Players union slams club bosses' pay claims

The players' union Professional Footballers Australia have hit back at A-League bosses and the FFA and insisted: We made no new demands.

This morning the FFA insisted the PFA had come to talks yesterday with new demands for an extra $3 million to be added to the salary cap.

But this evening the PFA hit back and insisted the salary cap increase - made up of $100,000 this year, followed by a further $200,000- was not new and had been on the table since talks began seven months ago.

The FFA has offered to include more flexible exceptions to the salary cap, says the PFA, which they claim would cost the same as their plan.

“The proposals tabled by the PFA yesterday in relation to the salary cap were not new. They have been tabled consistently throughout the negotiations," said PFA CEO Adam Vivian.

“Increases to the salary cap over the next two years are responsible and affordable. FFA’s proposed salary cap flexibilities indicate the game’s capacity for an increase in player payments, in which they forecasted a 12 per cent rise.
 
“The problem is that clubs are under no obligation to use these flexibilities. As a consequence, the players have sought certainty and security regarding what FFA has stated the clubs can afford.
 
“The players understand the financial realities of the game and have proposed a number of measures to address this, including an effective club licensing system and a genuine revenue sharing model to ensure all parties are incentivised to grow the game for the better of all stakeholders.
 
“To date, these have not been adopted. The game’s problems cannot be tackled merely through the continued implementation of the current model.
 
“The players remain committed to enhancing the financial strength of Australian football and to ensuring the code can compete in one of the world’s most competitive markets. Ultimately this should be the ambition of all.”

The dispute is now dragging on close to the start of the A-League and W-League seasons kicking off, threatening the competition if a deal isn't finalised beforehand.

Last week the Socceroos boycotted commercial appearances in Perth and yesterday the Matildas pulled out of a training camp ahead of next week's tour of the US which has now been put in doubt.

Vivian added: “The past few months have taken a toll on everyone in the Australian football community.

“Now more than ever we need to work together to resolve the issues that face our game."