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A-League completes separation from Football Australia
Football Australia and the newly formed Australian Professional Leagues have today announced that terms have been agreed to ‘unbundle’ the A-League, Westfield W-League and Y-League from the governing body.
The separation will see the recently rebranded Football Australia relinquish full control of the professional football competitions it has run since its foundation in 2005, handing over the commercial responsibilities to the 12 A-League clubs.
Bringing the Leagues in line with major competitions around the world and in accordance with FIFA Statutes, the Professional Leagues (APL) will operate under the umbrella of and recognised by Football Australia as the top tier of domestic league football competitions in the country..
The APL will take over the operational, commercial, and marketing control of the Professional Leagues and all revenue generation responsibilities.
Football Australia will retain regulatory functions in respect of the Professional Leagues, including matters relating to on-and-off-field disciplinary and integrity matters, the registration of Clubs, Players and Officials, the transfer system, and the domestic match calendar.
The regulatory functions of Football Australia also include a new club licensing framework for the Professional Leagues and control over access to the Professional Leagues (whether by expansion, contraction, or promotion/relegation), the AFC Champions League, FFA Cup and all other domestic and international competitions.
Football Australia will also retain ‘good of the Australian game’ rights in respect of the Professional Leagues, which apply to a variety of matters that are aimed at ensuring the ongoing growth of the Professional Leagues.
As part of the unbundling, the APL will also obtain the exclusive right to use the intellectual property rights associated with the E-League brand.
This agreement, approved by Football Australia’s Board and the Board of each club, is in line with the in-principle agreement reached in 2019 and endorsed by the New Leagues Working Group (‘NLWG’), the body mandated by the Congress of Football Australia to make recommendations for a new model for the Professional Leagues.
The new model for the Professional Leagues will be implemented throughout the course of the A-League 2020/21 and Westfield W-League 2020/21 seasons.
The APL Board will comprise of five directors from the Clubs, three independent directors, and one person appointed by Football Australia. An independent Chair to be elected by the Clubs and ratified by Football Australia, will have a casting vote on the APL Board.
Greg O’Rourke, currently Head of Leagues at Football Australia, will take on a new role as Commissioner of the Professional Leagues for APL.
Advising of the transition, Football Australia Chief Executive, James Johnson (pictured below) stated “the unbundling of the Professional Leagues from Football Australia is a key milestone in the ongoing transformation of Australian football and fulfils our commitment outlined in Principle VIII of our XI Principles. It represents the culmination of a process, which ramped up following the completion of the A-League 2019/20 season, that ebbed and flowed over the course of what has been a difficult 2020.
“The new model respects the fundamental aspects of the global football pyramid and highlights the importance of strong governance principles as Football Australia retains its regulatory functions in respect of the A-League, Westfield W-League and Y-League and the APL takes control over the operational and commercial direction of the Leagues, in turn triggering the ability for significant new investment in the quality and marketing of the Leagues. Each constituent now has defined roles and responsibilities and the ability to make the right contribution to the growth of the professional game.
“We have been able to create a unique model which draws upon global best practice whilst allowing for local specificities. Significantly, the model establishes a framework for a strong partnership between Football Australia and the APL which recognises the value of a thriving domestic professional league to the ongoing growth of the game in Australia.”
APL Chair, Paul Lederer added “this is an historic moment for the future of football in Australia - for the fan, for the player, for the whole game.
“It’s now time to earn and deliver the future our game deserves.
“The handbrake on the game is off; owners can finally invest in what they own and create value for the entire footballing ecosystem.
“Players can plan their careers in Australian football, fans can reconnect with the game that they love, and clubs can create meaningful moments for the whole Australian football family.”
30th December 2020 - Western Australian Government moves forward with State Football Centre plans
17th December 2020 - A-League’s Melbourne City relocation to incorporate Team 11 bid assets
27th November 2020 - Wellington Phoenix Football Club moves to Wollongong for 2020/21 A-League season
26th November 2020 - FFA announces new Football Australia branding
23rd November 2020 - FFA announces commitment to new era for Indigenous football
10th October 2020 - FFA announce new Walking Football Ambassadors
31st August 2020 - Football Victoria’s Peter Filopoulos appointed FFA Head of Marketing
23rd August 2020 - FFA advises of record digital fan engagement for 2019/20 A-League
14th August 2020 - Football Queensland’s Chairman and Chief Executive sue former FFA executive
4th August 2020 - Owner looks to sell A-League’s Central Coast Mariners
29th May 2020 - FFA looks for A-League season restart in July
27th April 2020 - FFA appoint former stars to game development panel
23rd April 2020 - FFA extends postponement of the Hyundai A-League
30th March 2020 - FFA announces 70% staff cut due to COVID-19
24th March 2020 - FFA announces suspension of A-League season
11th March 2020 - Female participation in football reaches record levels in Australia
25th February 2020 - Perth Glory FC sale off following revelations over buyer
18th February 2020 - Western United reaches 5,000 members milestone in first A-League season
15th January 2020 - New FFA Chief Executive sets out priorities at first press conference
1st July 2019 - FFA agrees to independent management for the A-League
17th September 2018 - FFA looks to introduce new A-League fan engagement initiatives
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