Clubs at all levels from the A-League down could be in for a cash windfall if Football Australia succeeds in creating a transfer system which pulls Australia into line with international standards.
In a bid to push through the development of a domestic transfer system the FA has released a "white paper" to stimulate debate on a new approach to player movement, contractual stability and talent development in Australia.
FA bosses believe that if clubs are given financial incentives to develop players to a higher standard, the sport here will produce better quality players who will not only command fees in the international market but boost the Socceroos' chances at World Cups.
At present there is no transfer system between A-League clubs, which is why in recent times there have been several cases of players agitating for their contracts to be terminated under mutual consent so they can move to the club of their preference.
If it is successful, Australian clubs could generate tens of millions of dollars in overseas sales to put themselves on a par with countries in the Asian region.
“The absence of a domestic transfer system has meant that Australian football has been unable to fully integrate into world football by embedding itself in the global football market which has led to lost economic and sporting opportunities for our game over many years,” said FA chief executive James Johnson.
Missing out: Income generated from transfer fees in 2019
- Canada approximately $30 million
- Japan $29.6 million
- South Korea $22.6 million
- Saudi Arabia approx $22 million
- Australia $1.9 million
- New Zealand $1 million
All figures are US dollars. Source: FA
“In 2019, FIFA reported that Australia received just $US1.9 million in transfer receipts from a market currently valued at $US7.35 billion for men alone. This low figure received by Australian clubs is in stark contrast to many nations of a similar or lower international ranking than our national teams, and to many countries with significantly smaller populations than Australia."
In comparison, said FA, Canada generated around $US30 million, Japan $US29.6 million, South Korea $US26.6 million and Saudi Arabia around $US22 million, with players viewed as attractive commodities in the international market because they were seen as more skilled and better talents.
FA believes such changes would mean the Socceroos would have a greater chance of succeeding in an increasingly competitive international environment, and Australian clubs, with a deeper talent base, would have more chance of competing successfully in the Asian Champions League.
The major financial incentive to invest in player development would come from transfer fees throughout the game when professional players are sold on.
There are compensatory payments which are made from A-League clubs to NPL teams when a player moves, but these top out at $10,000.
Second-tier clubs claim they rarely receive true value for the time and effort they have put in to developing a player who wants to leave when an A-League club comes calling.
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