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'A new era for football in Australia' - A-League takes big step towards independence

03:56 EAT 01/07/2019
A-League trophy
The A-League is set for a few key changes

The A-League is inching towards independence with the New League Working Group (NLWG) reaching an in-principle agreement for a 'new era for football in Australia'.

Discussions over the competition splitting from Football Federation Australia have been underway for some time with a number of hurdles delaying an independent A-League.

But after reviewing a number of recommendations put forward by the NLWG, the FFA have accepted the need for change with long-form agreements expected to be finalised by August.

Among several looming changes, A-League clubs will be given unimpeded control of all commercial rights to ensure their ability to attract more investment. 

The overall management of the A-League, W-League and Y-League will be transitioned away from the FFA to a dedicated organisation over the coming season. 

While relinguishing their control over the leagues, the FFA will still profit from the various competitions with the governing body to receive annual contributions from the leagues and 10 per cent from the transfers of Australian players. 

FFA chairman Chris Nikou believes proposed changes will not only benefit the A-League but the entire football community if implemented right. 

“The recommendations of the NLWG serve to align and unite Australian football’s interests like never before," Nikou said.

"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 of all three Leagues, and FFA would be able to focus its energies and resources on the National Teams, grassroots and the overall strategic direction of the game in concert with all of FFA’s members, including the Women’s Football Council, State and Territory Member Federations and Professional Footballers Australia.

"Importantly, FFA would retain influence in key areas of the Leagues through the Good of the Game Share. I thank the members of the NLWG that have worked tirelessly over many months to produce these recommendations. Once finalised, the FFA Board will consider the full details of the proposed reorganisation of the Leagues in accordance with their directors’ duties.”

The FFA are now set to work towards final agreements with the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association over the coming weeks with the FFA board and congress ultimately required to approve proposed changes.