PFA/FFA pay row blows up in Perth

The pay row between Football Federation Australia nd Professional Footballers Australia escalated tonight when Socceroo players pulled out of a store appearance tomorrow.

The PFA announced players would not take part in commercial activities on behalf of the FFA while the Collective Bargaining Agreement dispute was ongoing.

Socceroos shun commercial appearances

But the players' union said would players still attend events in the community and for charity, as well as any media engagements.

And a three hour meet and greet, open training and autograph session for kids and fans at nib Stadium will still go ahead as planned at 3pm tomorrow.

Players have also pledged their willingness to do extra charity and community appearances in Perth in place of any axed commercial engagements.

FFA boss David Gallop apologised to Perth for the cancelled appearance at a city Rebel store and described the move as a ‘backward step’ for the game.

This is the first time the Socceroos have returned to Perth in 10 years and face Bangladesh in a World Cup qualifier at nib Stadium on Thursday.

“This action by the PFA will deny many people a rare opportunity to see Socceroo players in Perth,” Gallop claimed. “We deeply regret that many people will be left disappointed."

Gallop said he doubted players would have taken the action if they understood the financial ramifications.

 “The players are obviously acting under the direction of the PFA, but this manoeuvre is a backward step in the game's mission to maximise our commercial opportunities," Gallop said. 

“This comes in the context of six months of productive talks over a new whole of game Collective Bargaining Agreement, in which the parties have substantial agreement on many key issues.

“One must ask whether our senior national team players have had the game's financial position explained to them so that they understand the affordability aspects of the negotiation.

“Most importantly, the critical need to understand the continued quest to achieve financial sustainability for the Hyundai A-League clubs and their owners.

"If those facts were fully explained we would be very surprised if our players would have taken the step of boycotting these important initiatives.”

The row - over Socceroos, Matildas and A-League pay rates and safeguards - stepped up this month when the FFA terminated the agreement to recognise the PFA as acting on players' behalf.

“FFA’s decision to withdraw its recognition of the PFA through the termination of the MOU has left the players with no legal protection," said a PFA spokesman.

“In an environment where their rights are being attacked, the players are unwilling to continue to undertake commercial appearances.

“The Socceroos’ position will not change until an agreement is struck and the rights of all A-League, Matildas and Socceroos players are once again protected by a CBA.

“The players have requested that the PFA reassure the public that this will not distract them from the task of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

“The players’ professionalism is beyond question and their resolve to seal the country’s fourth straight appearance at the World Cup is absolute.

“As a thank you for the invaluable support from the fans, the players will inform FFA of their willingness to undertake additional community and charity appearances in place of any scheduled commercial obligations.”