Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop will be back at the negotiating table on Wednesday in a bid to solve the pay dispute that now threatens the start of the 2015/16 A-League season.
The FFA and the Professional Football Association (PFA) are yet to resolve issues surrounding an unsigned collective bargaining agreement, an essential element of all contracts for A-League, Socceroos and Matildas players.
Speaking on Tuesday, Gallop was tentatively confident that a deal would be struck before the start of the 11th A-League season on October 8.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that our fans wouldn’t be let down like that.
“The players’ association would recognise how fans would regard actual games not going ahead in the A-League,” Gallop said.
Gallop also expressed his disappointment at how the PFA had handled the situation.
“I’m very frustrated with the way the players’ association has dealt with this issue and categorised things as a salary cap freeze because it’s absolute nonsense.
“Salary caps are a cap on payments ($2.55m), but there are always allowances above, so our clubs are paying on average $3.9m in player payments, it’s just that the cap captures the top 23,” Gallop said.
In addition to the pay dispute, the A-League is also struggling to finalise the free-to-air television rights for the Friday evening fixture, following talks held with major networks in the attempt to have the games simulcast on a commercial station, rather than SBS.
“We’ll certainly make it work if we have to, but there are still some talks going on in relation to Friday nights,” stated Gallop.
With just over three weeks until the first match of the season is scheduled to be played, it’s just another unknown clouding the build up to October 8.