Sydney FC’s preparations for the resumption of their 2020 AFC Champions League campaign have been boosted by an agreement in pay deal negotiations between the club and its players.
With the new pay deal locked in, the reigning A-League champions have resumed training this week ahead of scheduled Champions League commitments next month.
Sydney FC CEO Danny Townsend praised the players’ “attitude and commitment” during a difficult process.
The A-League salary cap will be reduced by $1.5 million to $2.1 million for the upcoming season, with clubs negotiating contracts with players directly.
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“Our players have been magnificent throughout these negotiations and they should be given huge credit for the sacrifice they’ve made for the good of the A-League and game in this country,” Townsend said.
“We’ve had a very honest and open dialogue and the club is hugely appreciative for the respect they have given the process.
“I’d also like to thank our coaching, medical, administrative and academy staff for the sacrifices they have made over the last few months.
“All of our staff understand the position of the league and have put the future of the game first.
“It is also important to acknowledge the continued funding provided by club owners across the A-League who have and will ensure our competition continues to forge ahead.”
Sky Blues captain Alex Wilkinson, who is also president of players’ union Professional Footballers Australia, was pleased an agreement had been reached.
“It has been a very difficult process but we have come to an agreement and now we can concentrate on playing football,” Wilkinson said.
“It has been a challenging time but the negotiations have been amicable and in good faith, and the club have handled the situation with great care and respect.
“Our players, and every player across the league, takes the future of football in Australia and our members interests very seriously, and they have put that before any personal benefit. “Now we move on and look forward to getting ready for the new season.”
Sydney’s star English striker Adam Le Fondre has not returned to training ahead of a likely move to the Indian Super League.
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