More A-League clubs have stood down players and staff, bringing another rebuke from players’ union boss John Didulica, who described rival sports as more “mature and sophisticated” than his own.
Up to seven clubs have issued stand-down notices or are on the verge of doing so according to media reports on Wednesday.
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Perth Glory and the Central Coast Mariners have already confirmed they are taking the drastic action to combat the financial strain brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Western Sydney, Adelaide United and Brisbane have also reportedly done so while it is believed Western United and Newcastle are on the verge of following suit.
Didulica, the Professional Footballers Association CEO, was unmoved in his stance that the clubs are breaching the contracts of their players and damaging the competition.
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“Whether it is one club or all 11 clubs, our position on this will not change,” he said in a statement.
“We will continue to fight for the players who have been dumped and preserve their legal rights, including challenging the stand down notices and, where instructed, seek free agency on the basis of this breach of contract.”
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Didulica said the players who are struck off potentially face long term unemployment given the uncertainty around the impact of COVID-19. He described the clubs’ actions as short-term opportunism.
“It is entirely unnecessary for club owners to place their players in this situation when there is an alternative option – which is for the sport to work together – as we’ve seen across other mature and sophisticated sports.”