The Western United Thread

Remove this Banner Ad

Punt Road Feral

Club Legend
Aug 23, 2007
2,821
1,682
Punt Road's Manure Pit
AFL Club
Richmond
Western United float idea of double-headers with City or Victory
By Michael Lynch
December 31, 2019 — 1.11pm

Could Western United stage games at AAMI Park next season as part of a double-header set-up alongside Melbourne Victory or Melbourne City?
Don't rule it out. Nor games at Footscray's Whitten Oval - which could be a match venue at some point later this season - or even at an NPL club like Melbourne Knights, whom many expected Western to tie up with in the first place.

Double-headers - if A-League bosses were to give them the go-ahead - are just one of a number of radical ideas the A-League's newest franchise is kicking about as it looks to match its on-field success off the pitch, where so far it has struggled to attract fans and gain cut-through.

The club, says CEO Chris Pehlivanis, has the licence to think outside the square, consider all options and attempt radical solutions while it waits for all the permits to be granted and construction of its planned new stadium in Tarneit to begin.

The proposal to build its own football specific stadium was essentially what made the FFA board plump for Western's bid ahead of the more-widely expected Team 11 from Dandenong when the A-League looked to expand to a third team in Melbourne.

The fact that construction has not begun is causing plenty of scepticism - something Pehlivanis acknowledges.

"Of course there are sceptical people. There always are in this game. But we have to keep planning and while we are waiting for it to be built we are looking at different ways to attract fans and consolidate our position in the west of Melbourne and Victoria," he said.

"We were very pleased with the crowd and the atmosphere we got playing at Mars Stadium in Ballarat last weekend and we are looking to build up our supporter base in the west."

Pehlevanis confirmed that negotiations to play some games this season at Whitten Oval are well advanced.

"We are looking at every option. There's the Bulldogs, we would look at any rectangular stadium in the west," he says, agreeing that the Knights venue at Somers Street could still come into play.

But it is the notion of double-headers that is the most radical kite he and his club are flying.

"We could even look at double-headers," he said. "That used to happen in the old days. Why couldn't fans who enjoy football get the chance to watch two games in one day in one stadium?

"It would depend on who you were playing. It's just an idea to throw up. We are a new club and we can try a lot of different things. Just because they are new doesn't mean they won't work or shouldn't be tried. We can try anything.

"We are exploring all options. I will definitely have another chat to the Knights and explore everything."

Whatever Western ends up doing will have to suit the FFA and particularly the broadcaster, Fox Sports, who require certain standards to be met in terms of floodlighting and advertising space for games to be staged at specific venues.

Many have argued that Western should do a deal with the Knights, a club which owns its own ground and is situated in the heartland of Melbourne's western suburbs.

It is understood the Knights did offer itself as a home from home for the first couple of seasons on condition that Western footed the bill for ground and infrastructure upgrades (including office space which the new club could have had to itself) in the first year, along with naming rights on match days and profits from food and drink sales.

In subsequent seasons it wanted rental of $200,000 a season for use of the stadium on match days and for training purposes until Western's own new venue was completed.

But no agreement was reached and Western opted for Geelong instead.

A deal with the Bulldogs could be done early in the new year if both are convinced an agreement makes financial sense.

Lev Shevki, a United board member and financial backer, is also on the Bulldogs board.

"Whatever we do we have to ensure that it's a fit-for-purpose venue but we will explore any option that might look attractive," Pehlivanis says.

GMHBA Stadium is a cavernous venue which is simply too big for the small home crowds that the team is currently attracting, leading to a dead and debilitating atmosphere.

So far Western has only picked up seven points out of a possible 21 playing at its home venue, perhaps a reflection of the lack of atmosphere there. On the road it is a different story, where Mark Rudan's side has gained 10 points out of 15 available.

Between now and the end of the regular season on April 26 there are only three matches scheduled for Western at GMHBA Stadium with the last due to be played in round 21, against the Mariners.
In that period it is also slotted in to play two more games in Ballarat.

Its draw has been heavily loaded to ensure it got a lot of games in Geelong early in the campaign, to help it build its identity in the west but also to ensure that it wouldn't be there when the footy pre-season got underway.


Double headers sound ridiculous. Maybe they should have opted for that Knights deal at Somer street in the first place.
Geelong was never gonna work unless it was an actual Geelong Franchise!
Getting crowds of 5k at Somers St would have the place rocking and at least make the games enticing to go to.

Committing to 200k per year rent seems like a low risk business move compared to the associated costs with a 36,000 oval.
 

Minka Beaver

Club Legend
Feb 5, 2004
1,223
2,021
Melbourne
AFL Club
Melbourne
Getting crowds of 5k at Somers St would have the place rocking and at least make the games enticing to go to.

Committing to 200k per year rent seems like a low risk business move compared to the associated costs with a 36,000 oval.
Somers St needs a serious amount of work to be up to A-League standard. It’s fun for NPL games, but the ground is no different to what it was like in NSL days, when the stadium requirements were far less onerous.

The experience of Brisbane Roar - who recently playing at Redcliffe - was great, but that’s a recently renovated, well-maintained venue.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

giggler99

Moderator
Jul 5, 2011
9,199
9,041
Melbourne
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Victory,Napoli,Liverpool,Penguins
McDonald to join Roar after PFA resolves Western United dispute | The World Game

McDonald’s future with the A-League new boys has been in question since a mid-December fallout with coach Mark Rudan.
And on Friday it became clear that, with the aid of players union mediation, the 36-year-old marksman was free to cut ties with United and add firepower to a Roar front line crying out for goals.
McDonald was left out of Western United’s squad for Friday’s derby against Melbourne City, with Brisbane hoping to have the paperwork finalised on his move north over the weekend.
It’s anticipated that McDonald - who scored once in nine appearances for United on his long-awaited return to Australia - could make his debut in Saturday week’s visit of Melbourne City.
Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners were also in the market for McDonald when it became apparent his relationship with Rudan had soured.
But, it’s understood, the desire to work under legendary Liverpool goal king turned rookie coach Robbie Fowler was always his preference once the PFA acted to resolve a dispute over the terms of his release and facilitate a contract termination.
The move provides a fresh platform for McDonald to showcase his ruthless instincts - and slick involvement in build up play - at a club buoyed by Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Western Sydney Wanderers.
With just 12 goals scored in 11 games, Brisbane sit three points off the playoffs in ninth spot.
The belief is that McDonald’s guile in the final third could help change the course of their season.

 

giggler99

Moderator
Jul 5, 2011
9,199
9,041
Melbourne
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Victory,Napoli,Liverpool,Penguins
Western United to host Hyundai A-League football at VU Whitten Oval in Footscray on Australia Day
Western United

Western United Football Club is delighted to announce VU Whitten Oval will host an official Hyundai A-League game for the very first time when the Green and Black play at the Footscray venue on Australia Day.
Western United will host reigning FFA Cup holders Adelaide United in a Round 16 Hyundai A-League clash at VU Whitten Oval in Footscray on January 26 (KO 6pm local time).
Playing at the Footscray venue is part of Western United’s vision to bring top-class football to as many fans in the West as possible. VU Whitten Oval joins Geelong and Ballarat as areas to showcase Western United as a club that represents the entire Western region in the A-League.
“Western United is a club that brings top-class football to the whole community of the greater West, which is why the Green and Black are playing in Geelong and Ballarat this season and have plans in place for a boutique stadium in Tarneit,” said club CEO Chris Pehlivanis.

“We will continue to be a club for all who call the West home as we take this journey together.
“Relocating our Hyundai A-League Round 16 fixture to Whitten Oval gives the club’s growing fanbase an opportunity to taste the Hyundai A-League at another family friendly, community venue in the West.
“We look forward to seeing our fans from across the West at Whitten Oval, which will host Hyundai A-League football for the very first time.”
Western United have partnered with the Western Bulldogs.
The Round 16 A-League game will kick-off at 6pm on January 26, while the Bulldogs’ AFL players are on the Sunshine Coast for their annual pre-season camp.
“Hosting A-League football at VU Whitten Oval is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the broad capability of our venue and to connect with a new audience,” said Bulldogs’ CEO Ameet Bains.
“We have been able to create a unique, family-friendly atmosphere for sporting events we have hosted at VU Whitten Oval, particularly in the summer months at our AFLW matches.
“We were pleased to work with Western United to make this game happen on Australia Day, and we look forward to helping them to ensure the event is a success.”
A share of the proceeds the Bulldogs make from hosting the event will be contributed to the communities impacted by the bushfires across Australia. Western United will match this amount.

 

nobbyiscool

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 11, 2006
13,158
14,646
Democratic People's Republic of Victoria
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Raiders/TasTigers/MV/Iggles
Western United to host Hyundai A-League football at VU Whitten Oval in Footscray on Australia Day
Western United

Western United Football Club is delighted to announce VU Whitten Oval will host an official Hyundai A-League game for the very first time when the Green and Black play at the Footscray venue on Australia Day.
Western United will host reigning FFA Cup holders Adelaide United in a Round 16 Hyundai A-League clash at VU Whitten Oval in Footscray on January 26 (KO 6pm local time).
Playing at the Footscray venue is part of Western United’s vision to bring top-class football to as many fans in the West as possible. VU Whitten Oval joins Geelong and Ballarat as areas to showcase Western United as a club that represents the entire Western region in the A-League.
“Western United is a club that brings top-class football to the whole community of the greater West, which is why the Green and Black are playing in Geelong and Ballarat this season and have plans in place for a boutique stadium in Tarneit,” said club CEO Chris Pehlivanis.

“We will continue to be a club for all who call the West home as we take this journey together.
“Relocating our Hyundai A-League Round 16 fixture to Whitten Oval gives the club’s growing fanbase an opportunity to taste the Hyundai A-League at another family friendly, community venue in the West.
“We look forward to seeing our fans from across the West at Whitten Oval, which will host Hyundai A-League football for the very first time.”
Western United have partnered with the Western Bulldogs.
The Round 16 A-League game will kick-off at 6pm on January 26, while the Bulldogs’ AFL players are on the Sunshine Coast for their annual pre-season camp.
“Hosting A-League football at VU Whitten Oval is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the broad capability of our venue and to connect with a new audience,” said Bulldogs’ CEO Ameet Bains.
“We have been able to create a unique, family-friendly atmosphere for sporting events we have hosted at VU Whitten Oval, particularly in the summer months at our AFLW matches.
“We were pleased to work with Western United to make this game happen on Australia Day, and we look forward to helping them to ensure the event is a success.”
A share of the proceeds the Bulldogs make from hosting the event will be contributed to the communities impacted by the bushfires across Australia. Western United will match this amount.

Half way through their first season and already aching for a home and an identity. This franchise was such a sh*t idea.

Not that we didn't already know that.
 

giggler99

Moderator
Jul 5, 2011
9,199
9,041
Melbourne
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Victory,Napoli,Liverpool,Penguins
I love how they're trying to play this off as a good thing.
Well how else can they put it? They are getting desperate and from reports I've heard money is drying up too.

It's depressing really, the club is barely identifiable by the Melbourne public, west or not nobody cares about them! I'm not sure what moving matches to the inner west will actually achieve apart from isolating and spitting on their current outer west fan base (What little of them they have I know). But most people from inner west are either Victory fans or old Knights fans who couldn't give two tosses about the A-League or just flat out don't care about soccer (as evidance with the Footscray Park debacle).

Pretending they are aligned with the Western Bulldogs just because they share the some name and play a few games at Whitten oval isn't fooling anyone!
 
Last edited:

TubbsFarquhar

Hall of Famer
Jan 18, 2009
40,150
48,528
I Don't Know
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
Chelsea, Sturt
What a shambles, what was wrong with establishing this club in Geelong? At least people there would've been able to identify with them and they would've had a home. Macarthur should've also been in Wollongong (at least they have a home ground though).
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Punt Road Feral

Club Legend
Aug 23, 2007
2,821
1,682
Punt Road's Manure Pit
AFL Club
Richmond
What a shambles, what was wrong with establishing this club in Geelong? At least people there would've been able to identify with them and they would've had a home. Macarthur should've also been in Wollongong (at least they have a home ground though).
Foxtel had a $$$ bonus for expansion sides being in Melb and Sydney to create derbies which is why Geelong named and based side was never in the equation.
 

Zidane98

Hall of Famer
Dec 22, 2009
40,919
17,911
South End, AAMI Park
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Socceroos, LFC, MVFC, RC Strasbourg
Foxtel had a $$$ bonus for expansion sides being in Melb and Sydney to create derbies which is why Geelong named and based side was never in the equation.
In that case can't understand why Team 11 didn't get up. It had absolutely massive grassroots support and plans for a multipurpose stadium next to Dandenong Station. They had Casey fields lined up as a temporary venue to play at.
 

Punt Road Feral

Club Legend
Aug 23, 2007
2,821
1,682
Punt Road's Manure Pit
AFL Club
Richmond
In that case can't understand why Team 11 didn't get up. It had absolutely massive grassroots support and plans for a multipurpose stadium next to Dandenong Station. They had Casey fields lined up as a temporary venue to play at.
Gallops comment was along the lines that the game would look unprofessional if it was held at Casey Field or something as stupid as that.

It made me so frustrated at the time as Team11 was the right bid but probably just needed state government funding for the stadium and they’d be in.

Instead Western United offered the most cash and the promise they’d fund the stadium and that was good enough for them.
Such a poor decision.
 

giggler99

Moderator
Jul 5, 2011
9,199
9,041
Melbourne
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Victory,Napoli,Liverpool,Penguins
Club was a dumb idea from the start (and only got in on willingness to pay FFA millions) but cracks after 3 months truly is pathetic.
There is a link in the expansion thread on a study made on the bid that Highlights all its flaws and it was ranked as the worst bid.

The FFA had three options for the Melbourne bid

WU was only chosen because The FFA had to choose a Melbourne Bid.

They didn't want South Melbourne, even through it was clearly the most advance and ready made bid.
Team11 had no stadium to play out off and no backing for one in the immediate future either.
WU was the only choice left with the promise of a private stadium backed by property developers.
All good in theory and in a bid book but I wander if they FFA actually had a plan at all for any of these bids long term and how it would actually look like when it all went balls up like it currently looks like?

In hindsight there never should have been a third team from Melbourne the city isn't ready or in need of a third team and again the FFA failed to understand the Melbourne market. All the FFA did was panter to FOX who wanted more derby's thinking it would solve the leagues problems when all its done is dilute the derby's imo

There was no long term plan for either of these expansion bids no real support nothing! Just a hope that they will turn into another WSW.
it was just expansion for expansion sake and that was the problem.
 
Last edited:

Punt Road Feral

Club Legend
Aug 23, 2007
2,821
1,682
Punt Road's Manure Pit
AFL Club
Richmond
Realistically Macarthur shouldve been in this season in lieu of WU.
They have a ready made stadium but i believe WSW had a cry that they wanted a season at Parramatta first before their entry.

Doing this wouldve allowed WU a year to sort out stadium planning and short term arrangements instead its all turned very half assed and full of broken promises.
 

Blackout

All Australian
Apr 1, 2009
801
254
Country Victoria
AFL Club
Sydney
The history of the A-League is quite the litany of incompetence from the FFA. The repeated short-sightedness in their decision-making is a major contributor to the struggles the A-League faces today.

From day one, the "one club, one city" immediately made Melbourne, in particular, a difficult prospect to expand the game. As a result, the first round of expansion went to Townsville and Gold Coast, because they had already locked themselves out of the Sydney and Melbourne markets (and because they were gullible enough to trust Clive Palmer was actually invested in the game).

If/once we see some tangible progress toward the Tarneit stadium, I'd imagine a lot of the criticism around Western United will subside. But I agree with previous posts that said Team 11 were the logical choice - I never thought the western suburbs bid was even in contention until it was announced.

I'll be interested to see where to now for expansion, now that the FFA have been removed from the equation.
 

sorted

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 21, 2016
8,448
10,961
AFL Club
Geelong
I think it went well at GMHBA yesterday. About 6,000 attendance but clearly many there because it was free entry + bushfire appeal. This is what Western need to do. Give away flags etc to the kids so they get their parents to take them next time.

As for the game, Diamante was controlling the play but Western struggled after he went off injured.
 

Kangapirate

Club Legend
Nov 27, 2012
1,441
1,477
AFL Club
North Melbourne
The history of the A-League is quite the litany of incompetence from the FFA. The repeated short-sightedness in their decision-making is a major contributor to the struggles the A-League faces today.

From day one, the "one club, one city" immediately made Melbourne, in particular, a difficult prospect to expand the game. As a result, the first round of expansion went to Townsville and Gold Coast, because they had already locked themselves out of the Sydney and Melbourne markets (and because they were gullible enough to trust Clive Palmer was actually invested in the game).

If/once we see some tangible progress toward the Tarneit stadium, I'd imagine a lot of the criticism around Western United will subside. But I agree with previous posts that said Team 11 were the logical choice - I never thought the western suburbs bid was even in contention until it was announced.

I'll be interested to see where to now for expansion, now that the FFA have been removed from the equation.
Actually all they had to do was follow the afl expansion process in South Australia.

The Adelaide Crows and Melbourne Victory were set up to unite the 2 respective cities behind one team. When it was time to introduce a derby they brought the established Port Adelaide to be the crows rival. The ffa similarly could have brought in South Melbourne. What on earth was Melbourne heart meant to be? Never mind western United, expansion in Victoria was botched a decade ago.
 

craigos

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 2, 2014
10,875
20,106
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Liverpool
The murmurings about being behind a pay cycle are starting to get louder. This isn't going to be good for the A League if they fold.
 

Top Bottom