New deal with Premier League poised to provide extra funds for PFA

A new funding deal for the season ahead has been struck between the Premier League and the Professional Footballers’ Association.

The new collective bargaining agreement is understood to be worth £24.94million in 2022-23, representing an increase in funding of £1.9m for the the players’ union compared to the previous three-year deal.

The agreements are usually for three years, but this is initially a one-year deal because there is an aspiration from the league and the union to set up a much longer-term partnership over the coming months. Should those talks not reach a satisfactory conclusion before the start of the 2023-24 season though, an agreement on the same terms as 2022-23 would automatically kick in.

The union is understood to have secured a significant increase in the proportion of discretionary funding within the deal – money which it can allocate to what it sees as priority areas – with the remainder of the funding allocated to joint Premier League and PFA programmes.

As well as campaigning and lobbying on behalf of their members, the union works to support former players and their families after a dementia diagnosis, supports current and former players experiencing mental health and well-being issues and offering advice and support to young players after their release from the academy system.

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The union also supports players reaching the end of their professional playing careers by providing counselling where needed, education and training services.

The funding from the Premier League represents the bulk of the annual income the PFA receives, but it is looking at ways to increase revenue in other areas and is examining the practice of other unions such as the National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA) in the United States.

PFA chief executive Maheta Molango said: “This new agreement reflects the commitment that both the PFA and the Premier League have towards our partnership, and our shared desire to continue this moving forward.

“Alongside the PFA’s role as a campaigning voice on behalf of members, we provide a range of services to players both independently and alongside partners such as the Premier League.

“This agreement helps support the delivery of many of those services, and benefits all PFA members.

“We value the collaborative relationship we have with the Premier League and, similarly, have seen in our talks their understanding of the importance of the PFA’s role as the players’ union.”

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Molango’s counterpart at the Premier League, Richard Masters, said: “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the PFA and developing a long-term partnership to ensure the right levels of support are provided for current and former players across the professional game.

“We will continue to work together with the PFA on key issues such as player welfare, anti-discrimination, player transition, head injuries and education.”

The collective deal removes the need for players to negotiate individually with the Premier League over their share of income from domestic television deals.

In 2001 a player boycott of televised matches was narrowly averted in a row over the PFA’s share of television revenue.

The league is understood to be earning £5.1billion from domestic rights in the current 2022-25 cycle.

Separately, as part of the Professional Footballers’ Pension Scheme, a transfer levy on deals in the Premier League and EFL will generate £76m of funds over three years (2022-2025).

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This funding is redistributed back to players in the form of pensions. In 2022-23 every active professional male player will receive £6,420 paid into their pension.

The union will push for that provision to be extended to female professionals as part of the fan-led review of the women’s game promised by the Government.

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