Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss has suggested in a recent Daily Telegraph article that he was denied the opportunity to play for Sydney Olympic due to his ethnicity.
“There was an experience at Sydney Olympic when I was offered a contract and then it was reneged because it was discovered that I wasn’t born in Greece. They were the dark old days of Australian Football.”
Moss’ comments have been flatly denied by Sydney Olympic, who made the following statement to Football Central.
There’s absolutely no substance to these accusations whatsoever. The Club has embraced players from all races, religions and walks of life. Examples of this include;
- Charles Perkins, first Indigenous Australian graduate of Sydney University was at one time our Club Captain,
- Labinot Haliti, Kosovar-Albanian refugee first played with our Club after arriving in Australia and made his First Grade debut,
- Brett Emerton, made his First Grade debut and was capped 95 times by the Socceroos,
- Paul Henderson, current team Goalkeeper who debuted against Olympic for Northern Spirit and subsequently spent almost a decade in England’s Championship, Leagues 1 and 2.
The Club has never discriminated in the way suggested. Its fair, progressive and innovative approach to football is part of what makes it an Australian powerhouse, even today after a decade out of the top division.
The Club understands that many fans are disappointed and upset with the accusations made. This has been referred to our legal counsel and we are currently considering further action.
Central Coast are declining to comment at this stage, as they feel this is a personal matter for Moss to resolve.
Claims of discrimination by Moss have caused a significant stir within the Australian footballing community, with debates raging about the validity of the accusations and the realities of professional football: Deals collapse all the time.
Moss actually mentions in the article that coaching opportunities have presented themselves, only to fall through. No mention of ethnic discrimination there though. It’s an easy stick to beat the former National Soccer League clubs with, and it continues to be the weapon of choice for those looking to de-ethinicise football in Australia.
Moss and Sydney Olympic president Chris Tsioulos are meeting today in an attempt to clear the air.