Monday, 14 November 2016

Short notice summary of another South for A-League bid

For sale? Dumb cunts same dumb questions
Virgins? Listen, all virgins are liars honey
- Manic Street Preachers, Yes 
Tonight I was going to finish writing a post just to break up the quietude - a post that would have been of interest almost only to myself - but thankfully one can always depend on the club to deliver.

From right to left: Board members Grabrielle Giuliano and Bill Papastregiadis,
next to Luisa Chen, the currently mysterious 'investor'.
Photo by Tim Caraffa, as stolen by us from the Herald Sun wensite
In this case it's another A-League bid, presently located in an article behind the Herald Sun's online paywall, or in other places if you can be bothered doing the runaround to look for them. Never mind, I managed to have a look at it before the paywall kicked in for whatever reason.

This time it was Bill Papastergiadis who was the public face of the bid as opposed to president Leo Athanasakis or anyone else who's done this work in the past. Papastergiadis, fellow board member Gabrielle Giuliano, former federal sports minister Andrew Thomson and 'bid investor' - whatever that means - Luisa Chen are members of the 'advisory committee' apparently behind the bid. The bid claims it wants to do the following:
  • Play in blue and white, but probably use the red vee heritage strip for away matches,
  • Play all matches out of Lakeside except for derbies.
  • Also apply for a W-League team, as well as maintain our NPL side.
  • Be based out of Lakeside in terms of the headquarters.
The bid also claims
  • It has the licensc fee and financial backing required.
  • It also claims that it can break even at Lakeside with just attendances of just 1500.
The full bid will be launched or put forward to FFA in a month's time. At that time I would hope for more detail about financial backers, the improvements (if needed) for Lakeside Stadium ('There are no immediate plans to expand Lakeside Stadium’s capacity') what the club structure would be (would there part privatisation?) and everything else that members deserve to know. After all, should we actually somehow be given the green light by FFA, the club would have to get approval from its members, right?

It's short notice, so there hasn't been the chance to wade through a lot of the usual responses to a South A-League notice, but one thing that has cropped up is the integrity of the club and the fears that it may not be South Melbourne as a member owned entity. Until we actually get more information - on finances, on logistics, on everything - there's no point in speculating. When's that AGM coming by the way?

In its own way, this news is actually kind of reassuring on two fronts. First, that the club is still trying to aim high. Second, that in amid the 'scramble for Africa' style theatrics for what seems to be the apparently imminent A-League expansion, we've made our ambitions known after sitting quietly through talk to various degrees of,
  • second Brisbane (probably Strikers)
  • second Adelaide 
  • second Perth
  • third Sydney (Shire team)
  • Tasmania (backed by former South and Victory cohorts Harry Stamoulis and Robert Belteky)
  • Geelong
  • Canberra
  • Wollongong
Much of this discussion is admittedly predicated on South being considered an actual chance by anyone not at South and with actual influence in the places which count. For those who think or feel that there is no chance, there is no need to discuss pretty much anything - just sit back and watch us reach for the sky and fail again. 

On a lighter note, this is the best comment about A-League expansion I've seen for some time.
About as transparent and equitable as a bidding process can get in this country.


  1. I worry that the club is a play thing for the rich Greeks of Melbourne.

    We lack the demographic power that we had in the NSL days.

    Yes, we can capture the non Greek market (and yes, we have always had this non Greek demographic), but what will our club look like in a franchise system with very little decision making power?

    This all brings into acute focus (for me) what I believe is happening to the Greek communities of Australia. They are becoming like the Jewish communities around the world. Lacking in numbers, but very wealthy. A large % of various sporting clubs owned by Jews, and of course supported by non Jews (Gentiles). So many Greeks are now becoming part of the 1%.

    I suppose even in a proper footballing pyramid like the rest of the world, our club could end up like that.

    1. Without knowing the specifics of the bid, I'm not going to bother with aimless speculation, much less theorising about such things as the social transformation of the Greek community in Australia.

      What I will say is that we have (at least) two examples of such teams being brought up from a state league into a national league, with very different management/corporate structures, assimilation (or otherwise) of histories and of course outcomes.

      These are of course the Port Adelaide and Brisbane Roar examples, both of which can and have been used as arguments for and against including a club like South in the A-League.

      I suspect a South bid would fall somewhere in between those models, but again, without the exact details, I don't feel confident in expanding on my thoughts just yet.

  2. Interesting development. I`m one of those who believe that more clubs will generate more interest however i`ll reserve judgment on this latest proposal until further details are announced. I`d love to see SMFC in the HAL but as SMFC and not the South East Melbourne Lightning or something equally as ridiculous.


  3. I'll reserve comment until there is more detail.

    I'd hope the company the current club is under SMH ltd has a controlling stake or the NPL side remains under SMH. So much at risk

  4. So has this actually been put forward to the members for a vote?

    1. No. I suspect that with the exception of a few people close to the board (for the record, I'm not including myself in such a group), this announcement has surprised quite a few of us.


  6. How many of the current crop of players would be kept on for a 2017/18 A-league season ?

  7. Any chance we can get Leo off twitter?

    How embarassing

    And smfcmike while we are at it, the hypocrisy from that guy is astounding.

    1. Here here!! re: Bid - I am trying to contain myself because I don't think I can handle another disappointment. There are two things however that can derail this bid. Number 1 is the dufus SM keyboard warriors on twitter making stupid statements - this includes officials and affiliates of the club. Number 2 is the thought of this - this is where the FFA's fear is. The scenario being that they give SM the license. Then the Greek media (who might I remind you turned there back on us a long time ago...) whip up the Greeks in Melbourne into a frenzy because we are in the national league again. Yep those Greeks who don't effen actually support us - but would come to the "one off" events. Cue Greek flags in the crowd, the Star of Vergina etc. That thought alone derails the bid - and all because those who would probably never show up again choose to jump onboard the Greek media express. They can f-off! We are not an extension of the Greek community - we are SMFC - a football club, which was born to play football - unlike many other entities which started life as a vehicle for political statements (eg. Preston, Melb Cro, HUFC ). SM belongs to our football lovers and the Greek media can piss off because you haven't supported. They go with the wind and are probably more pro Victory these days. Good night.

    2. The idea that South was not started for political reasons and that they are different to other ethnic clubs is revisionist bullshit. The very notion of being an ethnic club is political you dimwit.

      And what will derail your bid is that FFA does not want you there. The decision is already made and this bid is a complete waste of your time. Pretending if you tow the line and act all PC that you will get a pat on the head from the FFA overlords is beyond delusional. Show some integrity ffs.

  8. Integrity and SMFC dont go in the same sentence Melb Cro. Unfortunately most of the members are plebs. In true SMFC fashion, they let the cat out of the bag, all the members hold bukkake parties, then at the AGM the board gets a resounding yes. Thats how SMFC operates.

  9. As far as I know Hellas started as an amalgamation of a few previous soccer clubs, at least two of which where founded by Greek migrants to play soccer and catch up with friends on the weekend - NOT to carve out a fake national identity out of the cesspool of post WWII Balkans.

    Never had any relationship (at least as far as my sources know) with any "political" or "cultural" Greek clubs... We have probably 150+ Greek community clubs spread out in Melbourne and surrounds for that sort of thing..

    Ethnic Club is NOT political no matter what this kourada keeps on trying to drum up. Speaking for most Greeks I can presume to say that we dont need to be aggressively political to feel a sense of self worth ... but then again we dont belong to some pissant little slavic sub branch of a race.

    As for some Croatian telling US to show some integrity - Go and get fucked.

    1. Your first comment said South wasn't founded as an ethnic club but now you are saying the complete opposite, you can't even keep your story straight. Founding a club called Hellas in order to cater for a specific community is a political act. Your club was an outlet for Greek nationalism, this was happily displayed by the fans. So don't give me your revisionist rubbish, talk about being intellectually dishonest.

  10. Sure OK, no worries.

    Thank the gods that the intellectually honest, genetically pure masters of ethnic soccer are around to show us all the way ... Wanna join forces and annex Czechoslovakia?

    1. For someone who claims be part of a non political, non ethnically aligned club you sure do you love using ethno-nationalist drenched rhetoric. You really are a special kind of stupid mate, almost a SMFCMike level of stupidity.

  11. Relax lads. It doesn't matter what the club was founded for the fact is 55 years later and it's nothing more than a football club enjoyed by anyone that wants to enjoy it.


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