A South Australian community football club has received a light penalty after being investigated for a breach of regulations controlling the payment of players.
The South Australian Community Football League has decided to keep the name of the club confidential after they were found to be guilty of paying a sign-on fee which is a clear breach of Regulation 31 (the Player Payment Cap).
The mystery club received a penalty of $1,750 fine and the loss of 3 Approved Player Points System points with a suspended penalty of 4 Premiership Points (2 matches) for seasons 2017 and 2018 which will be invoked following any further breach of Regulation 31.
In the scheme of things is this penalty 'light on' for a club that has breached Regulation 31?
As the SACFL has made the strange decision not to release the club, the player, the amount or any facts around the situation of the sign on fee we all can still only speculate.
Take this scenario-
If a club pays a sign on fee to a player and that becomes the difference between him playing for that club or somewhere else, he then leads them to premiership glory, is a fine of $1,750 and the loss of 3 Approved Player Points sufficient?
Back in December 2016 Community Football Manager Matt Duldig released a media statement stating a club had been found guilty of breach ing the Salary Cap and that other clubs should take this as a warning to take Regulation 31 very seriously.
Once the investigation is completed, a full report will be presented to the Salary Cap Commissioner to determine a penalty which may include a loss of premiership points, a loss of Approved Player Points System (APPS) points, player suspension, a fine or all of the above.
“This should serve as a warning to all clubs and players that Community Football is taking Regulation 31 very seriously,” said Community Football Manager Matt Duldig.
“Should a club choose to cheat the system, the consequences could be very damaging – not only to the club but also to the individuals found to have been involved.”
With a fine of $1,750 and 3 Approved Player Points for 2017, has the mystery club and player got off extremely lightly?
Duldig however said the Club, Coach and Club Officials all co-operated with the investigation which led to a reduced penalty.
“The club co-operated with all aspects of the investigation, which led to a reduced penalty,” said Community Football Manager Matt Duldig.
“However, the fact that the club and the people involved have all been penalised should serve as a warning to everyone that Community Football is very serious about policing the issue of player payments.
“The majority of clubs are following the rules and are seeing the positive impact of the salary cap, which is helping to redirect money toward spending on facilities, junior development and coaching.
“However, those that aren’t should understand that they will be caught and penalised.”