Absence of CBA sees Socceroos withdraw from commercial events

CUIABA, BRAZIL - JUNE 13: Australia huddle at the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Chile and Australia at Arena Pantanal on June 13, 2014 in Cuiaba, Brazil. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) Source: Getty Images South America

Australia players will withdraw from all commercial events while in Perth for Thursday's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh due to the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The Socceroos' CBA expired on 30 June 2015 and no agreement has been reached since.

Tensions were further raised on 14 August 2015 when, according to Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), Football Federation Australia (FFA) decided to terminate the longstanding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two parties. 

The PFA insisted that the players remained committed to the World Cup qualification process. 

“FFA’s decision to withdraw its recognition of the PFA through the termination of the MOU has left the players with no legal protection," the PFA said in a statement. 

“In an environment where their rights are being attacked, the players are unwilling to continue to undertake commercial appearances.

“The Socceroos’ position will not change until an agreement is struck and the rights of all A-League, Matildas and Socceroos players are once again protected by a CBA.

“The players have requested that the PFA reassure the public that this will not distract them from the task of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

“The players’ professionalism is beyond question and their resolve to seal the country’s fourth straight appearance at the World Cup is absolute.

“As a thank you for the invaluable support from the fans, the players will inform FFA of their willingness to undertake additional community and charity appearances in place of any scheduled commercial obligations.”

However, that was not enough for FFA CEO David Gallop who apologised to the Perth public and FFA’s commercial partners for the decision made by the players.

“This action by the PFA will deny many people a rare opportunity to see Socceroo players in Perth,” said Gallop. “We deeply regret that many people will be left disappointed.

“The players are obviously acting under the direction of the PFA, but this manoeuvre is a backward step in the game's mission to maximise our commercial opportunities. 

“This comes in the context of six months of productive talks over a new whole of game Collective Bargaining Agreement, in which the parties have substantial agreement on many key issues.

The affected events include the advertised appearance at Rebel Sport in the Raine Square Shopping Centre on Tuesday, which was cancelled.

Source SBS