• Dario Vidosic speaks out about his time in the Chinese Super League (Getty Images)
Former Chinese Super League player Dario Vidosic is "not surprised" by the contract sagas which prompted Australians Robbie Kruse and James Holland to walk out on Liaoning Whowin this week.
By
Dave Lewis

20 May 2017 - 10:59 AM  UPDATED 20 May 2017 - 11:20 AM

Sometime Socceroo Vidosic, and his erstwhile Liaoning teammate Michael Thwaite, were embroiled in their own wages disputes while at the same CSL club, before finally having their contracts honoured after the intervention of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) earlier this year.

With Socceroos attacker Kruse and fringe Australia midfielder Holland owed $1.5 million between them, having not been paid a cent by Liaoning in four months, the PFA is poised to take the case to FIFA to recover their missing money.

Kruse, Holland quit Chinese club Liaoning Whowin
Australian pair Robbie Kruse and James Holland are free agents after terminating their contracts with Chinese Super League club Liaoning Whowin.

For Vidosic, who left Liaoning after just five months and 13 games for a fresh start with K-League Seongnam, it's a tale with a familiar ring.

"To me, it's not very surprising (taking into account the past conduct of the club)," he said.

"They weren't getting the game time they would have liked (Kruse four appearances and Holland one), and Liaoning were obviously in breach.

"But with PFA helping it will relieve a lot of the burden and stress on them and they can move on with their careers now."

Vidosic confirmed that it took four months for both himself and new Western Sydney Wanderers signing Thwaite to recoup their entitlements from a club notorious in China for habitually making players wait for long periods to receive wages.

Fellow Australians Josh Mitchell and Socceroos attacker James Troisi were also victims of Liaoning's late payment policies, but Vidosic said the difference with Kruse and Holland was that previously the money would finally arrive in bank accounts.

"Even if the payments were overdue, you'd eventually get what you were entitled to," he added.

"But with Robbie and Dutchy, they were also hit by the new rules (only three foreigners allowed in match day squads and the scrapping of the Asian player spot).

"We were playing regularly, whereas they haven't been. I can imagine how frustrating it's been for them."

EXCLUSIVE: Vidosic and Abbas set for K-League swap
Attacking weapon Dario Vidosic is poised to join Pohang Steelers - but only if another ex-A-League star, Ali Abbas, accepts a pay-off from the K-League club.

Kruse, signed from Bayer Leverkusen, is expected to return to Europe, while Holland, poached from Adelaide United, is more likely to return to the A-League.

"Of all the Aussies to have gone through Liaoning, I don't think even one has stayed for the duration of their contracts," added Vidosic, who told both Kruse and Holland of his experience at Liaoning during a pre-season training camp in Newcastle.

"We told them about the things that had happened to us but not to stress because it (non-payment) doesn't usually stretch beyond three months.

"In my time there, I don't think Liaoning didn't pay because they didn't want to.

"We were told at the time it more was a question of them waiting for money from sponsors and things like that."

Can the Chinese Super League talent drain last?
With Chinese-based Paulinho and Renato Augusto garnering regular selection for Brazil, a move to the Far East no longer signifies the end of a star player's international career - but how long can the drain to China last?

In light of the visa player rule changes in China, Vidosic warned Australian players to be wary of heading to China.

"Regardless of where you go it's hard now ... you saw that even with Trent Sainsbury also being loaned out.

"And others have also been affected. The same thing is happening with the Korean players there.

"The European players are earning the big dollars and they will be the ones who play each week."