Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) today announced that it and PFA member Michael McGlinchey are considering all legal options including an appeal following the decision handed down today by arbitrator Mr Peter Kite SC that Michael remains a contracted player of the Central Coast Mariners.

PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian today stated that, “The PFA stands by the advice given to Michael, which was based on information given in October 2013 by Football Federation Australia (FFA) that due to a change in ownership, the A-League licence of the Mariners would be transferred to a new company controlled by owner Mike Charlesworth.

“Under an agreement reached between FFA and the PFA, all Mariners’ players were to be offered employment with the new company, and the previous Mariners’ entity would cease to operate the A-League licence. As a result, almost the entire Mariners squad has signed agreements with the new entity.

“As Michael was contracted to the previous entity, he was free to pursue his professional interests as an uncontracted player and sign a contract with a club of his choice.

“However, it only recently emerged that the entity licensed to operate the Mariners had not changed, but will do so in the near future. The reason for the failure to transfer the licence has not been satisfactorily explained to the PFA.

“The PFA is greatly concerned by the situation at the Mariners, which unnecessarily raises concerns about the sanctity of the A-League licensing system administered by FFA. All A-League players are entitled to know that the club which employs them is duly licensed by FFA. If not, the ability of the game to regulate itself and uphold player contracts is brought into question.

“Players have previously lost over $2.5 million in entitlements where a new entity refused to pick up player contracts on the transfer of an A-League licence. The irony of Michael’s position in light of this is not lost on the PFA and our membership.

“The PFA’s lawyers are now analysing the decision of the arbitrator to determine the next course of action. In the meantime, we reiterate our commitment to sitting down with FFA, Mr Charlesworth and all affected parties to resolve all matters across the table and to bring much needed certainty to this situation,” Vivian concluded.