A-League clubs have sought “immediate assurances” from Football Federation Australia that they will be left financially sustainable following the new TV deal announced today.
The Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (APFCA) expressed regret that clubs were not directly involved in negotiations.
FFA brokered a bumper six-year $346 million broadcast deal with Fox Sports, Foxtel and News Corp to start in July next year.
The agreement, which is double the current deal (and excludes free to air television rights which will be negotiated in the New Year), is seen as a crucial step towards expanding the domestic competition.
But existing clubs have been critical of the financial model, and with most still unable to break even, will be looking for a more equitable funding distribution under the new agreement.
In a statement this afternoon, APFCA said: “Members received a briefing today from (Chairman) Steven Lowy and (CEO) David Gallop on the FFA broadcast rights sale to Fox.
“Regrettably the APFCA have not been directly involved in the negotiations and therefore are not in a position to comment on the outcomes.
“In the interest of Australian football at large, the focus of the APFCA remains on the viability of the clubs and the league and therefore on seeking appropriate distribution of the revenues that the A-League generates.
“Following the announcement of the broadcast rights sale the APFCA has sought immediate assurances from the FFA regarding the future distributions and associated financial models required to ensure the sustainable financial health of the league and its clubs.”
In the current expansion issue of Australian FourFourTwo magazine APFCA chairman and Adelaide United boss, Greg Griffin, said existing clubs need to be front and centre of the expansion process.
“All this running around and speaking to clubs, saying we want one here and we want one there is pretty much, in our view, pointless,” Griffin said.
“Because, until the (financial) model changes you will not get the people that you want involved in the A-League investing.
“At the moment, on our calculations, the A-League accounts for about 80 per cent of the revenues of the FFA. Now clearly the A-League clubs are not getting anywhere near that from the FFA (he estimates 25-27%) and that needs to change.
“We’ve raised the issue of a new financial model with the FFA and in the next month or so there will be discussions about where the financials are and then we’ll go forward."