Interim boss: Craig Foster. Photo: Danielle SmithThe civil war that threatened to tear Professional Footballers Australia apart has taken a critical step toward resolution with former Socceroo and media identity Craig Foster appointed as the organisation’s interim chairman.
The organisation has been embroiled in major controversy in recent weeks as news emerged of a major split, leading seven of the 10 A-League clubs to avoid paying their membership dues this year.
Having long prided themselves on having close to 100 per cent of A-League players subscribed as members, the erosion of support came as a shock to many in the game.
The rebel group identified current chief executive Adam Vivian as the primary reason for their angst, citing his handling of recent issues – such as the drawn-out CBA debate – as reason for his removal.
However, Vivian retains support among key figures inside the PFA and has been working to redress the issues and win back support, particularly among members of the executive who agitated for his departure.
The arrival of Foster – a lifetime member of the PFA and a staunch advocate of player rights – is expected to see the issues thrashed out and provide stability to the organisation after the recent turmoil. He was appointed with unanimous approval of the executive committee.
“The players, through the PFA, have been a driving force of positive change and I congratulate the current generation for their contribution to a proud and longstanding legacy,” Foster said after his appointment was confirmed on Wednesday. “Australia’s male and female players enjoy a broad range of rights and conditions that previous generations had planned and hoped for them.”
Foster said that with an influx of money set to come into the game ahead of the forthcoming broadcast rights’ agreement, it was critical the PFA presented a unified front to get the best deal for the players.
“Following from the successful resolution of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and prior to the forthcoming broadcast rights agreement, this is an ideal time to ensure that the PFA is best placed from a governance and management perspective for the next exciting period of growth in Australian football,” he said.
PFA president Matt McKay, who plies his trade with Brisbane Roar and has been a staunch backer of Vivian, said Foster was the ideal candidate to help guide the organisation through a testing period.
“Craig’s contribution to the PFA and the game has been immense and we are delighted that he has agreed to take on the role,” he said. “Craig has the trust and respect of all of our members and the broader Australian football community.
“As chairman he will be tasked with ensuring the PFA is well placed to pursue the interests of the game and the players; two fundamental elements that are inextricably linked.”
In other news, Perth Glory have announced the signing of fringe Socceroos forward Adam Taggart until 2018 after he was able to secure a release from English Championship club Fulham – but he can’t play until next season.
Successive injuries meant Taggart failed to make a single appearance for the club, despite joining them on the back of scoring 16 goals for the Newcastle Jets in 2013-14. He recently went on loan to Scottish club Dundee United but failed to score in nine appearances.
FIFA rules preclude players from playing with more than two clubs in a single season. NEWS | The PFA is pleased to announce the appointment of @Craig_Foster as Interim Chairman. https://t.co/3Ml4J5pIQnpic.twitter苏州美甲美睫培训学校/RrSZganwzV— The PFA (@thepfa) January 27, 2016
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