SBS are reporting that Canberra’s A-League push is back on again after another mining billionaire has decided soccer is not the game for him and Newcastle lost its funding.
Though unimpressed by the manner in which the ruling body has treated the consortium which has spent three years piecing together a proposal, Slavich said that Canberra could conceivably still make up a 10th team in 2012-2013 if FFA is unable to force mining magnate Nathan Tinkler to honour a participation agreement not scheduled to expire until 2020 or alternatively find a new backer for the club.
TransACT boss Slavich, whose consortium had sought to fill the void left by Gold Coast United before FFA opted to fund a western Sydney franchise, said: “After the decision was made by FFA to award a licence to western Sydney I was about to hand back the thousands of financial pledges for foundation memberships we have received from the ACT public and walk away.
“This has come out of the blue a bit and in the light of that I would still say that the door is still open to discuss possible participation next season for a team from the capital, though we feel we have not been treated well at by FFA.
“We feel we have excellent credentials and feel let down that FFA has opted for western Sydney which looks very much to me like it’s going to be partially funded by government money anyway with its $8 million grant to develop the game in that region. They have snubbed us repeatedly.”
Slavich said he would need a raft of assurances from FFA over the long-term viability of the A-League for his interest to be fully ignited again, adding: “It looks a little like the A-League is becoming a revolving door and that’s a major concern. You’ve had North Queensland Fury, Gold Coast United come and go and now the situation with the Jets.