Australia’s professional footballers’ union is demanding a fairer sharing of the COVID-19 burden as A-League players face hefty pay cuts.
The A-League has been on hiatus since late March after strict biosecurity and travel restrictions were imposed across the country due to the global pandemic.
No official restart date has been announced, although FFA chief executive James Johnson has hinted the 2019-20 competition could resume in August.
A News Corp Australia report on Saturday announced a financial model put forward by the governing body would carry pay cuts of up to 80 per cent for players.
The proposal reportedly suggests a $12 million quarterly payment from host broadcaster Fox Sports would be spread throughout FFA, with the 11 A-League clubs to receive much less than the $800,000 each they normally would from the payment.
Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) chief executive John Didulica says it’s not fair for players to have to wear most of the economic pain from the crisis.
“There is no percentage figure or dollar amount that is a magical number,” Didulica told AAP.
“This is about understanding what needs to be done to rebuild the season, get a running start into next season and each of us fairly sharing the burden that comes with our shared challenges – which are as much about health as they are financial.”
A more pressing issue for the competition is almost half of the league’s contracted players are set to have their current deals expire at the end of next week.
With over 100 players facing free agency from June 1, the need to find some kind of agreement which would provide extensions until the completion of the season is paramount.
Didulica also said players were eager to be provided with a definite timeline for the competition’s resumption as soon as possible.
“The players want to return to training and are understandably vocal about needing an imminent resolution.” he said.
Source: Ed Jackson