Gallop's warning to cap cheats: Whistleblowers come out of the woodwork

Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop does not expect Perth Glory’s management to survive the salary cap scandal that has engulfed the club.

Second-placed Glory have been stripped of an A-League finals berth, fined $269,000 and will finish the home and away season in 7th place.

Gallop said the FFA has not closed the door to sanctions against individuals involved in the breach.

He also sent a chilling reminder to clubs that today’s loyal staffer could become a whistleblower down the track.

At a media conference on Friday to announce harsh penalties against the club, both Gallop and A-League boss Damien De Bohun rejected Glory’s assertion that imposing penalties before the season’s end was premature.

Gallop said: “They started the (2014/15) competition $400,000 over and effectively it’s been around that level throughout the whole 24 rounds so far.”

He added: “It sort of defies logic to suggest that you only have to be under the salary cap at the end of the season.

“Obviously the salary cap is a continuing measurement from the start of the season right through to the end of the season.”

De Bohun said: “The suggestion that you can be above the salary cap for the first 20 rounds, 24 rounds, and then suddenly reduce things and cut costs in the last few rounds to get to a certain point is unfair and unreasonable in the context of the salary cap and our regulations.

“You can be over during the season but the reality is we have a very strong process with the clubs where we monitor that carefully.

“Overall, the process is we work with clubs across the board, they continually keep us informed where their payments are at. In the event that they may creep over marginally in some cases then make small decisions to make sure they align with the salary cap during the year.

“This is a very very different case where we have the situation of significant non-disclosure and deliberate concealment that created a completely different playing field.”

Gallop said Perth will need to look at their own “internal workings and how they got themselves to this position”.

“Certainly it would be clear that the management that have engaged in these practices – in our view it would be unlikely that that management would stay in place,” he said.

Gallop who faced salary cap scandals in his former role as NRL boss said it was disappointing to find himself in the same situation again.

“It’s disappointing to a lot of innocent people connected to Perth Glory and indeed to the A-League,” he said.

“But it’s also important that are rules are followed. This (salary cap) is a significant foundation stone of this sport and other sports in this country because we’re in a competitive environment where having an even playing field is important to the entertainment value that we can provide and the commitment that people make to their club.

“So penalties like this are a way of demonstrating to everyone that we are serious about fair play and unfortunately we’re dealing with something that’s unfair in this situation.”

FFA began investigating irregularities in player payments at Glory following an by approach by a whitleblower.

“Unashamedly these type of systems rely on tip-offs and information coming from a range of sources and it needs to be a warning to anyone that people you may trust within your club at some point may not be in the kind of position down the track,” Gallop said.

“It’s a reminder that whistleblowers can come out of the woodwork and they can start something like this rolling.

“It certainly was a tip-off that started this but there’s been a significant amount of work go into investigating that tip-off and unfortunately that’s led to the discovery of practices that were not part of the tip-off but certainly demonstrate that the tip-off was accurate.”

He added: “Auditing salary caps is actually something we’ve beefed up in the last couple of years – we’re always conscious of the importance of that.”

The message for A-League clubs, he said, was don’t take the risk.

“The penalties in these situations need to be severe.”