Tuesday, 20 January 2004 12:00 AM
South Melbourne Chief Executive Mark Patterson will present his club’s case for acceptance into the Victorian Premier League at a meeting of clubs to be held tonight.
There has been growing debate amongst some of the Victorian Clubs about the planned move of Victoria’s two national league teams, South Melbourne and the Melbourne Knights, as the face of soccer undergoes significant change at both the National and State level.
“The South Melbourne Soccer Club is extremely serious about its plans to participate at State level and we believe that any opposition will be withdrawn once the benefits of our involvement is more clearly understood by the member clubs, particularly the financial benefits that will result for all concerned” said Patterson today.
South Melbourne is confident it will be admitted into the revamped National competition and believes its Victorian participation will add value, profile and improved crowds to the Victorian competition, regardless of what occurs at the National level.
“Unfortunately there has been far too much misinformation and scare mongering in the debate about South’s intentions and I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to explain our position. I am sure we can provide the other clubs with confidence that the move is advantageous for the game and that it would simply be narrow minded and backward not to see that the positives of such a move far out weigh any negatives” Patterson went on to say.
South Melbourne believes other clubs will benefit in a variety of ways including
· Improved revenues from increased crowds
· The potential to gain access to South Melbourne players and resources for junior development purposes
· Access to use Bob Jane Stadium
· Improved player career path options and compensation payments to Premier League clubs
Patterson said that he was confident that the clubs would support South’s move once the issues and benefits had been discussed in an open forum. “The debate to date has only been based on media speculation and reporting which has not provided any of the parties with a real opportunity to talk through the issues properly” he said.
“We ought to all be exploring these issues from a position of ‘how to achieve progressive change’, as opposed to taking a stance of ‘why change shouldn’t occur’ ” Patterson explained.
The VSF meeting will be held tonight.