The A-league Independance Thread - (It’s Official)

General Giant

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Stajcic review will have to wait until A-League's independence war ends

By Vince Rugari

June 24, 2019 — 6.41pm

Football Federation Australia is set to iron out the details of an independent review into the sacking of Matildas coach Alen Stajcic - but it will have to wait until after the A-League's long-running battle for independence is resolved.
As the dust settles on Australia's disappointing campaign at the Women's World Cup in France, the immediate attention of FFA powerbrokers will revert back to the professional game ahead of a looming deadline for talks on Sunday.

It's understood the FFA board will meet within the next week or two, when the particulars of a proposed investigation of Stajcic's sacking are to be discussed.
No external person or group has been identified to conduct the review, nor any terms of reference drafted, but there is a thirst for answers about exactly why Stajcic was removed just six months out from a major tournament, and how FFA could bungle his removal so badly.

Ending the impasse at the heart of the professional game, however, remains the absolute priority. There is less than a week to go until June 30, which was the targeted date for the end of negotiations over a new operating and governance model for the A-League and W-League.

Multiple sources close to the discussions have told the Herald of a cordial, collaborative and collegiate approach that has been taken by all parties in recent weeks, which is markedly different to the adversarial nature of the FFA congress war. There is widespread hope - if not confidence - that a suitable deal will be reached, but similarly, a sense of apprehension that won't fade away until it is formalised.
Sources suggest A-League clubs will be transferred ownership of their intellectual property, which had previously been the domain of FFA. In return, the state federations will receive certain payments from the A-League clubs to help fund other aspects of the game, such as junior national teams.
These payments include 10 per cent of any transfer fees from the sale of players to overseas clubs, 10 per cent of the licence fees paid by new A-League clubs, and 10 per cent of the gain in value from the change in ownership of existing clubs.


The Herald also understands the A-League's separation from FFA control will most likely occur in two phases. The first is a 'transition' phase that will run until the end of the current broadcast deal in 2023 - partly to help ensure Fox Sports will have no legal opportunity to seek a reduction in the value of the contract, which is worth nearly $60 million per year to the sport.
After that the new entity that will run the A-League and other professional competitions will become much more detached from FFA, having entrenched its own operations.

The next round of negotiations - to occur on the phone, via email and in person over the next week - will focus on the financial specifics of A-League independence, which stakeholders have agreed to resolve together. The clubs have vowed to ensure that FFA will be no worse off financially under the new arrangements, although the core business of the federation will change dramatically once the professional league is spun away. Nearly $3 million in 'stranded costs' must be accounted for.
Club owners have long argued that they cannot invest with confidence when they do not have a say in how the A-League is run. With the competition's key metrics rapidly declining, it is hoped that indepdendence will give the sport the jump-start it so desperately needs.

The Matildas' poor performance in France has also underlined that the women's game is in need of attention. European nations are on the rise, with increased expenditure paired with existing football infrastructure leading to rapid improvements which have been evident at the World Cup.
Australia is at risk of falling behind unless similar investments are made in women's football, including the W-League, which runs for only 12 matches. Most corresponding competitions in Europe run for double that length. The Heraldunderstands the next W-League season could be extended by an additional two rounds, but only if a suitable free-to-air television partner can be found.
 

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giggler99

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Studs Up: Time ‘men in suits’ parked own interest
David Davutovic, Herald Sun

Australian football leaders, it’s time to park your personal interests at the door and thrash out a deal that can propel the game to the next level.
The universal popularity of the women’s World Cup, the fact that global stars like Samir Nasri and Fernando Torres (last year) remain interested in coming to Australia, the release of the second division white paper which edges us closer to promotion-relegation and the rising grassroots participation numbers highlight that the game’s potential is as great as ever.

Yet we are on the verge of another delay, with a prevailing attitude of “what the game can do for me” rather than “what can I do for the game” from some of the men in suits.

The June 30 deadline is days away and we are yet to agree on the terms for an independent A-League, which is the most critical issue in Australian football.

Any men’s or women’s national team that has international success usually does so off the back of a burgeoning domestic competition.

Australia’s dithering World Cup performances are a direct result of A-League and W-League stagnation, at a time the game should be growing rapidly.


(L-R) Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp, Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro and A-League clubs’ representative Greg Griffin in previous talks. Pic: Mark Evans
The stakeholders — A-League club owners, state federations, NPL clubs representatives, the players union, the women’s council and FFA — are still negotiating commercial terms.

But at this rate, there will be little cash to squabble over as the A-League is at crisis point.

If the A-League continues to decline, it will have a cascading effect on the state league and the women’s game.

While the game has been fractured due to the lack of respect shown to the National Soccer League clubs, to suggest that they are not interlinked is foolish.

Wanderers Chairman Paul Lederer has taken a leading role among the A-League clubs. Pic: Getty
If anyone remains unsure of the consequences or forgets who they are serving, perhaps they should reflect on the hundreds of teenagers whose parents will spend over $20,000 in registration fees over their junior career in search of the promised pathways, which at the moment are not there.

 

giggler99

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FFA to surrender control of the A-League to clubs | The World Game

An impasse over creating an independently-run A-League has been broken with Football Federation Australia (FFA) to soon cede control to clubs.
A new entity will manage the A-League, W-League and youth league in Australia, with a transition from FFA control next season.
The FFA has reached in-principle agreements with football hierarchy in a move which also seemingly assure Wellington Phoenix's long-term future in the A-League.
The Phoenix, whose A-League licence was set to expire at the end of next season, will now effectively become co-owners of the competition under the fresh governance model.
The model had been hotly debated by the FFA and club chiefs but will now be settled by August 1 this year.
The New Leagues Working Group, the body mandated by the FFA in October last year to determine the independence model, on Monday announced a raft of in-principle agreements.
They include a governance structure for the leagues overseen by an independent chairperson and representatives of each of the club license holders, with two additional representatives from FFA.
FFA will get a minimum of $4.5m annually from leagues revenue, earmarked for national teams including the Socceroos and Matildas and grassroots initiatives.
But that payment will be waived for the next four seasons, with the monies invested back into the leagues.
"This recommendation will see FFA re-invest its licence fee in the Australian professional game in order to help ensure longer-term sustainable returns," the working group said in a statement.
Other terms also include FFA to receive 10 per cent of any international transfers of A-League players and 10 per cent of any future sales of club licences.
FFA will also keep a one-fifth equity share in the new management body.
"Importantly, if a portion of the leagues are ever sold in order to generate investment funds for further growth ... then 20 per cent of those proceeds would be allocated to FFA for investment," the statement said.
The club-based new management entity would also be given full intellectual property and commercial rights.
FFA chairman Chris Nikou said in-principle agreements would "serve to align and unite Australian football's interests like never before".
"Clubs would have greater control over the strategic and commercial direction of the leagues, in turn triggering significant new investment in the quality and marketing," he said in a statement.
"And FFA would be able to focus its energies and resources on the national teams, grassroots and the overall strategic direction of the game."
FFA would also retain certain veto rights by having a so-called 'Good of the Australian Game' share in the new management body, he said.


They cut in fine but finally a deal! Will this be the best possible outcome for 'Soccer' in Australia?
 

craigos

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Am actually genuinely excited this has happened. This may well not work out but I feel it was the only chance of the game ever growing and arresting the stagnation that we're currently stuck with.

No doubt it's too late for this year but I feel this will open up a lot more clubs to signing a bigger marquee name than in the past. Financially they're going to be able to be across the potential returns on investment a lot more. I do hope they still have a marquee fund but it's weighted towards the clubs who can't afford it as much as a Sydney/Melbourne can.
 

Zidane98

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Will this have a similar effect to when the FA in England turned control over to the clubs for top flight football and rebranded it the English Premier League?

Grass roots football (juniors especially) are effectively funding higher levels of football in Australia. That needs to stop, far too many talented footballers are priced out of playing the game. Only a select few are taken on board by clubs on a scholarship basis. A colleague of mine has kids playing U16 NPL football and its 2k a season. That's not right, in the UK talented players pay very little, when they are moved on their clubs then receive compensation. It's all because money flows to the top level of the game (NPL / A League).

Elite AFL juniors don't pay anywhere near as much AFAIK. The reverse happens with the AFL - they take money from the top level of the game and subsidise junior football with it. It will take a long time but that's where we should be aiming for long term.
 

Bomberboyokay

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Will this have a similar effect to when the FA in England turned control over to the clubs for top flight football and rebranded it the English Premier League?
The EFL controlled the top flight. The FA supported the Premier League to diminish its power.
 

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