Negotiations between the A-League’s clubs and it’s players continue to grind on without sign of resolution, following a week in which a CBA proposing 30% cuts to individual players was rejected.
Months after accepting reductions to complete the 2019/20 season, players are being asked to do so again. The clubs argue it’s necessary, with funding from Hyundai and Fox Sports both gone and almost halved respectively.
“I’ve got sympathy with both sides to be honest. Players have got mortgages to pay and families to fed, they’ve already taken a massive hit to get the previous season completed and now they’re back to square one”, Simon Hill told Box2Box.
“Equally the clubs will say ‘what do you want us to do? We’ve got no money coming in, or certainly half the money we had just a few moths ago. …It’s a really unenviable position they’re all in.”
Although discussions seem at a standstill, Hill believes they have been relatively amicable, even if the slight mystery around who actually heads up the club side of proceedings remains.
“I assume it’s the likes of Paul Lederer, the likes of Simon Pearce, Danny Townsend perhaps. So you hope these discussions are being conducted in good faith. As far as I know, I think they have been.”
FFA Chief Executive James Johnson has been steadfast in his desire to remain at arm’s length, keen to see the two parties come to an agreement without the aid of the Federation – for now.
While some have criticised Johnson what’s been cited as inaction on the matter, Hill feels he’s made the right call so far.
“It’s entirely possible James might have to come in at some stage, particularly if it drags on… But I think James’ position is the right one given the clubs have demanded independence for a long time.”
“If they’re going to run their own show these are the sort of negotiations they have to not only enter into, but bring a resolution to.”
“I think its incumbent upon the clubs to show their maturity and their readiness to take over this League by getting this over the line and finding the right compromise.”