Matildas and Socceroos players are desperate to get their next collective bargaining agreement locked in before embarking on hectic international football schedules.
The current CBA for senior national teams expires on Sunday.
Football Australia and the players’ union, Professional Footballers Australia, have been locked in negotiations in recent weeks, attempting to thrash out a deal before the expiry date.
Players had originally been keen to get a deal sorted before the Women’s World Cup, but ultimately both parties decided to roll over the current CBA to allow the Matildas to focus on their home tournament.
But the new deal is yet to be signed and both national teams have busy schedules coming up.
The Matildas will return to action for the first time since the Women’s World Cup next month for the start of their Olympic qualifiers.
They play Iran, the Philippines and Taiwan in Perth on October 26, October 29 and November 1 respectively.
The Socceroos, who played Mexico this month, have friendlies against England at Wembley on October 14, then New Zealand at Brentford four days later.
Graham Arnold’s charges then kick off their World Cup qualifiers on November 16, and are preparing for January’s Asian Cup.
There is a level of frustration from players keen to get a deal done, and if it isn’t signed off in principle by Sunday, industrial action is among their potential options.
“The players have tabled a comprehensive vision for the negotiations, which will set the game up for sustained international success,” PFA co-chief executive Kate Gill said in a statement.
“To reach an agreement, the players must be provided assurances that this vision will be achieved.
“We remain committed to reaching an agreement with FA that allows all parties to build on the remarkable success of the Socceroos and Matildas across the last four years.”
AAP understands players are eyeing a greater share of revenue, especially off the back of the Matildas (fourth) and Socceroos (round of 16) delivering their best-ever finishes at their respective world cups.
The previous agreement, announced in November 2019, was a groundbreaking deal that closed the pay gap between the Socceroos and Matildas.
The agreement said the Matildas’ coaching, high-performance and operational support would mirror the Socceroos’ standards, while both teams would fly business-class for international travel.
It also included improved parental and maternity leave.
Football Australia stressed it intended to finalise the new CBA this week.
“Football Australia and Professional Footballers Australia continue to have constructive and cordial dialogue on a new collective bargaining agreement, where it’s the intention of both parties to have this finalised by month’s end,” an FA spokesperson said.
“Both parties have a strong working relationship, which is evident by the world-leading collective bargaining agreement currently in place, and we see this collaborative approach to such matters continuing now, and long into the future.”
(Australian Associated Press)