PFA action disrupts Matildas preparations for USA matches

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Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today condemned Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) for taking action without notice, disrupting the Matildas preparations for the matches against the world champions USA this month.

This follows the PFA-ordered boycott of sponsored community and school events by Socceroos players in Perth earlier this week.

Today the PFA instructed Matildas players not to attend the final training camp in Sydney ahead of Friday’s scheduled departure to play two matches in the USA on 17 and 20 September.

Matildas coach Alen Stajcic and team management were not informed of the action. Today’s training session was cancelled. The status of the tour to the USA is in doubt.

The PFA took the action just hours before the latest round of talks for a new whole of game Collective Bargaining Agreement.

In these talks, the PFA tabled a fresh set of demands and withdrew from previously agreed positions. The new demands include;

·         An immediate $1 million increase across 10 clubs in the Hyundai A-League salary cap for this season and further $2 million for the following season in 2016-17. This $3 million increase in payments would come directly from club finances ($300,000 per club). 

·         An immediate pay rise of $1,000 per match for Socceroos, increasing the match fee from $6,500 to $7,500 per match. This represents an immediate 13% increase. FFA and PFA had previously agreed that increases in line with the CPI would be applied across the term.

·         Significant increases in spending on air travel, accommodation and benefits for Matildas players. FFA and PFA had previously agreed the priority for new funding for the Matildas would be devoted to an immediate 10% pay increase, with annual increases rising to 15% across the term of the CBA.

“Today FFA entered the talks in good faith with the intention of finalising the CBA, based on assurances from the PFA’s leadership that the parties were not far apart,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.

“Instead, we were presented with a fresh set of demands that amount to millions of dollars of unfunded commitments.

“It’s sad that the Matildas have been dragged into a dispute that’s primarily about the A-League. The offer to the Matildas would basically double their pay over the next four years.

“Since talks began seven months ago, FFA and A-League club representatives have opened the books to show the PFA exactly what the game can afford and what is possible with an improved TV deal in 2017.

“The new demands are simply not affordable and the PFA knows it. The deal put on the table by FFA represents the best pay and conditions ever presented to Australian footballers, with a guarantee of 30% of uplift in new TV revenue going straight to the salary cap.

“FFA will continue to pursue an agreement that’s sensible and protects the interests of the game, it’s time to reach agreement and stop the game-playing.”