New Zealand professional footballer Michael McGlinchey is a victim of an ongoing legal battle with Central Coast Mariners. On Thursday August 21st an independent arbitrator ruled that the player remained under contract at the Australian club.
However, McGinchey and PFA Australia contest that decision and are considering all legal options including an appeal.
McGlinchey and the PFA are of the opinion that the player should no longer be under contract at Central Coast Mariners after the club's A-League license had been sold to a new owner. The 26-time New Zealand international wants to join Wellington Phoenix, the A-League club from his hometown in New Zealand. He is already training with them.
But on Thursday, independent arbitrator Peter Kite, the chair of he Australian National Dispute Resolution Chamber, ruled that McGlinchey remained contracted to the Central Coast Mariners, blocking the player's desired switch to the Wellington Phoenix.
PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian stated that, "The PFA stands by the advice given to Michael, which was based on information given in October 2013 by Football Federation Australia that due to a change in ownership, the A-League license of the Mariners would be transferred to a new company controlled by owner Mike Charlesworth."
Under an agreement reached between FFA and the PFA, all Mariners' players were to be offered employment with the new company, and the previous Mariners' entity would cease to operate the A-League license. As a result, almost the entire Mariners squad signed agreements with the new entity.
Vivian: "As Michael was contracted to the previous entity, he was free to pursue his professional interests as a player without a contract and sign with a club of his choice."
"However, it only recently emerged that the entity licensed to operate the Mariners had not changed, but will do so in the near future. The reason for the failure to transfer the license has not been satisfactorily explained to the PFA."
"The PFA is greatly concerned by the situation at the Mariners, which unnecessarily raises concerns about the sanctity of the A-League licensing system administered by FFA. All A-League players are entitled to know that the club which employs them is duly licensed by FFA. If not, the ability of the game to regulate itself and uphold player contracts is brought into question."
"Players have previously lost over $2.5 million in entitlements where a new entity refused to pick up player contracts on the transfer of an A-League license. The irony of Michael's position in light of this is not lost on the PFA and our membership.
The PFA's lawyers are now analyzing the decision of the arbitrator to determine the next course of action. "In the meantime, we reiterate our commitment to sitting down with FFA, Mr Charlesworth and all affected parties to resolve all matters across the table and to bring much needed certainty to this situation," Vivian concluded.
James Hardy, Michael McGlinchey's agent James hardy, told Stuff website he "can not see any logic or sense behind the decision". "I don't wish to get into a war of words but what I will say is the FFA should stop sitting on the fence and come out with some clarity."
"Michael has been let down by really poor governance and leadership by the FFA, which ultimately is putting players' welfare on the line through their negligence."
- Published: 22 August 2014