range of factors in that decision when I spoke before about the lifestyle that Australia can provide I think that is what we need to run up the flag when we get the chance to with Tim. Obviously he’ll be here for Socceroos games so we are certainly keen to understand what his plans are.

With the Socceroos playing in the next stage of World Cup qualification, the FFA revealed that the funds generated from those matches will provide the financial assistance for the new marquee initiative.

“There are revenue opportunities next year particularly to the Socceroos and in the next round of qualification,” Gallop said. “Expecting us to be there and expecting us to play more high profile opposition that will attract better gates and better State Government support so we will have a little bit more money to play with. 

“The real opportunity comes when the next TV deal rolls around but we can’t wait. We got to do something for this upcoming season.”