Football 3 years ago

Djite lashes FFA over stalled pay deal

  • Djite lashes FFA over stalled pay deal

Adelaide United forward Bruce Djite has warned Football Federation Australia of mass A-League player dissatisfaction over its failed pay deal.

Djite, who represented players during the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) talks, says "not one player" supported FFA's deal and A-League players were preparing to do what it takes to improve it.

"For me and the players, for the good of the game, for fans, for everyone, it's better with a CBA because everyone has bought in and they're going in the same direction," he told AAP.

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"(We need to) go back to the negotiating table.

"We're going to look at all our legal avenues, all our industrial avenues to get (FFA) back to the negotiating table."

Talks for a new pay deal included 23 meetings across six months but broke down on the eve of the previous CBA's expiry on June 30.

Both camps hoped to include the A-League, Socceroos and Matildas in a new six-year deal but could not agree on future A-League player payments.

FFA say the deal is the "best ever offer for players in the history of Australian football and comes at a time when FFA is balancing the growth of the game with the sustainability of all A-League clubs".

Professional Footballers Australia, representing the players, say initial and pledged future player payments aren't up to scratch.

Djite said the final offer was "extremely disappointing", and players had voiced their disapproval.

"We had a teleconference of 50-plus players and everyone was on the same page," he said.

"Not one player said it was reasonable.

"Revenues continue to rise but they're wanting to freeze the cap for the next two seasons and potentially a third depending on broadcast rights, it's unbelievable."

He accused FFA on backtracking on their word two years ago when their arguments for wage restraint were based on improvement in the future.

The previous two-year deal included rises of one and two per cent in each year.

Djite stopped short of calling the current offer a broken promise, but said it was time players shared in the growing wealth around the game.

"Two years ago, FFA went on about the state of the game, how precarious it is out there for owners," he said.

"They were saying in two years we'll be in a much better position, we'll come to you with a much better offer.

"I cannot sell this proposal to my teammates because it's not a good deal."

Djite, who earned nine Socceroo caps while playing for Turkish side Genclerbirligi, also claimed A-League boss Damien de Bohun was enraged by the PFA's decision to turn their offer down.

"He was very agitated and stormed out," he said.

"Damien is a cool, calm collected guy generally but it went out the window ... he just left in a child's tantrum, because it was clear the deal wasn't going to get done."

Djite kept club owners out of his sights, saying they were "key stakeholders" who deserved support.

His comments come after Adelaide chairman Greg Griffin, who represented clubs in the talks, claimed A-League clubs would fall over if additional money went towards player payments.

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