The Wash Up: 28th January – 4th February
New squad for Newcastle?
A while back I wrote about how A-League team Adelaide United may struggle to hold onto their players at seasons end. Now it is the Newcastle Jets in which the focus turns to. [Jets hold mass exodus fears] The Jets have a reported ten players out of contract at the end of the season, and already one (Mark Bridge) has departed.
But it isn’t salary cap issues that are troubling Newcastle, but rather the opposite. On top of the $1.8 million salary cap available for teams, an additional $450,000 is available. Under the Additional Services Agreement (ASA), local businesses can contribute to players on top of their wage.
Coach Gary Von Egmond has asked the community for backing if they don’t want their players going elsewhere, and because the club has given so much to the community, it is now time for them to give back.
Newcastle is also trying to elevate leading scorer Joel Griffiths to its marquee player next season. The player has been in amazing form this year, and the club wants to lock him up before rival offers come in.
Symonds and Singh re-united
Tensions were raised this summer when Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh had a stoush which led to an ICC inquiry. But now an Indian chewing gum maker could defuse tensions by hiring two of them to appear on behalf of the company. [Offer for duelling duo to chew on] The ad may see the two players talking about how if you chew this gum, you will stand your ground. This will be an interesting deal if it happens, and will do wonders for the relations between the two teams.
Super 14 to open up?
Australian Rugby Union coach Robbie Deans has called for a change to the current rules regarding players in the Super 14. Currently, NZ and South Africa allow foreign players to play for their Super 14 teams, but Australia does not. Also, if a player is contracted to their national team, they cannot play elsewhere. [Open up player market: Deans]
What Deans is proposing is to completely open up the league, by allowing a player of any nation to play for any team. So, an Australian player who still plays for the national team can play for a NZ based club.
The idea has all but fallen on deaf ears of the NZ Rugby Union. Both NZ and South Africa have second-tier competitions, and by opening the market, the future stars of NZ and South Africa could be contributing to another country’s Rubgy. [Proposal foreign to Kiwis]
Another problem faced with allowing players to play elsewhere is how do you limit them to only playing for Super 14 teams? The problem would be teams in strong, rich leagues such as France and England would be able to sign them. Any attempted block by the countries would most certainly be a restraint of trade.
Well the January transfer window for English soccer clubs has come to a close and there were a few deadline deals worth mentioning:
– Tottenham striker Jermaine Defoe has departed and signed for Portsmouth, scoring in his first game for his new club.
– Portsmouth striker Benjani has signed for Manchester City for 6.3 million pounds.
– Middlesborough have broken their transfer record in signing Alfonso Alves from Heerenveen in Holland. The figure wasn’t announced, but is over 8 million pounds.
The full list of transfers can be found at Soccernet.com.