Major changes are vital to revitalise the stuttering A-League, says Melbourne City captain Scott Jamieson
The Sydney Morning Herald recently revealed A-League clubs and the PFA were negotiating a proposal for all 12 sides to effectively field five marquees per team by exempting foreign players from the salary cap.
With the current limit set at two – and clubs having to include their cost-of-living expenses help within the cap – the proposed new rules aim to let clubs attract a higher calibre of player.
Club power brokers believe the move will increase both playing quality and broader visibility in the crowded Australian sporting marketplace.
“I think in a perfect world for our league and our growth it would have to be better balanced," Jamieson said today, expanding on comments previously made to RSN.
"But I think where we’re at as a league, where we’re sitting in terms of eyes and bums on seats, I think it’s a great initiative.
“I think if we were in a really healthy state in our league, and we were flying I don’t necessarily think five marquees out of the cap would generally benefit the whole league – we’ve got a lot of good youngsters coming through and it might block one or two.
“But on the contrary to that, our league is struggling and I think in terms of getting viewers back, in terms of getting interest back, I think the quality you bring in from overseas will gain that traction again and give us a better standing in the sporting landscape.”
Jamieson said that a short-term sugar hit might be just what the competition needs right now.
“I think in the short term we need something,” he said. “I believe in regards to what we need now, I think we need it.
“It’s a tough one, but I think if you put five out of the cap people have the opinion that it’s going to strengthen the top teams and disadvantage the so-called bottom teams.
“But I had a good conversation with Rostyn Griffiths and we were talking about if say, Sydney FC signs four or five top-class marquees, five good foreigners, they essentially take the place of a good Australian such as my friend Luke Brattan.
"They replace Luke Brattan but the other clubs down the bottom have the chance to sign Luke Brattan, so it strengthens them.
“So, it's how you look at it. I’m a believer that something like this has to happen and speaking for myself – I don’t speak for Melbourne City, I don’t speak for the CFG, I’m speaking for myself – I think it’s going to be beneficial to us.
“Where is our league going at the moment? We as a code?