As the A-League clubs and Professional Footballers Australia close in on a new collective bargaining agreement, reigning champions Sydney FC have reached a pay deal with their players.
Negotiations have continued since the players’ union members rejected a proposal by clubs in September but they are expected to sign off next season’s CBA in the coming days. The clubs have instead been negotiating pay deals directly, and on Tuesday Sydney confirmed they had reached an agreement with their playing group.
Sky Blues captain Alex Wilkinson, who is also the PFA president, lauded the “amicable” discussions between Sydney FC and their players. “It has been a very difficult process but we have come to an agreement and now we can concentrate on playing football,” Wilkinson said in a statement.
“It has been a challenging time but the negotiations have been amicable and in good faith, and the club have handled the situation with great care and respect.
“Our players, and every player across the league, takes the future of football in Australia and our members’ interests very seriously, and they have put that before any personal benefit. Now we move on and look forward to getting ready for the new season.”
Sydney chief executive Danny Townsend also praised the “open” discussions the A-League champions had with their playing staff.
“Our players have been magnificent throughout these negotiations and they should be given huge credit for the sacrifice they’ve made for the good of the A-League and game in this country,” he said. “We’ve had a very honest and open dialogue and the club is hugely appreciative for the respect they have given the process.”
Sydney FC returned to training on Tuesday ahead of their bid for a third consecutive championship, while they are also preparing to kick off their Asian Champions League campaign in November.