Sydney FC to lose competition points

Friday, December 29, 2006

Australian A-League club Sydney FC has been docked three competition points by Football Federation Australia (FFA) after it was found guilty of breaching the Player Contracting Regulations.

The FFA stated that the offences warranted a A$259,000 fine as well as a three-point deduction, however it considered "the cooperation and full disclosure provided by the current Sydney FC Board and Management to the FFA" during the investigation process, and reduced the penalty to a A$129,000 fine plus two competition points deducted.

However, this most recent breach also activated a one-point suspended penalty issued to Sydney FC in August 2006 for previous breaches of the salary cap, increasing the total points lost during this case to three.

This latest breach also incurred a suspended penalty of a one-point deduction which will automatically be activated for any breaches during seasons 2006-07 or 2007-08.

In a statement released on the official A-League website, "the [FFA] Board determined that the following breaches had occurred: an undisclosed payment made to a player; pre-payments from the Club to players; and payments made by the Club to agents of the players".

Sydney FC, the defending champions of the A-League, will not be deducted the competition points immediately and has one week to appeal. If Sydney decides not to appeal the FFA decision, the points will be removed on January 5, 2007.

According to Sportal, the club has notified the FFA it intends to appeal the decision, however no formal confirmation has been published. Sydney FC have said in a statement on their website that "the club will consider its options regarding the decision before issuing a further statement".

Sydney is currently sitting in second position on the 2006-07 A-League table and the three-point reduction would see it fall to third place.