Capital Football’s Home of Football backed by ACT Government support

Capital Football’s plans to establish a Home of Football has taken a massive step, with the ACT Government committing to the expansion of football in Canberra.

Capital Football CEO Phil Brown, Chair Fran Sankey and Canberra United players Grace Maher and Emma Ilijoski joined ACT Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry in reaffirming the ACT Government’s desire to aid in the growth of what is the most popular sport in the state.

An additional $9 million was committed to the Throsby development in the 2021/22 Budget, taking the total investment to $33.5 million, which includes a $4.5 million contribution from Capital Football.

“It’s a significant investment for football in the ACT because we’ve seen significant growth, with the highest participation rates in Canberra,” ACT Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry said.

The Home of Football will support more than 30,000 participants in the ACT, by providing a dedicated competition and training facility.

The project will deliver state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor football facilities in the ACT, support a range of community and high-performance programs for Capital Football and its affiliated clubs, and provide valuable open space for the public to use and enjoy.

Canberra United player and Majura FC junior Grace Maher believes having a home of football will ensure that players are provided with invaluable playing pathways and opportunities.

“Looking out into an empty field at the moment, you start to envision yourself there and I’m really looking forward to seeing it come to life,” she said.

“Canberra has such a rich history with women’s sport and the culture we have here is great.”

The project will also include the construction of a new futsal building that will house two full-sized futsal courts and have an adjoining grandstand that will overlook the main enclosed and associated synthetic playing fields.

On the first floor, the building will include office space for Capital Football staff, operational areas, and a multi-purpose function room for match and non-matchday activities.

New community sportsground facilities will also be provided and will include grass and synthetic fields and a new sportsground pavilion.

Capital Football CEO Phil Brown is pleased to have support from the ACT Government.

“Community sport plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of society, and we are grateful for the ACT Government’s support in developing the Throsby precinct to enable our organisation to continue to provide that social benefit in the Gungahlin District and Canberra through participation in football and futsal,” he said.

Community engagement on the design and development of Throsby Home of Football will commence shortly through the ACT Government’s YourSay website.

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania report of AFC Champions League assesses the cost of competition for players and clubs

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania has published a report on key financial findings from the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) flagship club competition, the AFC Champions League (ACL).

The report, AFC Champions League Analysis Report: Counting the cost for players and clubs, was produced alongside sporting intelligence agency Twenty First Group (TFG).

This analysis is in response to the announcement of AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE) commencing in July this year, as revealed by the AFC in December 2022.

Based on TFG’s analysis, insights and feedback from participating players and clubs, the report addresses the feasibility of running ACLE with key factors including on-field quality and competitive balance, attendances and fan engagement, economics for clubs and players, travel and workload, competition design, and football development outcomes.

The research undertaken focusses on the value of introducing ACLE, based on the current operations of the ACL.

“This report analyses the merits and drawbacks of the current AFC Champions League based on various data and the results indicate that the merits do not outweigh the drawbacks for most players and clubs, making it an unsustainable system,” FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Chair Takuya Yamazaki outlines in the report.

“However, this does not mean that the future of football in Asia is bleak. On the contrary, we believe that this economically significant region can lead a discussion for truly sustainable competition formats.”

The report is the most comprehensive public analysis of the ACL and includes recommendations for what the AFC should be implementing.

“For players, the development of competitions is central to their employment conditions and future opportunities. As its primary workforce, the players are determined to play their role to shape a sustainable and innovation-driven future for the football sector in Asia,” Yamazaki added.

World Leagues Forum is involved in representing professional football leagues on a global level. General Secretary Jerome Perlemuter explained that collaboration between all stakeholders in the Asian region would help shape and deliver sustainable competitions.

“FIFPRO’s contribution to shaping the future of Asian continental competitions is most welcome,” Perlemuter said.

“Sustainable football development requires confederations, leagues and players to work together with a common objective to shape high potential continental competitions in a consistent global calendar. In this context, it is important to consider economic, geographical and cultural specificities. We look forward to continuing these discussions with FIFPRO and all stakeholders.”

To see the report in full, you can do so here.

Wellington Phoenix team up with Chinese outfit Tianjin Tiger

Wellington Phoenix have partnered with Chinese Super League team Tianjin Tiger to boost football growth in both nations.

As part of the Wellington Phoenix Tianjin Tiger Sister City Friendship, the clubs have agreed to hold an annual encounter between their men’s first teams.

The inaugural Wellington Phoenix F.C. vs. Tianjin Tiger F.C. Sister City Shield match is set to take place in Tianjin this September, with the second in Wellington next year.

The strategic collaboration was formed after Phoenix general manager David Dome visited Tianjin in September as part of a business delegation headed by Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau.

The club hosted a delegation from Tianjin, and the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Mayor’s office.

Phoenix general manager David Dome was thrilled with the partnership going through.

“The mayoral delegation to China last year was invaluable and I’m thrilled about this partnership with Tianjin Jinmen Tiger, which will be of benefit to the club on multiple levels,” he said via press release.

“Not only will the men get to play a Chinese Super League side as part of their A-League pre-season each year, but the academy will soon benefit from an influx of footballers from Tianjin.

“We’re looking to grow our academy to have an international component and Tianjin Jinmen have committed to sending some young players to Wellington to attend training camps in July and we’re discussing the possibility of their juniors being part of a new international academy annual programme.

“International students are essential for the secondary and tertiary education sector in Wellington and we are evaluating how an elite international academy focused on football can be part of New Zealand’s international education offering.”

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau added that the city is excited about the opportunity. 

“I’d like to congratulate David Dome and the wider team for the work they’ve done on this MoU,” he stated via press release.

“I’m beyond stoked that the delegation last September has resulted in this MoU between the Wellington Phoenix and Tianjin Jinmen Tiger. 

“The development opportunities for both the clubs will be invaluable to not only football but also our cities.”

The Phoenix are enjoying a successful A-league campaign where they currently sit top of the table 18 games into the season.

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