The A-League clubs are hoping to secure their future in an independent league. Picture: AAP
The A-League clubs are hoping to secure their future in an independent league. Picture: AAP

A-League clubs demand bulk of broadcast cash

The A-League clubs would receive 90 per cent of money from the game's broadcast deal, give a defined percentage to the state bodies and players and be allowed to block expansion or promotion and relegation, under their own blueprint for an independent league.

The proposals submitted to the committee due to design a new model for the competition call for transfers to be allowed between A-League clubs, for each club to be able to sell all of its own sponsorships, and for the league to be completely self-governing under licence from Football Federation Australia.

The blueprint has been developed by the clubs' umbrella body, APFCA, and was tabled at the first meeting of the New Leagues Working Group which is supposed to report by the end of March on how the A-League will become independent.

Though the report only says that "the revenue from the FFA broadcast deal (2017/18 to 2022/23) is distributed in proportion to the relative share of value contributed by the different properties, based on independent analysis", its own analysis says 90 per cent of the $360m deal signed with Fox Sports in 2017 is attributable to the A-League.

In return for receiving that 90 per cent, the clubs say they will deliver a defined proportion to the state bodies, and to the players via a collective pay deal, but nothing to the FFA.

The blueprint pours scorn on FFA's current finances, claiming the governing body's "lack of financial transparency has allowed it to remain unaccountable" and had forced APFCA into unresolved legal action to try to discover more detail.

FFA boss David Gallop faces a tough task as the code restructures. Picture: AAP
FFA boss David Gallop faces a tough task as the code restructures. Picture: AAP

In more technical proposals, the document calls for two extra substitutes in A-League games reserved for Australians under 23, for fully professional referees and for up to three loans between clubs each transfer window.

It claims the removal of the bar on full transfers within the A-League clubs would encourage them to develop players, as well as spread resources around the game.

In terms of the league's future shape, APFCA calls for expansion to be planned by identifying key markets and inviting bids based in them - turning FFA's current strategy on its head - and says that expansion, and potential promotion and relegation to and from a national second division, should require 75 per cent approval from the existing clubs.

FFA would also retain a "golden share" in the league, giving it influence over rule changes and criteria for membership but otherwise devolving all key decisions to the league itself.