Monday, 10 December 2018

So very tired

As the A-League expansion licence process enters what I hope is - one way or another - its actual true ending point on Wednesday, we've been made to endure one last media flurry from the bid team. Where probably many of us are exhausted by the whole business, Bill Papastergiadis, South board member and SMFC for A-League bid chief, has been sprinting to the end of the process.

Last week began with an attempt to claim the 'south-east' as our natural territory, what I hope is more of a cheap PR move than a genuine belief that we actually have any popularity in those suburbs outside of extant and/or latent Hellas fans. Then came the 'revelation' that we have the support of what was it, a touch under 50 Melbourne clubs? Then a bit where Ange Postecoglou does his filial duty. 

And there was the big one, at least for those of us wondering who was going to pay for all of this should the bid be successful, with property developer Ross Pelligra revealed as the money-man that would add the necessary liquidity to make it all happen. What Pelligra's ultimate motivations are, and why he would spend a millions on a facility that's owned by the government, I haven't the foggiest.

In the meantime, those of us with slightly longer memories will wonder whatever happened to major sponsor Luvarc and/or Luisa Chen, who seemed attached to the bid in early publicity, but which have since disappeared.

And some will say, and have said, why haven't we heard of any of these initiatives before now? If one assumes that these late stage media interventions will make a difference, I suppose it could be said that keeping our powder dry might be worthwhile. For those unconvinced by that possibility, I guess we'll wait to see the outcome of all these efforts, and remain unconvinced one way or another.

Outside of us, the bid process has maintained high grade levels of farce, which need little elaboration - bids without stadiums, waiting for government handouts; bids without stadiums, vowing to build their own, along with one assumes government handouts to build supporting infrastructure; bids with stadiums, waiting for government handouts to make them better. And that's just in Melbourne!

Across several if not most of the remaining bids, there is no obvious signs that the public these bids will rely upon are in any way interested in what they have to offer. Now there are threats by some that if they don't get in now, they will never try again. You have a league under new management that knows it must expand or stagnate further, while also contending that expansion must not infringe upon the supporter bases of existing franchises, while only one of the remaining bidders exists outside the current licence holders.

And outside of what actually matters in the decision making process, burner accounts battle across social media. But if we hold on a for a couple more days, we'll finally be at peace...


  1. The expansion process has been run terribly and will end in more confusion. The independent A-League operating model isn't finlaised and bidders don't know what they're getting into. As much as the bids need to open their books for inspection of their financing and plans the FFA needs to do so even more!

    Expansion will not solve the A-League's problems and like the move to Western Sydney and Melbourne Heart beforehand will only offer temporary distraction.

    Two of the current bids are fronts for property developers and worryingly the whole process has shown not only the poor financial position of the FFA and A-League clubs but revealed (as many of us have always known) that Foxtel has them all by the balls.

    No Super league wars necessary.

    Here's to another 60 years of South Melbourne!



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