PERTH Glory skipper Jacob Burns has retrospectively been given the Joe Marston Medal after an FFA "administrative error" saw it wrongly awarded it to Thomas Broich during the grand final presentation after Brisbane's 2-1 win on Sunday.
In the post-match ceremony that followed Brisbane's controversial 2-1 win over Perth at Suncorp Stadium, Broich was incorrectly announced as the winner instead of Burns.
The German midfielder was presented with the medal but was approached immediately after the match and was told of the mistake, before Burns was crowned at the post-match press conference.
Burns was the clear winner after a commanding display in the centre of the park for the visitors, and all the votes were tallied correctly, but A-League chief Lyall Gorman explained there was a 'breakdown in communication between the announcer and the judging panel'.
"It's one of those things that means that much to us and we want to honour the medal, so we have to undo it and unpack it," Gorman said.
"We apologise to Brisbane Roar, to Thomas Broich, to Perth Glory, to Ian Ferguson, but most of all Jacob, you were the proper and judged winner of the Joe Marston Medal.
"You were the most outstanding player on the field and it's just a shame it's not been done in front of 20,000 people.
"There was just a breakdown in the communication between the announcer and the judging panel, just purely in delivery from the votes being counted to Simon (Hill).
"It's wrong and it shouldn't happen and we acknowledge that it's wrong. We hold this medal in the highest esteem and it should go to the right players."
It capped off an embarrassing night for FFA, after the match itself was decided by a controversial injury-time penalty awarded to Besart Berisha.
Roar coach Ange Postecoglou was heavily critical of the bungle, saying: "Seriously, you've just got to count usually, don't you?"
"It's disappointing, it takes away from the moment. It's not fair ... I'm not into bashing the people who run our game - there's enough people who do that anyway - but you can't get that wrong."
Broich said he had no problem with handing the medal back.
"At first I thought they were joking, but (coach Ange Postecoglou and football manager Paul Trimboli) approached me and said: 'yeah, they made a mistake there', he said.
"I said: 'yeah, fair enough. I don't need that medal, it's cool, this happens. It's not a problem if it doesn't happen'."
But when asked if he felt surprised when he was announced as the winner, Broich turned defensive: "I always feel like I have to defend myself."
"For the past two years now I've decided two grand finals and you're still asking me that question if I deserve it or not."