Monday, March 16, 2009

Sheikh possibly to shake up Tassie A-League bid

Minister for Sport and Recreation. Michelle O'Byrne, with the members of the A-League taskforce

The Tasmanian Government will contribute $40,000 to the Tasmania United A-League Taskforce to enable the group to complete a feasibility study into the viability of a team.

Michelle O’Byrne, the Minister for Sport and Recreation, announced the grant this afternoon.

“The A-League competition will expand to 12 teams in 2010-11 and the Government is keen to ensure that Tasmania has every chance to secure a team licence in this current expansion, or when further opportunties are presented,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“Having a team in the national competition has the potential to deliver significant economic benefits to the State, as well as providing a marvellous opportunity for our young talent to play at the elite level.

“The feasibility study would allow a determination to be made as to whether a Tasmanian A-League team was viable and whether the taskforce would then proceed to preparation of a full-blown business case.”

Ms O’Byrne said the Government would consider further support once the feasibility study was completed.

“The feasibility study will look at a wide range of issues, including supporter base, potential stadium facilities and costs, administrative/training facilities, and potential revenue streams such as membership, gate revenue, sponsorship, merchandising, and broadcast rights revenue.”

Ms O’Byrne said the State Government was a strong supporter of football in the State.

“We are part-way through a four-year, $800,000 package to help grow the sport at the grassroots level and to also foster both male and female players with an elite junior development program through the Tasmanian Institute of Sport.”

The chair of the taskforce, John McGirr, thanked the Minister and the State Government for their support and encouragement of the endeavours by the group to secure a Tasmanian based A-League team.

McGirr also said the group would welcome any funding and said that from day one his group had seen this project as a private business enterprise.

“We are not looking for any government funds to prop the deal up,” McGirr said.

“We would expect that we can raise the $7.5 million to run the team through private enterprise.

“Our director of football, Ken Morton, is, as we speak, negotiating with a businessman in Dubai, who is very, very keen to come on board.

“He is a sheikh. He’s got multiple business, mainly in hospitality and hotels.

“Our football director coached against the sheikh’s team.

“He already owns a club elsewhere. He’s very, very passionate about the game and, as a lot of successful business people are, he’s very egotistical and it’d be nice just to own another club.

“[What attracted him] was the fact that we are up for sale, and it is a wonderful spot.”

McGirr said the sheikh had not been to Tasmania and because he had not met him he did not know what the sheikh knew about Australian football.

He did not know whether the sheikh would visit Tasmania in the near future.

“I know he’s pretty busy but, certainly, if he doesn’t come, we’d like to bring out one of his representatives,” McGirr said.

A check of the Internet indicates that the sheikh McGirr is referring to is probably Sheikh Al Amoudi, who is funding the Ethiopian Football Federation and the Ethiopian national team

Morton would have encountered the sheikh while Morton was coaching in Ethiopia in the early 2000s.

Morton coached Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation Football Club (EEPCO FC).

Morton said he would reveal the sheikh’s identity on Friday.


Chaffey said...

You've got to love the cartoon in the Herald Sun. There's an article about the above on page 66. "Why Tasmanian Soccer" - "I thought I was buying the island".

Stick said...

Great article.. Fantastic to see that the government is backing our game.. History is an interesting thing, Morton sells a car in the 70's his car??, Morton takes Olympic to Singapore his money?? , Morton goes to England and knocks back professional jobs to return to coach Knights???..Morton working for Football Tas whilst still a senior club coach and runs his own "academy" for xxxx bucks
Morton now talking to a sheikh and the main man to help with Tassie future in Football finance.. Gee I hope history doesn't repeat.. No wool over these eyes...

jerrie kruijver said...

i sincerely hope that the sheik does not come over to tassie until we actually enter the 20th century.we cant give the man a true picture of the strenggth of our football,because our leagues are made up around the boardroom table instead of on the pitch.if he saw the argument and bickering about the tis and then see the pathetic solution we came up with,he would only recomend to tas gvt to pay us a mental disability pension.if he heard about a team that finished second in a first division gettting rewarded with relelegation to a lower division,he must really be wondering
we know that the present way of doing things does not work,it did not work in seventies and it does not work a small state we have an abundance of potential that we waste in a criminal in tasmania does not depend on the fft or the clubs,it all depends on the average player of average ability who pays his fees who keeps both the clubs and the fft afloat.overall the players are getting ripped off by pedantic nitpicking and the desire to do it this way because we allways did it this way ,without any regard to really looking at a better way.with a small population we cant support that many clubs, however we can make sure that the clubs we have become healthy and viable.they will only become viable by having a large player/membership base,who all pay their fees
because we cant support that many clubs we have to accept that some teams of the same club end up playing in the same league,i know the purists are horrified at this and then say imagine manchester united having 2 teams in the league,i like to remind those people that if manchester finishes last they get relegated.we dont have that many players that we can afford to lock them away in reserve leagues that go nowhere or isolate them in some other way.we must enable the best players and teams to come to the fore,it is hard to argue that a team that beats everyone on the park does not belong in a higher up the competition to real competition and at least we have top leagues that contain teams that have earned the right tobe there.mix the reserve leagues etc freely with div 2 an div one teams land let the best teams and players rise to the top,not only will that tighten up the competition,it will give players something to play for and gain promotion if they are succesfull.the standard of any player will only improve if he is forced to play against teams that are at least equal or slightly better then him.looking at youth developement and planning for the future is important,but dont forget that the only asset we have in our possession is the players that are paying and playing today.if allow our leagues to be based on teams that truely deserve to be in there we wiil have teams that within 4 years can hold their own against any premier league club from interstate and within 5 years we can provide the nucleus ofa squad for the a league.administrators of clubs should only be concerned with making their clubs viable,their coaching staff will do the rest.if we can also inoculate ourselves against that peculiar tassie disease called parochialism we could really go ahead

anonymous said...

jerry, the sheikh will not be coming to look at local football - local football and the strength of will have no bearing whatsoever on Tassie getting an a-league team.

as for eagles going back to div 2...that's the only sensible decision they've made in a long time.

As for Morton, at the end of the day, if he can deliver this to the Tassie public it will be a genuine feather in his cap.

jerrie kruijver said...

ah i know this mr anonymus,if only he had a name.well i understood the idea was to provide a pathway for tassie players to get into the a seem to favour a tassie aleague side that provides a nice nice retirement nestegg for washed up stars from overseas.but please anonymus address the other points i raised

jerrie kruijver said...

i almost forgot,mr anonymus what happens if that eagles side could win the premierdhip in the second division? promotion to the first or relegation to the social league?

anonymous said...

jerry, the matter of eagles div 2 team and promotion has been done to death - it's not going to happen - it also defies logic.

structure should be -


Div 1

Div 2 (if there are enough stand alone clubs)


there should be promotion between Prem, Div 1 and Div 2, provided there are enough stand alone clubs.

it's no one's problem but the eagles players, that they can't play in the div 1 league with the Eagles soccer club -

as for the a-league players, the point is that the sheikh aint going to give a shite about south hobart and newtown eagles - he aint going to give a rats about eagles having to play a div 2 team -

he is only going to care about owning a new club that he can parade about.

unfortunately walter's constant reporting has only led tasmanian soccer and it's amateur players to delusions of grandeur, to the point where you would consider a sheikh would give a flying foo foo about eagles div 2 eyes are still rolling in my head at that one

jerrie kruijver said...

anonymus you have a great ability to miss the point

anonymous said...

no jerry, tassie's talent has an avenue - it's through the TIS.

this is because the local clubs can't pull their fingers out and develop quality players.

so it's left to the morton academy and the TIS...

jerrie kruijver said...

great solution anonymus,tassies talent rduced to playing in the under 19.would you allow 4 tis sides in the same league?

anonymous said...

tassie will have the players, but it will not be for another 10 + years. In about 15 - 20 years the side could be drawn soley from tasmanian stocks.

these players will be developed via the TIS and private tuition from coaches such as Ken Morton.

anonymous said...

jerry, the TIS boys should be playing a shadow league agaisnt the Premier League clubs without a doubt.

The developemnt of tasmanian players to make it professionally started late last year, but it will take as I said 15-20 years for tassie talent to occupy the whole team. that's simply being realistic about things.

jerrie kruijver said...

anonymus,in 15 ,20 years time the present tis boys will have retired. the only way you will archieve wwhat you want is thru a selectice breeding program,nazistyle,mate mark bosnich with australias matildas goalkeeper to get the perfect goalie etc.come on there is more raw talent in the state then tis and ken morton can accomodate,plus not every true talent can afford the fees.

anonymous said...

jerry just because the current boys are in the TIS program doesn't mean they have a devine right to play football professionally.

two players in this state who definitely could have made it are Brazendale and Crosswell - both have the attributes required.

there s raw talent yes, but it does take a certain moulding/pedigree to make it in the professional sphere -

with regards to 15-20 years, I was referring to the entire tassie fc team being comprised of tasmanian players.

in between there will be plently of players coming through the TIS that will get a crack.

The reality is this - name one player that a Tasmanian club can claim repsonsibility for developing and fostering through into the professional game in the last decade. The answer I can tell you is zero.

this is where unfortunately the 'raw' talent argument has very little basis, even though both Brazendale (zebras) and Ben Crosswell did come close.

jerrie kruijver said...

anonymus,that brings me back to my argument about opening the leagues to true competititon instead of creating them around the boardroom table and you will see wich players and teams are the best available now

anonymous said...

jerry, at the end of the day, if the players in the eagles Div 2 team want to play Div 1 soccer, they will need to move clubs.

the leagues need to be structured. there's no way around that.

jerrie kruijver said...

that is exactly the sticking point anonymus they should not have to move clubs,they should be able to gain promotion with the club they are with.again i say anonymus with a small population like we have we must make the most of the clubs we have because we simply cant support that many clubs.if players are constantly forced to move from one club to another you only ensure that the weak clubs remain weak and the stronger clubs can only lock their surplus talent into a reserve league that does not go is vital that every club we have becomes strong in their player/members base,when that happens you will find that every club will get youth flocking to it because they can smell the chance of having something to play for

anonymous said...

so by that statement jerry you're saying that you would believe it fair nad reasonable for Eagles or any other club for that matter to have two or more teams in the same league?

jerrie kruijver said...

yes anonymus read what isaid in my first post it explains why i think that,if you are concerned about it being unfair i put to you that the present system is highly unfair and very much open to corruption.secondly if you are concerned about coaches swapping players between two sides that can easily be stopped

anonymous said...

I can't discuss this matter any further, but thank you for the discussion jerry.

jerrie kruijver said...

no problem anonymus lets hope it solves a few things

Marty Nidorfer said...

Guys, I will say this about Eagles Division 2 side. We are predominantly a bunch of guys who have represented the club since we were teenagers. I, as well as many of the others would choose ONLY to represent Newtown Eagles in whichever Division our club nominates, and whatever decision is made by FFT. Some guys have chosen to have a crack at a higher level, whether it be with us or elsewhere, (none of us begrudge that)but I along with a lot of the blokes playing would never consider playing for another southern club. We remain loyal players and supporters of Eagles matches and club functions.
Being in Division 1,2,3, or 4 doesnt really matter to us. Just a kick with life long mates on the weekend is all I need to enjoy myself.
You are probably debating this because of the fact that we are in the Summer Cup final, but you have to realise we have had a charmed draw.
DOSA are still building a team, Hobart United and Beachside had so many different faces from last year, I imagined they would struggle pre season, and we beat Taroona's reserves (thank god for the Steve Hudson Cup) to make the final. We should get slaughtered by the only strong team in the comp at the moment Metro, especially with the 3 new Scotsmen.
Just give me a game on the weekend with my club and I will be happy.


jerrie kruijver said...

no marie its not because of is just that i abhor this system of cobbling leagues together around a boardrom table.leagues should be decided by the results on the park,that is the only fair way.apart from that martie enjoy your games and give andrew savage,john large my regards its great to see andrew playing again

jerrie kruijver said...

lol i meant martie,not marie lol lol

Marty Nidorfer said...

No offence taken apart from the fact my alter ego is Xena warrior princess.

Stick said...

Anon ..
I love how you have decided to write off the other clubs who are developing our kids and not charging xxx prices to support one persons wage. Clarence have also been running an Academy and the Zebras have set one up too. The TIS playing in the Premier League?? please Hudson Cup doesn't show much skill is one thing but they can't have Daddy MAY protecting them all the time when things become physical.
Intersting that the only two you mentioned with the "potential" are Braz & Crosswell?? This just highlights that you havn't been around that long and don't know that much about the game down here.. But hey let's hang all our future on Morton Soccer Tas(Sth HBT) and the TIS gee has anybody had a look higher then Oatlands???

Blue Kipper said...

Who is Mr Anonymous? Is he the Stig? Agree with Stick that the Braz and Crosswell comment was a little short sighted

Captain said...

There's good young kids (15, 16) playing at Riverside, L'ton City, Ulverstone, Zebras, Clarence, South Hobart and other clubs that aren't in the Soccer School or the TIS.

Put them in one team and they would do just as well.