With talk of a new team in Sydney brewing in recent days, Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold has called into question the future of the Sky Blues and the livelihood of his family should the Wellington Phoenix be replaced in the near future.
Arnold said the geographical divide between teams in Sydney would be hampered by the formation of a third Sydney team as he said the Sky Blues would be hit hard by their introduction, with a large portion of members hailing from the region.
“I think my biggest concern is if Sydney FC is still going to be around,” Arnold said.
“I’m just worried even about my job, my family, all the players and their families. This decision is left to one family and that’s Scott Barlow’s family, David Trakotvenko’s family, that can make a decision to stay or not.
“If they aren’t happy with what’s going on and they aren’t happy with a potential Sutherland Shire team and they decide to walk away, what’s next.”
“I’m a Sutherland Shire boy, I grew up and played my junior football there. We’ve got four or five kids here in Gersbach, Naumoff and Bouzanis, Calver that come from that area so for me as a coach and us as a club what we would lose would be enormous.”
“30% of our Membership come from the Sutherland Shire and 40% of our Junior Membership comes from the Sutherland Shire that come to games. If you’re going to take 30% off 12,000 and then 40% off our Junior Members it leaves a big hole for us.
“If a club does go in there, then do they end up taking over the inner west, because it’s close. If they do build something at Barton Park then we’re going to end up in Bondi.
“I think that needs to be thought through properly before any hasty decisions are made because Wellington Phoenix, ok they might not bring the so called metrics to the game, but there is a good market there.”
Arnold said there are other on-going issues off the field to be concerned about as he called into question the want for additional derbies that would be generated through an extra team in the Sutherland Shire.
“They [FFA] already own one club in Newcastle Jets and everything in the offseason with Brisbane has thankfully been cleaned up,” Arnold said.
“The A-League has come a long way on the field, off the field there’s still on-going issues and the owners, it’s their money. They’re parting out of their hard earned cash and a lot of money to fund and to put in to the clubs and the A-League.
“Scott Barlow and David Traktovenko, in the 10 years they’ve been in charge of Sydney FC, they’ve put in a lot of money and lost a lot of money and I spoke to Scott yesterday and he was extremely upset on the way and how he’s getting treated. He feels disrespected in all this.
“Between the City of Sydney and the Western Suburbs, the Western Suburbs is so big now because of the growth of Sydney and it’s totally different,” he continued.
“There’s only one tunnel that separates our City of Sydney and the Sutherland Shire, there’s only an airport between us and it’s only 5 minutes travel.
“I know the derbies are good, we play against each other 3 times as it is now, do the people of Sydney want 6 derbies.”
Sydney FC take on the Central Coast Mariners at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday 31 October (kick off 5:15pm). Catch the match live on Fox Sports 4, listen live on ABC Grandstand or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for updates.
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