The dispute between Football Federation Australia and players body, Professional Footballers Association, has reached an “unprecedented” level of contention, with the FFA “withdrawing recognition of PFA”.
In a statement released on Wednesday morning, the PFA said Socceroos, Matildas and A-League players no longer have legal protection because the FFA unknowingly terminated an agreement “underpinning relations” between the two bodies.
However the FFA CEO David Gallop says he is “shocked by the inaccuracies in the PFA’s media comments of yesterday and today”.
“The announcement unilaterally imposes the salary cap freeze rejected by the players in the CBA negotiations which will largely undermine the reforms and place even greater pressure on the A-League’s core player group.
“FFA will continue to recognise the PFA and the role it plays and was preparing for an agreed face-to-face meeting with the PFA regarding the CBA this morning, which was cancelled by the PFA after the scheduled start time.”
PFA chief executive Adam Vivian said the “media announcement by FFA about changes to the A-League Player Contract Regulations was made without the knowledge of the PFA.”
— The PFA (@thepfa) August 12, 2015
On Tuesday, the FFA announced a raft of changes to the A-League salary cap, including allowing two marquee players to be paid outside the cap.
As recently as Sunday, the PFA met with players who voted to reject the FFA’s most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement [CBA] proposal.
PFA say it’s members are not happy with a number of factors in the FFA’s CBA proposal, including freezing the salary cap for the next two years.
Mr Gallop said the new salary cap outlines were made clear to the PFA.
“The changes to the Player Contract Regulations for the upcoming season were tabled, negotiated and implemented in good faith in line with the obligations under the current MOU and communicated to the PFA at the same time as the Hyundai A-League clubs,” he said.
“We totally reject the PFA’s claims regarding the nature of the negotiations, which from a FFA point of view have always been conducted in good faith and with a desire to reach agreement.”
The current PFA CBA expired in June 2014. The new A-League season begins in October.
“FFA has left the PFA and the players with no option but to take the necessary steps to secure the rights and wellbeing of Socceroos, Matildas and A-League players under Australian industrial law,” Mr Vivian added.
The PFA has been the collective representative for professional Australian football players since 1993.
The FFA could not be reached for comment by The New Daily.