War of words erupts over McGlinchey impasse

NOT OVER YET: A war of words has erupted following Thursday's developments in the Michael McGlinchey contract saga.
NOT OVER YET: A war of words has erupted following Thursday's developments in the Michael McGlinchey contract saga.

A war of words has predictably broken out following Thursday night's developments in the Michael McGlinchey contract saga.

Independent arbitrator Peter Kite, working on behalf of Football Federation Australia, ruled that McGlinchey remained contracted to the Central Coast Mariners, blocking his desired move to the Wellington Phoenix.

Both the Phoenix and Professional Footballers Australia have signalled they will fight the verdict, and McGlinchey's manager, James Hardy, told FourFourTwo he was "totally perplexed."

"Michael and I cannot see any logic or sense behind the decision," Hardy said.

"Throughout the entire process we have and will continue to solely follow the direction and advice of the PFA, who have been great. However [yesterday's] decision just confirms that the dealings between the FFA and the Central Coast Mariners are blurred."

The confusion stems from a change of ownership at the Mariners last year.

McGlinchey had been contracted to Central Coast for the 2014-15 A-League season but the Mariners chose to re-write existing player contracts as part of the ownership change.

At the time, McGlinchey was playing on loan in Japan for Vegalta Sendai and he declined to sign a new contract with the Mariners - in his view therefore making him a free agent and able to sign with the Phoenix.

But Kite has ruled differently.

"I don't wish to get into a war of words but what I will say is the FFA should stop sitting on the fence and come out with some clarity," Hardy said. 

"Michael has been let down by really poor governance and leadership by the FFA, which ultimately is putting players' welfare on the line through their negligence."

Meanwhile, Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth has launched his own attack, accusing the PFA of acting "disgracefully".

"They have done their client Michael no favours and neither have they done Wellington or the A-League any favours whatsoever," Charlesworth told The World Game.

"They need to take a long hard look at themselves in terms of what they are trying to achieve because they are doing a very poor job for everybody.

"Their conduct, in my opinion, has been divisive to the growth of the A-League. If they had kept out of this I am sure a deal could have been done [with Wellington].

"They have agitated a relatively straightforward situation, which could quite easily have been resolved, to a point where it can now be ongoing should they appeal. I don't believe they have been working in the interests of Michael - in my view they have been working in their own self-interest and have not done a good job for anybody.

"I am sure that had Michael known where this was leading he would have found a club which would have adequately compensated us, or he would have bought himself out of the contract.

"Every player has a value and we put a value on him which we believe is more than reasonable. To me it's a common sense decision. All we wanted was adequate compensation for a very good contracted player. That has not been forthcoming so far."

Phoenix general manager David Dome said McGlinchey planned to remain training with the Phoenix in Wellington and had no intention of taking his young family back to Gosford.

"As far as we are concerned he is on the transfer list," Charlesworth said.

"I would say it's unlikely, but not impossible, that he will play for us again but we will listen to any reasonable offer. Our aim is to reach a financial agreement with Wellington and discussions are ongoing."