Category: Football

Show Me The Money: Western Sydney Wanderers Pay Dispute Reaches Deadlock

Logo_of_Western_Sydney_Wanderers_FC.svgThe Western Sydney Wanderers are currently on their way to Morocco for the World Club Championship (WCC), but whether they take the field remains unknown.

The players are currently locked in a pay dispute with the club, demanding to be compensated more fairly than what the club has offered. As it stands, the club are offering an elevated compensation percentage based on their results. If they are knocked out in the first round, the players will receive 10% of the club’s prize money. Should they go on to win the whole competition, they’ll receive 50%. To do this the club will need to defeat Spanish giants Real Madrid, meaning the likelihood of the reaching the 50% is very slim. In fact, the Wanderers are heavy underdogs to progress past the first round, so it is likely that the club will receive a total of $1.2 million, meaning the players will divide $120,000 between them.

In comparison, the players’ received 50% of the prize money for winning the Asian Champions League, and would have regardless of where they finished. This falls under the A League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), however performances in the WCC do not. It is understood the players are willing to accept a figure less than 50%.

A statement from the Wanderers explains that the prize money will be used to improve facilities and run community programs, and that this money is vital to those plans going ahead.

The case seems to boil down to the Wanderers wanting to take the ‘first money out’. What this means is they want to ensure that their projects are funded from the prize money before compensating the players. Think of it as a Hollywood movie where a star takes a percentage of gross profits before the investors are paid. They’ve clearly costed these initiatives and found that is the amount they need at minimum to ensure they can carry them out. If the team progresses and the compensation becomes greater, the club can afford to distribute more to the players.

This isn’t to say that this methodology is necessarily right. The players are more than entitled a fair share of the spoils, because without their performances, there would be no WCC. What figure that should be is up for debate, but it can certainly set a precedent for the future. The Professional Footballers’ Association should look to include a WCC section in the next CBA, ensuring that such a dispute will not occur again.


Clint Dempsey Named Highest Paid Player In The MLS

Clint Dempsey, Seattle SoundersThe MLS has released their list of salaries for the 2014 season, with Clint Dempsey ranking number 1 on the list. He is due to make almost $7 million this year. The designated player moved from Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur last year.

Toronto FC’s two recent signings, Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe, both feature on the list at no.2 and no.3 respectively. They are both due to make over $6 million this year. Rounding out the top 5 are Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane from the LA Galaxy.

Other notable players include internationals from the New York Red Bulls in Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill, who come in at 6th and 7th.

The current salary cap of the MLS is $3.1 million, although designated players salaries only count $387,500 towards the cap. There are total of 12 designated players in the league, meaning not every team is taking advantage of this rule.

The full list of salaries can be found here.


Former Footballer Louis Saha Launches Sports Management Company

louis-saha_2154919bLouis Saha, who plyed his trade for Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Fulham and Tottenham, has launched his own sports consultancy firm. Axis 10 is a full service firm, offering services to professional footballers in areas including legal, taxation and investments.

The 35 year-old had this to say about the new venture:

“I’m very proud to be part of this amazing project. I just finished my football career but straight away felt a strong desire to use my vast experience to help young players to learn faster and not make the same mistakes lots of players typically make.”

While the agency hasn’t signed any footballers yet, they are looking to connect with many high profile international companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Lloyd’s insurance.

(H/T SportsPro)

Could Berbatov Be Headed To The A League?

West-Ham-v-Fulham-Dimitar-Berbatov_2821317That’s the opinion of Sports Direct News, who are suggesting a source close to Fulham has revealed that a couple of clubs have indicated interest. The 32 year-old Bulgarian striker’s contract expires at the end of the season, having been unsettled at Craven Cottage for some time. He has previously played for Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, the latter being sealed by a £30.75 million deal.

The number and names of the clubs remain a mystery. Dimitar Berbatov is likely to command a salary well in excess of $1 million dollars, meaning he will have to fill the international marquee spot. Based on this, the only team that can be ruled out is the Brisbane Roar, who have Thomas Broich as their marquee player signed for next season. Western Sydney Wanderers’ Shinji Ono has already expressed his desire to leave the side at the end of the season, while Sydney FC’s marquee Alessandro Del Piero has yet to decide on his future. Melbourne Victory defender Pablo Contreras will almost certainly be on his way out, as could Newcastle Jets striker Emile Heskey. Perth Glory and Melbourne Heart would be likely to keep their respective marquee players.

Based on wages, the two most likely teams that could afford to pay a player of Dimitar’s quality are Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC. While the source claims talks are in very early stages, it is an interesting development nonetheless.

Will Berisha Head To Sydney?

845084-besart-berishaThat’s the word around, with the 28 year-old Brisbane Roar striker out of contract at the end of the season. Sydney FC may be looking for a new marquee player when Alessandro Del Piero completes his 2 year contract.

As Berisha has less than six months left on his contract, he is free to discuss terms with other clubs, with the permission of the Roar. He hasn’t committed beyond this season, suggesting he may test the market to see what he is worth. His salary is still included in Brisbane’s salary cap, so it is highly unlikely he would currently be on a salary over $400,000. With his recent form, he could command upwards of $700,000, potentially more if he were to seek a move overseas. As it stands Thomas Broich is Brisbane’s marquee player, suggesting he is their highest paid player.

Luis Suarez Signs New Deal At Liverpool Till 2018

Luis-SuarezThere has been much speculation about the future of Luis Suarez. The player has spoken out previously about his desire to move from Liverpool, as he had ambition to move to a bigger club. Now it seems all is well for the Uruguayan striker, who has netted 17 goals this season. He has signed a new deal with the Merseyside club that will keep him at the club till 2018.

His previous contract had 2 and 1/2 years remaining, with his weekly salary being £120,000. In his new deal, he will be paid £170,000 for the rest of the 2013-14 season, and then his wage will rise to £200,000 per week till 2018. Presumably this figure would not include image rights and bonuses, which could net him an extra £3-4 million per year. There has also been no mention of a  fee release clause, which prevented him from moving mid-year.

The news will come as a massive relief to Liverpool fans, as his performances have seen the club move into Champions League contention.

(H/T Daily Mail)