FOOTBALL Federation Australia has headed off a potentially ugly dispute with match officials by agreeing to the first upgrade in referees’ conditions since season 1 of the A-League.
A-League, W-League and National Youth League match officials signed off on an improved agreement ahead of the 2013/14 campaign.
Key upgrades to the finalised agreement are:
- An average increase of 19 per cent to match fees across all competitions;
- Reimbursement of costs associated with the preseason medical test;
- Reimbursement of out of pocket medical expenses for injuries sustained in organised training (in addition to matches);
- Confirmation that FFA will maintain medical insurance cover to include injuries sustained in FFA organised training (in addition to matches).
FFA looked headed for a potential crisis in last month with some of the highest ranking match officials in the land said to be unwilling to sign new contracts due to the lack of support from the governing body.
But Head of A-League Damien de Bohun said match officials remained extremely important for FFA.
“It is important we constantly strive to improve management in all facets of the game, and match officials are an important focus for FFA,” de Bohun said.
“The new agreement is indicative of FFA’s commitment to investing in refereeing, which includes significantly enhanced resourcing for match officials.
“At the start of last season there were no full time employees dedicated to refereeing. Now we have a Referees Department with three full time staff members and one part time staff member, dedicated to providing increased coaching and administrative support to all match officials.
“I’d like to thank the match officials for the collaborative approach to finalising the standard Match Officials Agreement as we look forward to exciting seasons in the Hyundai A-league, Westfield W-League and Foxtel National Youth League.”