Revealed: The ‘chaotic’ A-League off-contract list
THE A-League is destined for another off-season of mass turnover with over 150 players of the 273 players coming out of contract.
Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix top the charts.
Victory has just four players contracted for 2020-21, leaving the 20 who are coming out fighting for deals, including Ola Toivonen, Thomas Deng, James Donachie, Tim Hoogland, Andrew Nabbout, Lawrence Thomas, Birkan Kirdar, Anthony Lesiotis and Adama Traore.
The players' union (Professional Footballers Australia) is calling for the salary cap to be scrapped, declaring that the mass uncertainty proved the so-called equalisation mechanism was past its use-by date.
Wellington Phoenix has 21 off contract, followed by Central Coast (16), Western Sydney, Sydney FC (14), Perth Glory (13), Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets (12).
Melbourne City's new-found stability is underlined by just 10 players coming out of contract, with only Brisbane Roar (7) having less.
Nathaniel Atkinson, Dean Bouzanis, Harrison Delbridge, Lachlan Wales and Denis Genreau are the City players whose deals expire in 2020.
The off contract figure equated to over 57 per cent of players having one-year deals, as fan discontent rises amid the A-League merry-go-round, with some players having featured for as many as seven clubs.
The 2017-18 season was the highest percentage of players coming off contract (63.4 per cent), followed by 2018-19 (61.5 per cent) and now this season.
While some of the players will eventually stay on with their clubs, many will be forced to look elsewhere, as clubs juggle salary cap pressures and squad restrictions.
"It demonstrates that the salary cap model is no longer fit for purpose and reinforces the chaotic nature of the league's regulations," PFA chief executive John Didulica said.
"We cannot build value in clubs and value in players if we have this chaotic cycle of player movement every season. It is counter-productive to every aspiration that the league has, whether its producing better players and people to deepening the connection between players and fans."
FULL OFF-CONTRACT LIST
ADELAIDE UNITED 12 OFF CONTRACT
BRISBANE ROAR 7
CENTRAL COAST 16
MELBOURNE CITY 10
MELBOURNE VICTORY 20
NEWCASTLE JETS 12
PERTH GLORY 13
SYDNEY FC 14
Adam Le Fondre
Harry Van Der Saag
WELLINGTON PHOENIX 21
Luke De Vere
Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi
WESTERN SYDNEY 14
WESTERN UNITED 11