Wanderers in limbo as pay dispute unresolved

The Wanderers' pay dispute is still unresolved (AAP)

Western Sydney Wanderers' FIFA Club World Cup preparations are in chaos with the pay dispute between the players and the A-League club's board showing no sign of being resolved.

Tony Popovic and his squad are en route to Morocco where they are scheduled to face CONCACAF champion Cruz Azul of Mexico in a quarter-final on Sunday (AEDT).

Victory against the Mexican outfit would set up a dream tie against Spanish giant Real Madrid.

However, there is still a possibility the game won't go ahead after talks between the club, the Professional Footballers Association and senior players Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Shannon Cole and Ante Covic broke down.

Unlike the AFC Champions League, the Club World Cup doesn't fall under the current A-League collective bargaining agreement.

The CBA ensures clubs pay players a minimum of 50 per cent of all prizemoney, participation fees and performance bonuses for winning the ACL.

It is understood the 10 per cent basic offer the Wanderers players have received from the club for facing Cruz Azul will leave them with just $2500 each after tax if they lose to the North American champion.

They are searching for an extra $200,000 to be divided up between the squad ahead of Sunday's game.

However, club management claims it needs the money to help fund a high performance training facility, meaning it can't bow to the players' demands.

The Wanderers said on Monday that players would be rewarded incrementally should they progress in the competition.

Victory over the North American champion would see 25 per cent of the $2.4 million prizemoney shared between the squad which equates to $600,000.

If Popovic's side was to prevail against Real Madrid it would take home 40 per cent of $3.6 million ($1,950,000) and victory in the final would see them take 50 per cent of the $6 million on offer.

The players believe they should be awarded a greater share of the pie after receiving nothing extra for playing in the ACL until the semi-final stages as a gesture of goodwill.

Wanderers officials won't travel to north Africa until later this week but a PFA spokesman said the association was on stand-by to jet out should the situation not be resolved.

"This could rumble on for a few days yet," the spokesman said.

"We have no plans to fly out just yet, but if we have to we will. For these players, it's the biggest game of their careers and the last thing they want to do is not play.

"But they feel they should be rewarded. The argument from the club is what used to happen back in the NSL days. We thought we'd moved away from that."

The dispute is another sour note in what has been a disastrous start to the season for Popovic's team which is anchored to the foot of the A-League ladder and without a win from the first nine games.

However, Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said after announcing his extended 46-man squad for January's AFC Asian Cup he had no concerns about them flopping on the big stage.

"They've got some great games coming up, I'm not really worried about them," Postecoglou said.

"I dearly hope they knock off Cruz Azul in the first game and get to play Real Madrid.

"There won't be any better preparation for those players in terms of January.

"I'll be a keen observer and hoping they do very well."

Source AAP