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Jan 18, 2011

Salary cap squeeze hits Perth Glory

Dumped Perth striker Michael Baird has revealed the extent of the A-League club's salary cap struggles, claiming more Glory players - including former skipper Jamie Coyne - could also face the chop.

Baird was offloaded to Central Coast earlier this month in the Glory's attempt to free up salary cap space for next season.

Had Baird played another game for Perth, it would have triggered a clause in his contract guaranteeing him another year at the club.

Baird claims Coyne, a regular this season who was surprisingly dropped for last week's 1-1 draw with Melbourne Heart, is now in the exact same position, as Perth try to balance their highly-paid but underperforming squad.

"I had a clause in my contract to play one more game (to get another year) and they don't have much money left next year, so they just said to me you can either take the clause out of your contract and play or you can do what you want and not play," Baird told AAP.

"It's the same situation with Jamie Coyne.

"You saw he didn't play on the weekend.

"He had to play one more game.

"And Josh Mitchell will be coming up (to the same situation) too, because he has to play two more games.

"So it was all finances and it was going to work out better for them to get rid of me.

"It worked out great for both sides, they needed to spare up money, which they did, and now I got to come over here to a top-two team."

Glory deputy chairman Lui Giuliani refused to be drawn on the future of Coyne, who has notched 152 games for the club since making his debut in the old NSL days of 2002.

"We don't discuss any player's contract," Giuliani said.

"The reality is the salary cap is never an issue for players that perform.

"For players that perform on a regular basis, the club will bend over backwards to keep them."

Giuliani conceded defender Andy Todd may leave the club during January's transfer window in order to play in England, before a possible return to the Glory next season.

"The potential lay-off (of the A-League off-season) between February and October, which would be about eight months, at his age he feels it's a bit long," Giuliani said.

"He's looking to see whether to go back to the UK and play until May, which we can't offer him.

"He'd love to stay in Perth and ... we'd love to have him back (next season)."

Baird, who has made two appearances off the bench for the Mariners, will return to his former stomping ground on Wednesday night as Central Coast attempt to shore up second spot on the table with a win over Perth at nib Stadium.

The 27-year-old, whose contract at the Mariners runs until the end of next season, said he held no hard feelings towards the Glory or coach Ian Ferguson.

"I'm not angry at them. I didn't have the best of seasons there," said Baird, who scored one goal in 13 appearances for Perth.

"He (Ferguson) knew what he had to do.

"It wasn't anything personal between me and Fergie, it was just all to do with money in the salary cap."

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