Football Australia to remove limit on player transfer values
On Thursday, Football Australia took the first step towards an open market for player transfers in Australia by removing the cap on transfer fees within the state-based National Premier Leagues and for players moving up to the A-League.
In announcing the removal of cash value limits on transfers below the domestic top tier, the governing body outlined the financial underpinnings of the domestic second division which it intends to introduce in 2023.
Previously, the maximum transfer value of any player in NPL tiers was 50% of the remainder of his contract. Under the changes announced on Thursday, the transfer value of players will be determined by the market, with clubs negotiating fees based on their assessment of a player’s worth.
FA chief James Johnson has made no secret of his intention to eventually extend this transfer system to the A-League. He says Thursday’s announcement was made to encourage player development and grow the national football economy.
“The change guarantees clubs outside the A-Leagues a clearer and better opportunity to be compensated and recognized for their ability to develop great players,” he said. “We also believe this change will encourage transparency around player contracts and boost the Australian rules football economy as funds flow throughout the football ecosystem.”
This means that an NPL club can now expect a higher transfer fee if an A-League club tries to sign one of its players whereas previously the fee was capped at a specific amount. Transfers from the NPL to the A-League are the least common in Australia. Only five male players have moved directly from the NPL to the A-League this season, while 11 have done so the previous year.
Sources with knowledge of the situation told the Herald and age the changes were made in view of the introduction of the National Second Division next season. The competition will sit below the A-League but will not involve promotion and relegation to the top tier for the foreseeable future.
Unlike the A-League, which is club owned and operated, the domestic second tier will be governed by Football Australia. He might face greater business challenges than the professional level, but opening up a market for player sales is a potential revenue stream that could make him attractive to investors.