This circular aims to clarify the policies regarding player payments and the status of amateur players within the competitions administered by Central Coast Football (CCF), in alignment with the current rules and regulations of CCF and the overarching guidelines set by Football Australia.
2. CCF Rules and Regulations
CCF has established a framework that ensures fairness and competitiveness across all levels of play. According to CCF’s rules and regulations, 1.2.4, Under no circumstances are players to receive payment for playing football in CCF competitions.
These policies are designed to maintain the integrity of amateur competitions and ensure a level playing field for all participating clubs and players.
3. Football Australia National Registration, Status, and Transfer Regulations
As per the Football Australia National Registration, Status, and Transfer Regulations, specifically outlined below, amateur players are eligible to be reimbursed expenses. Any such expenses should be recorded as an expense within clubs audited financial statements at the end of year.
5.1 Amateur or Professional Player
a) A Player participating in football is either an Amateur or a Professional.
b) A Professional is a Player who has a written contract with a Club, under which they are paid more than the expenses they effectively incur to play football for that Club.
c) An Amateur is any Player that is not a Professional. A Club may pay or reimburse a Player any expenses incurred by that Player without affecting their status as an Amateur, including but not limited to travel, kit, equipment, or insurance premiums. If, however, an Amateur is paid or reimbursed more than $115 a week by a Club, the onus is on that Club to satisfy the Competition Administrator that the amount paid accurately reflects the expenses incurred by that Player. If the Club fails to satisfy this onus, that Player will be deemed to be a Professional.
d) A Player’s Club must ensure that the Player’s status as either Amateur or Professional is accurately recorded in the National Online Registration System at all times.
The status of professional players includes significant additional regulations imposed by FIFA and FA, including contractual requirements, FIFA ID requirements, National Transfer rules and the application of transfer windows. For the avoidance of doubt, CCF will not approve any professional player registrations for its administered competitions.
4. Third Party Player Payments
CCF is of the prevailing understanding that player payments within our competitions are primarily being conducted via third-party entities. This practice is not only contrary to the principles of fairness and integrity that underpin our competitions but also potentially undermines the ability of clubs to effectively facilitate football experiences for all participants, from Miniroos to the Premier League.
Third-party transactions, by their nature, can create imbalances and discrepancies that go against the spirit of equitable competition. They may lead to situations where financial power, rather than sporting merit, dictates the dynamics of the game.
Importantly, third-party transactions fall outside the standard purview of CCF’s ability to audit and review, thereby creating significant challenges for compliance monitoring. This lack of oversight and control compromises our efforts to ensure fair play and transparency within the organization. Our goal must be to ensure that all clubs operate on a level playing field, thereby preserving the integrity of our competitions and the sport’s inclusive nature for every participant.
5. Ensuring Compliance
To ensure compliance with these regulations, CCF clubs throughout 2024 will be required to provide CCF copies of their audited accounts, annual financial reports, and other associated documents on request (Constitution 39.1)
Teams, players, clubs and/or club officials found guilty of breaching these rules and regulations may have penalties and/or sanctions imposed upon them including:
- Financial penalties in the form of fines, bonds, or other such guarantees
- Determination of Match Results
- Suspension and/or expulsion from any competition
- Loss of Competition points
CCF is committed to upholding the highest standards of fairness and integrity in all its competitions. Adherence to these policies on player payments and amateur status is crucial for maintaining the ethos of amateur football and the overall health of the sport within our community.
Alex Burgin – Chief Executive Officer