Star striker Alex Brosque is packing his bags for Japan after winning the arbitration case with his club Sydney FC over the proposed transfer to J-League club Shimizu S-Pulse.
The collective bargaining agreement arbitration has found that Brosque is playing under an old contract with Sydney and is subject to the $400,000 buyout clause which has been the sticking point in the fallout between club and player.
Sydney and Shimizu effected the transfer on Monday on the last day of the international transfer window and Brosque will leave Australia on Tuesday to take up the newest challenge of his stellar career.
"Brendan Schwab (Professional Footballers’ Association president) gave me a call today and basically told me we won the case and I was free to leave," an elated Brosque told The World Game.
"I am playing under my old contract which expires on March 31 and by agreeing to the buyout clause Sydney effectively agreed that all future contracts become null and void (in terms of the clause).
"It is a relief because it had started to drag on a little bit and it got to a position where nobody wanted to be in.
"Both the club and I felt strongly about our positions and that is why it ended up in arbitration.
"But now it’s all over and I’m just happy to be able to get on with my career.
"It’s going to be a big challenge, moving to a country and a new league."
In five seasons with the Sky Blues, Brosque established himself as one of the stars of the team and a hero among the fans, especially after helping the club to a premiership and championship double in 2010.
"I would like to thank everybody at the club, especially the fans, and it’s a shame I did not get the chance to say a proper 'thankyou’ to the supporters on the pitch because of my injury," he said.
"But I still hope that one day I will return to the club which has been very good to me."
Brosque has signed a two-year deal with cashed-up Shimizu worth about $1.5 million plus accommodation, airfares and a car.
Sydney said it wished "great servant" Brosque all the best but warned it was considering going ahead with an earlier threat to file an official complaint with world governing body FIFA over Shimizu’s alleged tapping-up of Brosque.
"The arbitrator did not have the jurisdiction to hear arguments in relation to Shimizu S-Pulse's breach of article 18.3 of FIFA’s transfer regulations," vice-chairman Scott Barlow said in a statement.
'Sydney FC will now consider its options as to filing a complaint with FIFA."