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Volume 7 No. 49

International Football

A majority of A-League coaches "want the salary cap scrapped or at least dramatically increased," according to Windley & Davutovic of the HERALD SUN. In a survey of 10 A-League coaches, only two -- Melbourne City's Warren Joyce and Sydney FC's Graham Arnold -- "advocated keeping the cap in its current form." Two others, Adelaide's Marco Kurz and Tony Popovic -- who was still Western Sydney's coach at the time of questioning -- "were unsure," while Wellington's Darije Kalezić said that it had to be significantly expanded "to give clubs more possibilities to sign more quality players." In a view shared by others, Perth coach Kenny Lowe and Newcastle's Ernie Merrick were "adamant" the current salary cap "was pointless given the amount of loopholes that exist within it." Merrick: "If you have a salary cap you have a salary cap. There's no point having a pseudo salary cap where there are so many ways to get around it" (HERALD SUN, 12/11).

MOVING FRENZY: Davutovic also reported A-League execs will discuss the merits of a loan system this week and "have not ruled out introducing it next month, a move that could trigger a January moving frenzy." Many A-League coaches and "well-credentialed" football identities "have advocated for a loan and transfer system as a solution to the limited senior exposure youngsters are getting." A-League Head Greg O'Rourke said that a loan system "was inevitable, but could not yet confirm whether it would be ratified in time for the upcoming transfer window," which opens on Jan. 3 (HERALD SUN, 12/11).

Three Scottish football clubs were "named and shamed" for underpaying staff, according to the BBC. Scottish Premiership side Motherwell and Scottish Championship clubs Greenock Morton and Falkirk were on a list of employers not paying the minimum wage. A list of 28 employers "breaching pay rules" in Scotland was released by the U.K. government as part of its campaign to "force employers to pay workers properly." Motherwell failed to pay £2,755.34 to 12 workers, with Greenock Morton keeping £2,382.46 from six members of staff. Falkirk had to pay back £495 owed to one worker. A spokesperson for Motherwell said, "This was an administrative error on the club's part. The amount outstanding was immediately paid to employees in full." Falkirk said that its case was related to a player who signed with the club in '13, and that it rectified the situation "immediately." The Scottish Professional Football League said that all of its clubs "must act in accordance with the laws of the land," and that "we are currently making enquiries to each of the three named clubs to establish the facts." Greenock Morton clarified its position in a statement on the club website that said, "This is a historical case dating from three seasons ago in which a solitary player was due the majority of the figure mentioned as a result of being erroneously contracted. Five other players were also underpaid by very minimal amounts due to the club missing key trigger dates for slight increases due in the terms of their contracts. However, once we were made aware of the situation, all players were promptly and fully reimbursed earlier this year" (BBC, 12/8).

Turkish footballers and fans protested U.S. President Donald Trump's "controversial" recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, "unfurling pro-Palestine banners at domestic football matches." Protests reportedly followed the Turkish Football Federation requesting all clubs playing in the Super League, 1st League, 2nd League and 3rd League "open Jerusalem banners while coming out on to the field for their matches this week." Prior to matches, teams held banners reading, "Jerusalem is our red line" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 12/11).

The FA launched an investigation into the "ugly tunnel row that marred the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday," during which Man City coach Mikel Arteta "suffered a cut head" and "milk and water was thrown" toward ManU Manager José Mourinho. A "huge melee broke out" after ManU "reacted with displeasure" to what it felt were "excessive celebrations" from Man City's players and staff after the team's 2-1 win. The clubs were given until 6pm on Wednesday to respond to the FA (London TELEGRAPH, 12/11).

The Dutch league champion "will not get an automatic place in the Champions League group stage for the first time next season." Eredivisie champion Feyenoord finished at the bottom of its Champions League group and Vitesse Arnhem was at the bottom of its Europa League group this season (BBC, 12/8).