I would like to see the FFA be clearer about its unique rules for the A-League. I mean the rules that are in addition to FIFAs regulations. They should clearly set-out:
- the salary cap
- squad size limits
- foreign player limits
- guest player limits
- salary cap exemptions (like Kevin Muscat being excluded from Victory's cap last year because he had passed some coaching courses).
- instructions to referees on acceptable styles of play - tackles and backchat
Further, when there is a planned change to to these rules the FFA should outline the changes, in an easily accessible place in the public domain, provide clear reasons, demonstrate fairness across clubs and facilitate comments from the general public. This is counter any perception that a rule has been developed to favour any club. It would also give the FFA a mechanism to explain how rule changes promote the gain.
For example, it appears that for 2009/10 the foreign player restriction has been changed from 4 players plus a guest to five players plus a guest. This changed was flagged in the media at the end of the 2008/9 season for Fury and Gold Coast but not for other teams. However, now Adelaide have signed their 5th foreign player, a rule change appears to have been made. This is significant because up to this point I had assumed that Brisbane RFC's signing for Bob Malcolm would mean an exit for one of their other foreign players.