European juggernaut La Liga has offered the A-League a helping hand to fulfill its potential, as the 11 club chiefs wrestle with shaping the competition’s destiny after taking the reins of power from FFA.
Spain’s top competition, with Javier Tebas at the helm, have reached out directly through the World Leagues Forum (WLF), the over-arching body representing competitions across the globe, with its proposition of assistance.
Australia are set became fully-fledged members of the Geneva-based body which represents over 1100 clubs in 38 countries and includes the Bundesliga, Premier League and Serie A.
Brisbane Roar vice-chairman Chris Fong and Central Coast owner Mike Charlesworth are Australia’s delegates at the WLF, which boasts MLS commissioner Don Garber as its president.
Fong believes the expertise and guidance now on tap could help the A-League avoid future pitfalls and find solutions to issues ranging from visa player quotas and salary caps to training compensation and a raft of governance matters.
“La Liga, and they’re not alone, have offered to help us in any way they can in growing and developing the league,” said Fong, who is also the deputy chair of the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (APFCA).
“That’s the level of expertise we are privy to through the World Leagues Forum.
“The amount of help out there for us from top leagues is really quite incredible, and they all want to help us succeed.
“They’re asking us what we need and offering world’s best practice on matters we’d been benchmarking like training compensation, and the allotted number of visa players.
“There are all sorts of regulations which we have never really been involved with in the past and they’re helping us learn. They’re helping us to formulate a new way forward.
“We’re looking at how things may have gone wrong in the past in other countries and how we can use their experiences to get things right here.”
The WLF has the ear of FIFA and liaises with the governing body on matters as diverse as governance, rules of the game, player employment issues and the regulation of transfers, agents and intermediaries.
“People may not realize how important they (the WLF) have been for us in Australia, and how valuable being a part of the organization is going to be in the years ahead,” added Fong, who will join Charlesworth in Morocco in November for the next WLF gathering.
“We’ve already received a lot of support over managing the independence of the A-League and separating it from the Federation.
“We’re also getting a lot of support from different leagues around the world in terms of innovation, technology and how to do things better.”