Why is Council championing a bid for an A-League licence?

The population of the South West Sydney region is forecast to grow significantly in coming years, and the region will be transformed dramatically.

Council believes it is important that the region has its own professional sports team that will grow with us, have the opportunity to compete on the national stage, and represent South West Sydney and the Macarthur region.  And the time is right.

In recent years, Campbelltown City Council has proactively embarked on a number of key initiatives to enhance the experience of living in the region. The establishment of a local professional sports team would further this by ensuring residents don’t need to travel far to enjoy watching first-class sport, as well as providing aspirational pathways for local players and supporting the growth of football across the region.

Council believes that a Macarthur-based team would be of significant benefit to the ongoing success of the A-League competition, as well as local football clubs, and is confident the area’s existing and growing football supporter base will openly welcome the initiative.

Much more than just another sporting team, a locally based elite football club would bring a host of community, recreational and economic benefits to the region, and be a catalyst for increased infrastructure investment, particularly within the stadium precinct at Leumeah.

How much will it cost Council to run a team?

Council is facilitating the bid that is due to the FFA in May 2018. As the bid progresses, appropriate investors will be brought on board to support the bid and any subsequent A-League licence and new football club.

Council is facilitating the bid for a new A-League team for the region as it is consistent with Council’s ongoing desire to attract quality events and activities to the region.

In the initial stages, Council is leading the charge in promoting and facilitating the bid.

On establishment of the team, Council’s investment would be primarily in-kind contributions.

Other than playing games and being based locally, what else would the team do?

One of the key outcomes of a successful sporting club is its link and involvement with its community. This will be a genuine community team and involvement in the community will be paramount.

As a team, we’d want to ensure that this region is just as passionate about us, as we are about the region – and to do this we will be entwined in the community through development, education and business.

The team would be active and visible in undertaking various initiatives within the community to promote benefits beyond just playing football – community programs and activities, development clinics, community academies, business development, assistance with grassroots football development and links with community partnerships and charities.

Who will own the team?

A key element of the new club will be that it’s a club the community views as its own.

To this extent, an ownership model has been developed to ensure close links to the community and a real sense of ownership by the people of the region. There will be a number of key investors providing seed capital, however members of the community will be able to purchase their own ‘slice’ of the team, providing a real sense of ownership by the people of the region.

What will be the team name and colours?

The name of the team will be determined via community consultation when the bid is progressed through the bid process. It’s our desire that the name of the team is representative of and reflects the nature of our region.

Why is Council looking to establish an A-League team and not a team from another code?

The A-League is the only professional competition with the potential to expand in the next few years. Furthermore, with the large participation rates in football across the region, it is believed that there would be significant support for our team.

We believe that our region is ready and would relish a full-time schedule by a home team that lives and breathes this area.

What will happen to the other teams playing at the stadium?

Campbelltown City Council is keen to offer a range of sporting and entertainment options at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

The introduction of an A-League team would not preclude other teams from playing at the venue.

Having a home team would provide a regular professional sports home team for the region and help secure the future of the stadium.

Council continues to welcome the proposed multi-season agreement with Wests Tigers and continues to facilitate and advocate for additional NRL games.

Council has also recently secured a multiyear deal with the NRL to host the Pacific Test Invitational in 2018, 2020 and 2022.

Council sees the stadium as a multiuse facility that will be managed in the best interests of the community and will facilitate a variety of sports and entertainment events.

When will we know if the bid has been successful?

The team is working hard behind the scenes to prepare the bid documentation in preparation to lodge the bid documents on 24 May 2018 for assessment by the FFA.

An announcement is due in June whereby shortlisted bidders will be requested to submit a further in-depth proposal. The FFA’s decision is expected in October, providing 12 months for the team to be established.

What are the benefits for Campbelltown?

Having a home team would provide economic development for local businesses, as well as support the realisation of Leumeah as a Sports and Entertainment Precinct.

If the bid is successful and an A-League team is established, there will be a strong community component.

As part of the bid process, we’re looking at opportunities to provide a range of community-focused programs to support children and young people, people with disabilities, our Indigenous community and emerging Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities.

Will there be capacity for women’s and youth teams into the future?

While the bid criteria from the FFA does not involve the W-League, the bid involves all levels of football and will include a framework for football development from grassroots to W-League and A-League.

How will players be recruited/selected, and will local players be given priority?

If the bid is successful, relevant professional staff, including coaches, will be recruited to look after the player resources and develop a recruitment strategy where this will be considered. Local players will certainly welcome an opportunity to represent a local club and be able to access elite level football close to home.

While we’re still working through a number of logistical requirements, including playing and training, at this stage the large majority of games would be played at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

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