Socceroos coach says players in good spirits while preparing for their world cup qualifier.
A pay dispute between Australian football’s chiefs and the players’ union won’t derail the Socceroos’ looming World Cup qualifying campaign, national coach Ange Postecoglou says.
Postecoglou isn’t worried about any distraction from the dispute being made public just days ahead of the Socceroos’ June 16 qualification opener in Kyrgyzstan.
The players’ union, Professional Footballers Australia, has launched legal action against Football Federation Australia, alleging the governing body hasn’t given match payments and commercial bonuses owed to the national team.
While FFA chief David Gallop criticised the union making the dispute public on Thursday as “inappropriate and unnecessarily disruptive”, Postecoglou said the controversy wasn’t gaining traction within the Socceroos’ training camp in Dubai.
“All those kind of things have more of an impact externally from what we do here,” he said in Dubai.
“Camp has been going well. I can’t fault our preparation, the players’ mindsets, the staff mindsets.
“The challenges for us are well and truly within our four walls rather than externally.”
The union has filed a formal grievance claim with the federation’s independent disputes arbitrator but won’t detail the amount of money it claims is owed to the players.
“The PFA can confirm that a grievance has been filed in accordance with the Socceroos Collective Bargaining Agreement 2011-2015 (CBA) against Football Federation Australia in relation to Socceroos agreed payments,” a PFA spokesman told AAP in a statement.
“This is a matter to be determined by an independent arbitrator.”
Under the agreement, to expire on June 30, “agreed payments” include match fees, prizemoney and bonuses.
Players have also sought to have the Socceroos’ commercial contracts independently audited.
FFA chief Gallop blasted the union for making the dispute public.
“The PFA’s decision to make public statements about a confidential and independent dispute resolution process days before a FIFA World Cup qualifier is inappropriate and unnecessarily disruptive,” Gallop said.
“The matters in question relate back to 2010, were first raised in August last year and are not material to the current qualification campaign.”