The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Executive Committee today announced the appointment of former Matilda Kathryn Gill and former A-League player Beau Busch as PFA co-Chief Executives.
Gill won 86 caps for the Matildas between 2004 and 2015, while Busch played for both Sydney FC and North Queensland Fury in the A-League between 2008 and 2010.
Gill and Busch share a combined 12 years of experience within the PFA’s management team, with the pair most recently serving as Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Player Relations, respectively.
The pair will have plenty to contend with as both the A-League and W-League set to undergo significant changes in the coming years.
Gill and Busch will replace John Didulica who recently decided to stand down after a four-year term.
PFA President and Sydney FC defender Alex Wilkinson said the duo had long demonstrated their leadership and epitomised the organisation’s values and dedication to supporting the players and building the game.
“The appointment of Beau and Kate as co-Chief Executives recognises their deep knowledge and understanding of the game, the football industry and the centrality of the players’ position within that system,” Wilkinson said. “Both have a significant history of contribution to the PFA including during their playing careers.
“Their joint appointment recognises their commitment to working together as a team to serve the players and the game at what is a very challenging time with critical industrial, commercial and structural negotiations all due.”
PFA Executive Member and recently signed Arsenal goalkeeper Lydia Williams welcomed the dual appointment, referencing the strong relationship the pair share with the PFA’s membership.
“Kate and Beau have built an incredible rapport with the PFA’s membership, possess a strong track record of elevating players and were central in recent collective bargaining outcomes for the players.
“The PFA – being committed to the development of our people and promoting from within wherever possible – welcomes the promotion of Kate and Beau and looks forward to their continued high-level work on behalf of the players.
“Kate’s appointment will also see five women on our 12-person Executive, which accords with the 40-40-20 principle and further advances the PFA’s longstanding commitment to gender equality in the game’s governance and career pathways.”
A long serving member of the PFA Matildas Committee, Gill became the first female player to be elected to the PFA Executive in 2014.
The PFA says that Gill has been instrumental in enhancing the career paths of Australia’s elite female players. She has been a key part of the PFA’s bargaining teams that secured the historic ‘whole of game’ CBA in 2015 in a show of strength which saw the Matildas tour of the United States cancelled, the first ever W-League CBA in 2017 and last year’s historic deal which delivered pay equity between the Socceroos and the Matildas in a world first.
“It is a privilege to be appointed as PFA co-Chief Executive,” Gill said.
“The PFA has always been about the players and there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that your peers and former teammates have confidence in you to lead their organisation.”
Meanwhile, Busch has been heavily involved in the transformation of the PFA’s Player Development Program, which helps shape and support the education, development, wellbeing and transition of professional football players on and off the pitch.
The former Sydney FC and North Queensland Fury defender has been integral in the organising of the union’s membership, professional leagues CBA negotiations and most recently addressing the challenges generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is an honour to represent our members,” Busch said. “The players have consistently demonstrated remarkable leadership and solidarity and never more so than during the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the agreement to restart the A-League. This leadership and solidarity is at the heart of everything the PFA does and will continue to be vital as we enter yet another urgent round of collective bargaining.”