Macarthur set to be granted A-League payment plan after Fox Sports cash crash


A-League newcomers Macarthur FC are set to be granted an extended time frame on A-League license fee payments in response to the instability wrought by COVID-19 and drastically reduced Fox Sports TV revenues.

Macarthur bosses Sam Krslovic and Gino Marra met with FFA chief executive James Johnson last week to discuss restructuring the scheduling and amount of future instalments on their $12 million participation agreement.

However, it’s believed they are not looking to renegotiate the actual cost of the license, for which they have so far paid $2 million.

The club - which boasts former Matildas mentor Ante Milicic as inaugural coach - were due to pay a second $3.5 million instalment on July 1, but didn’t meet the deadline.

That prompted a breach notice from FFA several days later - which has been seen by The World Game - reminding the Campbelltown-based Bulls of their financial obligations.

However, it’s understood that with the revenues expected when they were awarded the A-League’s 12th spot now much diminished, FFA is looking favourably on their requests and are likely to be amenable to setting up a de facto payment plan.

Bulls board member Sam Krslovic is optimistic that in an environment which has sliced Fox Sports’ annual investment in the game from $57 million to barely $30 million, a deal with FFA will be struck.

“We’ve been in positive discussions with FFA and we’re confident of coming to a conclusion that is mutually beneficial both parties,” Krslovic said on Thursday.

An A-League source close to the matter said: “With so many financial pressures existing around the game, and COVID-19 playing a huge part in that, Macarthur’s situation as a new club coming into a much changed environment has certainly changed.

“The financial certainties that seemed to be in place before just aren’t there now.”

It’s thought the structure and on-going timing of payments from Macarthur to FFA might be tied to how a new broadcast deal might look, with Fox Sports due to end their 15-year agreement with the game at the end of next season.

FFA were contacted for comment.