Following through with its threat to clamp down on anti-social behavour, Football Federation Australia announced it will be applying a three-point deduction to the Western Sydney Wanderers’ A-League points tally after the club’s disruption of the A-League fixture schedule.
The Wanderers’ Asian Champions League victory against FC Seoul on Wednesday night leaves the 2014/15 A-League fixture schedule in tatters, with matches needing to be rescheduled to accommodate the club’s ongoing commitments. FFA spokesperson Clive Umani, flanked by the Head of A-League Damien De Bohun, told reporters on Thursday the Wanderers’ “wanton disregard” for the established schedule is the type of disruptive behaviour that administration will not tolerate.
“The FFA warned the Wanderers last season that any further destructive behaviour, from the club or its fans, would be met with severe penalties. With the A-League fixture schedule in need of significant repairs less than two weeks from the start of the season, FFA have no choice but to deduct three points from the team’s season point tally, meaning the club will start the upcoming season on minus three points.”
When approached for comment, a spokesperson for the Wanderers told FMF the club wasn’t concerned by the three-point deduction, saying the A-League provides the Wanderers with the perfect pre-season preparation for ACL 2015, so the club is grateful for the opportunity to compete in it regardless of how many points they score.
Several A-League clubs released statements praising the FFA for its quick and efficient handling of the situation, with Melbourne Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro saying, “On behalf of the club, we’re happy the FFA has finally given the Wanderers’ the treatment they’ve deserved since joining the competition.”
Di Pietro added that other A-League clubs, especially Melbourne Victory, would never seek to inconvenience the A-League by making the Asian Champions League finals, so he hoped the Wanderers would learn from this experience when they compete in the ACL in 2015.