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Football Federation Australia clarifies Collective Bargaining Agreement processes

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has issued a statement addressing the current status of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

In the statement, FFA announced it continues to work closely with the A-League and W-League Clubs (the Clubs) as the unbundling process continues towards a new model for Australia’s Professional Leagues. The new model is aligned with the in-principle agreement entered into in 2019 and was endorsed by the New Leagues Working Group, the body FFA Congress mandated to create recommendations for the optimal future of Australia’s Professional Football Leagues.

In deference to the in-principle agreement, FFA has gradually implemented practical changes to give the Clubs and its representative body, the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (APFCA), more operational control.

For the Clubs and the APFCA, this has included assuming control over the negotiation with Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) of the CBA for the Professional Leagues. This change has seen the APFCA assume the role of ‘employer representative’ and negotiator on behalf of the Clubs directly with PFA, who represent the player group on CBA matters.  FFA has taken a more traditional ‘regulator’ role in the negotiations.

This is a process toward the unbundling of the Professional Leagues from FFA.  In time, the Clubs will have operational control of the Professional Leagues that has been sought and debated for many years. This will place Australia in a consistent position with global football frameworks where the Professional Leagues operate as a separate entity under the umbrella of the National Federation.

FFA concluded its statement by reinforcing that it is actively monitoring the negotiations between the APFCA and PFA, and remains committed to supporting both parties in their negotiations. The organisation stated that although it continues to monitor these negotiations, if the parties cannot reach agreement, FFA will enter the negotiations at the appropriate time.

FFA retains the role of negotiating the CBA directly with PFA relating to Australia’s National Teams, the Westfield Matildas and Socceroos.

For more information, visit www.ffa.com.au.

Canterbury Bankstown Council waives field hire costs

The City of Canterbury Bankstown Council have opted to waive ground hire costs in an effort to support community clubs.

With the ongoing impact of extended COVID-19 enforced lockdowns on NSW, the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council have opted to waive ground hire costs in an effort to support community clubs.

For a second consecutive year, the Canterbury Bankstown Council have assisted both the Bankstown District Amateur Football Association and the Canterbury District Soccer Football Association Clubs who have been heavily affected by COVID.

The impact of COVID-19 has seen Football NSW forced into cancelling the remaining footballing NSW competitions seasons, with players, organisations and clubs state-wide left heavily impacted by the difficult situation.

As the state’s governing football body, Football NSW have hailed the move by the Canterbury Bankstown Council as a much needed and generous decision to aid community football in the area by reducing the financial burden created by the extended lockdown period.

Led by Mayor Khal Asfour, the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council opted to waive ground hire costs for sporting clubs and associations with seasonal bookings at Council managed sports grounds and facilities for the winter 2021 season.

Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge voiced his support for the supportive actions being taken by the Canterbury Bankstown Council.

“Well done to Canterbury Bankstown Council for pushing its support behind our code in what have been tough times for the sport,” he said

“Decisions and moves such as this from Canterbury Bankstown Council go a long way to assuring our clubs and players are well supported and will continue to provide a positive and significant benefit to the community.”

Both Bankstown District Football Association’s General Manager Leanne Millar and Canterbury District Soccer Football Association CEO Ian Homes were grateful with the backing of the Mayor, elected Councillors and Senior Management of the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council.

Football Australia meets with AAFC to discuss National Second Tier

Football Australia consulted with the Australian Association of Football Clubs (AAFC) last week to discuss modelling and other considerations for a National Second Tier.

The Thursday night meeting was attended virtually by representatives from Football Australia, including CEO James Johnson, as well AAFC Chairman Nick Galatas and representatives from member clubs.

Within the meeting, the commercial, financial, and modelling aspects of the competition were discussed.

A Football Australia spokesperson stated that the meeting was an opportunity for clubs to voice their opinions and views on certain questions posed by FA, and considerations for a National Second Tier directly to the peak body.

Football Australia held a meeting with the Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) and a number of representative clubs from around Australia on Thursday 26 August as part of a consultation to discuss the objectives and vision for a National Second Tier, commercial, financial and competition modelling considerations, the Domestic Match Calendar and access to and from a proposed National Second Tier,” a FA spokesperson said.

CEO, James Johnson and several other senior executives of Football Australia participated in the meeting and welcomed the opportunity to hear directly from the clubs on some of their views on these considerations and look forward to having further and more detailed discussions in the coming months as we move the conceptual discussions towards practical ones, and in turn the national second tier becoming a reality at the appropriate time.”

Galatas said the meeting was well received by the AAFC, and that it was held professionally and in good faith.

The next steps are firstly we will provide the material that Football Australia has requested, secondly we will finalise our report, and finally we will continue to liaise with Football Australia as they progress towards finalising their model,” he said.

The AAFC released the report in January as a framework for how they believe a second division could be structured, ran and implemented.

No timeline has been placed on the development of the competition by either Football Australia or the AAFC, according to Galatas.

“We didn’t think it was appropriate to press for a timeline, and instead work towards providing information for Football Australia to develop the right model,” he said.

“Getting it right in more important than imposing some sort of deadline. Clearly the intention that emerged from that meeting was that we now work as stakeholders to complete the tasks, so short term is better than long term but there is no specific timeline.”

Football Australia recently included a placeholder for a National Second Tier competition on its domestic match calendar.

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