Brendan Schwab

Australian lawyer Brendan Schwab is the Executive Director of the World Players Association based in Nyon, Switzerland as an autonomous sector of UNI Global Union. Dedicated to advancing the rights and wellbeing of players at the global level, it brings together 85,000 players across professional sport through more than 100 player associations in over 60 countries.

In 1993, Schwab co-founded Professional Footballers Australia (P.F.A.), the union for Australia’s professional footballers, and acted as its inaugural lawyer. He served two stints as P.F.A. Chief Executive & General Counsel (1995 – 2003 and 2006 - 2012) between which he was given a brief from the players to help drive the reformation of the Australian football industry through the establishment of a new governing body and professional league. He served as P.F.A. Special Counsel from 2012 – 2015 and in October 2016 he accepted an invitation from the players to serve the P.F.A. once again, this time in the capacity of non-executive Chairman.

Schwab’s work with the P.F.A. saw him take on a leadership position within FIFPro, the world football players’ union, requiring him to not only advocate for the rights of players on the ground by helping set up player unions (especially in Asia) but also at F.I.F.A., one of the most powerful yet compromised organisations in the world of sport.

In 2007, he co-founded the Australian Athletes’ Alliance (A.A.A.), the peak body for Australia’s major professional player and athlete associations including the Australian Cricketers’ Association, the Australian Football League Players’ Association, the Rugby League Players’ Association, the Rugby Union Players’ Association and the P.F.A.. He acted as the A.A.A.’s part-time General Secretary from 2009 to 2015.

Schwab has worked as a player union official and lawyer for twenty-five years, requiring him to work extensively in employment, labour relations, human rights and international sports law primarily in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America.

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