The new head of the A-League says there’s no reason why crisis-torn Brisbane can’t be as big an off-field success as Western Sydney or Melbourne Victory.
Greg O’Rourke, who has started his role as Damien de Bohun’s successor at Football Federation Australia, met the Roar’s new leadership for the first time at a corporate event earlier this week.
The club is just beginning to recover from two months of turmoil, with the shrewd recruitment of former Socceroos striker Brett Holman this week a sign things are back on track under the leadership of managing director Mark Kingsman.
O’Rourke, a former chairman of Football NSW, said he was “surprised” the three-time champions haven’t been able to garner stronger support in Brisbane over the years.
“But I’m really excited that we can build it,” he said. “There’s no reason why we can’t be as successful in Brisbane as we are in Sydney and Melbourne.
“There’s just as many kids playing the game, the game is played in the alternate season to our number one competitors.
“I see this as an open door but it requires a belief that we’re not going to see another year of what we’ve seen before.”
O’Rourke said the first step towards stability was a firm commitment from owners the Bakrie Group to remain in control of the club, which has been provided.
It’s understood the Indonesian conglomerate are staying put and won’t entertain any buyout proposal worth less than $20 million. That’s likely to put an end to interest from a local consortium that was keen to rescue Roar from a seemingly endless spiral of drama.
O’Rourke called for supporters to instead focus on football, support the team and trust that their off-field issues were being sorted.
“Leave the back end and the ownership to be sorted out by the suits,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tim Cahill’s first major match for Melbourne City will go untelevised.
City have been drawn against Western Sydney Wanderers in the only all A-League match-up in the quarter-finals of the FFA Cup at AAMI Park on September 21.
Given the weight of the match, it’s likely to be Cahill’s first start for the club after he played as a second-half substitute against Brisbane Strikers earlier this month.
Instead the clash between Blacktown City and Sydney FC will be shown live on Fox Sports, with Cahill’s appearance on internet streaming and Apple TV.
O’Rourke said there were clear reasons for why the Melbourne City game was not the match being broadcast.
“The Westfield FFA Cup is all about providing the opportunity for grassroots and semi-professional clubs to play against the giants of the Hyundai A-League,” O’Rourke said.
“A match that pits the current National Premier Leagues Champions of Australia against Sydney FC in their home state is delivering on this and for this reason the Fox Sports broadcast match on the opening night of the quarter-finals will be the Cup tie between Blacktown City and Sydney FC.”
© 2016 News. | This article appeared on The News website on 02 September 2016.