Perth Glory has been sensationally stripped of a finals berth and fined $269,000 for significantly and deliberately breaching the A-League salary cap.
FFA boss David Gallop and A-League chief Damien De Bohun addressed the media on Friday afternoon just hours before the club kick's off against Sydney FC at nib Stadium.
Gallop said FFA decided it could not have a club "deliberately, significantly and persistently" breaching the salary cap playing for the championship.
At the end of the Round 27 Glory - which led the league for a long period - will be dumped to seventh on the ladder.
The decision means both Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar will be guaranteed a berth in the play-offs.
Gallop said the investigation into cap irregularities at Glory followed a tip-off. The sactions are the result of the club's deliberate failure to disclose reportable benefits and payments to at least six players.
It was found that from the beginning of the 2014/15 season and throughout, the club continued to exceed the allowable salary cap ($2.55m) in the order of $400,000.
FFA also determined that the club was in breach of the rules for failing to disclose payments in the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons.
Media reports suggested the club had recently approached players to take salary cuts in a last-gasp bid to rein in its spend.
Gallop - who has NRL boss was responsible for mopping up after the Melbourne Storm cap scandal in 2010 - said he found himself in a position he had "hoped never to be in again".
Perth Glory will be fined $269,000 in total for the breaches over the three seasons as follows:
· $26,000 for the 2012/13 season, being the value of the undisclosed payments and benefits
· $43,000 for the 2013/14 season, being the value of the undisclosed payments and benefits
· $200,000 for the 2014/15 season, taking into account the significance of the total sanction for this season, namely the exclusion from the Finals series (and consequently any prospect of qualifying for the 2016 Asian Champions League)
The breaches include deliberately not disclosing:
• Payments outside of the Standard Player Contract
• Payments to a player’s family member
• Payments of player agents’ fees
• A Third Party sponsorship
• A Pre-payment to a player
• Payment of travel costs
• Accommodation benefits
• Provision of motor vehicles
Perth Glory has seven business seven days in which to lodge an appeal under the FFA’s regulations to the independent FFA Disciplinary Committee.
More to follow...comments