Canberra’s A-League bid begins next phase as foundation memberships launched

Lachlan Roberts 12 July 2018

Canberra’s first membership was named in honour of the late Steve Doszpot, the former ACT MLA and president of Soccer Canberra – now Capital Football – who passed away last year. Photos: David Jordan.

Canberra’s bid to kick-start an A-league club in the nation’s capital has officially started its final binding bid, launching its foundation membership campaign on Wednesday morning (11 July).

The expansion team led by Michael Caggiano, is encouraging all football fans in Canberra and the surrounding region to sign up as a foundation member to show Football Federation Australia (FFA) that Canberra has enough community interest and fans to start an A-league club.

Mr Caggiano said the community will play an “integral role” in the next phase of the bid with the expansion team setting a low target of 5,000 members, but expects that number to be “blown out of the water”.

“Knowing all the people that I have talked to at weekend games and meetings over the last month or so, we should surpass that target,” Mr Caggiano said.

“How many people in Australia or the world have the opportunity to be part of the set up of a professional sporting organisation? That doesn’t come around too often.”

Bid organiser Michael Caggiano at the launch of the foundation membership campaign.

Should the bid be successful, foundation members will help determine the club’s name, colours and crest.

In the next stage of the A-league bid, which is due by end of August, the Canberra bid has to prove to FFA that its community support for an A-league bid along with financials and football operations are sustainable long term.

“FFA is looking at what the community can bring to the club and what the club will bring to the community,” Mr Caggiano said.

“We are saying there is a lot of support for us out there and we are representing a lot of people. We are counting on them to back us up and join with us in the formation of this club.”

Capital Football Chief Phil Brown said the foundation membership campaign provided Canberrans with an “opportunity for our voice to be heard” and Capital Football was backing the bid 100 per cent.

Final binding bids are due by 31 August and the announcement of the new licences is planned to be made by 31 October 2018.

The other shortlisted teams are the South West Sydney FC, United for Macarthur (Sydney), Southern Expansion (Sydney region), Team 11 (Melbourne), South Melbourne FC, Western Melbourne Group, Brisbane, City FC, Ipswich Pride FC and Wollongong.

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