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A-League transfer policy plays rich against poor

Andrew Roar Rookie

By Andrew, Andrew is a Roar Rookie

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    Joel Griffiths of the Newcastle Jets celebrates. AAP Image/Paul Miller

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    The A-League transfer market will open on January 14, a fortnight after Europe and most of the Asian leagues.

    Sydney FC coach Frank Farina has criticised this unusual timing in the wake of signing forward Joel Griffiths from Shanghai Shenhua.

    Griffiths, 33, will not be eligible to play for the Sky Blues until the Australian transfer market opens.

    Farina said off contract players should not be restricted from playing outside the transfer window:

    “I don’t agree with the window here. Joel Griffiths was off contract the 31st of December so it’s not as if he’s still contracted to a club.”

    Farina has said that the restrictions were an unwelcome change from previous years:

    “In good faith they [the A-League] put the dates down thinking it was going to be the best thing for the league but for us, in our situation”, Farina said.

    This may be an irritation for cashed-up Sydney FC, but for poorer clubs it provides an opportunity to bring in cover after European and Asian clubs raid their playing stocks.

    A-League league chief Damien de Bohun says, “The main rationale for this change was to allow clubs to sign new players during the relevant European registration windows… While also allowing clubs to sign new players after the European registration periods close, enabling clubs to replace players that move late in the relevant transfer windows.”

    League leaders Central Coast Mariners may yet lose star players Tom Rogic and Mathew Ryan.

    Last season the Mariners crashed from Premiership triumph to finals also-rans on the back of losing crucial players in January.

    The Mariner’s F3 rivals, Newcastle Jets, also suffered decimating loses in the January 2009 transfer window, following their 2008 A-League winning jubilation.

    The Jets lost Socceroos James Holland and Mark Milligan to foreign clubs. But the real loss was none other than a certain Joel Griffiths.

    What’s the old saying? Something like what goes around…

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    The Crowd Says (17)

    • January 9th 2013 @ 10:17am
      daniel said | January 9th 2013 @ 10:17am | ! Report

      A simular thing happened to Chris Coyne and no one seemed to care. Now that Sydney are getting robbed, its big news. Just another example of bias within the A-league….

      • January 9th 2013 @ 2:39pm
        mahonjt said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

        Yep!

    • January 9th 2013 @ 10:59am
      Matt F said | January 9th 2013 @ 10:59am | ! Report

      Are they wrong though? Griffiths contract expired on December 31st so why shouldn’t he be allowed to start on January 1? I can understand why it goes into February but why not just make the window a bit longer? besides this is a free-agent not a paid transfer. Many leagues around the world allow free-agents to sign for clubs, and clubs to loan players, outside of the traditional transfer windows.

      Besides, ithe A-League transfer window doesn’t apply to clubs operating in leagues using the usual January tranfer window. There is nothing stopping an A-league player being sold to an o/s club and leaving on January 1. It just means that if this happens the A-league club has to wait two weeks before signing a replacement.

      As for the “cashed up” line, Griffiths isn’t a marquee player so he counts in the salary cap which is the same for everyone. Sydney FC’s financial status is irrelevant to this debate

    • January 9th 2013 @ 11:26am
      Andrew said | January 9th 2013 @ 11:26am | ! Report

      The “cashed up” line was not meant to be a reference to the Griffiths situation, it was made regarding the overall financial stability of the club in contrast to teams who often are required to sell players to maintain financial viability.

    • January 9th 2013 @ 1:27pm
      Andrew said | January 9th 2013 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

      **UPDATE**

      Tom Rogic is being linked with Scottish champions Celtic.

      http://www.theroar.com.au/2013/01/09/mariners-rogic-to-trial-with-celtic/

    • January 9th 2013 @ 2:32pm
      Chop said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

      Glad I was sitting down:

      Frank Farina whinging about something not going his way? Who’d have thought?

      Sydney FC complaining because something didn’t go their way? Again who’d have thought?

      I just hope the Mariners get something in return for losing two of the brightest prospects in the A-League

    • January 9th 2013 @ 7:33pm
      Ballymore said | January 9th 2013 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

      A question.

      Player movement between HAL clubs is not done on the traditional “sell & buy” model, an example of which would be the sale of Demba Ba to Chelsea from Newcastle Utd. It is done on a “release and sign unattached player” model. For example, BNE and Visconte mutually agree to terminate. At this time Visconte is unemployed. He then signs with WSW as a free agent.

      Since this isn’t a transfer, why does player movement between HAL clubs have to wait to the transfer window? Why should Visconte have to wait to mid Jan, when last month it might have been better for all three (3) parties (BNE, RV and WSW) to have done this move earlier?

      • January 9th 2013 @ 11:10pm
        Andrew said | January 9th 2013 @ 11:10pm | ! Report

        First of all, “transfer” is a dirty word we like to use which is slang for what FIFA describe as “registration”. In the FIFA regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, FIFA sets out that registrations may only be made in two annual periods decided upon by the League’s governing body (within a set time frame, of course).

        “Players may only be registered during one of the two annual registration periods fixed by the relevant association.”

        FIFA does provide an exception where contracts have been mutually terminated, as in Visconte’s case:

        “As an exception to this rule, a professional whose contract has expired prior to the end of a registration period may be registered outside that registration period. Associations are authorised to register such professionals provided due consideration is given to the sporting integrity of the relevant competitions.”

        FIFA explains that this means:

        “Although not expressly mentioned by the Regulations, a player who has mutually agreed with his club on the early termination of the employment relationship before the expiry of the registration period also falls under the aforementioned exception. The mutual termination of the employment contract must occur before the end of the registration period for the player to fall under the aforementioned exception.”

        So Visconte could under FIFA rules be registered early. However, it is up to the rules that the A-League comes up with for its own transfer windows. It has no obligation to allow an early registration.

        “The possibility of registering players outside a registration period is an authorisation, not an obligation, given to the association concerned. In fact, while considering the sporting integrity of the national competition, the association needs to put in place uniform rules of application for this exception by establishing, for example, the number of players per club that can be registered and the last possible date for these players to be registered.”

        So really when a player is allowed to move is essentially up to the governing body who sets the regulations of the particular league.

        • January 10th 2013 @ 10:34am
          Fair Go said | January 10th 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          It is all a bit grey.

        • January 10th 2013 @ 11:23am
          Ballymore said | January 10th 2013 @ 11:23am | ! Report

          Many thanks. So perhaps FFA do this to stop never ending moves at random points throughout season.

          • January 11th 2013 @ 9:00pm
            Andrew said | January 11th 2013 @ 9:00pm | ! Report

            That’s my guess too.

            Imagine the amount of players who would seek to end their contracts when their teams go through a bad run. There must be some level of protection for the clubs so they can keep players.

        • January 11th 2013 @ 5:37pm
          j binnie said | January 11th 2013 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

          Andrew- IF EVERYTHING YOU SAY IS FACTUAL,AND I HAVE NO REASON TO DOUBT IT BECAUSE IT SOUNDS SO SIMPLE ,ARE NOT THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF A “WORKER” BEING INTERFERED WITH FOR IF HE IS NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE FURTHER EMPLOY UNTIL SOME THIRD PARTY DEEMS IT OKAY TO DO SO THEN IT GETS INTO A VERY WORRISOME LEGAL FIELD WHICH I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE FFA WOULD SURELY HAVE CONSIDERED IN SETTING THESE RESTRAINTS. OR IS IT SIMPLY AN OVERSIGHT????.jb

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