Is your club owed money by an A-League club for a player you developed? A number of clubs around the country have been extremely vocal in airing their annoyance that A League clubs have ignored FIFA regulations that state a club must pay a club within 42 days of the contract being signed; others have been too afraid to talk up.
In Europe UEFA has announced that it has suspended prize money payments to six teams to force them ‘to behave in a more financially responsible manner.’ The six clubs according to UEFA had outstanding payments owed to other clubs, employees, social security or tax authorities. The clubs were: Astra Ploiesti – Romania, Metalurg Donetsk – Ukraine, Hadjuk Split – Croatia, HSK Zrinjski – Bosnia, Skonto FC – Latvia and Trabzonspor – Turkey.
Some will claim the FFA are one of the reasons why development and transfer money has not been filtered back to clubs in state leagues around the country in the required timeframes, but one way they can help the situation is by taking a stance against those clubs who have not yet paid up money owed.
There is not a great amount of prize money in the game in Australia, but if the FFA held back some of the television money, which helps the clubs cover their player wage bills until they have compensated the clubs around the country that may go a long way to easing the situation. If they fail to take some action clubs may be forced to unite and go to the AFC, which could result in Australian clubs being restricted from playing in the Asian Champions League.
Some clubs have only just realised that should a player they developed be released by one A league club and be signed by another they are still entitled to money. The same applies with any player the A- League clubs sell on to other clubs in Europe or Asia. FIFA is very specific about what percentage must filter down to the developing club. The sums owed around the country are believed to be definitely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, with some believing it could in fact go past the six figure mark.
If that is the case action needs to be taken now before this figure climbs even higher. As much as Australia hates to follow European football, it is important that the FFA take a stance similar to UEFA’s, if not it may well be left to the AFC which would be embarrassing and harmful to the game as a whole.