A deal has been agreed in principle that Australia’s A-League, W-League and the Y-league to be run independently of Football Federation Australia (FFA).
This will bring Australian football in line with major European leagues.
In a press release by the FFA, chairman Chris Nikou said: “The recommendations of the NLWG [New Leagues Working Group, a body mandated by the FFA Congress to recommend improvements in the structure of Australian football] serve to align and unite Australian football’s interests like never before. 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.”
As part of the restructure, FFA will receive a minimum annual contribution of $4.5m from league revenues to fund national team and grassroot initiatives, but this will be waived for the next four seasons “in order that investment in the long-term sustainability and growth of the League is maximised”, according to quotes from stakeholders.
The leagues will be run by an independent chairman and representatives of each of the 12 club licence-holders, with two additional representatives from FFA, who will be responsible for the commercialisation and growth of the Leagues’ intellectual property and commercial rights.
FFA will receive 10 per cent of future sales of club licences or net profits on the sale of existing licences, and 10 per cent from any transfer of Australian league players to international clubs. The federation will also retain a 20 per cent share in the new league body, and if a portion of the Leagues are ever sold in order to generate investment funds for further growth of the League, then 20 per cent of those proceeds would be allocated to the FFA.
The FFA and the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association will now prepare long-form agreements in consultation with NLWG stakeholders. Once complete, the agreements will be presented for consideration and approval by the FFA Board and in turn, the key terms will be put to the FFA Congress for approval.