They say that success comes from hard work and dedication, but some cynics would claim that success in modern sport can often come down to who has the most money.
The problems often arise when that money dries up.
The salary cap in the Hyundai A league was supposed to ensure an even playing field, yet we have seen sides looking desperately to find ways to circumvent ‘the Cap’ and assemble a squad within the set confines.
The NRL were brutal when they uncovered such breaches by the Melbourne Storm and stripped them of their titles, the powers that be at the FFA are not quite as authoritarian.
Sydney FC were accused of a breach in the 2009/10 season which the FFA brushed aside even though many in the media believed there was a strong case to be answered; It was in this season that Sydney FC won the league Premiership and the Championship in the Grand Final. It would therefore have been embarrassing to have to strip one of the A leagues deemed blue Riband clubs of their titles.
Yet in the 2006-07 season, Sydney FC were fined $174,000 and deducted three competition points after it was found that they had exceeded the salary cap by $110,000 and failed to declare third-party payments during the 2005–06 season, one in which once again they were premiers. The season in which they were punished they were struggling on the park
Not The Footy Show understands that a forgiving approach was taken with another successful A League club when they overstepped their Salary cap limit a few seasons ago, and worked with the club to ensure that it did not happen again.
It is understood that the same approach has been taken with another A league club leading into the 2012/13 season. This club however is rumoured not to have gone marginally over the salary cap but to have almost fragrantly ignored it.
If this is the case one has to ask if the softly-softly approach is in fact the correct one to be employed. Surely heavier sanctions need to make a clear statement to the clubs as to who is in charge and that such flagrant breaches will not be tolerated and will receive heavy punishment.
One source advised that there is a fear that if these breaches were made public it would bring more negative publicity to the game. We believe it would in fact have the opposite effect. It would show that the game is in good hands and being run by people who create rules and make sure that they are adhered to. If not then individuals and clubs face the consequences of breaking the rules.
It is again time for some honesty, after all if teams are being allowed to breach the salary cap and go unpunished what hope is there for teams who play by the rules?