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July 14th, 2018 by admin

Melbourne Victory’s Di Pietro warns Gallop on TV deal: A-League at the crossroads

Melbourne Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro wants the FFA to strike a new TV deal that underpins the A-League’s 10 clubs. Photo: SuppliedMelbourne Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro says the coming A-League season, the last under the expiring broadcasting deal, is a major fork in the road for Australia’s elite soccer competition.
Nanjing Night Net

Di Pietro, who runs the best supported and most successful club in the league, has challenged FFA boss David Gallop to lift the game’s revenue streams and show a pathway for the game’s continued growth and development.

“The A-League is entering its 12th season and domestic football is at a critical point,” Di Pietro told a Victory in Business season-launching lunch.

“The clubs are finding their voices and challenging themselves and the FFA to find a better way forward for what is clearly the engine room of the game (the A League) in Australia.”

It was a none too subtle hint that the A-League’s 10 team owners are expecting Gallop and his negotiating team to not only gain an increase on the game’s existing $40 million a year broadcast deal but ensure that a bigger share of it is channelled back into the clubs that underpin the game.

Di Pietro also stressed the importance of ensuring that the league is broadcast into as many homes as possible, making it clear that he and clubs believe that a strong deal with a free-to-air broadcaster or media platform that can deliver widespread coverage should be an important component of any new agreement.

“We must underpin the clubs and ensure the competition continues to grow,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of Victory’s brightest young prospects, defender Jason Geria, is aiming to make this season a coming of age campaign in which he can establish himself in Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou’s squad.

Geria was called up for the Socceroos earlier this year and, having had his appetite whetted, is keen to return for more exposure to the international game.

But he is, for now, more focussed on Victory’s season opener against Brisbane on Friday night.

“For a club like Victory high expectations are normal. It’s nothing new to us. We go into Friday’s game with a lot of confidence,” Geria said.

“We have recruited well. We did lose a couple of guys, but the gaffer (coach Kevin Muscat) has done a really good job in replacing them.

“I think we have got a lot of depth. It’s something you need if you are to have a successful year – guys to come in and who you know will do a good job.

“Re-establishing myself with the Socceroos is a big part of my aims this season. I got a taste of it and now I want more. The main way of getting back into that fold is playing well for Melbourne Victory. The rest should take care of itself.

“The whole set-up of international football is completely different to club football. It’s such a special thing to be a part of and I know I want to be a part of it for years to come. The catalyst for that is to play well week in and week out.”

James Troisi is another man keen to force his way back into the international spotlight. He scored the winning goal in the Asian Cup Final last year and has rejoined Victory to try to re-ignite his career.

“The last 12 months has been a bit difficult. I chopped and changed with a couple of clubs. This is an environment that I know, and for me it’s the right fit.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.