Central Coast coach Graham Arnold says he’ll field his youth team next week, partly in protest at the A-League’s “crazy” resistance of simultaneous last round matches.
Arnold says the league is losing respect for having the last round of the regulation season over four days of the Easter weekend.
“I said it last year and I said it the year before, and they don’t want to listen. Every game should be at the same time,” Arnold told reporters in Adelaide on Sunday night.
“Everywhere in the world, last round of the competition is simultaneous kick-off because then you don’t know what the other results are.”
The Mariners are secure in second spot ahead of their home match against Melbourne Heart on Saturday.
They then face a Asian Champions League match against Guizhou Renhe on April 3, the week leading into their semi-final.
And Arnold said he would not make a last gasp push to claim the domestic premier’s plate.
“We play Melbourne Heart on Saturday but we have got Asian Champions League on Wednesday – I will play the youth team on Saturday,” Arnold said.
“That is wrong.”
Arnold said he would have fielded a sub-par team even if the Mariners were playing a side vying for a finals spot this weekend, thereby compromising the integrity of the A-League.
“It’s crazy, you lose respect for the league,” he said.