A-League recruit changes open doors to stars

FOOTBALL: Wealthy A-League clubs have been given the green light to bring in more star players like Alessandro Del Piero, Shinji Ono and Thomas Broich.

Football Federation Australia has moved to help clubs recruit and retain players, most notably increasing the maximum length of a guest stint from 10 to 14 weeks, and introducing a "loyalty player allowance".

Guest players' salaries are unlimited and outside the salary cap, meaning clubs like Melbourne City - part-owned by EPL giants Manchester City - could bring in stars like Andrea Pirlo (pictured), Frank Lampard or David Villa from sister club New York City, for almost half a season.

Clubs are still allowed two marquee player slots but instead of one of those having to be Australian, they both can be from overseas.

The loyalty player allow-ance means veterans like Melbourne Victory's Archie Thompson can be paid up to $200,000 a season outside the salary cap.


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