Melbourne chief calls for visa rethink

by admin

Friday, September 28th, 2012

It appears that not only Sydney FC fans are excited by the arrival of Italy superstar Alessandro del Piero because now Melbourne Victory managing director, Richard Wilson, has argued on news soccer networks for a rethink on the number of visa players A-League clubs can sign.

Football Federation Australia and its technical director, Han Berger, have stuck steadfastly to the principal that the quota of foreigners allowed to play Down Under should be cut.

An over-kill of overseas signings would stifle growth and the promotion of young Australians hoping to make the breakthrough.

The core of this argument is not in dispute but somehow a compromise must be reached if the balance of raising the profile of the domestic game and development of the national side are to be met somewhere in the middle.

Just look at the frenzy created by the signing of World Cup winner del Piero as proof of the interest that a marquee capture can generate. The Azzurri and Juventus icon has put the A League back on the map.

Wilson’s argument is that the domestic game cannot improve without the help of the likes of del Piero. Publicity and marketing bring sponsorship, which in turn bring revenue.

Clearly, this cannot come at the expense of young Australians seeing their aspirations stunted.

One option would be to go down the AFL route of concessions on recruitment to allow emerging clubs to prosper.

The mere fact that the argument has even been raised is in itself a starting point and the decisions that follow are likely to have a major bearing on the future of the A League as a dominant force in the AFL Champions League and beyond for many years to come.

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