13 March 2007

The Karma Police Have Issued an All Points Bulletin for Fred

It seems like Australia is now recognizing the fact that Melbourne Victory midfielder Fred will make his way to DC. Steve Goff has pretty much been definitive in his reporting on this matter, and indicates that Fred may help DC United on the wing as well. All good stuff, right?

Well, I'm not entirely sure. As best I can piece together, the A-League has a similar situation to what now exists in MLS. There's a salary cap in place, but one player for each team can be exempted from the cap, similar (though not exactly identical) to the Designated Player exemption in MLS. The Victory had used their exemption already, which limited what they could pay Fred. Which means he has signed here.

That would be an interesting footnote if it didn't have a strange resonance to potential future developments here. Christian Gomez has reportedly refused to renegotiate his contract under the salary cap, instead wanting to become United's first Designated Player and be paid more than the maximum salary. So far, United has not made this move, reportedly offering Gomez max salary for the next several years but not more than that and not using the Designated Player rule. The situation that benefits United in obtaining a new player now might well be identical to the one in a few years that could lead to the departure of the current MLS MVP from United. Is it definitely going to play out that way? No way to know. But if one is inclined to believe that the wheel turns...

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At 13 March, 2007 11:40, Blogger brucio said...

according to many australian news reports, fred's contract does not end until june 30

will this effct the move?

At 13 March, 2007 12:42, Blogger tucksider said...

as i understood it, DC was not bringing Fred in to fill the DP slot, right? it makes great sense for DC to use their DP slot on Gomez, since the fan support is already there and the team doesn't need to make a splash. DC fans want results, and Gomez brings them.

At 13 March, 2007 12:55, Blogger Edwin said...

Pay the man, Shirley.

At 13 March, 2007 12:58, Blogger D said...

El Bruce: The sense I get is that DC may be willing to pay for a non-exorbitant transfer fee, but otherwise would be content to get him August 1. My sense is that a deal will work out.

Tucksider: Correct, Fred is close or at max salary, but not DP. Gomez is under contract this year, and the question came up during negotiations to extend the contract. I get the sense that DC is reluctant to give Gomez the DP spot, but we're still a year away from a decision. My opinion is similar to yours: He's worth at least $400K a year for the next few years.

Edwin: Are you Norm Chad in disguise?

At 13 March, 2007 15:10, Anonymous Dave Lifton said...

Are the Karma Police like the Dream Police that live inside of my head and come to me in my bed?

At 20 March, 2007 20:55, Anonymous Melbourne Fan said...

Brucio - you are correct. Fred is under contract with Melbourne Victory until the 30th of June (the end of Australia's financial year).

It has been speculated that DC will offer a cash payment to Melbourne to terminate the contract earlier. Melbourne start their pre-season on the 2nd of April, so the issue will have to be resolved by then.

Good players leave for more money and better leagues all the time, and I'm sure that in the long run this scenario will happen to DC. It's a part of modern football, where the players have become mercenaries - moving from club to club in the search of a fatter pay cheque, whilst throwing away the little dignity and respect they had left.

DC have done nothing wrong, but as a Melbourne fan who listened to Fred not more than 4 weeks ago say how he felt 'half Australian' it does leave a sour taste in the mouth.

At 21 March, 2007 17:58, Blogger D said...

Melbourne Fan: Our point exactly. In fact, it could happen with Christian Gomez.


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