Willaston Football Club was unable to convince the SANFL Salary Cap Commissioner that it was not guilty of charges laid against it earlier this month.
The club, which competes in the Barossa Light & Gawler Football Association, challenged charges for breaches of Regulation 31 of the Player Payment Cap at a hearing this week.
The charges were in relation to upfront payments made to former Gold Coast Suns Footballer Josh Glenn totalling $3,000 in seasons 2016 and 2018.
The club pleaded not guilty to two of the charges, however after hearing evidence from all parties involved, the Commissioner found the charges proven and the club guilty of the offences.
The following penalties will now apply:
- $8,000 fine, $2,000 of which is suspended until the end of 2020 season and will be invoked with any breach of Regulation 31
- Loss of 3 Approved Player Points System (APPS) points in both season 2019 and 2020
- Loss of 6 Premiership Points – 2 for the 2018 season and 4 in season 2019
- Club official suspended for 12 months from holding any official role with an affiliated League or Club, effective immediately
- Former club official suspended for 24 months from holding any official role with an affiliated League or Club, effective immediately.
The club committee, the leadership of which has changed since the offences, has defended its decision to appeal the charges.
“The Willaston Football Club have acted honestly, fairly and been compliant throughout the entire process of investigation, appeal and hearing,” a club statement reads.
“Whilst unsuccessful and accepting of the outcome, Willaston Football Club stands by the evidence produced in favour of the case put forward.
“Willaston Football Club’s focus is now upon the remainder of the 2018 season.”
SANFL Community Football Manager Matt Duldig said the Player Payment Cap regulations, which were clear in not permitting any sign-on payments for players, had been in place for the past three years and there was no excuse for any club breaching these rules.
He said SANFL would continue to investigate clubs and encouraged individuals involved to be truthful and fully co-operative.