Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Home : World Sport Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

 

 

 

Carlton Soccer Club Disappears

Will the man in the dark glasses reappear?

It's old news that Paul Stretford, Group Managing Director of Proactive Sports Management Limited, was a guest of Carlton in November.  Having met  Minister Madden and visited Colonial Stadium, Epping and Optus Oval and cast an eye over the soccer landscape, Stretford well understands the value of a Premier League Club establishing an operation in Melbourne.

I'm convinced a new club based on the remnants of Carlton will emerge in Melbourne.  The fact that Shanghai Soccer Club is coming to Melbourne in January only illustrates the opportunities. 

Newcastle United are the Magpies and wear back and white stripes.  So too does Tony Schiavello's team, Juventus.  Interesting.....

And the Scots were there too!

 

Peter Marr the boss cockie at Dundee offered Simon Colosimo a contract at Dundee with the guarantee of an on sale to another big club. It didn't go anywhere.

 

 

Dundee are know as the Blues and have a monogram very similar to that which adorns the Carlton Football Club jumper.  Isn't that interesting!  Was there a Dundee man there at the inception of the Mighty Blues in 1877 the year they won the first ever VFA Premiership?

 

Our own Scot, coach Stuart Munro shakes the paw of Dundee CEO Peter Marr at the Carlton office.

 

Soccer Australia at it again

Although Soccer Australia's decision to proceed with a 12 team competition was met with general opposition from the clubs at a recent meeting it seems nothing will stop the move.  Sadly it has cost Carlton a place in the NSL.

Simon Colosimo at Bob Jane after the thrilling draw with South Melbourne in front of more than 10,000 people in round three. 

Where is soccer without these games?

Much has been made of Simon's proposed transfer to Sunderland.  Whatever the circumstances of the failed transfer it's a shame his association with Carlton should have ended on what seems less than amicable terms.

DID THE MEDIA HELP?

The Fair go, Ian

I do think Ian Cockerill, writing in the Age on Monday October 23, was a touch unfair. Had Ian rung we might have put a different spin on lines such as "pre-season there were relocation rumours, rumours of folding, open admissions that the club was about to sell its best players in order to stay  viable .......".  

The truth is Peter Jess said openly that he was looking at a new home.  What's unusual about that?  Was Colonial a new home for Essendon? What, shouldn't the club sell Colosimo and Thompson if they are good enough to make it overseas?

It wouldn't amuse the people of Whittlesea or a Council that has spent several million dollars on Epping Stadium to read that 'the game against Eastern Pride is set down for a ground at Epping".  Actually Epping Stadium, a FIFA sanctioned venue, was used as an Olympic training ground, and the idea is to try to build a supporter base in the northern suburbs by "taking the game to the people".  And that's only one or two games out of fifteen.

Would it be silly to play 12 games at a central venue such as Bob Jane and a couple  at Shell Stadium in summer and maybe Epping? And what about Optus Oval? Or should Carlton have simply shut its eyes and marched back to Olympic Park?  I fancy Ian Cockerill knows the answer to those questions. 

So Carlton folded and so did the aspirations of many people.

Unless a Melbourne club breaks into the mainstream sporting culture neither of them will grow in this crucial market.  When Carlton and South Melbourne met in round 3 more than 10,000 people turned up at Bob Jane Stadium.  It's games such as these that will determine soccer's future in Melbourne. 

Soccer's early development was built on the search for identity by immigrant communities.  It's something to cherish and respect.  However as South president George Vasilopoulos readily admits, his club needs to grow beyond the old boundaries and draw people outside the Greek community into the fold. No club can be sustained by one community alone. 

The challenge is to attract mainstream sports lovers to Australian soccer.  Australians watch Premier League Soccer but haven't embraced the Australian game beyond the Olympics.

People outside mock and dismiss Australian soccer. That some of this mocking is based on deep seated racism matters not. The challenge for soccer people is to build a great game 'down under' that's as important as the prattle about ex-pats in the UK. 

Olympic Park?

The truth is the move to Olympic Park didn't work and ultimately set the club on a spiral. Although Carlton  spent big sums of money on promotions and crowd entertainment at Olympic Park the club was unable to attract crowds in any great numbers.  Unfortunately the venue didn't capture the imagination of soccer fans and at the moment there isn't the money to throw around on promotion.

The passionate Carlton mob.  

From May to December 2000 I worked as a consultant to the Carlton Soccer Club. In that time I developed an acute understanding of Australian Soccer and the problems faced by new clubs such as the Carlton Soccer Club.

Despite what the occasional knuckle-head might say, I did it because Peter was a mate. I did it on the cheap and I'm an official creditor. 

As long ago as 1993 I had discussions with former Carlton General manager Lou Sticca about relocating Brunswick Juventus to the Coburg Ground. And as the Member for Wills I travelled to Sydney on behalf of several clubs to discuss the plight of soccer with then Chairman, David Hill.

During that time I attended numerous soccer matches throughout the electorate. It's a great game and I remain very much interested in it.  Only last month I organised meetings for Tony Schiavello with officials at Channel 7 and Colonial Stadium.  Soccer is here to stay. 

AND FINALLY

Peter Jess is big enough to look after himself. But just for the record, he ploughed $1.8m of his  hard earned into the now defunct Carlton Soccer Club.

 

 


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