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Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has established the PFA Player Management Agency in response to an overwhelming demand by Australia’s elite professional footballers.

 

The move follows extensive research by the PFA into the quality of player agency services available to Australian players and what players want from a management agency.  That research reveals that:

 

  • 98% of A-League players believe the PFA should establish a player management agency;
  • 100% of scholars in the Australian Institute of Sport believe likewise;
  • 29% of A-League players are very likely to join the PFA’s service, with another 55% indicating they are likely to do so;
  • 88% of AIS scholars are very interested or interested in joining the PFA’s service;
  • interest in the agency is high among all A-League players based on their age, income and club;
  • of those very interested in joining the PFA’s service, 37% are presently with another agent.

 

PFA chief executive Brendan Schwab is determined to not only provide independent advice and representation to players, but also to maximise the international competitiveness of Australian football. ‘The PFA is motivated by the needs of the game as well as the players’, Schwab said. ‘Each year, the game invests millions of dollars in player development. Australia – whose elite playing population is small when compared with football’s most powerful nations – needs to invest in the career of every player to maximise his chances of reaching his full potential.’

 

‘The first overseas move a young Australian player makes is nearly always career defining.  PFA research shows that, for 80% of players, their first overseas move is to the best ranked club of their career.  Further, only one in 6 players joins a top tier club, with only half of these lasting more than a season. Whilst many agents encourage players to leave Australia as soon as possible and work their way up from there, we will be encouraging our clients to adopt a much more strategic approach.’

 

A significant increase in disputes between players and their agents contributed to the decision to offer an alternative agency service. Schwab: ‘In the last three years, the PFA has represented players in 53 disputes with agents.  Of even greater concern is the large number of overseas based players in dispute with clubs that refuse to honour basic contractual commitments and, in doing so, place the careers of some promising players in jeopardy. The wisdom of some of these moves must be questioned.’

 

PFA executive member and former international player Kevin Muscat commended the players’ involvement in the launch of the new service. ‘The PFA has launched this service on the back of overwhelming feedback from A-League players. This is a logical extension of the service that the PFA already provides its members as it utilises its renowned expertise on the career path of Australian footballers to maximise their chances of playing at the highest level of the game, both at home and abroad.’

 

The PFA appointment former Socceroo Brad Maloney to drive the development of the agency.