Guest player spot approved for 2016/17 A-League season


Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today formally approved the introduction of “Full Season Guest Players” for the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season.

The Full Season Guest Player proposal was approved by the FFA Board today after discussion between FFA Management, Club Chairmen, broadcasters and major stakeholders as part of the evolution of the Hyundai A-League leading into the 2016/17 season.

The Full Season Guest Player spot will be available for all 10 clubs over and above the current two marquee spots on the Player Roster and is part of FFA’s earlier decision to set aside significant financial investment to assist with bringing big-name marquee players to the competition.

“The Full Season Guest Player opens the door for clubs to attract high profile players that not only bring talent and exposure to their market but the entire competition,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.

“This is a sign that we are serious about making the Hyundai A-League an exciting competition for our fans and an attractive proposition for high profile players to play their club football.

Former Hyundai A-League international stars Shinji Ono, Emile Heskey and Alessandro Del Piero.

“As the Hyundai A-League has grown, the standard of play has dramatically improved and we believe the creation of this extra marquee position will allow for continued growth in performance but also marketability and visibility.

“We have taken input from all stakeholders across the Hyundai A-League landscape and we were unanimous in our belief that this will help grow the competition.”

Hyundai A-League clubs will receive financial assistance as part of a marketing agreement if they attract players who satisfy strict FFA criteria built around broad appeal of the entire competition. The Full Season Guest Player must fit within the maximum Player Roster of 23.

“To satisfy the Full Season Guest Player criteria players must pass stringent marketability tests to ensure the club is not only signing a quality player who can add to on field performance but they will become pivotal to the marketing of the Hyundai A-League,” Gallop said.

“It is no secret that clubs and FFA have been in discussions around this concept and players who may fit the criteria but this change to the competition regulations opens the door for all clubs to have equal opportunity to take advantage of the Full Season Guest Player spot.”

Alessandro Del Piero celebrates scoring his first Hyundai A-League goal.

The FFA Board also approved a proposal from Melbourne City Football Club to refresh its brand and primary colours for the 2017/18 season to align with its global strategy under the City Football Group.

The decision was taken as part of the FFA’s united brand refresh for the Hyundai A-League and all 10 clubs, that will see the Hyundai A-League and the clubs start the 2017/18 season with a new look to signify the evolution and strength of the competition.

“The Hyundai A-League will undergo a brand refresh process as part of the 2016/19 strategy and FFA is encouraging clubs to collaborate with that process and consider their own brands,” Gallop said. “As a result, a number of clubs have indicated they will undergo some changes.

“FFA received a submission from Melbourne City and after two seasons of operating with a hybrid brand the change has been approved. The City Football Group has shown they are serious about their long term commitment to the Hyundai A-League and this will allow Melbourne City to grow in line with the global brand strategy of the City Football Group.

David Villa celebrates his goal on debut against Sydney FC.

“The Board noted previous concerns raised by Sydney FC but felt that things have evolved since that time and with the increasing maturity of the Hyundai A-League, the strength of Sydney FC’s ‘Sky Blue’ brand and the many uses of light blue throughout previous and current Hyundai A-League playing strips it is now appropriate to allow for the full integration of the City Football Group’s playing strip colours. As part of the decision, Sydney FC will retain exclusivity of its ‘Sky Blue’ brand as Melbourne City adopts the ‘City Blue’ colours.”