In game shows points make prizes in football they spell trouble, and we are not talking about suspensions.
Football West has been looking to enforce a player points system for a while now and the plan is that it will be implemented in the inaugural NPL season in 2014.
The premise behind the player points system is that it will encourage clubs to play younger players, and restrict the number of ‘experienced’ and ‘visiting’ players fielded by teams. If a player has come through the youth team at a club and stays at that club he will not attract as many points as a player drafted into the team. Currently players over 25 will attract more points and depending on their age, each year they will be worth more points so their game time could be restricted as a coach can only field so many points on the pitch on a match day.
Despite one board member raising concerns on the legality of such a system those running the game decided to proceed with the system, even though under employment law in Western Australia it is illegal. Once again we are seeing a change being pushed through before all questions or concerns have been addressed.
For example what happens to a player who moves inter-state with his job? Because he has no history of playing in Western Australia he is penalised via the points system as its stands. Then what happens to a boy who has been developed by a club and is then poached by the NTC/Perth Glory, but at eighteen is then released back to his club, how many points is he worth?
What must be frustrating for the players, and especially those affected by such a system is the inactivity on this issue by the clubs that they serve. The Football Union advised clubs that if this was implemented it would be the club, and not the game’s governing body who is open to legal action, as they are the employer. Yet have the clubs queried this with the game’s administrators, have they come out and said that this cannot be implemented if this is the case? No, it has taken the players themselves to form a players association to force the issue. What happened to a duty of care as a club to one of your players?
Now that the PFA are involved hopefully common sense will prevail and this ridiculous scheme will be knocked on the head and never heard of again. Sadly however once again though it raises some serious concerns on the way football is being run in Western Australia, that such a scheme could even be talked of being implemented, even though it is illegal and exposes the clubs to legal action. Not all of the blame falls at the feet of Football West, one has to question the clubs and their governance, as they should have nipped this in the bud months ago rather than run the risk of legal action.
The clubs in Victoria are to be admired for the stance that they have taken against the game’s governing body in that state. Unity is a powerful thing, Too many decisions on the game are being dictated, with little or no proof that the path being taken is the right one. The biggest concern to many is the fact that responsible successful people are not ensuring that they have all the adequate information on which to base important decisions such as these. If it was their own business would they sign up so willingly? Without a united voice questioning these decisions everybody, players and the clubs put their futures at risk. That is why the Players association will succeed, because of their unity. It is harder to intimidate a mass of individuals than it is one club, but the players would welcome some support from their employers, and it is time the football community saw some leadership from those clubs.