BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
HIBERNIAN will land a five-figure windfall following Jamie Maclaren’s shock inclusion in the Australia World Cup squad – despite the prolific striker returning to Darmstadt before the start of the competition.
A lucrative agreement between FIFA and the European Club Association (ECA) sees a pool of $209m (£156m) put aside to compensate teams for their stars’ absence, with each player earning $8,530 (£6,380) for their respective clubs for every day they are involved.
The scheme comes into effect a fortnight prior to the tournament, with most nations whisking their squads away for preliminary training camps, ensuring players have racked up close to £100,000 before Russia even kick-off proceedings against Saudi Arabia on June 14.
Maclaren, who notched eight goals in 15 appearances for Hibs after arriving on loan in January, is guaranteed to be involved until Australia’s final group game against Peru on June 26, accumulating a further £77,000.
Despite the fact Maclaren will jet off to Russia as a Darmstadt player, Hibs will still reap the rewards for his goal-laden stint at Easter Road.
FIFA regulations confirm that any club a participating player has represented in the last two years are due a portion of the compensation, distributed on a pro-rata basis. This will see Hibs receive a quarter of the cut, while Darmstadt and Brisbane Roar will also cash in.
The financial boost is a welcome fillip for the Hibees as they seek to tempt Dylan McGeouch to sign a new deal, try to hold on to John McGinn and consider splashing out £100,000 to bring Florian Kamberi to the club on a permanent basis.
Maclaren was the surprise inclusion in the Socceroos, having only been called into the Aussie camp in Turkey as cover for fellow attacker Tomi Juric.
Despite Juric recovering from the knee complaint which rendered him a doubt, Maclaren’s performances in training, allied with a bright cameo in a 4-0 win over Czech Republic last Friday, were enough to win over boss Bert van Maarwijk.
The experienced Dutch coach said: “I wanted to give him a real chance during the week. He had to train very hard from the first moment, we train very intensively and often two times a day.
“It was really difficult for him, not really fair for him, but he made a good impression. I think I need him.”
More than £1m will have been pumped into the Scottish game by the end of the group phase alone courtesy of SPFL participation, with Celtic predictably leading the way with Tom Rogic, Mikael Lustig, Cristian Gamboa, Dedryck Boyata all set to strut their stuff on the biggest stage.
Rangers and Aberdeen will earn half of the payouts due for Bruno Alves and Kari Arnason following their single seasons at Ibrox and Pittodrie respectively.