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A-League Players Want Clarity Over Pay Cuts

A-League players have confirmed their priority is to finish the 2019-20 season but want to see a long-term model of the game’s finances before accepting a pay cut.

After initial reports from News Corp players could face an 80 percent reduction in pay for the season when Football Federation Australia (FFA) were denied by the FFA, the players union, the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), chief, John Didulica said players want to return to finish the season.

“There is no percentage figure or dollar amount that is a magical number,” Didulica said.

“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 health as they are financial.

“The players want to return to training and are understandably vocal about needing an imminent resolution,” he said.

The reports of an 80 percept pay cut for players was originally reported after FFA announced it would reduce cash distribution to clubs from the final quarter of the organisations’ TV deal.

The FFA said the additional costs of running an A-League hub and insurance to finish the 2019-20 season were the reasons for reducing cash distribution to clubs, denying claims it would reduce player wage by 80 percent.

FFA CEO, James Johnson, said the broadcast deal is just one of the revenue streams for the A-League, and annual player payments will be “very close” to the contracted amounts for the 2019-20 season.

“Professional football leagues all around the world run on three revenue streams, broadcast, match-day revenue, and sponsorship,” Johnson said.

“The fact is broadcast payments paid to FFA are for multiple properties, including the Hyundai A-League.

“FFA and the clubs, who are the employers of the players, have seen a significant reduction to revenues as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.

“This includes reduced sponsorship proceeds and there will be no further match-day revenues for the season.

“FFA and the clubs must be prudent to safeguard the ongoing financial sustainability of the league and broader game.

“We remain confident that annual player payments will in fact be delivered very close to the previously contracted levels for the whole 2019-20 Hyundai A-League season,” he said.