New Sydney FC CEO Danny Townsend sets big goals

By ,

Tagged:
 , , ,

8 Have your say

    Sydney FC broke all manner of records in the most recent A-League season but incoming chief executive Danny Townsend says it’s “only the beginning” for the powerhouse.

    Former National Soccer League (NSL) player Townsend was appointed Tony Pignata’s successor on Tuesday, beating a field of almost 70 applicants.

    The Sky Blues claimed the championship and premiership in 2016-17, with a 19-game undefeated streak one of many highlights.

    There were also off-field gains in the form of significant financial and membership growth.

    “Take nothing away from where we are but there’s still lots more to be done,” Townsend said.

    “It’s only the beginning.

    “The club has really stamped its authority on the league, both on the pitch and off it … but the potential for this sport in this country and this city is immense.”

    Townsend, a co-founder of sports intelligence agency Repucom, boasts plenty of marketing and sponsorship expertise gleaned from dealings with the NBA, NFL, English Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga.

    “I saw the good, the bad and the ugly,” he said.

    He also experienced soccer’s dark days in Australia, having abandoned his NSL career at age 23 because of a serious knee injury.

    “How long have you got? Townsend said, when asked to compare the state of the sport now and when he retired almost 20 years ago.

    “It’s chalk and cheese.

    “As an ex-player you sort of look back at that and wish you’re playing now.

    “It’s fantastic the way the game has come along but there’s still a lot more to be done and this club is ambitious.”

    The former Parramatta Power and Sydney United player, who officially starts at the Sky Blues on October 7, scotched the idea he’ll be stepping on the toes of master coach Graham Arnold.

    “If you saw my career, you’d realise Arnie is in a better spot to make those decisions,” Townsend said.

    “We’ve got a hell of a lot more people qualified to make football decisions at this club than me, and they’ve proven that with the way the club has performed in the last couple of years.”

    © AAP 2017