A national second division is the logical place to introduce boutique stadia into the top tiers of Australian football and substantially improve the fan experience.
Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou says he’s been left baffled by the process which led to Football Federation Australia handing striker Besart Berisha a one-match A-League ban.
Berisha was punished for sparking a post-match melee last week, in which his running battle with Sydney defender Pascal Bosschaart threatened to spiral out of control.
The 26-year-old Roar marksman ended the match with his shirt off and encouraging Bosschaart to join him to settle their disagreement outside the playing field.
Brisbane have been given seven business days to appeal the decision, meaning Berisha will be free to play against Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Saturday night if the Roar either appeals the decision, or waits until after Saturday before accepting the ban.
Postecoglou is unsure on the club’s position.
But after witnessing a bizarre chain of events that led to the suspension in the first place, Postecoglou is fearful an appeal could lead to an even longer ban.
Postecoglou claimed he was initially told by match day officials that Berisha would receive a yellow card for causing the post-match fracas.
A yellow card would have ended the controversy then and there.
But the championship-winning coach believes match officials then scrubbed the yellow card from the official team sheet in order for the incident to be judged by the A-League’s match review panel.
The match review panel viewed all the available vision but deemed it had no jurisdiction to rule Berisha’s actions as a red card offence.
But the matter didn’t end there, with both Sydney and Brisbane then sent ‘please explains’ by the FFA.
And after studying the replies, FFA handed Berisha his ban after finding his actions breached the national code of conduct.
Postecoglou said he had been left confused by the whole process.
“The whole series of events to me is bizarre,” Postecoglou told reporters on Friday.
“We had three sets of people look at it – match officials, match review panel, and then another group.
“And if we appeal, we go to a fourth group.
“So as I sit here right now, I don’t think it’s smart to appeal … who knows what outcome he’ll get next time.
“His offence is deemed to have been more serious than players who have been found guilty of betting on football – suspended fine.
“Players in a physical confrontation with officials after a game – suspended fine.
“Coaches questioning the integrity and character of referees – fine.
“He (Berisha) gets suspended for a game.
“He had 30 seconds where he let his emotions run away with him and did something really silly … which he’s apologised for.”
Postecoglou said his players had moved on from the incident and were focused on snaring all three points against the third-placed Heart.