BREAKING: FFA to announce a new Western Sydney A-League team

Davidde Corran Roar Guru

By Davidde Corran, Davidde Corran is a Roar Guru

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    Football Federation of Australia CEO Ben Buckley holds a media press conference. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

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    So this is how Football Federation Australia believes the west will be won.

    Later today, FFA will announce a Western Sydney team funded by the peak body will replace Gold Coast United as the A-League’s 10th team for next season.

    It can’t be overemphasised just how significant a moment this is for the A-League and Australian football.

    FFA is betting the house on this decision coming off, but let’s be clear this is a last resort.

    Upper management at FFA were trawling for investment for a Western Sydney team as far back as when Con Constantine was asked to get involved while being shown the door at Newcastle.

    Since then similar approaches have been made right across the country.

    Earlier this year Paul Lederer, a prominent businessman with strong links to Western Sydney, was personally courted by Frank Lowy before rejecting the idea amongst heavy criticism of FFA’s business plan for the prospective club.

    Couple this with FFA’s history of almost unilateral failure at expansion and it’s a stark background for the A-League to take on the AFL and NRL in the Western suburbs.

    Just last week FFA CEO Ben Buckley wrote on The Roar that expansion into Western Sydney will “only occur when those economic pre-conditions of stability and sustainability exist”.

    For this decision to have been made now, Buckley and Lowy have either worked a miracle in eight days, or are desperate.

    Yet the potential in what many refer to as football’s heartland remains.

    The Daily Telegraph is reporting there are plans to host three marquee games at ANZ Stadium, including the league’s second derby.

    It’s an enticing proposition and one that could further drive the league’s TV ratings at such a decisive time.

    With only 12 months left on the current arrangement with Fox Sports, FFA has openly acknowledged just how crucial the next TV deal is and the decision to immediately expand into Western Sydney is tied to this need.

    But what happens if things go wrong and, this time next year, after having been rushed together in a matter of months, the A-League’s 10th team are languishing both on and off the pitch?

    The stakes couldn’t be any higher.

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    The Crowd Says (282)

    • April 4th 2012 @ 7:15am
      TomC said | April 4th 2012 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      It feels like, after the last time, the FFA should be very cautious about commiting to another W Sydney team. I hope they know what they’re doing.

      • April 4th 2012 @ 9:25am
        Australian Rules said | April 4th 2012 @ 9:25am | ! Report

        Surely the one thing in their favour (and they need a few) is that the W.Syd public will love it…no need to sell the concept there. It’s a genuine heartland.

        Whereas the AFL had to plan for 5 years on the GC and GWS and spend tens of millions, there is no such cultural schism for soccer in W.Syd. That said, it seems incredibly, but necessarily, last minute.

        Lots of work to do. As an aside, the new franchise should throw everything at getting Harry Kewell to front the club.

        • April 4th 2012 @ 1:13pm
          PeterK said | April 4th 2012 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

          Good thought on HK, AustRules, but how about a high-profile coach? Who might be in that mix?

          • April 4th 2012 @ 1:29pm
            Australian Rules said | April 4th 2012 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

            Graham Arnold has been linked to Syd FC, he’s a local boy that could resonate with the West Syd fanbase.

            Other than that, it’s anyone’s guess…I think Chipperfield, Kewell et al would be the most important signings for the new club.

          • Roar Rookie

            April 4th 2012 @ 1:31pm
            ItsCalled AussieRules said | April 4th 2012 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

            The Tele reckons the coach will be a WS Old Boy like Milicic or Popovic or even Farina who was a Marconi favourite or Gianfranco Zola, who has the Euro appeal.

            The Tele also reckons they will be looking to sign up a big name “ethnic” marquee from the big Euro leagues, but I can’t see the FFA getting too ethnic about this team, even though it will help to build the fan base in a hurry.

            There are a lot of leaks going around about this story – shows how there are still a few disgruntled FFA employees who want to make a quick buck ahead of loyalty and integrity to their employer, the FFA.

    • April 4th 2012 @ 7:33am
      Bondy said | April 4th 2012 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      The F.F.A. have to stop dreamin and settle on stability in regions where in which there is a culture of grassroots football and a hefty population Western Sydney, Woolongong and Canberra are the best regions, it appears come hell or high water there will be ten teams.

      Did anyone think Gold Coast or North Queensland were an attractive market for football, I didn’t, I feel if you cant consistently get 10,000 than as a H.A.L. club your in trouble .

      Youth football should remain on the Gold Coast also it’s imperaitve .

      • April 4th 2012 @ 9:30am
        whiskeymac said | April 4th 2012 @ 9:30am | ! Report

        i disagree – if you aim to eventually pul 10-15K then its viable but to start off around 7-10K is a good indicator – clubs have to grow, they dont just come out of the box all sparkly and interesting. Its where the potential comes into it. I was hoping that if the FFA gave teams a fighting chance to engage their roots more (not in the colloquial sense) then one, if not both, of these regions may have made a go of it. Mismanagement and bad planning is more to blame than regionality – only the clubs with megabux and or the largest captive audience have made a profit – this is why they folded. If NQF had a big backer and averaged 5-7K they would still be here.

        • April 4th 2012 @ 1:22pm
          PeterK said | April 4th 2012 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

          If a few of us can have our way, NQF will be back — but not without some changes at FFA. The changes at FFA don’t necessarily mean we want Frank or Ben out, but we do want to see a few changes in policy.

          Things like stadiums and merchandising profits come immediately to mind.

          We want in NQ to set up a strong and sustainable Community Ownership model, too. In fact I reckon we won’t go ahead without it.

          Meanwhile, I’d be happy to see WSydney make a good go of it too, though I’d be very unhappy if GCU were simply cut adrift. To have a club and lose it does more damage to public perception than never having had a club.

          Our biggest hurdle here in NQ is that we had a club and lost it. We’d be better able to get a club going if we’d never had a club in the first place. Most locals feel that “once bitten ……”. However, others of us take heart from what we can see MIGHT have been!

          Does anyone know what sort of budgets most clubs work on?

      • April 4th 2012 @ 12:43pm
        Kasey said | April 4th 2012 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

        I wonder how many fans the Roar will recoup by the culling of a competitor. The train from Robina takes how long to Roma Street?
        Last season (2008-09) as with the SEQ area to themselves s4 for those that count theseasons like that.
        Roar ave: 12,995
        Roar Aggregate: 129,947
        First season as a team (2009-10)
        GCU ave: 5,392 – Geez, how odd to see a 5k number anywhere near the GCU column eh?
        GCU aggregate: 75,493
        Roar ave: 8,650
        Roar aggregate: 121,099
        In the most recent season, GCU attracted 49,649 fans over the season. I would set the pass mark for WS as the current average of the league (10,500) with a slight bump for the benefit of close teams that can provide away support (SFC/NUJ/CCM) so 11,000 over 14 games 154,000 over the season, but my gut feel is they will do much better than this, and within 2 years approach the MVC numbers of 250,000/season

      • April 4th 2012 @ 12:45pm
        Kasey said | April 4th 2012 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

        People can’t wait for this team to fail because it’ll be the best stick to beat the FFA with. They won’t be able to handle if it’s a great success because then they’ll have to admit maybe the FFA did something right.

        *Western Sydney is a large, dynamic region, characterised by a young and diverse community, a strong economy and a unique natural environment. Its advanced infrastructure supports one of Australia’s fastest growing urban populations.

        *Western Sydney is home to just over 1 in 11 Australians.

        *At June 2010 the regional resident population was an estimated 1.99 million people – an increase of 1.8% (35,938 people) over the previous year. This was slightly above the Sydney Metropolitan Region’s average 1.7% growth rate.

        *Western Sydney’s population is greater than South Australia and greater than the combined populations of Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

        Projected Growth

        *The region has experienced strong growth over the past four decades and this trend is continuing with the population forecast to reach 2.96 million by 2036.”

        • April 4th 2012 @ 1:28pm
          PeterK said | April 4th 2012 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

          I wish WSydney well, and do so with all my heart, but I am concerned at any feeling of “rushing” the deal.

    • April 4th 2012 @ 7:40am
      nearpost said | April 4th 2012 @ 7:40am | ! Report

      Wonder if Canberra will be putting in some funds for games – interesting to see where the money is going to come from and Canberra could provide a couple of games – a la AFL team.

      Desperate times for FFA financially – even they may need to bow to Canberra’s involvement – or do they.

    • Roar Guru

      April 4th 2012 @ 7:50am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | April 4th 2012 @ 7:50am | ! Report

      One of West Sydney’s most successful & famous footballers, Scott Chipperfield has just Tweeted from his home in Basel, Switzerland.

      @chippers1975
      Good to hear a West Syd team is coming into the A league. I might have a final kick in Oz after all:))

      Whilst Chippers has retired from the National Team, he’s still a part of Basel’s match day squads and played in their remarkable win in the UCL when little Basel knocked out Man Utd.

      • April 4th 2012 @ 7:54am
        Titus said | April 4th 2012 @ 7:54am | ! Report

        Isn’t Chippers from the Gong?

        • Roar Guru

          April 4th 2012 @ 8:05am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | April 4th 2012 @ 8:05am | ! Report

          He Tweeted a little later:

          Scott Chipperfield ‏ @chippers1975
          yeh but with west Syd could still live in the gong and travel:))

          • April 4th 2012 @ 8:24am
            Whites said | April 4th 2012 @ 8:24am | ! Report

            Yes. Chippers is a Wollongong boy. After winning the NSL two years in a row with the Wolves before heading to Basel it would have been great to see him return to Australia as the marquee player for a Wollongong A-League team.

      • April 4th 2012 @ 8:53am
        jbinnie said | April 4th 2012 @ 8:53am | ! Report

        Fuss- You’ve done it again, “one of WEST SYDNEY’S most successful footballers” who just happens to come from Woolongong which could be vaguely described as Sydney’s deep, deep, deep, south. Back to who is going to coach Victory?. Maybe Scott as a player coach? jb

        • Roar Guru

          April 4th 2012 @ 9:01am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | April 4th 2012 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          jb

          I’ve never been good with geography – always get latitude & longitude mixed up. I don’t think Scott has any Coaching licence.

          Regardless, MVFC’s coach is already signed, sealed & delivered. The name will be revealed after the HAL finals.

          In another article on The Roar today, Ange had this to say when questioned about coaching MVFC next season: “People will always speculate. That sort of thing is settled during the off-season.”

          Interesting that he didn’t say – “absolute garbage, I’ve got a contract with BRI for 2 more yrs”?

          Also, someone mentioned that bookies are not taking any more bets on Ange Postecoglou as next MVFC coach … Again, interesting?

          • Roar Guru

            April 5th 2012 @ 1:09pm
            AndyRoo said | April 5th 2012 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

            I think Chippers does have some coaching licenses because he was given some sort of role at Basel… I may be mistaken.

      • Roar Guru

        April 4th 2012 @ 10:27am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | April 4th 2012 @ 10:27am | ! Report

        Looks like Chippers is serious & ready & keen to talk about a move to the new club. His contract with Basel expires in a few months & he’ll be a free agent.

        SC has just exchanged the following Tweets with Mark Bosnich (MB)

        SC: Wow overwhelmed by support to play in Oz. Was expecting the usual to old line.
        MB: Chippers it would be awesome to see you back playing for Western Sydney..xmb
        SC: Thanks Bozza. R u involved in any way?
        MB: no just as a supporter-Chippers seriously this is going to be huge..time for you to return.xmb
        SC: Point me in the right direction. Who is in charge?
        MB: Moses did not go to water..the water came to him…they will come to you champ.xmb

        • April 4th 2012 @ 10:53am
          striker said | April 4th 2012 @ 10:53am | ! Report

          Yes this will be massive providing they do it right i reckon black and white strip would be nice as its western sydney colours.

    • April 4th 2012 @ 7:51am
      Stevo said | April 4th 2012 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      Excellent! Now we have something serious to talk about rather than the soap opera drama that is MVFC! 🙂

    • Roar Rookie

      April 4th 2012 @ 8:01am
      stam said | April 4th 2012 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Why does every decision made by FFA feel rushed and Ill conceived?
      If the ffa plan on funding this new team with where do they plan on getting the money required? Do they have an idea of what the next tv deal will be worth and believe they will have the money themselves for a new team? How much would be to start up a new team? 20million?

      • April 4th 2012 @ 8:14am
        JAJI said | April 4th 2012 @ 8:14am | ! Report

        Next TV Deal will be $30 to $35 million a year. Thats enough for a rise in each clubs salary cap AND to completely fund it meaning each club wages apart from marquee are covered from TV. However it will mean the Socceroos will stay on Foxtel – that will be the catch

        • April 4th 2012 @ 8:40am
          Paul said | April 4th 2012 @ 8:40am | ! Report

          All home Socceroos matches must be on FTA (likely SBS) under the new anti-siphoning laws.

          • April 4th 2012 @ 8:50am
            Lucan said | April 4th 2012 @ 8:50am | ! Report

            Think it is Socceroos WCQ, home and away.

            NT Friendlies aren’t protected.

          • April 4th 2012 @ 9:29am
            JAJI said | April 4th 2012 @ 9:29am | ! Report

            Apparently I have been told that is only a “maybe”. Lowy himself putting enormous pressure on Senator Conroy

            • April 4th 2012 @ 9:36am
              Goanajack said | April 4th 2012 @ 9:36am | ! Report

              JAJI,

              There will be a riot if the Socceroos qualifiers arent on FTA TV. The door has closed. Where is the new team to play – I assume they have done a stadium deal, the temeperature in the Western Suburbs in mid summer away from the Coast even at night is mind blowing (for players and spectators)- all other teams are near the ocean so get some relief

              • April 4th 2012 @ 12:07pm
                JAJI said | April 4th 2012 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

                Double edge sword though Goanajack – it gets more money which gives the clubs more money for their salary cap. Apparently Channel Ten in the mix still – new management interested

            • April 4th 2012 @ 12:40pm
              Brendo said | April 4th 2012 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

              No its not a maybe. Socceroos WCQ are on the anti-siphoning list. However Conroy can make changes (ie exclusions) at his whim so I am sure Lowry is applying pressure. Cannot see Conroy making that concession however.

              Note though that Friendlies, AFC Games are no included in the anti-siphoning list. So the 2015 AFC Cup could still be included in a Foxtel deal.

              • April 4th 2012 @ 1:13pm
                Lucan said | April 4th 2012 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

                Asian Cup is the AFC’s to sell, not FFA’s.

                Considering we don’t play qualifiers for 2015, the only games FFA have available for sale are WCQ’s and NT friendlies.

      • April 4th 2012 @ 9:01am
        jbinnie said | April 4th 2012 @ 9:01am | ! Report

        Not only that “stam” but where are they going to get the 24 players,and associated staff,another 15 or so, that will guarantee them decent performances on the field of play???. Now if they could come up with the answers to that part of their plan,I, among other learned readers, might just start to believe.
        Interesting to read Paul Lederer’s name in the article. As the son of Andrew ,who was a great stalwart of the game before and during the NSL era, one would imagine Paul would have a pretty wide ranging knowledge of the game and for him to state he didn’t like the business plan for WS is something to be concerned about. jb

        • April 4th 2012 @ 10:59am
          Nathan of Perth said | April 4th 2012 @ 10:59am | ! Report

          Hopefully they have scouts already off to the races.

          Wonder if they’ll plunder the various AIS/NTC development squads of the state federations?

          • April 4th 2012 @ 11:07am
            Penalty said | April 4th 2012 @ 11:07am | ! Report

            They can take Broxham, Allsopp and Kemp from us. Ernie Merrick as coach.

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