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False start: the FFA's RE-recommencement plan

If today’s announcement of agreement on a recommencement plan by the FFA sounds familiar, it’s because it is.

Just over two weeks ago, we summarised how there appeared to be agreement between the FFA, A-League clubs and the PFA on a schedule for the league’s recommencement, with the prominent absence of Fox Sports from that agreement standing out as a significant roadblock that needed to be resolved… which it still hasn’t been.

Yesterday, The World Game reported an ‘11th-hour’ pay dispute between the PFA and FFA, with the player’s association reportedly seeking to capitalise on potential gate takings that appear to be likely given the government lockdown restrictions are gradually easing, making live crowds a possibility.

The FFA didn’t budge at all upon hearing about the cunning ploy by the PFA, giving them until today (Monday 15th June) to agree to the original pay deal. This afternoon’s announcement is hence nothing more than publicising the achievement of recovery from a backward step, getting the players back onside and in agreement with the deal that they’d seemingly been fine with two weeks ago.

Further summary of the current restart situation:

- Fox Sports are still holding the league to ransom, unflinching in their negotiation with the FFA over the dollar amount for the remainder of the broadcast deal.

- Players have agreed to take a reduction in pay for the remainder of the season to ensure that it can be completed.

- 27 regular season games remain and will be completed over a 28-day period. This doesn’t include the additonal five Finals games which all must be completed before August 31.

- HOWEVER, the Wellington Phoenix haven’t been granted entry by the relevant authorities into New South Wales, with more details to be made available soon (as per Jason Pine on Twitter).

- Players are currently undergoing or awaiting results from testing for COVID-19, with a return to training slated for later this week.

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