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Jan 31, 2011

Brosque allowed to leave Sydney FC

An independent arbiter has ruled Sydney FC striker Alex Brosque can leave the A-League club and take up a two-year contract worth $1.5m, with Japanese side Shimizu S-Pulse.

Sydney last week refused to allow the Socceroos striker to depart, claiming a clause in his contract stating he could leave should an offer be received from an overseas club, was null and void after he signed a new deal at the start of the season.

However Brosque claimed he was still playing under the terms of his old agreement, with his new deal not kicking-in until April 1.

A meeting between the two parties last Thursday failed to resolve the situation.

With the backing of the Professional Footballers Association chief Brendan Schwab, Brosque then took the unprecedented step of going to arbitration on Friday at Football Federation Australia's Sydney headquarters.

Schwab and his legal team put Brosque's case to Peter Kite SC, who was the appointed arbiter by the FFA, under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with A-League players, in a three-hour hearing.

Kite ruled in favour of the 27-year-old on Monday, and a delighted Schwab said the decision demonstrated how important it was for his members to have access to arbitration to solve contractual issues.

"We welcome the decision although we were confident the we'd get a ruling in Alex's favour and we're very pleased that we did so," Schwab told AAP.

"Alex felt he had the right to have the matter arbitrated and we are pleased that we did it without having to go through the courts ... and we are pleased that Sydney FC have effectively accepted the umpire's decision."

The A-League champions' vice-chairman Scott Barlow last week accused Shimizu of breaching FIFA regulations, claiming the J-League side held discussions with Brosque in Sydney several months ago.

Kite did not have the jurisdiction to hear arguments in relation to an alleged breach by the Shizuoka-based side, who finished sixth in last-year's J-League, but Barlow insists the club will file a complaint with FIFA.

"Sydney FC considers itself to be an advocate for clubs, in particular A-League clubs, standing up for themselves and their beliefs and not bowing to the demands of cashed-up clubs from around the world who've acted outside FIFA regulations," Barlow said in a statement.

"The club strongly believes it was right with the decisions it made and stands by them.

"For Sydney FC, it was always a matter of principle and acting professionally.

"Alex Brosque has been a great servant to Sydney FC. We wish him all of the best for the future and hope to welcome him back one day."

Meanwhile on Monday, Newcastle midfielder Ryan Griffiths received a two-match ban from the independent match review panel for using foul and abusive language towards referee Chris Beath.

The decision followed his send-off for dissent in the A-League match against Wellington on Sunday which his side lost 1-0.

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