|Adelaide United's new owners are unveiled|
The A-League received a big boost yesterday when Football Federation Australia announced it had reached an agreement with an SA-based consortium to take over ownership of Adelaide United.
Having stepped in to take over the club in 2009 when then owner Nick Bianco withdrew his support, the FFA came close to selling the club earlier this year to a consortium headed up by Alan Young, however that deal fell over at the last hurdle.
But will the new owners, headed up by well known South Australian Rob Gerard, be all their cranked up to be?
Unfortunately, even after just one day, I am having doubts.
First their was the claim by fellow investor and new Chairman, lawyer Greg Griffin that, “We're not here to lose money, we're actually here to make it.”
Make money? Owning a Football Club? Perhaps they should ask any of the other A-League owners how that is going for them, or any owner of any Football Club across the world.
Football Clubs are an investment, not a profit-making exercise. How do they plan to make that money? Is it by cutting costs back and running the club on a shoe-string, or by initially investing large sums in order to see a return in the future?
When the A-League was formed we were told clubs would start turning a profit by season five. Only Melbourne Victory and
have managed to record a profit in the first five years, the rest aren’t even close. Central Coast
What happens if, after a year or two, they’re still no closer to breaking even (let alone turning a profit), will they stick it out or bail and run like Don Matheson did in Townsville and like Clive Palmer threatened to do on the Gold Coast?
On the plus side, they have said they’ll target a marquee player (hopefully one who is actually a marquee in the true sense of the word), so at least that demonstrates that they are prepared to spend some money.
The other concerning aspect of the new owners is their insistence on linking the club with local SANFL club,
Three of the four new owners have strong links to
North Adelaide, so you can understand their desire for both clubs to work more closely, but is it really going to be beneficial?
Talk of sharing backroom and admin staff is slightly concerning given that Football is now a full-time professional job and “sharing” administration between the two clubs could lead to all sorts of issues.
What happens in winter when SANFL is in full-swing and the A-League is in its off-season, does
North Adelaide take precedence over Adelaide United?
I’m not so sure sharing facilities is the right way to go, either.
Adelaide United’s home, in every sense, is Hindmarsh Stadium. They play there, they train there and their administration is based there.
Why possibly move their administration staff from their home and
’s only decent Football stadium to a new location? Adelaide
From a study trip to
Europe in 2008, Director of Football, Michael Petrillo recommended that Adelaide United consider establishing its own training facility away from Hindmarsh, similar to of AC Milan at Milanello.
This is something that every A-League club should be aiming towards, it has many more benefits that just being a place for the team to train.
are the first A-League club to head down this path with their Centre of Excellence in Tuggerah. Central Coast
Yet, as important as this development is, it’s unlikely that it will see the light of day under the new owners plans to share facilities. What use are four or five rectangular training pitches to an SANFL club? In fact, what use is any rectangular stadium for that matter?
But that is where my issue lies, clubs should be looking to form their own identity, not piggy back on other clubs from another code.
What message does it send to have
’s premier Football team training on an AFL ground? Adelaide
Code-sharing is dangerous as inevitably one code will always have to be the dominant one, I’m just not sure which side of the fence the new owners sit.
For the sake of Adelaide United I hope it’s on their side. If not, it could get ugly.