Salary Cap System

What is the purpose of the Salary Cap?

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.

What is the Salary Cap in the Hyundai A-League?

The Hyundai A-League Salary Cap is $3.2 million for all Clubs (excl. Western United FC) for the 2019/20 Season. The Hyundai A-League Salary Cap for Western United FC is $3.6 million for the 2019/20 Season. All Clubs must spend at least the Salary Floor which is $2.880 million.

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.

What can Players receive outside the 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) or encouraging the development of young Australian Players (Homegrown Players). 

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 an unlimited amount on 4 Australian Players aged 23 or younger that have come through the Club’s youth system;
  • Loyalty Players – A Club can spend an unlimited amount across any number of Players that have given 4 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;
  • Scholarship Players – Each Club can contract up to 9 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 110% 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.
How many Players does a Club have on their Hyundai A-League Player Roster?

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 21 or under;
  • and a maximum of five foreign players.

Guest 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.

What is the minimum salary for a Hyundai A-League Player?

The minimum salary for Players in the Hyundai A-League in the 2019/20 Season is:

  • Under 20 - $47,792 (excluding superannuation); and
  • 20 and over - $64,113 (excluding superannuation)