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City of Greater Geelong and Football Victoria form strategic partnership in regional soccer centre plans

The City of Greater Geelong has engaged with Football Victoria to further plans for a regional soccer centre.

After committing $50,000 to develop a feasibility and business plan for a regional soccer centre, the City of Greater Geelong has engaged with Football Victoria (FV) to further plans for the new facility.

Councillor Kylie Grzybek said that after a meeting on Monday, FV has committed to supporting the concept of a Geelong regional soccer centre.

“They have committed with us to engage with us throughout the entire process in terms of statistics, player numbers, and those types of things,” she said.

Grzybek added that FV was looking to renew previous plans to evaluate and renew Geelong’s football facilities.

“They’ve also looked to how they engage and renew the G21 soccer plan, which was done in 2010, and that is the document for Geelong concerning what venues have, what types of facilities are available, and what the overall vision for soccer in Geelong is. There are two different things there, the new facility and the G21 soccer plan, but they link together quite nicely,” she said.

Foddy Kyprian, FV’s club and regional ambassador for Geelong, stated the plan has the full backing of the member federation.

“We are having all the relevant government relations staff working with (councilors) Kylie and Eddy (Kontelj). The CEO Kimon Taliadoros has given his full backing to cooperate in every single way they can when working with Local and state government,” he said.

Grzybek explained that FV’s connections could create further opportunities for funding and improved facilities.

“They have great connections with both state and federal governments. Having the governing body on board with us is exciting, and we will look to how they help us get this up and running,” she said.

The City of Greater Geelong has also engaged with Mike McKinstry from the Geelong Regional Football Committee (GRFC).

“While councillor Eddy and I are spearheading this at the moment, we feel there is an opportunity for GRFC and Football Victoria to play their part in promoting Football in Geelong,” Grzybek said.

The opportunity of a regional state soccer centre is one the football community in Geelong deserves for their hard work in developing the game, according to Kyprian.

“The sooner we can have this stadium the better. We can showcase the A-League, the W-League and the FFA cup games we have,” he said.

“The clubs and the Geelong region deserve this. They’ve worked hard over the past 10 years to come together as a group. They deserve the reward for working together.”

Sky Sports extends rights to NIFL

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will be the exclusive broadcaster of Football in the region once again.

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will once again be the exclusive broadcaster of top-flight football in the region for the next three years.

The Irish League has had a long-lasting partnership with Sky over the years and the agreement will see the relationship in place until the end of the 2024/25 season.

The new agreement will see four Danske Bank Premiership fixtures and the BetMcLean League Cup final broadcast live across the UK & Ireland each season.

Northern Ireland Football Chief Executive, Gerard Lawlor:

“We sincerely thank Sky Sports for their continued backing of our game and we look forward to showcasing some of the best NI Football League matches together over the next three seasons,” he said.

“To continue to have the invaluable support of such a high-profile broadcaster shows how far our league has progressed in recent years as we bring our game to an increasing audience of loyal fans.

“The NI Football League brand is continuing to grow outside of the confines of Northern Ireland, and through Sky Sports, many football fans are now becoming more familiar with the rich history of our clubs and as well as some of the household names that have played in the Irish League.”

Sky Sports Director of Football, Gary Hughes:

“As a long-term partner to the Northern Ireland Football League, we’re delighted to extend Sky Sports’ support of the league and ensure that its entertaining action continues to be available to our customers,” he said.

“Sky Sports customers will be able to enjoy the Northern Ireland Football league alongside our ever-expanding football offering in the UK & Ireland which includes over 500 live games in 2022, from the Premier League, EFL, Scottish Premiership and FA Women’s Super League as well as international action in the form of World Cup Qualifiers, and this month’s Africa Cup of Nations – placing Sky Sports as the home of live football.”

Valencia CF presents revised stadium upgrade plans

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia’s stadium, the Nuevo Mestalla, was originally under construction in 2009. However, over the last 12 years, due to financial issues and negotiation breakdowns, construction has never been completed and the situation has become known as one of the world’s most notorious stadium projects.

Murthy presented revised plans to a Council delegation led by Ribó, with the club seeking to recommence work on the stadium in order to ensure it retains the advantages granted to it under an ATE construction license given in 2012.

The plans presented to the council include a stadium capacity between 43,000 to 46,000, expandable to 60,000. The stadium would have a second ring dedicated almost exclusively to leisure and restaurant offerings, while the roof will be fitted with solar panels in an effort to drive sustainability.

Valencia Mayor, Joan Ribo:

“Initially it is proposed for a capacity comparable to that which the (Mestalla) stadium currently has (48,500), but expandable to 62,000 spectators. But I think this is not the fundamental element,” he said.

“The fundamental element is the novelty of this second ring that has seemed to me to be a remarkable element that is not in many football stadia. They propose a roof that is made of photovoltaic panels, which is an example at that level that I want to value.

“They have assured us that they have guarantees with the bank where they have the debt, which is now Caixabank.

“They have presented us with a calendar where in June 2022 the works of the sports centre would begin, in October 2022 the start of the works of the stadium and in August 2024 the inauguration of the new Mestalla. The calendar seems realistic and possible, but if it is not met, they will listen to us.”

In December, Valencia revealed plans to use funds from LaLiga’s strategic venture, with global investment fund CVC Capital Partners to help finance the construction of its new stadium. Valencia is reportedly set to receive approximately $189 million AUD from LaLiga as part of the LaLiga Impulso venture. $125 million of which is set to head to the stadium project.

Valencia CF President, Anil Murthy:

“The meeting has been very positive. After the two meetings with the Generalitat, today we have taken an important step by formally presenting the project we have to the important institution, which is the City Council,” he said.

“We have agreed on recommencing work as soon as possible, after presenting the project to the Generalitat and the City Council.

“Nobody talks about a low-cost stadium. It’s going to be a stadium that’s going to give a lot of people a lot of hope and it’s going to mean a lot of investment in the city. It’s going to be something different and something attractive.”

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