Injuries cost A-League clubs millions - PFA

Injuries stripped more than $4 million from A-league clubs last season according to Professional Footballers Australia (PFA).

The PFA will launch an investigation into the effectiveness of the game’s minimum medical standards after 143 injuries were recorded in 2014/15.

A total of 691 games were missed as a result of injuries last season the PFA's latest A-League Injury Report revealed.

Of the 10 A-League clubs, Melbourne City had the greatest percentage of games missed (14.2%), followed by Western Sydney Wanderers (13.4%) and Sydney FC (13%).

On the upside, Wellington Phoenix recorded the best injury ranking, followed by Champions Melbourne Victory and the Central Coast Mariners.

Knee, hamstring and ankle injuries continued to be the most prevalent, with only Adelaide United, the Mariners and Sydney FC witnessing a reduction in the previous season's injury toll.

Clubs averaged 14.3 injuries for the season with an average of 69.1 games missed.

In eight of the 10 A-League seasons so far, the champions have been among the top four for lowest injury rates.

Last season’s figures reveal a 12% decrease in injuries on the 2013/14 spike which saw 162 injuries and 704 games missed due to injury.

PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian said while the report was indicative of a downward trend, the “number of injuries and the associated costs to the clubs remains far too high”.

“Since their introduction in 2011, the Minimum Medical Standards have proven to be effective in reducing injury, however we are now seeing the rate of decline stagnating, indicating that both their implementation and effectiveness requires review.

“Preliminary findings of research undertaken by the PFA has also revealed a failure by some clubs to comply with the Minimum Medical Standards, specifically with respect to pre and post season medicals. This must be addressed immediately.

“Through the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations, the PFA has indicated that it will continue to seek improvement in this area and remains committed to proactively tackling this problem in partnership the game’s stakeholders.”

Injury Ranking (best to worst)

1. Wellington Phoenix (league ladder 5th)

2. Melbourne Victory (Champions)

3. Central Coast Mariners (8th)

4. Perth Glory (4th – down to 7th for salary cap breach)

5. Adelaide United  (5th)

6. Newcastle Jets (10th)

7. Brisbane Roar (7th – 6th following Glory’s demotion)

8. Sydney FC (2nd)

9. Western Sydney Wanderers (9th)

10. Melbourne City (6th)

See full report here.