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The Western United players who won last season’s A-League Men’s Grand Final.
Melbourne Victory Chairman Anthony Di Pietro has called on the Australian Professional League Board to reverse its decision to sell the right to host the Grand Final to Sydney.
The APL Board’s eight-figure, three-year deal with the NSW government announced on Monday immediately faced criticism, breaking the A-League’s tradition of allowing the highest ranked ALM or ALW team to host the decider. broke the
Di Pietro, who was one of five club representatives on the board, tendered his resignation on Tuesday, releasing a lengthy joint statement with Victory managing director Caroline Carnegie. , addressed the story of the Grand Finals.
Di Pietro said: “It has become clear that I must resign from the APL Board in order to act in the best interests of Melbourne Victory and Victorian football.
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“My resignation has been finalized by the decision announced yesterday.
“While we are aware firsthand that the decisions made by the APL were aimed at generating growth for the game and financial sustainability for the league, the sentiments of our fans and members were overwhelming and we have made decisions that are not in our best interests. It is untenable to maintain ‘loyal Melbourne Victory followers and football.
“Together with Caroline, we have asked the APL to suspend this plan to support the growth and stability of the league, while allowing both the men’s and women’s A-League Grand Finals to continue to be played in the best cities. urged them to consider alternatives to the Ranked Qualifiers”.
Di Pietro’s resignation comes after Victory and Melbourne City fans revealed plans to strike in the 20th minute of this weekend’s Derby.
Melbourne City winger Marco Tirio told reporters: “The fans are clearly frustrated.
“But as a player, I just go out to perform and I hope the fans stay there for the 90 minutes of the game.”
APL chief executive Danny Townsend told ABC News Breakfast on Tuesday that the club was complicit in the deal.
However, reigning ALM champions Western United lashed out at the move in their own statement, saying they were not consulted as one of the clubs without representation on the APL board.
“We do not support the men’s A-League, women’s A-League or E-League grand finals in Sydney for the next three seasons,” it said in a statement.
“Our club is not represented on the APL Board and has not been consulted on the decision announced yesterday.
“While we appreciate Destination NSW’s desire to support football financially and APL’s efforts to increase commercial revenue, the reaction of the fans over the last 24 hours speaks volumes.
“Western United is a young club built for football fans in the west of Melbourne and Victoria.
“We strongly believe that if we succeed in earning that right, they will be entitled to participate in the Grand Finals in their home country.”
Wellington Phoenix, which is also not represented on its board, issued a statement that they were not consulted either.
Townshend said on Tuesday, “We understand that our fans are emotional about this and passionate about the epic final structure we had.
“We certainly don’t want to go on strike, but we will work with our fans over the next few days to try to better understand the rationale behind our decision.”