Perth Glory terminate contract of Mitch Nichols

Contract terminated: Mitch Nichols has been shown the door by Perth Glory. Photo: Mark Nolan Contract terminated: Mitch Nichols has been shown the door by Perth Glory. Photo: Mark Nolan

Contract terminated: Mitch Nichols has been shown the door by Perth Glory. Photo: Mark Nolan

Contract terminated: Mitch Nichols has been shown the door by Perth Glory. Photo: Mark Nolan

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Perth Glory have terminated the contract of midfielder Mitch Nichols by mutual agreement with immediate effect with minor disciplinary reasons cited for the player’s departure.

Nichols has been deregistered by the club after Perth cancelled his loan deal from J-League club Cerezo Osaka on Thursday morning, whom he will return to in hope of winning a place in the starting line-up. The fringe Socceroo joins Matthew Davies, Brandon O’Neill, and Harry O’Brien as the players who left the club in the past month.

Glory coach Kenny Lowe was coy when asked of the motivation behind the departure of Nichols just three games before the end of the A-League season but insists it was made by mutual agreement. Nichols, when fit, has been a regular starter for Perth this season but did not feature in their 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets on Monday before an early release was negotiated.

Lowe would not discuss the nature of the talks between he and five-time Australian international, Nichols when asked of a potential rift and issues of attitude. Sources close to the club suggest Nichols has not been happy at Perth Glory and was willing to accept a mutual termination to move elsewhere.

“It’s a mutual thing and I think it’s something that’s happened,” Lowe said. “I think there’s discussions between Mitch and myself that will be personal. We’ve got to move on now, it’s a football club, things happen in football and we just have to get on with it.”

Nichols’ agent Buddy Farah denied disciplinary reasons were the reason for the contract termination and says the midfielder will return early to Cerezo Osaka where he’s a chance of winning a first team position. The J-League club recently appointed Brazilian coach Paulo Autuori who is understood to have opened the door for Nichols return despite the 25-year-old ineligible to play until the J-League transfer window reopens on July 16.

“The player will return to his club to take up a post and win his position back under a new coach before the summer transfer window. This is the reason behind the mutual termination,” Farah said.

The departure of Nichols could pave the way for a return for Youssouf Hersi from injury. Hersi was delisted by the club who thought he would be injured for the remainder of the season but has made an early recovery. The club is attempting to have his registration approved by the FFA in hope of playing again this season. “We’re driving as best as we can to get Youssouf in, we want Youssouf back but at the moment we’ve got to find a solution,” Lowe said. “I think once the salary cap thing is finalised, then we’ll have a clearer picture.”

Perth Glory insist Nichols’ departure has nothing to do with the salary cap scandal that has engulfed the club and threatens to derail their season. Fairfax Media revealed the club has already successfully renegotiated pay-cuts with two players for the remainder of the season in order to limit their expenditure and contributions to the Total Player Payments reported to the Football Federation of Australia.

At least two players agreed to have the remainder of this season’s salaries reimbursed next season in order to help the club’s plight. Perth Glory submitted their response to allegations of salary cap breaches to the FFA on Wednesday night before an FFA board will decide whether to impose any sanctions on the club.

Perth sit in second place on the ladder and is in the race to win their first ever A-League title.

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