Australia defender David Carney has been forced to turn to FIFA to chase nearly five months of unpaid wages as his Uzbek club Bunyodkor seeks to offload him.
Carney was omitted from Bunyodkor’s squad for its 2-2 Asian Champions League quarter-final draw with Adelaide United on Wednesday amid accusations from coach Mirjalol Kasymov that he plays better for country than club, and his Australian agent, Sydney-based Ante Alilovic, claims the 28-year-old has been treated “unprofessionally”.
In what he insists is a ploy to drive Carney out of the club without receiving what he describes as a “substantial sum”, Alilovic said: “The reality is that David hasn’t been paid for four and a half months.
“He is, of course, upset by that and also by the way the coach has publicly turned on him in a very unprofessional manner.
“It’s not appropriate for any coach to basically say, ‘he plays well for the Socceroos and is rubbish for us’. I don’t think that’s the way for any professional coach to conduct himself. It’s not something I’ve ever seen or heard before.
“Even if it were true, you would keep it in-house. That’s just amateurish.
“The real issue is the club have financial troubles and are using this as a smokescreen. Was David rubbish when he played in the other ACL games and helped Bunyodkor to the last eight?
“If that were the case they’d have dropped him immediately.
“I informed him that FIFA will become involved if the money is not forthcoming, with the PFA [Professional Footballers Australia] heavily involved also.
“He admitted the club is in financial strife and said he didn’t know how David was going to get paid. David is not the only player there owed money.”
Carney, who is still in Tashkent while the dispute rages, is set to head back to England, where his last club was Blackpool, but not until given the go-ahead by the PFA and his management.
He has consulted with Socceroos coach Holger Osieck over his future, with Alilovic saying: “Holger is fully aware of the issue and has been very supportive.”
Kasymov said of Carney on Tuesday: “We have better local players than David Carney. When we took him at the start of the season we hoped he would help in the championship, but at the moment we have better players.
“As a foreigner you must be better. But he has not shown us a good game or good results and for this reason he is not here.
“He must work for the full season and help our club but he plays better for the national team than our club.”
Carney joined the Uzebekistan club in February from Spanish second division side AD Alcorcon and has made just seven appearances before falling out of favour last month.
Alilovic is keen to see Carney back in the A-League while the player himself sees his future in Europe.
“The main thing is to get him out of Uzbekistan. Hopefully that can be achieved this week,” he said.
“He can leave tomorrow but we need to do things properly to ensure that he gets the money he is owed. FIFA are well aware of what is happening.”
Carney needs to be playing regularly with Australia, which is set to face Iraq in a crucial World Cup qualifier on 16 October 16 (17 October AEST).
“It’s a big decision David has to make, whether to return home or to go back to Europe where he’s had some bad luck over the past three years or so,” said Alilovic.
John Boultbee is set to relinquish his role as Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) Head of National Teams to take up a role as honorary head of World Rowing (FISA).