JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Alessandro Del Piero takes lead at secret Sydney FC squad crisis meeting

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Sydney FC in crisis

Have things hit rock bottom for the Sky Blues? And what is to become of the new National Premier League? The panel discuss.

PT0M0S 620 349

Alessandro Del Piero took a leading role in a players-only meeting held behind closed doors on Thursday aimed at ending the mounting crisis engulfing Sydney FC.

The turmoil surrounding Sydney has left their season's hopes in tatters, and Fairfax Media understands this prompted the players to hold talks away from coaches after training which addressed team morale, their performance and squad unity. The club's five-man leadership group of Del Piero, Richard Garcia, Terry McFlynn, Nicky Carle and Seb Ryall led the lengthy meeting in what was said to be an open and honest assessment of their predicament.

Neither the players nor the club wished to comment on the meeting although it is understood there was a positive outcome after hours of crisis talks with captain Del Piero playing an integral role in the discussions. Sydney's captain is said to have grown distant from the squad, often training alone, but quashed suggestions of retreating from his responsibilities by encouraging his teammates to fight together for the remainder of the year.

Alessandro Del Piero reportedly played an integral role in the discussions.

Alessandro Del Piero reportedly played an integral role in the discussions. Photo: Getty Images

The talks had been planned for days with some within the leadership group preparing detailed speeches with a theme of ''togetherness'' in response to the potential of a rift within the squad, following the isolation of two players on Monday morning. Carle and Matt Thompson were ordered to train away from the rest of the squad by coach Frank Farina as a disciplinary measure, and after his first day back to regular training, Carle is understood to have been active in supporting squad solidarity.

Thursday's team talks follow a four-hour meeting between the club and leaders of their official supporter group, The Cove, on Wednesday night in response to a fan revolt during Saturday night's 3-0 loss to Adelaide United. Fairfax Media understands that the club extended an olive branch to The Cove after a mid-game exodus from the stands and protests outside the ground calling for the removal of coach Frank Farina, chairman Scott Barlow and chief executive Tony Pignata.

Sydney FC were on the cusp of losing the faith of their core supporter group although a club source said they had made some progress in healing the relationship. ''Great to have an open discussion with members of The Cove last night. Looking forward to the Members Forum on Tues night,'' Pignata tweeted.

Members of The Cove in attendance at the meeting declined to comment.

Though, a Cove spokesman later posted on their online forum a list of questions that were submitted to the club's hierarchy before the meeting. He said The Cove will await to receive Sydney FC's statement before making their own public but confirmed that the discussions were primarily based around the club's leadership.

"After long discussions about the events of Saturday and the triggers for the protest, we identified that our deepest concerns were with the Leadership and Vision at the club. We felt that individual events were symptoms of issues, not the true issues themselves and based on this we compiled a set of questions which we felt reflected our concerns," the spokesman said in an open letter.

The Cove spokesman said that seven of their senior members attended the meeting, including the fan who was evicted for taking part in a displaying a protest banner last Saturday night.

Sydney FC were represented by chairman Scott Barlow, Pignata and two other board members.

5 comments so far

  • But with all this turmoil, the likelihood is Sydney FC will fall to another heavy defeat this Saturday, increasing the chaos.

    Commenter
    Pete in Cronulla
    Date and time
    February 14, 2014, 6:32AM
    • The solution to Sydney FCs woes - get rid of Frank! I have no interest in following FC (let alone paying for a ticket) until management do.

      Commenter
      Yangz
      Date and time
      February 14, 2014, 9:04AM
      • I sense Farina will be moved on at the end of the year...

        Commenter
        BLAH
        Date and time
        February 14, 2014, 10:38AM
        • Maybe it is the players who are just not good enough.

          Commenter
          HoppyPete
          Location
          Wenty
          Date and time
          February 14, 2014, 10:42AM
          • Sydney FC is a club whose inflated sense of worth and expectations created this crisis. The creation of Western Sydney Wanderers has only exacerbated their problem, since Western Sydney is the antithesis of Sydney FC, who are an epitome of what's wrong with modern football and the modern world.

            Commenter
            David V
            Location
            Sydney
            Date and time
            February 14, 2014, 12:41PM

            Make a comment

            You are logged in as [Logout]

            All information entered below may be published.

            Error: Please enter your screen name.

            Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

            Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

            Error: Please enter your comment.

            Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

            Post to

            You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

            Thank you

            Your comment has been submitted for approval.

            Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

            Related Coverage

            Hyundai A - 2014-15 - All Rounds

            Round 1
            Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
            WSW 1vs BRI 3 Stats
            Fri, 09 OctTimes shown AEDT
            ADE 0vs VIC 0 Stats
            Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
            CCM 3vs PER 2 Stats
            SYD 1vs MCY 1 Stats
            Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
            WEL 1vs NEW 2 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 2
            Fri, 16 OctTimes shown AEDT
            ADE 1vs WSW 1 Stats
            Sat, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
            NEW 0vs SYD 1 Stats
            VIC 3vs MCY 2 Stats
            Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
            BRI 2vs CCM 1 Stats
            PER 1vs WEL 2 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 3
            Fri, 23 OctTimes shown AEDT
            NEW 1vs VIC 0 Stats
            Sat, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
            WEL 3vs BRI 2 Stats
            SYD 1vs WSW 0 Stats
            Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
            MCY 3vs CCM 1 Stats
            PER 3vs ADE 1 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 4
            Fri, 30 OctTimes shown AEDT
            MCY 2vs NEW 3 Stats
            Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
            CCM 1vs SYD 3 Stats
            BRI 3vs ADE 0 Stats
            Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
            WSW 1vs PER 0 Stats
            Mon, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
            VIC 3vs WEL 0 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 5
            Thu, 05 NovTimes shown AEDT
            ADE 2vs MCY 4 Stats
            Fri, 06 NovTimes shown AEDT
            SYD 0vs BRI 0 Stats
            Sat, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
            NEW 1vs WSW 2 Stats
            Sun, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
            CCM 1vs WEL 1 Stats
            Wed, 16 DecTimes shown AEDT
            PER 1vs VIC 0 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 6
            Fri, 13 NovTimes shown AEDT
            WEL 4vs ADE 2 Stats
            MCY 0vs WSW 3 Stats
            Sat, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
            NEW 1vs CCM 1 Stats
            SYD 2vs VIC 4 Stats
            Sun, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
            BRI 1vs PER 0 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 7
            Thu, 19 NovTimes shown AEDT
            VIC 2vs CCM 1 Stats
            Fri, 20 NovTimes shown AEDT
            BRI 1vs MCY 1 Stats
            Sat, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
            WSW 2vs WEL 1 Stats
            PER 0vs SYD 0 Stats
            Sun, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
            ADE 0vs NEW 0 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 8
            Thu, 26 NovTimes shown AEDT
            SYD 0vs WEL 0 Stats
            Fri, 27 NovTimes shown AEDT
            MCY 5vs PER 1 Stats
            Sat, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
            NEW 1vs BRI 1 Stats
            VIC 2vs ADE 1 Stats
            Sun, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
            CCM 0vs WSW 2 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 9
            Thu, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
            CCM 1vs MCY 5 Stats
            Fri, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
            SYD 1vs NEW 0 Stats
            Sat, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
            WEL 2vs VIC 0 Stats
            WSW 2vs BRI 1 Stats
            Sun, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
            ADE 1vs PER 0 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 10
            Fri, 11 DecTimes shown AEDT
            ADE 2vs SYD 1 Stats
            Sat, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
            BRI 2vs WEL 1 Stats
            WSW 2vs VIC 0 Stats
            PER 2vs CCM 1 Stats
            Sun, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
            NEW 0vs MCY 4 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 11
            Fri, 18 DecTimes shown AEDT
            NEW 0vs ADE 0 Stats
            Sat, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
            WEL 1vs SYD 1 Stats
            MCY 2vs VIC 1 Stats
            PER 2vs WSW 2 Stats
            Sun, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
            CCM 0vs BRI 1 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 12
            Thu, 24 DecTimes shown AEDT
            WSW 2vs NEW 0 Stats
            Sat, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
            ADE 3vs WEL 0 Stats
            SYD 4vs CCM 1 Stats
            Sun, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
            VIC 1vs PER 1 Stats
            BRI 3vs MCY 1 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 13
            Thu, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
            CCM 3vs WEL 1 Stats
            Fri, 01 JanTimes shown AEDT
            WSW 0vs ADE 0 Stats
            Sat, 02 JanTimes shown AEDT
            BRI 2vs PER 1 Stats
            MCY 2vs SYD 2 Stats
            Sun, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
            NEW 0vs VIC 1 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 14
            Fri, 08 JanTimes shown AEDT
            CCM 3vs VIC 3 Stats
            Sat, 09 JanTimes shown AEDT
            SYD 2vs NEW 0 Stats
            MCY 3vs WSW 2 Stats
            PER 1vs ADE 3 Stats
            Sun, 10 JanTimes shown AEDT
            WEL 0vs BRI 0 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 15
            Fri, 15 JanTimes shown AEDT
            VIC 4vs BRI 0 Stats
            Sat, 16 JanTimes shown AEDT
            ADE 3vs CCM 1 Stats
            WSW 1vs SYD 2 Stats
            PER 2vs MCY 2 Stats
            Sun, 17 JanTimes shown AEDT
            NEW 3vs WEL 1 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 16
            Fri, 22 JanTimes shown AEDT
            BRI 1vs ADE 4 Stats
            Sat, 23 JanTimes shown AEDT
            CCM 1vs WSW 2 Stats
            Sun, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
            NEW 1vs PER 6 Stats
            Mon, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
            MCY 3vs WEL 1 Stats
            Tue, 26 JanTimes shown AEDT
            VIC 1vs SYD 0 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 17
            Fri, 29 JanTimes shown AEDT
            WSW 4vs MCY 3 Stats
            Sat, 30 JanTimes shown AEDT
            WEL 1vs CCM 3 Stats
            SYD 1vs BRI 3 Stats
            PER 3vs VIC 2 Stats
            Sun, 31 JanTimes shown AEDT
            ADE 1vs NEW 0 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 18
            Fri, 05 FebTimes shown AEDT
            ADE 2vs SYD 2 Stats
            Sat, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
            BRI 4vs CCM 0 Stats
            VIC 1vs WSW 1 Stats
            Sun, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
            WEL 0vs PER 1 Stats
            NEW 2vs MCY 1 Stats
            View All Fixtures
            Round 19
            Fri, 12 FebTimes shown AEDT
            BRI vs NEW 20:00Suncorp Stadium
            Sat, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
            SYD vs PER 17:15Allianz Stadium
            MCY vs VIC 19:30AAMI Park
            Sun, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
            CCM vs ADE 15:00Central Coast Stadium
            WSW vs WEL 17:00Pirtek Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 20
            Fri, 19 FebTimes shown AEDT
            VIC vs ADE 19:40AAMI Park
            Sat, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
            NEW vs WEL 17:15Hunter Stadium
            SYD vs WSW 19:30Allianz Stadium
            PER vs BRI 21:40nib Stadium
            Sun, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
            MCY vs CCM 17:00AAMI Park
            View All Fixtures
            Round 21
            Fri, 26 FebTimes shown AEDT
            WEL vs MCY 17:30Westpac Stadium
            WSW vs PER 19:40Pirtek Stadium
            Sat, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
            ADE vs BRI 17:15Coopers Stadium
            VIC vs SYD 19:30AAMI Park
            Sun, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
            CCM vs NEW 17:00Central Coast Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 22
            Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
            BRI vs WSW 20:00Suncorp Stadium
            Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
            WEL vs ADE 17:15Westpac Stadium
            MCY vs SYD 19:30AAMI Park
            Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
            CCM vs VIC 17:00Central Coast Stadium
            Mon, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
            PER vs NEW 20:00nib Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 23
            Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
            ADE vs MCY 19:40Coopers Stadium
            Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
            SYD vs WEL 17:15Allianz Stadium
            BRI vs VIC 19:30Suncorp Stadium
            PER vs CCM 21:40nib Stadium
            Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
            NEW vs WSW 17:00Hunter Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 24
            Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
            MCY vs BRI 19:40AAMI Park
            Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
            CCM vs SYD 17:15Central Coast Stadium
            WSW vs ADE 19:30Pirtek Stadium
            Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
            WEL vs PER 15:00Westpac Stadium
            VIC vs NEW 17:00AAMI Park
            View All Fixtures
            Round 25
            Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
            VIC vs WSW 19:40AAMI Park
            Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
            NEW vs PER 17:15Hunter Stadium
            BRI vs SYD 19:30Suncorp Stadium
            Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
            ADE vs CCM 17:00Coopers Stadium
            Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
            MCY vs WEL 19:30AAMI Park
            View All Fixtures
            Round 26
            Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
            WSW vs CCM 19:40Pirtek Stadium
            Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
            WEL vs VIC 17:15Westpac Stadium
            SYD vs ADE 19:30Allianz Stadium
            Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
            BRI vs NEW 17:00Suncorp Stadium
            PER vs MCY 19:00nib Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 27
            Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
            MCY vs ADE 19:40AAMI Park
            Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
            CCM vs NEW 17:15Central Coast Stadium
            VIC vs BRI 19:30AAMI Park
            Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
            WEL vs WSW 15:00Westpac Stadium
            SYD vs PER 17:00Allianz Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Hyundai A - 2014-15 - Ladder
            Overall standings
            Team P W L +/- Pts
            Western Sydney Wanderers FC 18 10 4 10 34
            Brisbane Roar FC 18 10 4 9 34
            Melbourne City FC 18 8 6 11 28
            Melbourne Victory 18 8 6 6 28
            Sydney FC 18 7 4 5 28
            Adelaide United 18 7 5 3 27
            Perth Glory 18 6 8 -1 22
            Newcastle Jets 18 5 9 -12 19
            View all
             

            HuffPost Australia

            Featured advertisers