FOOTBALL Federation Australia admitted today that they are helping to foot the bill to bring Lucas Neill to the A-League - but insist they offered the same cash assistance to all clubs.
The Socceroo skipper joined Sydney FC today after a week of speculation which saw him also strongly lined with Melbourne Heart as well as Brisbane Roar.
He joins Sydney on a guest contract until the end of the season after they sealed the deal this morning.
Today the FFA confessed they would also be chipping in for Neill's wage bill to help market the A-League.
“A number of clubs held discussions with Lucas and his representatives and FFA made the same offer of assistance to each club,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.
“This season FFA has been party to several arrangements covering marquee players and returning Socceroos. Our aim has been to support clubs who have made substantial investments in top quality players.
“The marquee players and returning Socceroos have added great value to the A-League in terms of playing standard and marketability. At the end of the season we will review this policy in conjunction with the clubs to ensure we are maximizing benefits for the whole league.”
“As a Sydney junior who has seen the world through football, it’s wonderful that the journey has brought Lucas back to play for his home town club in the A-League,” said Gallop.
“In this crucial FIFA World Cup qualifying year, it will be great to see the Socceroo captain playing in front of Australian fans in our very competitive national league.
“I wish Lucas all the best in his guest stint with Sydney FC.”