Hot property: Ange Postecoglou leaves the field after his final game with Victory. Photo: Getty Images
Football Federation Australia certainly won the battle with Melbourne Victory over the hottest property in Australian soccer, Ange Postecoglou, the new national coach.
But in the process has it merely fired the first shots in what could turn out to be an ugly war with the nation's biggest club?
Alex Ferguson's half-time hairdryer might be renowned for being the fiercest bake in soccer, but the sound and fury in the Victory boardroom over the way in which its coach was wooed, then plucked from its grasp might run it close.
To say Victory is incandescent over the doings of the past fortnight does not come close.
The club feels, quite simply, that FFA used its status, money and authority to undermine it and take its best asset - one in which it had invested heavily - with scant regard for the impact it could have on the club, the competition and the integrity of the game's governance.
No one at Melbourne Victory is bitter towards Postecoglou: all within the organisation are grateful for the work he did in cleaning up what was a dysfunctional club and what he has done to set it up as a title challenger.
All recognise, too, that coaching the Socceroos is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
What angers Victory is the lack of compensation it received, or, more pointedly, that it felt any quid pro quo was never on the agenda.
Sure, Victory's million-dollar compo demand might have been an ambit claim, and the request for Postecoglou to stay in charge, at least on a temporary basis, might have been fanciful, but it felt that it was never taken seriously.
The depth of feeling was revealed in no uncertain terms by Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro, at the club's pre-match dinner before the team's ''farewell to Ange'' game against Brisbane Roar last Friday night, a function to which media are rarely invited.
Di Pietro is generally a quiet man. Rarely is he in the media spotlight, despite being the figurehead for one of the best-known sporting franchises in Melbourne.
But he let rip on this occasion and no one should be under any illusions about the likelihood of Victory rolling over to have its tummy tickled when FFA comes looking for favours in future.
''My family business Premier Fruits is in the fruits and vegetable industry, however it was Melbourne Victory that was delivered a load of lemons this week,'' Di Pietro joked.
But what followed was delivered with anger, not humour.
No, one club is not bigger than the competition, and Victory would not claim to be. But there is no doubt noses are firmly out of joint in Victoria, and feelings run high far from FFA's Sydney camp.
''Are we furious - the simple answer is yes,'' declared Di Pietro.
''I want to put some facts about this league into perspective. Melbourne Victory is the jewel of the A-League. We are strong. We are successful. We have a long-term sustainable club.
''The league thinks of nothing to use our brand, our fans, our players, our success, to strengthen that of the entire league.
''The league crowed about record first-round attendances of 100,000. The fact is half the spectators were at our home game. We have 21,000 paid-up members; we don't hand out free memberships, or two-for-one deals. We never fudge attendance figures and then not televise them so as not to embarrass the league.
''We have never asked the FFA to prop us up, to pay our players, to pay our coaches. And we have never interfered or tried to stop the FFA in its dealings with other clubs' shortfalls.
''Our club's philosophy is not to be given a sucker punch without getting back up and start swinging.''
That's fighting talk in any language. Can Victory, or any club, fight City Hall? We might be about to find out.