NEWS > Home > Australia > A-League Thursday, 11 Oct 2007
A-League cap-holes exposed - SBS
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Rival clubs have revealed speculation that Sydney FC is exploiting a loophole in the new A-League salary cap system, which allows the $1.5 million limit to be exploited through sponsorship dollars.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Perth Glory chairman Nick Tana along with his Melbourne Victory counterpart Tony Isling, have urged the A-League to abolish the "service agreements" clause that covers off-field earnings from sponsors - sighting it as an easily exploitable loophole.

"I have sought clarification from FFA on what is permissible and what isn't," said Tana.

"It's far too subjective. I'd like to see service agreements done away with and the salary cap lifted."

"What's to stop me getting Red Rooster to sponsor five players to the tune of $100,000 each? They could simply go down and sign shirts outside a shop once a month. It's totally farcical."

"For the benefit of all clubs we need to know what the demarcation lines are. It's certainly something Perth won't enter into unless it's genuine and justifiable."

Isling weighed into the argument as speculation mounted that self-proclaimed glamour club Sydney FC have already spent $1.8 million of their cap with six players of their roster yet to be secured.

"[It] defeats the concept of the cap and spirit of the competition," said Isling.

"We could also play Sydney's game but we won't seek to exploit loopholes because we're looking at the long-term viability of the entire competition, not just about trying to win the league in year one."

Sydney chairman Walter Bugno has denied all accusations of illegalities.

"We certainly won't be contravening any rules and won't be paying players money we don't have," he said.

"Are there allowances for us to use them (service agreements)? Yes there are. Will we use them? Possibly we will."

"Player contracts contain stipulations for additional services such as holding clinics at schools. But they have to do some extra work for the money."

"Everybody assumes there's all this money suddenly coming into the football world. That's not necessarily the case."

Meanwhile, the Football Federation of Australia has replied saying a "zero tolerance" policy will be applied to all salary cap violators.

Last modified: 28 December 2004 20:11:53

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