A-League season extended as FFA strike deal with players

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The post-COVID restart of the A-League is a step closer after the FFA finalised their renumeration deal with the players' union.

The deal was signed off on Monday and means the season has officially been extended until August 31, with existing player contracts to be extended until that date.

While the financial terms of the deal are unknown, FFA chief executive James Johnson confirmed players had agreed to a reduction in their pay for the additional three months of the campaign.

"We have all had to readjust to this new landscape and this has meant coming together to make sacrifices for the greater good of the game," Johnson said.

The news came as clubs began medical testing of players and staff before a return to training later in the week.

Once given the all-clear clubs are set to resume training on Wednesday or Thursday.

Western Sydney Wanderers owner and clubs' association chairman Paul Lederer said the deal would allow professional football to return in Australia.

"The clubs are very excited to get playing again ... especially at a time when grassroots football competition will be back in action," Lederer said.

FFA is aiming for a July 16 resumption to the competition, which has been on hiatus since March 24.

The final hurdle is coming to an agreement with broadcaster Fox Sports.

Discussions are ongoing with the pay TV operator, who is seeking a reduction in the existing $57 million-a-year deal with the governing body.

A schedule for the remaining 27 regular season matches and a one-week finals campaign will be released if a deal can be reached with Fox.

The FFA has worked up two schedules and will use whichever fits with border restrictions at the time.

The first schedule has all 11 clubs playing in a NSW hub with matches played in Sydney and Newcastle.

The alternate schedule would allow Brisbane, Adelaide and the three Victorian clubs to play matches in their home states if border restrictions ease.

Wellington Phoenix will need to travel to Sydney under either plan and undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, while Perth Glory also have to be based in NSW in either case due to travel logistics.

Despite that, FFA head of leagues Greg O'Rourke says a grand final in New Zealand wasn't impossible depending on the state of border restrictions when finals are being scheduled.

"Our intent is to take the finals series where we can bring it to the most crowd and if that means all the border restrictions are released by sort of mid-August then we would follow our normal principles of whoever earns the right to host could host," O'Rourke told AAP.

"That includes New Zealand too.

"If Wellington earn the right to host, then they could host the grand final."

The Phoenix are third on the league ladder after 20 matches.

Source AAP