Let’s hope wheeling and dealing pays off for all
FOOTBALL Federation Australia and Professional Footballers Australia have finally agreed to agree on the new collective bargaining agreement, and about time too.
This drawn-out saga was only doing damage to football in this country.
The longer it went on, the worse it appeared to be for the game down under.
Mark my words, there would have been onlookers from outside Australia who would have been wondering just why this agreement could not have been sorted a long time ago.
It had already forced the postponement of a Matildas tour to the US, which certainly would have not sat well with our American counterparts.
But at long last after months of acrimonious negotiations, barbs and some stunts played out in the media and the public arena, there has been a breakthrough and, it seems, everyone is a winner.
The new deal covers the Socceroos, the Matildas and the A-League and as part of the new CBA, all outstanding monies owed to current and former players has to be paid by the end of the year.
If this does not happen A-League clubs will face an immediate embargo on registering players until payment is made, and a possible points deduction.
The FFA will also closely look at clubs' A-League participation agreement, with a view to improving provisions for contract security, once a new TV deal is finalised.
"From the outset FFA's objective was based on affordability and certainty in total player payments," FFA chief executive David Gallop said.
"Working through and achieving the Whole of Game CBA with the PFA has been a challenge and produced difficult moments but we are glad the deal is now finally done.
"We will now work together to ensure four years of sustainable growth for the game."
Let's hope that Gallop is true to his word as no one wants to see the sort of scenes that have blighted this CBA fiasco for the past few months.
It seems the Matildas will get a better deal, which also has to be a good thing.
For too long now our women footballers have been the poor relations compared to their male counterparts.
They deserved better, especially after their strong showing at the World Cup in Canada earlier this year.
The best players will get $41,000 per year and the next level $30,000 - coupled with a 10% per annum increase, plus a number of other improved conditions and entitlements.
Our Socceroos are also set to be better off with higher match payments with the chance to earn more from the commercial side of the game.
A-League clubs will also benefit with the salary cap on the rise immediately to $2.6 million - rising to $2.85 million for the 2017-18 season.
And last but not least players will receive a 30% share of any cash increase to the new broadcast deal.
All of this has to be good for the game in this country and hopefully the next time the FFA and PFA sit down together, discussions will not take as long as this time.