A SOUTH Australian community football club – not believed to be part of the Central Zone – has been fined and docked player points for the upcoming season, after breaching the Player Payment Cap.
The unknown club, the identity of which remains undisclosed by a Community Football investigative committee, was recently fined $1750 and had to surrender three Approved Player Points System points for paying a player a sign-on fee – a breach of Regulation 31 (the Player Payment Cap).
The Salary Cap Commissioner also imposed a suspended penalty of four premiership points, or the equivalent of two matches, for both seasons 2017 and 2018, which will come into play following any further breach of the Player Payment Cap.
Barossa, Light & Gawler Football Association president Mick Brien said he had received correspondence from Central Zone officials to confirm none of its four associations (the Barossa, Light & Gawler, Adelaide Plains, Yorke Peninsula or North Eastern football leagues) were involved in the breach.
Community Football Manager Matt Duldig was confident the punishment fit the crime, and said the penalty was lessened due to the club’s co-operation.
“Each case will be judged on its merits and in this case we are comfortable with the outcome from the Investigation Committee, and the subsequent penalty,” he said.
“The club in question co-operated fully with the investigation, which led to a reduction in penalty.
“We would encourage clubs who may have made a bad decision to come forward, and they will be dealt with in a similar manner.”
Community Football’s Player Payments Investigation Committee undertook a full investigation pertaining to a sign-on fee, which confirmed the breaches committed by the club, coach and club officials.
Mr Duldig said the penalties should serve as a warning to other clubs that Community Football is serious about policing player payments.
“We hope this action makes other clubs think about what they are doing with player payments,” he said.
“The introduction of a cap was done to help clubs, and ensure long-term sustainability.
“A club who deliberately cheats, and is caught, will put itself in a difficult situation and one that will set them back considerably.
“By taking APPS points off clubs, this will significantly affect their ability to recruit new players.”