Wanderers on their way to Morocco
The Professional Footballers Australia confirmed Wanderers players were considering refusing to compete in the global event, where they could take on Real Madrid, due to a dispute over prize money share.
The players are believed to be unhappy with the management's offer of a 10 per cent share in the $1million minimum they will pocket for reaching the exclusive tournament.
However, Wanderers squad members who weren’t involved in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Adelaide United boarded their flights on Sunday morning and are on their way to Morocco.
Among the players was Romeo Castelen, Seyi Adeleke and Daniel Mullen, while the remainder of the squad is due to flight out later in the day.
First flight is up up and away. FIFA Club World Cup awaits. Morocco here we come! @ Sydney… http://t.co/Tchchz9y06
— WS Wanderers FC (@wswanderersfc) December 6, 2014
WSW chief executive John Tsatsimas moved to ease doubts about the club’s participation.
“The club has committed to what is a generous offer to the playing group which exceeds what was prescribed during the Asian Champions League,” Tsatsimas said in a statement.
“The entire residual amount will be directed into a raft of exciting club projects which includes, but is not limited to, elite player and training facilities, junior, school and community programs.”
PFA chief executive Adam Vivian had said on Saturday that there was scope to find a resolution before Sunday’s departure.
"The players have made every attempt to reach an agreement on a fair and equitable share of the prize money," he said in a statement.
"Despite these intentions the club has consistently refused to negotiate in good faith.
"Throughout this process the players have proposed a number of solutions to assist in coming to a resolution, including mediation and arbitration.
"However, the club has been unreceptive and unwilling to work towards an agreement that sees the players fairly remunerated for their success in reaching the tournament as the champions of Asia or reflects their increased workload.
"As a result of this the players, with the full support of the PFA, have unanimously taken the decision to consider their participation in the tournament.
"The players and the PFA remain committed to sitting down with the Wanderers management to negotiate an acceptable outcome for all parties."
Wanderers are due to take on Mexican outfit Cruz Azul on Saturday 13 December.