The task of replacing the outgoing John Didulica as boss of the PFA is set to fall to two, with Kate Gill and Beau Busch named joint-Chief Executives by the player's union on Thursday morning.
Gill, a former Matilda, and Busch, ex-Sydney FC and North Queensland Fury, most recently served as the union's Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Player Relations respectively, but will now be jointly-tasked with leading the organisation through what promises to be a turbulent period.
In recent days, the organisation has had to react to multiple failed attempts by the A-League to get its three Melbourne-based clubs over the border - issuing a list of demands to the FFA on Wednesday night that it wanted to be fulfilled before players would be asked to make any further attempts.
Navigating the rest of the COVID-19- affected 2019/20 season, negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement that will cover the 2020/21 campaign, the likely shrinking of the Australian football economy, the 2023 Women's World Cup and potential major changes to the football's whole structure now loom on the horizon.
“The appointment of Beau and Kate as co-Chief Executives recognises their deep knowledge and understanding of the game, the football industry and the centrality of the players’ position within that system,” PFA President Alex Wilkinson said.
“Both have a significant history of contribution to the PFA including during their playing careers.
“Their joint appointment recognises their commitment to working together as a team to serve the players and the game at what is a very challenging time with critical industrial, commercial and structural negotiations all due.”
Gill, who played 86 times and scored 41 goals for the Matildas during her playing career, joined the PFA staff in 2015 after previously serving as a players representative and played a key role in negotiations that led to 2017's first-ever W-League CBS and 2019's landmark national teams pay deal that secured equal pay between the Matildas and Socceroos.
“Kate and Beau have built an incredible rapport with the PFA’s membership, possess a strong track record of elevating players and were central in recent collective bargaining outcomes for the players," said PFA Executive Member - and new Arsenal signing - Lydia Williams
“The PFA – being committed to the development of our people and promoting from within wherever possible – welcomes the promotion of Kate and Beau and looks forward to their continued high-level work on behalf of the players.
“Kate’s appointment will also see five women on our 12-person Executive, which accords with the 40-40-20 principle and further advances the PFA’s longstanding commitment to gender equality in the game’s governance and career pathways.”
Busch, who had a nine-year playing career across Australia and Scotland, joined the PFA as Media and Communications Manager in 2014, before transitioning into the player development space - which has taken on a greater significance during the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the globe.
"It is an honour to represent our members,” he said.
“The players have consistently demonstrated remarkable leadership and solidarity and never more so than during the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the agreement to restart the A-League.
"This leadership and solidarity is at the heart of everything the PFA does and will continue to be vital as we enter yet another urgent round of collective bargaining.”
Gill, who was the first-ever women elected onto the PFA Executive during her playing days, said she too, was honoured by her appointment.
"It is a privilege to be appointed as PFA co-Chief Executive," Gill said.
"The PFA has always been about the players and there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that your peers and former teammates have confidence in you to lead the organisation.