ACT's A-League hopes dashed, memberships refunded
Canberra A-League bid leader Ivan Slavich said to expect an update after Easter. Photo: Graham Tidy
The Canberra A-League bid will release investors from commitments totalling $4 million, including $400,000 of foundation memberships, in the wake of today’s announcement that western Sydney will be admitted to the A-League for the 2012-13 season.
Canberra A-League bid chief Ivan Slavich spoke with Football Federation Australia chief executive Ben Buckley this morning after finding out about western Sydney’s inclusion through the media.
‘‘We’re pretty much pulling the pin,’’ Slavich said.
‘‘They’ve gone for strategy over substance in terms of credentials and because western Sydney has a larger population base.
‘‘They see it as strategically more important to them than Canberra.
‘‘Under our Trust deed, we’ll be refunding all the foundation money and we’ll be releasing all the investors from their pledge.’’
Slavich will next week contact the 2000 foundation members, who each pledged $200, to advise how the money will be refunded.
The Canberra A-League bid was created in 2008 and had previously been overlooked for North Queensland Fury, Gold Coast United and Melbourne Heart.
Out of those three, only the Heart remains.
A $4 million windfall from a Federal Government keen to shore up its vote in its traditional heartland has paved the way for the new western Sydney team to join the A-League next season.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard will announce the funding at a Cabinet meeting to be held in Parramatta at 2.15pm, and after at least three failed attempts to create a second Sydney team Football Federation Australia has decided to take the leap of faith.
The government funding will be augmented by FFA reserves, a television dividend and a blue chip sponsor to give the new team start-up capital of around $6-7 million, and it’s now a race against time to create the club with just seven months until the start of next season.
with Michael Cockerill