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Monday, 14 July 2008

Peter Fitzgerald: Does he research or just make it up:)

Lest we forget. Peter Fitzgerald finally wrote something about football in Canberra and it stinks of "smell the fear," and lacked analysis and Canberra vision.

Peter says we need a lot of money. Well well Peter tell the football community of Canberra something we don't know.!

5,000 fans to a pre-season, pre-season game. 1000 sign-up for a football team that doesn't exist and Ivan Slavich impresses the FFA enough to allow a late entry bid for the A-League, but Peter couldn't find a good news Canberra football story in that!

Sure if Ivan doesn't get the bid up this time, then Pete could come with the I told you so, but not now, not yet. Peter you've missed the mood of the community, of Canberra. You've missed the future of football in Australia and Asia. Poor Pete:)

Peter took a dig at local fans, not smart Peter! and he reckoned the Canberra A-League bid wouldn't get 3500 members to match the Raiders. We'll see. In fact we may all just go away if Peter has his way.

We won't get it so don't try! But of course we will get it. Maybe not now, although I wouldn't argue with Ivan, but we will get it now or in the coming years. This is the start Peter. Can't you see that!

And Peter if you knew anything about football you would know that for example the Central Coast started with just $0.5 million, one investor and 4500 at their first game. The Gold Coast Galaxy were taken over by Clive Palmer after making a lot of noise. They have been renamed. Townsville made a fuss then attracted another big investor.

No Peter a shallow article lacking depth and analysis, showing an amazing lack of knowledge about how A-League clubs have been built, the possibilities for the future, and the importance for the City to have a football team.

Slavich can dream by himself, but he can't build it into a reality by himself.

He's got the fans on board, but needs the big bucks. And until that happens, Canberra's prospects of having an A-League team any time soon will just that a dream.


Peter Fitzgerald rarely if ever talks football. Today he did.



He could have chosen to highlight the hope Ivan Slavich has given the football community of Canberra, the hope the gives to the National Capital and why we need a team for the future of the city, our links with Asia.

Peter just doesn't get it. We're on a journey. Could he have....
talked about the encouraging start of the fans and business community.

But he didn't. No good old Peter, a Canberra Times sports writer, tried to dampen the spirit. Almost made me think he wanted Ivan to fail.

And Peter what have you done in your life. Ever tried to build something from scratch. Doesn't sound like it.

And I'll remember you mate, when the team enters the league. Be it now or in years to come.

Coz that's the point Peter, there will be a team in Canberra it's just a matter of time.

5,000 on Saturday is more than the Central Coast got for their first A-League game but you couldn't highlight the positive, why you even had a go at the lads from Tuggeranong.

They are doing a great job. Sure we are all hoping the money will be there. And it will Pete, if not now in years to come. You see you need vision and passion Pete. Ivan has it. You appear not to!

Stick to what you know. Peter it clearly isn't community spirit, the city of Canberra, the growth of football across Australia, across Asia. As for football passion well Pete we'll leave that to the lads of Tuggeranong who like Ivan Slavich have been brave enough to do something for football, for sport, for Canberra.

Unlike yourself. On your bike mate!

From Peter Fitzgerald!


There's a harsh reality behind Ivan Slavich's spirited bid for an A-League team in Canberra: he needs to find $7million to get through even one year of existence.
Parochial support is a wonderful thing. Fans signing up on internet sites supporting the bid is great.

Fans rocking up to Saturday's pre-season game at Canberra Stadium with signs expressing their love of soccer and absolute support of Slavich is fantastic.

But let's get serious for a moment.

Let's take a much-needed reality check. It's not going to get the desired prize.

One thing and one thing only will convince Football Federation Australia to award Canberra an A-League licence, and that's cold hard cash.

Slavich reckons he needs $7million to get the ship sailing to cover start-up costs, player salaries and run the club in its first season.

So where does he get the cash from, and is it realistic to believe he can in time?

There was a group of fans at Saturday's A-League pre-season game between the Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners holding a sign which read, ''A TEAM 4 CANBERRA.'' ''I TEND NOT TO FAIL'' Ivan Slavich 2008''.

Also on the sign was an unofficial ''sign-up sheet''. Gordo, The General, Big Head and Walnuts all ''signed up'' to support the bid.

That's great that the team would have dedicated fans but Gordo, The General, Big Head, Walnuts and their mates are unlikely to have a spare couple of hundred thousand dollars each to chip in and help out with.

So if they can't help, who can?

Firstly the ACT Government must get involved. This is a non-negotiable.

The Government funds Canberra's three premier sporting teams the Brumbies, Raiders and Capitals to the tune of $100,000 each per season.

They are the only three sporting teams on the Government's tier-one cash handout. Slavich must ensure his team becomes the fourth.

Once securing the Government's backing which would also include locking in Canberra Stadium as a home venue the bid needs to find a couple of big name sponsors.

To date only the chief executive of Canberra advertising, design, interactive and marketing agency ZOO, Pawl Cubbin, has signed up as a financial backer.

Cubbin's support is invaluable, but it's not enough.

Slavich needs a major sponsor and then, hopefully, other investors will jump on board.

Given he is the chief executive of TransACT and general manager of retail with ActewAGL, you can all-but guarantee Slavich will organise some sponsorship dollars himself.

The problem is, how many corporate dollars are there in Canberra?

The Brumbies, Raiders and Capitals have all cemented themselves in the local community, both popularity-wise and financially.

The Capitals' major sponsorship deal with long-term backer TransACT is worth about $150,000.

The Raiders demand about $700,000 for their top-name sponsor while the Brumbies get more than $1million for their major sponsorship package.

Third-party sponsorship in the Super14 and NRL has become a major part of securing top-name players in recent years.

Canberra teams have constantly struggled because there simply aren't enough third-party dollars available in a city of 340,000 people.

Slavich has said he is scanning interstate options, and that may be his only chance.

Once getting the Government and sponsors on board, there's the issue of members.

The Raiders, who have been in Canberra since 1982, have a mere 3500 members, or roughly 1 per cent of the population.

The Brumbies have 9000 members.

Slavich wants an initial 5000 supporters to pay $200 per head as a membership kick-start. Nice in theory but highly unlikely to eventuate.

After all the above is sorted out Government support, corporate dollars and adequate membership numbers Slavich has just one more thing to do. Find himself a team of players.

Canberra players playing in existing A-League teams such as Shaun Ontong (Newcastle Jets), Kaz Patafta (Newcastle Jets), Adam Casey (Sydney FC), Matt Kemp (Melbourne Victory) and Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Perth Glory) could kick-start the recruitment drive.

Entice Canberra's Josip Simunic, who is currently playing in Germany and Carl Valeri, who is in Italy, to come home and it's not a bad start.

OK, so the chances of signing all of those players so easily may be little more than a dream. But so is Slavich's bid for a team at this stage.

Slavich can dream by himself, but he can't build it into a reality by himself.

He's got the fans on board, but needs the big bucks. And until that happens, Canberra's prospects of having an A-League team any time soon will just that a dream.

peter.fitzgerald@canberratimes.com.au



2 comments:

Macca said...

Whoever wrote this response has shown how the community feels towards the article and attitude of Peter!

Peters article did seem to be one out of fear.... but why, the a-league is a summer fixture and is basically replacing the late (RIP)basketball as the "outside" code!

As a student I am usually strapped for cash, but ill be down to pay my $200 to become a foundation member!!!! And as for ongoing support...... well i think our membership base will be huge, even more so if free season passes are given to registered juniors who will bring mum and dad along.

Its the birth of a new team, get on board, even if you are a scared, negitive and one eyed reporter!!

MACCA.... and the Tuggeranong crew (Gordo, The General, Walnuts, Jezza ect....)

Gordo said...

All the drawbacks Peter harped on about applied to the Raiders and the Brumbies. If his attitude was the way everyone thought there would be no teams of any sport in Canberra. Football will take over Australia slowly but surely, so I'm not too worried about people like Peter. He's just making the rugby people feel better about their dying sport.
And another thing, The General wasn't too happy about being slagged off. Beware The General.