Paid Player Investigations Document

1.1         Definition of Paid Player Payments to be Assessed

From 2017 onwards, regarding WACFL affiliated competitions, a Paid Player Payment is categorised as:

·        Football Match Payments;

·        Approved Travel Payments;

·        Approved Coaching Payments (For Playing Coaches);

·        Approved Relocation Payments;

·        After Match Best Player Awards;

·        Fairest and Best Awards;

1.2         Ex Gratia Payments- WACFL reserves the right to investigate any Ex Gratia Payments (or services provided) made to a player, or his family which it deems (or suspects) to have been made with the intention of circumventing the requirements of the Paid Player Bylaws and in exchange for the payment of playing in football matches for the Club.  This include payments made either by the Club or by a third party.

1.3         Club Employment- - WACFL reserves the right to investigate any Club based Employment Payments made to a player, or his family which it deems (or suspects) to be in exchange for the payment of playing in football matches for the Club rather than in exchange for the services rendered.

1.4         Assumption- WACFL believes the Paid Player Bylaws provide clarity around how much any player should be eligible to receive for playing in a WACFL match.  Clubs that choose to make payment outside or around these limits will be deemed to have intentionally cheated the Bylaws and are subject to penalty as a result.

1.5         Reasonably Satisfied (Balance of Probability) - For the sake of the policing of these bylaws, the assumption made from both the WACFL Investigator and the WACFL Investigations Committee is that they are ‘reasonably satisfied’ on the basis of the information (and evidence) presented that a breech has or has not been made.

1.6         Affiliation Agreements

Each WACFL affiliated League is required to agree to comply with the WACFL bylaws as part of their annual Affiliation Agreement.

1.7         Terms and Conditions

Each WACFL player is required to agree to comply with the WACFL Paid Player bylaws as part of their Registration to play.  No Player is eligible to play without first ticking off on the WACFL’s Terms and Conditions.

1.8         Range of Penalties

Clubs* –            1st Offence- $5,000 + Loss of Premiership Points

                            2nd Offence- $5,000 + Suspension from the League

 

Players-             1st Offence- Up to 10 Weeks Suspension

                            2nd Offence- Up to Deregistration

*Penalties Post Finals

For Clubs that are unable to be penalised by a loss of match points in the immediate season, such a club will be liable to a Club suspension up to a period of 12 Months.

1.9            Compliance

  1. For the purposes of compliance, each WACFL Club shall maintain the Official WACFL Paid Player Spreadsheet within 24 hours of an official match in which player payments have been made.
  2. It is the responsibility of the WACFL Club to seek (and retain for auditing purposes) appropriate approval from the League / Association to which they affiliate for payments made to players.
  3. It is the responsibility of the Club to ensure (and retain for auditing purposes) appropriate contracts for players in line with the Paid Player Bylaws are in place.
  4. There is an expectation that the Club will suitably clarify any issues regarding the Paid Player Bylaws rather than make assumptions into their validity.

1.10          Statutory Declaration

The WACFL may request that a Statutory Declaration be signed by the President, Club Officials, Treasurer, Coach and Players of a WACFL Club with regard to Paid Player Bylaw Compliance.

The purpose of having information verified by statutory declaration is to ensure that persons providing false information may be subsequently prosecuted for declaring a false declaration.

2.1         WACFL Investigations Committee

  1. WACFL is to establish a Paid Player Investigations Committee made up of Three (3) Executive Members to make deliberation and hear appeals from time to time.
  2. The WACFL Board shall appoint the Chairman and the committee members annually.
  3. The committee shall have the authority to appoint an Investigations Officer and co-opt the services of other persons to provide advice and assistance on specific matters.
  4. The committee shall have the authority to;
  1. Delegate Authority to conduct investigations in such a manner as it thinks fit.
  2. hear and determine matters of alleged breaches of the Paid Player policy.
  3. inform itself of any matter it sees fit.
  4. re-open any matter previously dealt with and determine accordingly.
  5. issue a caution or impose penalties as it sees fit.
  1. Any decision of the WACFL Investigations Committee shall be final and no appeal will be allowed.

2.2          Independent Investigations Officer

The WACFL shall be entitled to exercise discretion to utilise the services of an Investigations Officer to investigate any matter pertaining to these Bylaws.  The investigation should not be carried out by the WACFL General Manager.

2.3            Further Investigation

The WACFL Investigator has the right to audit Players from WACFL Clubs. This audit includes the right to:

i.require a Player to attend any meeting, to answer questions and if required provide written responses;

ii.have a Player provide documents or other relevant papers or property that is under the Player’s control; and

iii.require the Player to bring his agent (including his accountant, manager or lawyer) to a meeting.

i.Where a Player does not comply with these requirements the Player is eligible to be sanctioned in line with WACFL Policy.

  1. A Player who provides information, including documents, under these Rules grants permission for such information to be provided to relevant authorised representatives for expert advice, as determined by the WAFC.
  2. If further investigation indicates that the Paid Player Bylaws has been inaccurately recorded by the Club then further Players from that WACFL Club may be investigated.
  3. The WACFL Investigations Officer may also audit the WACFL Club’s financial information including bank accounts for the purposes of determining compliance.

2.4         Roles & Responsibility of the WACFL Investigations Officer

  1. The WACFL Investigations Officer reports to the WACFL Investigations Committee for the purpose of:

i.administering the Paid Player Bylaws;

ii.investigating and determining any Paid Player Bylaw issue raised by any person concerning a WACFL Clubs where any complaint alleging breach of the Paid Player Bylaws by a WACFL Club must be in writing and contain detailed allegations to be investigated;

iii.deciding in relation to the Football Payments whether payments are to be deemed to be within the confines of the Paid Player Bylaws;

iv.developing respect by operating in conjunction with but independently of WACFL Clubs;

v.representing the WACFL and having the authority to make recommendations to the WACFL to hand down sanctions for proposed breaches to the Paid Player Bylaws.

  1. Where the WACFL deems that a payment or services other than playing are aimed at circumventing the requirements of the Paid Player Bylaws, then the matter will be referred to the WACFL Investigations Officer for investigation.

2.5         WACFL Clubs to do All Things Necessary to assist WACFL Investigations Officer

There is an expectation that if requested, the WACFL investigations Officer will be given Full & Free Access

  1. Each WACFL Club must permit the WACFL Investigations Officer to have full and free access to such books, documents and other papers of that WACFL Club or any person or entity controlled by that WACFL Club as the WACFL Investigations Officer believes may be relevant to any inquiries which they may make.
  2. Upon request from the WACFL Investigations Officer or WACFL, a Club and/or a Player must:

i.provide the WACFL or its Investigations Officer with true copies of such books, documents or other papers in the possession of or under the control of the WACFL Club or any person or entity controlled by the WACFL Club or any person or entity controlled by the WACFL Club or the Player, as the case may be; and

ii.provide such other information and answer such questions as the WACFL Investigations Officer believes may be relevant to any enquiries they may make.

2.6            Penalties for Providing False or Misleading Information

  1. Where the WACFL Investigations Officer or the WACFL determines that a Player, employee, agent or Authorised Official of a WACFL Club has provided false or misleading information including Lodgement then the WACFL may impose a financial sanction of up to $5000 on a Club and Suspension of a Player.

3.1            The Investigatory Process

  1. The WACFL may, in its discretion, investigate any alleged breach of Paid Player Bylaws.
  2. WACFL will provide a Club to be investigated official notification via email and telephone and will provide detail of the requested documentation and appropriate timelines in which documentation should be delivered and the investigation will take place.
  3. Upon review of the requested Club documentation, WACFL will request the Club to arrange a series of interviews with requested players and officials within a period of the following seven (7) days.
  4. It is assumed that requested players and officials will make themselves available to attend such sessions within the seven (7) day period unless extenuating circumstances can be proven. WACFL reserves the right to suspend (indefinitely) any player or official unable to attend a Paid Player hearing within a reasonable timeframe.
  5. There is an assumption that players and/or officials will cooperate with the processes of the Investigation including the answering of questions directed to them concerning alleged payments or actions.
  6. If the WACFL Investigator believes there are sufficient grounds to suspect a breach of Paid Player Bylaws (following an investigation held in accordance with these rules) the WACFL Investigator shall make recommendation to the WACFL General Manager on his findings.
  7. Following discussion from the WACFL Executive, a recommended penalty may be provided to the League/ Association with the expectation that as Competition Managers, the penalty will be implemented within the outlined timeframe.

4.1            Appeals procedure

  1. Any Club aggrieved by a finding or penalty imposed under the Investigatory Process may appeal against such finding and/or penalty directly to the WACFL General Manager.
  2. To initiate an appeal, a Club must:

i.notify the WACFL in writing within seven (7) days of the date the penalty is imposed; and

ii.pay WACFL a deposit of $1,000, which shall be refunded in the event of a successful appeal, or at the discretion of the WACFL.

  1. The WACFL Appeals Committee shall hear and determine the outcome of any appeal, and may:

i.dismiss the appeal;

ii.set aside a finding of the Investigator and substitute its own finding;

iii.affirm the penalty imposed;

iv.set aside the penalty imposed and impose such penalty as the WACFL Appeals Committee thinks fit including a determination of exceptional circumstance and imposing a penalty which is less than the prescribed minimum for such offence.

  1. At a hearing before the WACFL Appeals Committee, the Club against whom the complaint is made may select a representative who has been appointed as such in writing under the hand of the President of the Club provided that such representative shall not be a legal practitioner.
  2. The finding of the WACFL Appeals Committee at this appeal shall be final and binding.
  3. Any player suspensions imposed by the WACFL shall be binding and remain intact until such time as the decision is over turned by the WACFL Appeals Committee.

5.1         Privacy Policy

This following document sets forth the Privacy Policy for the WACFL with regards to its Paid Player Legislation.

5.1.1         Collection of your personal information

As part of the WACFL’s investigations, WACFL may request information around payments (or supposed payments) made to yourself (and your associates), deemed to be in exchanged for football services.

Collection of personal information may also be in the form of an interview.

5.1.2         Sharing of your personal information

WACFL may occasionally hire other companies to provide investigatory services on our behalf.  Those companies will be permitted to obtain only the personal information they need to carry out the investigation. WACFL takes reasonable steps to ensure that these organisations are bound by confidentiality and privacy obligations in relation to the protection of your personal information.

5.1.3             Use of your personal information

Collected information is used solely internally for the purpose of Paid Player Investigations.

If our information practices change at some time in the future we will use for these new purposes only, data collected from the time of the policy change forward will adhere to our updated practices. WACFL will endeavour to keep all information around player payments and sensitive personal details private, however, WACFL accepts no responsibility should the details of an indiscretion against the Paid Player Bylaws by a Club make it into a public forum (such as the media) unless it can be substantiated that the media in fact received their information from the WACFL office or official directly.

5.1.4             Changes to this Privacy Policy

WACFL reserves the right to make amendments to this Privacy Policy at any time. If you have objections to the Privacy Policy, you should not access or use the Site.

5.1.5             Contacting us

WACFL welcomes your comments regarding this Privacy Policy. If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy and would like further information, please contact us by any of the following means during business hours Monday to Friday.

Call: (08) 9287 5542

Post: Attn: Privacy Policy,
WACFL,
PO Box 275,
Subiaco, WA 6904,
AUSTRALIA

E-mail: wacountry@wafc.com.au