Football: A-League title challengers Perth investigated by FFA over alleged breach

(REUTERS) - A-League title challengers Perth Glory are being investigated by Football Federation Australia (FFA) for alleged breaches of salary cap rules and face heavy sanctions if found guilty, the head of the league said on Thursday.

Glory, fourth in the table one point behind leaders Wellington Phoenix, face a loss of points and possibly a heavy fine if found guilty of breaking the A$2.55 million (S$2.65 million) cap.

"We take situations of deliberate concealment much more seriously than simple administrative mistakes and debates around the interpretations of the regulations and the amount of the alleged breaches would place Perth Glory significantly over the salary cap this year," A-League chief Damien de Bohun said.

"We have now uncovered a range of information that needs to be explained and that's what has led us to sending the second show cause notice.

"It relates to a number of contracts for a number of players."

Fairfax media said Irish forward Andy Keogh was one of the players who didn't have his entire contract included in the salary cap, saying some payments were made to his wife.

Glory chief executive Jason Brewer, who said the process had left him "quite empty inside", did not confirm or deny the report and said he would continue to work with the FFA during the review.

"It is inappropriate to talk about specific details to any player payments or benefits which have been widely speculated about in the media. We'll do all of that once this process is completed and we've addressed the FFA's concerns," he told reporters in Perth.

"We will have to assess how we conduct ourselves off the field in certain areas but first and foremost I think this club is going forward in the right direction."

Some Australian media said Brewer had offered his resignation but it was turned down.

Glory owner Tony Sage said he would wait for the FFA verdict before deciding Brewer's fate. "I have said to the CEO if he is wrong and the FFA is right, he is out of a job," he told SBS The World Game. "He said if he is wrong, he will fall on his own sword.

"It's up to the FFA and the CEO to get together and decide who is right and who is wrong."

Long-time leaders Perth ended a nine-match run without victory by beating Western Sydney Wanderers 3-2 on Saturday and are bidding to finish top of the table at the end of the regular season for the first time.

With only four matches remaining in the regular season, they face Newcastle Jets on Monday.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.