Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO David Gallop has “totally rejected” Professional Footballers Australia’s (PFA) claims that it has withdrawn its recognition of the players’ union.
PFA released a statement on Wednesday claiming FFA had terminated the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two bodies.
But according to FFA, negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) were set to continue on Wednesday, “which was cancelled by the PFA after the scheduled start time”.
The two bodies have been at odds for the majority of the A-League close-season, with PFA frustrated at a proposed salary-cap freeze in Australia’s top flight, while FFA remains convinced clubs should be allowed to limit spending in “the current economic landscape”.
The PFA was frustrated FFA “unilaterally” changed A-League player contract regulations on Tuesday.
“FFA is shocked by the inaccuracies in the PFA’s media comments of yesterday and today,” Gallop said in a statement.
“FFA continues to be committed to ensuring an appropriate MOU is agreed between FFA and the PFA, as part of a CBA, and any assertion that FFA intended to move forward without a CBA or MOU is wrong.
“FFA will continue to recognise the PFA and the role it plays and was preparing for an agreed face-to-face meeting with the PFA regarding the CBA this morning, which was cancelled by the PFA after the scheduled start time.
“FFA’s stance throughout the CBA negotiations has not wavered from its desire to acknowledge the important role of the players in the game’s growth by aligning current and future salary increases to the current economic landscape and sustainable growth of the game at all levels.
“The deal offered to the PFA, if accepted, would deliver the best ever deal for Australian professional footballers across the A-League, Socceroos and Matildas. This comes at a time when A-League clubs face economic challenges and are looking at investing in facilities and academy systems for the long term future that will see sustainability for decades to come.”
Gallop insisted FFA remains committed to resolving “outdated” details of the previous MOU in the hope of signing a new agreement by the end of the week.
“We totally reject the PFA’s claims regarding the nature of the negotiations, which from a FFA point of view have always been conducted in good faith and with a desire to reach agreement,” Gallop said.