The news that Perth Glory stalwart Jamie Coyne has most likely played his last game for the club, has been met with mixed feelings, by fans of the club. To some Coyne was a target of constant abuse, to others he was a player from Perth who performed consistently in a side that has struggled for five years. Whether you are a fan of Jamie Coyne or not he is the sort of player that the club needs. He is versatile, and that has been at times his downfall, as it was with Naum Sekulovski. He is too willing to plug whatever gap there is in the side to help the team, and finds himself playing in a number of different positions, rather than being allowed to establish himself in one. If you want a utility player Coyne would be a good player to have in any squad.
The reason his time at Glory appears to have come to an end is apparently due to a clause in his contract. The departed Michael Baird had a clause in his that said when he reached a certain number of appearances he had the option of staying or leaving. Supposedly Josh Mitchell has a similar option in his contract. Jamie Coyne may have had similar or a pay increase after a certain number of appearances, at present all parties are remaining tight-lipped, while the situation is being looked at by legal representatives.
There are many who have criticised the Perth Glory administration for having such clauses in players contracts, as it means the club is now faced with not picking these players, if the coach does not wish to re-sign them for next year, or as some are reporting the club is trying to save money.
However it is worth looking at it from another perspective. Players who asked for such clauses were undoubtedly looking for options that they felt were best for them. Should the team be struggling again and they perform adequately, the chances are another club would come in for them, and they would be free to exploit the clause in their contract.
On this occasion it appears that the club has been the one to make that decision before the player is in a position to; which undoubtedly many will applaud.
Ultimately, the players cannot complain as they agreed to having such a clause in their contract. If it says they do not have to be retained if they do not play “x” number of games then the club legally is within its rights to not play them and then release them. No doubt it came as a shock. The key however is for the coaching staff to now find replacements who are better than the players they have let go.