FFA have justified their relative silence on the ongoing new CBA negotiations between the PFA and A-League clubs, by insisting that this is the process towards an independent A-League.
At times, Australian football's governing body must feel like it just can't win.
Resoundingly criticised for its overseeing of the A-League over the past decade, moves towards an independent A-League club association have left FFA taking a backseat among the current wage negotiation process.
However, FFA are now facing criticism for not playing a larger role, with A-League players facing cuts of up to 30% due to the financial disaster caused by the COVID19 outbreak.
In a statement, FFA justified their current position overseeing negotiations without taking an instrumental role in securing a outcome, with talks thought to have already passed their deadline for an agreement by 5pm September 10.
"Football Federation Australia continues to work closely with the A-League and W-League clubs as the unbundling process continues towards a new model for Australia’s Professional Leagues," the statement read.
"In deference to the in-principle agreement, FFA has gradually implemented practical changes to give the clubs and its representative body, the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (‘APFCA’), more operational control.
"For the Clubs and the APFCA, this has included assuming control over the negotiation with PFA of the CBA for the professional leagues. This change has seen the APFCA assume the role of ‘employer representative’ and negotiator on behalf of the clubs directly with PFA, who represent the player group on CBA matters. FFA has taken a more traditional ‘regulator’ role in the negotiations.
"This is a step process toward the unbundling of the Professional Leagues from FFA. In time, the clubs will have operational control of the Professional Leagues that has been sought and debated for many years now. This will place Australia consistent with global football frameworks where the Professional Leagues operate as a separate entity under the umbrella of the National Federation."
This response is one of the first detailed examples of FFA stepping back and allowing the APFCA, headed by Western Sydney Wanderers' Paul Lederer, to take control over their own future.
In this sense, it is a watershed moment in the clubs' history, or at least it will be if the clubs can secure a deal, which so far has not been forthcoming.
FFA aren't entirely passing the buck however, maintaining that they will enter the negotiations themselves if an agreement can't be reached.
The governing body also reminded that they still hold responsibility for negotiating CBA deals with the Socceroos and Matildas.
"FFA are actively monitoring the negotiations between the APFCA and PFA and remains committed to supporting the parties in these negotiations. As FFA continues to monitor these negotiations, if the parties cannot reach agreement, FFA will enter the negotiations at the appropriate time," the statement continued.
"FFA retains the role of negotiating the CBA directly with PFA relating to Australia’s National Teams, the Matildas and Socceroos."