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SBD Global/July 2, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Football's Salary Cap Rises To $2.3M, Player Salaries Protected For First Time

When Football Federation Australia and the players' union, Professional Footballers Australia, "revealed details of a new two-year collective bargaining agreement in Sydney, greed was curiously absent," according to Sebastian Hassett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The salary cap will rise to A$2.5M ($2.3M) this coming year, edging up from A$2.478M. Another A$500,000 "opens up a year later" after Australian football has recently signed a new A$160M TV deal. But figures "are almost irrelevant for this negotiation period." This was "all about conditions, not cash." For the first time in the history of Australian football, the salary of every professional player "is protected." Their livelihoods "will be paid for by head office, not clubs." In a world "where players are frequently left chasing tens of thousands of dollars from rogue clubs, this marked a notable milestone." PFA CEO Brendan Schwab said, "The biggest problem in the world of football is that the economic model is not right, and so in many countries, players go without their salaries. It's wrong and it's been a problem in Australia. We had to address it." The minimum wage is also up, to A$50,000 for players aged 20 or more, but the PFA "is clearly most proud of securing a series of key off-field agreements." The FFA will pay A$4M over the next two years in education and training courses, while a "joint career committee" will also be created. Schwab said, "This is about preparing players for life after football. We're concerned about players -- and we don't know how well our players are. We will do a major study into the lives of retired players and use the findings of that study to inform our programs" (SMH, 7/2).
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