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FFA and PFA reach deal for revised CBA

The FFA and PFA have today come to terms on a revised Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for Socceroos and Matildas players.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) have today come to terms on a revised Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for Socceroos and Matildas players.

Remuneration, high-performance standards, and gender equality will be maintained for the national teams – despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

FFA said that the CBA makes sure that Australia will continue to be a global leader for advancing gender equity and pay parity in football.

The National Teams Collective Bargaining Agreement extends until the end of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

FFA and PFA have agreed to make adjustments to the CBA to deal with the economic impacts that the pandemic has caused. Due to the pandemic there has been less opportunities for the national teams to generate revenue.

Contracted Matildas players will continue to be paid a monthly wage. FFA views this as critical to continuing to support elite female players.

FFA CEO James Johnson said that the agreement ensures that equal shares of revenues generated by the national teams will be given to the Socceroos and Matildas.

“We have worked collaboratively and with strong principles with the PFA and the national team players to carefully consider the challenges we are confronting and developing a future proof agreement which takes into account the environmental challenges that we are confronting globally at present,” he said in a statement.

“With this CBA now finalised, we look forward to working with the players and PFA to develop plans to recover from the pandemic. The strong schedules of activities both teams are set to experience in 2021 and beyond will assist in the regeneration of long-term national team revenues, which will not only benefit our elite players but many other areas of the sport.”

FFA, PFA and the national team players will work together to develop a plan to bounce back from the impacts of the pandemic.

“Preserving a world-leading CBA during a challenging period for the industry was of critical importance to the players as we seek to work in partnership with FFA to rebuild the sport in the wake of COVID-19,” PFA Co-Chief Executive Officer, Kathryn Gill said about the agreement.

“The National Team CBA model was designed with the flexibility to allow individual entitlements to be redirected, meaning we could find a solution that dignifies the Matildas as professional footballers and ensures an equal distribution of revenues to the players, whilst maintaining the high-performance environment.

“Importantly, this outcome can help our sport build the foundations for a once in a generation opportunity; hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.”

Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Acun Medya Group secures Hull City takeover

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, headed by Acun Ilicali.

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, for a fee in the reported region of $37 million AUD.

Acun Ilicali, a 52-year-old businessman and owner of Acun Medya Group, was introduced to fans at the MKM Stadium prior to the club’s 2-0 win at home over Blackburn Rovers.

The takeover brings the controversial ownership of the Allam family to an end, much to the delight of fans after a roller coaster 11 years in charge.

Despite overseeing two promotions to the Premier League, an FA Cup Final and Hull’s first-ever foray into a European competition through the UEFA Europa League in 2014, the Allam family became increasingly unpopular with the fans.

The unpopularity of the Allam family is due to many different reasons, however it all started when the family proposed a name change to ‘Hull Tigers’ back in 2013. The move was ultimately blocked by authorities a year later, which frustrated the Allams and they then put the club up for sale, straining the relationship with fans and seeing a decline in attendances at home fixtures.

The new ownership will look to win back supporters and turn the negative tide.

Acun Medya Group Owner, Acun Ilicali:

“I am happy that I have fulfilled one of my biggest dreams. We are starting a beautiful journey with Hull City. We have many big dreams and goals to achieve together with our fans,” he said.

Outgoing Vice-Chairman Ehab Allam:

“During our tenure, we have worked hard to create a sustainable model and successful academy set-up, giving the club the foundations it needs for the future,” he said.

“There have been lots of ups and downs over the last 11 years or so, but we will take some very fond memories with us… We have taken a very business-led approach to running the club and I truly hope Acun can rebuild the relationship with the fanbase and also bring back the success on the pitch that fans crave and deserve.”

Hertha Berlin pushing hard for stadium upgrade

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to the Olympiastadion.

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to its current home, the Olympiastadion, releasing fresh renderings of its vision for such a project.

The club has been attempting to progress plans to develop a new home for several years and in February 2020 stated that the OlympiaPark would be the preferred location.

In November 2018, Hertha confirmed it was targeting an opening date in July 2025 for a new-look Olympiastadion, with preference to be building a completely new stadium rather than renovating the current one.

The current Olympiastadion has been home to Hertha Berlin for almost 60 years, and has a capacity of around 74,000. However, the club is seeking a more intimate stadium for its fans, as well as the inclusion of an athletics track.

Hertha’s former stadium commissioner, Klaus Teichert, withdrew an application for a decision to be made on the location for a new stadium, with Brandenburg also put forward as a potential location.

Hertha Berlin Chief Financial Officer, Ingo Schiller:

“We have entered into talks with the new government and are working hard to set the course for our new stadium in 2022,” he said.

“The stadium is the club’s most important project, especially in terms of the economic situation.”

There is a lot of political support necessary for the project to get approved, as the potential worksite currently includes residential apartments, a big reason for negotiations coming to a stall at times.

A resident spoke to local radio station rbb24:

“You talk about ir, but not with us. We are still not prepared to sell our apartments in Sportforumstraße or to negotiate about them,” they said.

“It is very unfortunate that our residents in Sportforumstraße are once again unsettled by this uncoordinated approach.”

Hertha Berlin and backers of the new stadium have been in negotiation with Berlin’s sports senator, Iris Spranger, with talks to continue over the next month.

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