The Salary Cap facilitates competitive balance and parity between Clubs by ensuring that the playing talent is distributed amongst the Hyundai A-League Clubs. In doing so, this increases the attraction of the competition to fans, sponsors and broadcast partners.
The Salary Cap also safeguards the economic viability of the Hyundai A-League by ensuring that Clubs are not put in a position where they are forced to spend beyond their financial capabilities in order to stay competitive on the field.
The Hyundai A-League Salary Cap is $2.928 million for the 2017/18 Season. Clubs must spend at least the Salary Floor which is $2.635 million (representing 90% of the Salary Cap).
The Salary Cap applies to the 20 to 23 Players that Clubs have registered to their Hyundai A-League Player Roster. Unless specifically exempt, all payments and benefits (eg. cars, accommodation, etc) provided by a Club to a Player are included in the Club’s Salary Cap.
Players can receive payments from Clubs outside the Salary Cap in certain circumstances as approved by FFA. These ‘exemptions’ or ‘allowances’ incentivise Clubs to spend in specific strategic areas such as attracting marketable world class players to the Hyundai A-League (Designated or Guest Players), retaining long-serving Players on multi-year contracts (Loyalty Players), encouraging the development of young Australian Players (Homegrown Players) or identifying late-developing Players that may have missed the traditional player pathway (Mature Age Rookie).
The following discretionary payments are outside the Salary Cap:
- Designated Players – A Club can spend an unlimited amount on two Players (Foreign or Australian) it nominates as Designated Players;
- Guest Player – A Club can spend an unlimited amount on one Guest Player who must satisfy the prescribed marketability criteria as approved by FFA. A Guest Player is restricted to a maximum of 14 Hyundai A-League matches;
- Homegrown Players – A Club can spend up to a collective $200,000 on 4 Australian Players aged 23 or younger that have come through the Club’s youth system. Any payments to such Players above the $200,000 allowance are included in the Club’s Salary Cap;
- Loyalty Players – A Club can spend up to a collective $200,000 across any number of Players that have given 5 or more consecutive seasons of service to the Club. A portion of a Loyalty Player’s contract value is excluded from the Salary Cap based on a progressive scale from 25% (5th continuous season) to 50% (10th continuous season onwards);
- Mature Age Rookie – A Club can register an Australian Player that is aged 21 or older who last played in an Australian competition (eg. PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues) and has not played in a fully professional league for at least 18 months;
- Scholarship Players – Each Club can contract up to 6 under 20 Australian Players on the national minimum wage. Any payments above the national minimum wage to these Players are included in the Club’s Salary Cap;
- Salary Cap Banking – A Club can access any underspend from the previous two Seasons to be utilised in the current Season, up to a maximum of 105% of the Salary Cap for that Season; and
- Relocation Expenses – Clubs can reimburse Players for bona fide relocation expenses (eg. airfares, temporary accommodation, storage) outside the Salary Cap up to prescribed amounts in order to assist a Player relocating to a new region for football employment.
At all times during the Season, a Club’s Hyundai A-League Player Roster must have:
- a minimum of 20 Players;
- a maximum of 23 Players;
- a minimum of 2 Goalkeepers;
- a minimum of 3 Australian Players aged 20 or under;
- and a maximum of five foreign players.
Guest Players, Designated Players and Mature Age Rookie Players sit outside the Club’s Hyundai A-League Player Roster. Players on a Club’s Foxtel Y-League Player Roster, including Scholarship Players, are also eligible to participate in the Hyundai A-League.
The minimum salary for Players in the Hyundai A-League in the 2017/18 Season is:
- Under 20 - $45,686 (excluding superannuation); and
- 20 and over - $61, 287 (excluding superannuation)