Andy Keogh payments at centre of salary-cap scandal in Australia’s A-League

Perth Glory are alleged to have made cash payments to players family

Republic of Ireland international striker Andy Keogh's wages are at the heart of a salary cap scandal in Australia's A-League

, with his club, Perth Glory, alleged to have made cash payments to members of the player’s family in order to sidestep the competition’s regulations.

Keogh has been a huge hit since moving to Australia last season but it appears that only around half of his reported €250,000 per year salary was declared by the club to the league, with the balance being made up in payments to relatives and benefits such as car hire and accommodation.

The Irishman, who has scored 11 goals in 25 games, is reported to have only learned of the method of payment after he arrived in Australia and there has been no suggestion that he was aware of any impropriety; however, the club, which is involved in a three-way tie at the top of the league, has been thrown out of the championship’s play-off stages because of these and wider irregularities which were uncovered when federation officials became suspicious and ordered an audit of Glory’s accounts.

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The investigation is reported to have found widespread financial irregularities stretching back over several seasons, some of them slightly comical in nature, with former star player Robbie Fowler listed as having shared a flat with another squad member during his time in Australia and at least one lesser squad member supposed to have lived in the club's offices for a year.

In Keogh’s case, payments variously reported to amount to between AU$50,000 and $150,000 (roughly €35,000 and €105,000) are said to have been made to his family but listed in club documents as being linked to Perth Fashion Week.

The club, who lost 3-0 at the weekend, had initiated a Supreme Court action on Friday aimed at securing an injunction against its expulsion from the latter rounds of the league. Yesterday, however, it said it would instead appeal through the normal league and federation procedures. It has two weeks to lodge such an appeal.

For Keogh, the affair will cast a dark shadow over what had been shaping up to be a wonderful season and story.

Golden boot

Having struggled towards the end of his career in England, he has been a major success in the A-League. The striker is in contention to win the competition's golden boot and is generally regarded as one of the signings of the year.

He did briefly make the headlines for the wrong reason when he was arrested outside a nightclub but for the most part he has won only admirers and he was chosen as the Grand Marshall for Perth’s St Patrick’s Day parade.

In its reporting of the story yesterday, one newspaper described his recruitment as “a masterstroke”. The same, it seems, cannot be said for the way his club was attempting to pay him and his team-mates.

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Industry and Employment Correspondent at The Irish Times