Media Release

Salary cap breach penalties – Gaza Football Club

February 21, 2024

Gaza Football Club faces a fine of $186,000 and the loss of 6 premiership points following the sentencing hearing to determine penalties for serious breaches of player payment regulations between 2018 and 2022.

Independent Salary Cap Commissioner The Hon. Michael David KC handed down his recommended penalties for the club last night after finding it guilty of more than 200 regulation breaches at a two-day tribunal hearing earlier this month.

The fine and sanctions, which require ratification by the SA Football Commission at its meeting next week, are as follows:

  • Total fine of $186,000 for serious breaches of the player payment regulations
  • Loss of 6 Approved Player Points System (APPS) points in season 2024.
  • Loss of 6 Premiership Points in season 2024
  • Former club president Don Rosella suspended for 5 years from holding any official role with an affiliated League or Club.

The club, which competes in the Adelaide Football League, was found guilty of breaches of SANFL Community Football Rules and Regulations in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 seasons, including upfront player payments, significantly exceeding individual player match payments and total player match payments and falsifying player contracts.

The club pleaded not guilty to all charges, however after hearing evidence from all parties involved, including six witnesses, Mr David found the charges proven and the club guilty of 218 breaches of the Salary Cap Regulations.

Mr Rosella also was found guilty of charges relating to breaches from the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Two other club officials had already accepted the sanctions which were offered to them in 2023.

SANFL Executive General Manager Football Matt Duldig said:

“The Community Football Salary Cap regulations have been in place since 2015 and there is no excuse for any club breaching these rules.

 The SANFL originally issued the maximum penalties for breaches of salary cap regulations, but offered substantial concessions had the Club been prepared to make an early guilty plea and work with us.

The penalties recommended by the Salary Cap Commissioner should serve as a reminder to all community football clubs that breaches of the salary cap regulations are taken extremely seriously.

Ultimately, we have Player Payment regulations in place to ensure the sustainability of community football clubs, as well as to provide equalisation measures across the State. It is important we continue to support the vast majority of clubs that adhere to the regulations.

We now hope we can work with club officials to implement new processes within the club and ensure it gets back on track to becoming a sustainable football club in the future.”

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