A-League players agree to salary cap until 2010

Australia's A-League salary cap will stay in place until at least 2010 after the players' union confirmed it was not a major issue in the negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement, which for the first time would embrace players playing both at home and abroad. Professional Footballers Association Chief Executive Brendan Schwab is negotiating with Football Federation Australia officials on a first "whole of the game" agreement, which he hopes will cover the period leading up to the next World Cup, in 2010, Michael Cockerill reported for the Brisbane Times.

"We don't propose to revisit the salary cap between now and 2010, because we believe it is at a reasonable level, and there are other fundamental issues to address. I think it's fair to say the PFA has historically been very responsible in developing the game, and we see a 'whole of the game' agreement as an unprecedented opportunity to give the game a real period of stability. We are competing against other sports who have much more money than we do, but we are determined to make sure football remains the sport of choice for most of our elite athletes. To do that, we have to produce a model which protects the game commercially, but at the same time fairly remunerates its players. We've been working very hard on that model, and while we intend to make sure players get a fair share of the revenue, there are other major cultural issues at stake. Things like career development opportunities, paying players when they are injured, removing short-term deals which effectively make players casual employees, are at the heart of what we want to achieve. We've talked to all the senior Socceroos, and one thing comes through clearly - if they return to Australia, they want to be sure they're coming home to a professional environment," Schwab said.