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!
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.