The players' union, Professional Footballers Australia, and Football Federation Australia have agreed to meet tomorrow in a bid to overcome the current impasse and move closer to a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement for players.
The last meeting was held on 25 June without the PFA, the FFA and the A-League clubs reaching an agreement on the "whole of game" payment plan being proposed by the PFA.
Since then, the previously existing CBA agreement for A-League players has run out.
Tomorrow's meeting will see the PFA represent A-League, Socceroos and Matildas players, while the FFA will negotiate on behalf of itself and the A-League clubs.
A PFA spokesperson told TWG: "During the negotiations the PFA will table a number of counter proposals.
"Whilst there are significant obstacles to overcome, the players are genuine in their attempts to reach an agreement and remain committed to establishing a long term 'whole of game' collective bargaining agreement to cover all A-League, Socceroos and Matildas players."
A spokesperson for the FFA confirmed its representatives would be meeting with the PFA tomorrow.
Statements made by the PFA and FFA in the wake of the last meeting, which was the 22nd in the process, clearly showed the two parties were well apart in their interpretations of what the PFA was seeking and what the FFA was offering.
The FFA and A-League clubs issued a joint media release on 29 June, which described their offer to the players as:
* A six-year commitment offering sustainability, stability and increased player payments
* Immediate introduction of new salary cap exemptions and flexibilities that amount to a forecast increase of 12% in player payments for next season
* A 30% share for players of any uplift in the next domestic broadcast rights deal
* An increase in the salary floor to 90% of the salary cap
* An increase in the minimum A-League salary to $55,000
* Further investment in the PFA Player Development Program
The PFA issued a media release on 1 July which said that in its pursuit for a whole of game agreement the players were committed to:
* Building the economic strength of Australian football
* Establishing a genuine career path, in terms of remuneration, player development and wellbeing programs
* Ensuring Australian football's international competitiveness
* Enhancing the attractiveness of the code.
The PFA release argued the proposal from the FFA did not address these objectives, but rather:
* Reduces Socceroos payments, which fails to acknowledge their recent outstanding performances
* Freezes the A-League salary cap for the next three seasons, despite four years of wage restraint
* Inadequately addresses the players’ concerns regarding the short-term and precarious nature of their career path
* Does not meaningfully address the significant issues the players continue to face in transition from the sport
It remains to be seen whether the PFA and FFA can quickly find common ground on which the negotiations can be significantly advanced.