Professional Footballer’s Association chief Brendan Schwab predicts the exodus of Australian players to Asia will continue.
In the past month, three Australian players plus one import to the A-League have signed contracts with big clubs in Asia and Schwab feels this will not be the end of it.
Sydney FC star Alex Brosque has joined Japanese outfit Shimizu S-Pulse, Luke DeVere has left Brisbane Roar for Korean club Gyeongnam FC and Adelaide United has lost Iain Fyfe to Busan I’Park, the same Korean club Gold Coast United’s Dutchman Bas van den Brink will join at the end of the season.
Schwab says that the new foreigners ruling for clubs in the Asian Football Confederation will make more Asian clubs pursue Aussie talent and although it may take away from the A-League, it is likely to help Australian football as a whole.
“The Asian Football Confederation's three plus one rule introduced two years ago has been widely adopted where clubs can sign a fourth foreign player from within the region," he said.
"Coupled with Australia's outstanding performances in international competitions I see Aussies being more highly sought after in Asia.
“Fans need to understand that we all operate in a global labour market and we definitely need our players to play in the highest European and Asian leagues," he added.
"I believe the J-League is under-rated in its commercial scale and a big club there can turn over $AUD85million and have a collective payroll of between $AUD9million and $AUD28
million (whereas the A-League has a salary cap of $2.35million).
"The J-League is a strong business model and Australian footballers who play there are better for the experience," Schwab added further.
"I am confident that the J-League is on the way to becoming one of the best leagues in the world, both on and off the park.
"The J-League and the K-League have a very high technical standard and are world-class leagues."