Jonas Baer Hoffmann 3

FIFPRO General Secretary addresses agent summit in Australia

14 September 2021
  • Jonas Baer-Hoffman addressed 22 agents in Australia during a conference about key issues in football
  • Baer-Hoffmann spoke about global transfer rules at the summit arranged by Professional Footballers Australia (PFA)
  • PFA and agents leaders underlined the importance of cooperation between agents and unions

FIFPRO General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann has addressed a summit with agents hosted by Professional Footballers Australia, the national player union, to discuss key issues in the game.

It was the latest annual meeting between PFA staff and members of the Australian Football Agents Association (AFAA) to reinforce their strong working relationship and improve services for players. Twenty-two agents participated in the six-hour Zoom call asked an array of questions ranging from the technicalities of injury insurance to win bonuses and how to protect young players.

“It has been excellent -- there was great interaction,” Boris Ivanov, Vice-President of the AFAA, told PFA staff at the end of the call. “The level of interaction shows how much we want to work with you guys to better the industry.”

Baer-Hoffman joined the online summit as a guest speaker to share an update around global agent regulations, the international transfer system and outlined recent work undertaken by the global players union. The summit also included presentations by Australian experts about mental health, career transition and the latest research on the effects of heading.

The summit was just before a new five-year agreement among domestic stakeholders was announced, setting the boundaries for contracts in the men’s A-League and women’s W-League. PFA co-chief executives Beau Busch and Kate Gill gave a detailed explanation of what the agreement means for players. The CBA includes funding to support player development including mental health counselling, education grants and a recently-launched retired player program.

“We knew that in player transition is often voluntary and that comes with challenges,” Busch said. “What we wanted to preserve for players is their connection with the game. We want to say to players you are a member for life.”

Busch encouraged agents to continue collaborating with the PFA and hailed their commitment to help players during the covid-19 pandemic. “I’ve heard stories of agents waiving their fees, making sacrifices for players,” Busch told agents. “You’ve gone to great lengths to find employment opportunities for players -- it has certainly not gone unnoticed by us.”