Ivan Slavich has just sent out a lengthy tome detailing the demise of Canberra’s official bid for an A-league team. It reads in part:
Dear foundation member,
It is with much sadness and regret that I write to inform you that our quest for an A League team for Canberra is over. I would like to thank the many people that helped us on our journey and I am still totally perplexed that despite our credentials, we have been repeatedly denied entry into the A League competition.
He then goes on to thank the many people involved before adding:
We were overlooked when the comp expanded from 8 to 12 a couple of years ago and those chosen have not fired up other than Melbourne Heart. Townsville is gone, Gold Coast is gone and West Sydney did not get up. The recent eviction of the Gold Coast created another opportunity and despite Ben Buckley the CEO of the FFA admitting to me that our bid was more advanced than West Sydney, the FFA have gone with West Sydney for strategic regions because of the larger population base, pouring in $4m of FFA money and supported by $8m of federal government money.
For the record, I had tried previously to obtain a grant from the federal government given that we are the Nation’s capital, but was advised that they do not support individual teams, so the West Sydney deal is somewhat surprising, although I note the support is for football in general.
Okay, so what about the $200 that over 2000 individuals have coughed up?
Given that the FFA has overlooked Canberra and in accordance with the terms of the trust deed, the trustees have determined to refund your money. It is my intention to run a couple of sessions at the Hellenic Club Woden on a Saturday between 10am and 1pm, whereby you will need to produce your certificate of membership and photo identification, either a licence or passport, where upon you will receive a cheque for your refund. I will provide further notice as to the exact days that we will be conducting these sessions and will endeavour to advertise on radio and in the press. Other arrangements will be made for people interstate or who cannot travel.
You will have two options;-
– Receive a full refund of the money you deposited; or
– Elect to have the money you invested in our bid to further promote elite men’s football in the ACT. Please reply to this email stating that you agree to this if you elect this option.
Hmm, I seem to recall it was quite a bit easier to send in the $200 than it appears it will be to get it back.
For what it’s worth I’m disappointed we couldn’t land an A-league team in Canberra. I’m not certain it would have been an outstanding success, but would have liked our city to have been given a fair go.