Former Socceroos captain and SBS football analyst Johnny Warren fears administrators of the new A-League soccer competition have created a "superannuation fund" for players past their prime.
Source:
AP
1 Nov 2004 - 10:04 PM  UPDATED 17 Nov 2012 - 9:07 AM

Former Socceroos captain and SBS football analyst Johnny Warren fears administrators of the new A-League soccer competition have created a "superannuation fund" for players past their prime.



The new national competition which kicks off in August has a $1.5 million salary cap for each of the eight clubs but it also allows one marquee player to be privately funded from each team.



There are no restrictions on what that player can be paid.

The likes of former French star Marcel Desailly, England international Alan Shearer and Socceroo captain Paul Okon have been linked to teams in the new competition.



But Warren said the concept was flawed and would only be to the detriment of young local players in the game.



"I hate all the talk about this being like a superannuation fund for old players coming back. It shouldn't be," said Warren. "It should be for young players going forward.



"I don't understand money for players who are not going to draw it back through the gates, who've had their careers and come back here to earn what three promising kids could earn.



"Investment in youth never fails. It's just a matter of clubs having enough balls to see it through."



He also had concerns about having a New Zealand team after the failure of the Auckland-based Kingz in the National Soccer League.



"I object to a New Zealand team being in an Australian league. My fear is New Zealand never has and probably never will contribute off the field to the quality of an Australian competition," Warren said.



"More importantly it's denying youth in an area - Wollongong or Canberra."



Warren, who spent many years campaigning for reform in the game and was part of the Crawford Report's taskforce which recommended sweeping changes into the game's management in Australia, said he was still hopeful the competition could succeed.



"There's a real need for that gap to be filled between the masses playing it and the national teams. We need some football here for it to be a stepping stone.



"And we had to start somewhere."