Aussies open up transfer market to stimulate player development and expanded league system

April 22 – Football Australia has removed the cap on transfer fees for contracted players in a move designed modernize the transfer system and encourage the development of players.

Previously, under a rule in existence since 2007, the maximum value of a transfer fee for a player under contract and transferring domestically had been capped at 50% of the total salary owing to the player under their existing player contract.

The removal of that cap means that clubs outside the A League now have a bigger incentive to develop players and be compensated for doing so. It should also encourage clubs to sign players on longer term contracts than has previously been the case.

Clubs outside the A-Leagues will be able to negotiate a fee for the transfer of a player on a contract, with free marketforces determining the value of the transfer.

Football Australia has also introduced domestic transfer windows for the first time.­­

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, said: “The Australian football ecosystem has beendisconnected and misaligned, both domestically and with global football. Conflicting regulations domestically have also contributed to Australian football’s current player development challenges and the stagnation of the Australian footballeconomy, despite the significant growth of the global football transfer market over the past decade.”

The reinvigoration of Australia’s Domestic Transfer System is another step in an ambitious structural reform of the game being undertaken by Football Australia.

The federation is currently in the process of recruiting a Chief Football Officer will also support the CEO in driving this structural transformation. A key part of the reorms is the establishment of a national second-tier competition that will obviously benefit from an economically reinvigorated domestic transfer system. Football Australia is also driving through new club licensing criteria and access framework linking three tiers of club football.

The opportunity for clubs to invest in player development and benefit financially via a vibrant transfer market, is seen as important to supporting the new infrastructure economically.

“In addition to the sporting benefits and the potential for a greater number of clubs across Australia to become focusedon developing and training players, we also believe that this change will encourage transparency around player contracting and stimulate the Australian football economy as funds are circulated throughout the football ecosystem,” said Johnson.

“We believe this update will also generate positive and forward-thinking conversations in the Australian football market, as clubs consider ways to optimise their operations and take advantage of the new regulation. In parallel, FootballAustralia must play its role in educating ambitious clubs and the football community of the new regulation, so that clubsof all shapes and sizes understand how to operate effectively in this new landscape.”

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