Many A-League players miss emergency fund

About half of the A-League's players are unlikely to be eligible for monies under the federal government's JobKeepers package.

Picture: Getty Images

More than half of the A-League's player pool may not be eligible for government money as more clubs stand down players during the coronavirus pandemic.

Around 50 per cent of A-League players fall off-contract at the end of May.

Sports codes are seeking clarification of eligibility for the federal government's $130 billion stimulus package, including $1500 fortnightly pay under the JobKeeper allowance.

But not all A-League players can claim the money as their contracts expire at the end of May. To be eligible, it's understood players must be in continuous employment for a further six months.

"Given the players have fixed-term contracts and those contracts expire at the conclusion of May, there is the prospect that those players may not be eligible," Professional Footballers Australia chief John Didulica said on Wednesday.

"It increases the burden that these players need to carry.

"All things being equal, the clubs should be eligible for the subsidy. So, in turn, the players within those clubs should have the benefit of it.

"But there are some conditions attached to the payment and many players on A-League rosters won't meet some of the conditions.

"For example, the ongoing employment condition, some are foreigners, so they don't have access to government support.

"We'll have a large group of what I consider the most vulnerable players, younger players coming off contract and foreign players, not having any support now when they probably need it more than ever.

A-League clubs Perth Glory and Central Mariners have already stood down players amid the suspension of competition due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Western Sydney, Adelaide United, Brisbane, Western United and Newcastle were on the verge of following suit.

The emergency JobKeeper funding could throw a lifeline to the NRL's minimum-wage players should the entire season be wiped out.

The Rugby League Players Association was on Wednesday sorting through the finer details on a pay agreement with the NRL.

The AFL's 18 clubs were also understood to be applying for JobKeeper assistance after the league and clubs stood down around 80 per cent of staff.


AAP