Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) backed the decision to award former Gold Coast United player Peter Perchtold over $340,000 in compensation after he was sacked for refusing to agree to a club demand that the second year of his contract be removed under the club’s then “one year contract” policy.
PFA chief Brendan Schwab was a special guest on the TWG podcast this week. To listen to his exclusive interview, click here.
The arbitrator found that Perchtold was entitled to damages that including $50,000 based on the "specificity of sport", which takes into account the impact of the club’s conduct on Perchtold’s football career.
The arbitrator was highly critical of Gold Coast United’s conduct, stating: “The Club plainly reneged on the Agreement. In doing so the Club breached the Contract. The Player was blameless. In my opinion the conduct of the Club was highhanded to say the least.”
PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab welcomed the decision.
“This is an important win for players in Australia," Schwab said. "It demonstrates that an employment contract in Australia must be honoured by the Club, and that the obligations which exist on a Club, once the contract is freely entered into, must be complied with.
“We hope the decision will also bring about a change in the culture at Gold Coast United, which has dismissed three A-League players in recent times.
"The A-League features a salary cap and restricted rosters. The onus is on all A-League clubs to get their recruitment right and then invest in the development of their rostered players in order to be competitive.
"Extensive education and counselling programs are available through FFA and the PFA to ensure that every player upholds the highest standards of professionalism and conduct, on and off the field.”
Gold Coast United has 21 days in which to comply with the determination.