Huge majority of A-League players want salary cap scrapped

Professional Footballers Association CEO John Didulica. Source: AAP

A survey of A-League players shows 85 per cent want the league's salary cap abolished.

Some 85 per cent of A-League players want the salary cap abolished, a survey shows.

The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) annual A-League report reveals only two per cent of players don't want the cap scrapped.

The survey, released on Friday, shows 85 per cent are in favour of scrapping the cap with 13 per cent of players undecided.

PFA chief executive John Didulica says the findings are stark ahead of the A-League being managed by an independent body comprised of the clubs.

"The club owners now have the control they have fought for," he said in a statement on Friday.

"The owners now have the responsibility to improve the career path for Australian footballers, from youth development pathways to respecting a player's rights to represent their country.

"They have a responsibility to rationally re-imagine the economic model for the A-League to ensure the broken salary cap is scrapped and clubs are given the opportunity and incentive to build value in their players and their clubs."

The annual report also recorded a "staggeringly high" number - 61.5 per cent - of players were off-contract at the end of 2018/19 season.

And 57 per cent of players were 'slightly' or 'not at all' confident about their career direction.

"The PFA has presented a wealth of evidence in the past two years to show how all stakeholders would benefit from more stable rosters," the report stated.

"Clubs suffer from lost transfer revenues and turned off fans.

"The league suffers from an inferior product due to the chopping and changing without a net increase in individual quality."

The report also noted a decline in A-League attendances for a fifth consecutive season, with an average of 10,424 a game the lowest mean figure since 2011/12.

 

KEY FINDINGS OF A-LEAGUE PLAYER SURVEY

* 85 per cent want salary cap abolished

* 61.5 per cent were off contract at the end of the 2018/19 season

* 57 per cent were 'slightly' or 'not at all' confident about career direction

* 51 per cent of players believe VAR should continue, with 30 per cent against and 19 per cent unsure

* Attendance average dropped for a fifth consecutive season

* Average crowd of 10,424 was the lowest figure since 2011/12

* Melbourne Victory topped crowd average at 20,604 a game; Central Coast was lowest at 5,562

* Gap between the first and last place on last season's ladder was a record 47 points

* Sydney's Spotless Stadium ranked lowest for pitch quality (two out of five stars) and atmosphere (1.33 out of 5)

* Melbourne's AAMI Park ranked top for stadium atmosphere (4.5 out of 5)

Source AAP