Football Victoria appoints Chris Pehlivanis as new CEO

Chris Pehlivanis

Football Victoria (FV) has announced the appointment of Chris Pehlivanis as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective January 22, 2024.

Pehlivanis will start the role of FV CEO following his four-year stint as CEO of Western United FC where he steered the club towards success through its infancy, winning an A-League Men Championship in just the third season of the club’s existence.

Under his guidance, Western also attained an A-League Women’s licence and reaching the Grand Final in the inaugural campaign, as well as successfully launching the WUFC Academy to create pathways for junior footballers in the West.

Pehlivanis worked at AFL Club Essendon as their Chief Financial Officer and boasts previous commercial leadership experience in the sports industry.

Pehlivanis expressed his desire to make impactful changes and shared his vision.

“I am honoured to be appointed CEO of Football Victoria. My vision to empower clubs, grow pathways, invest in infrastructure, establish a more connected football pyramid, and take the next steps in achieving 50:50 equity strongly aligns with the goals of the FV Board of Directors,” he said in a statement.

“Participation and interest in football has never been higher. It’s crucial for our organisation to evolve and find innovative ways to sustain the momentum in 2024 and beyond.”

Football Victoria President Antonella Caré expressed her excitement at the potential for the future under new CEO Chris Pehlivanis.

“We are thrilled to welcome Chris to Football Victoria. His leadership, strategic vision and deep understanding of our game make him the ideal CEO to take our organisation forward,” she added via media release.

“Chris has built an outstanding reputation for his professionalism and people-centric approach. He is a visionary who shares our core values and is passionate about building an inclusive, equitable and strong football ecosystem in Victoria.”

FV Director Nick Vamvakas was responsible for the intensive recruitment campaign they held and spoke about the decision to choose Pehlivanis for the future of football in the state.

“We spoke with more than 70 candidates directly and conducted multiple rounds of interviews. Ultimately, Chris was appointed based on his incredible track record as a sports administrator, his thorough understanding of the football landscape and his genuine desire to champion Football Victoria’s core values.” Vamvakas added via a statement.

Football Victoria went through a very lengthy recruitment process with a total of 111 submissions received, with FV targeting candidates from a broad range of professional backgrounds.

Football Victoria say that applicants were put through a series of interviews with alternate directors ensuring integrity was maintained throughout each recruitment phase.

Chris Pehlivanis replaces Interim CEO Karen Pearce OAM who will continue her role as Executive Manager Equity, Growth and Inclusion.

The decision was formally made at the Football Victoria Annual General Meeting on December 11.

Newcastle Jets secure A-League future with new owners confirmed

Newcastle Jets have confirmed Maverick Sports Partners as the Club’s new owners. This ownership, subject to final approval from the APL and Football Australia, will launch a “new era” for the Jets under MSP ownership.

This massive announcement comes not long after Australian Professional Leagues chairman Stephen Conroy failed to guarantee Newcastle’s future only three months ago.

The statement said that Maverick Sports Partners have confirmed an agreement to acquire the Newcastle Jets Football Club and are now deeply focused on implementing their plans to bring long term stability and success to this Club.

The Group lead by experienced sports administrator Maurice Bisetto who played a major part in the establishment of Western United FC in the A-Leagues.

Maverick Sports Group is an Australian sports consortium based out of Wetherhill Park in Sydney’s South-West.

Newcastle Jets CEO Shane Mattiske confirmed the significant news.

“Today is a hugely significant day for this Club and this community, as we confirm Maverick Sports Partners as the new owners of the Jets,” said Mattiske in a club statement.

“Over the last three years, we have built a strong foundation for the future of this football club, and it is exciting to be beginning a new era with incoming owners who believe in the opportunity that exists with this Club, with this community and with football as a whole.

“Throughout our process, Maurice Bisetto, the consortium representative, and his partners have demonstrated a deep understanding of football and how to bring success. They also understand this community and their plans are very much aligned with the work that is already underway. I know the Group will bring positive new thinking, new connections and a wealth of experience that will drive the growth of this Club moving forward.

“With this transition to a permanent ownership structure, it is important to acknowledge the support that the outgoing ownership group has provided to the Club over the last three and a half years. These owners believed in the importance of this Club to this community and to the A-Leagues’ competition as a whole.

“They have played a hugely significant role in the history of this Club and on behalf of all fans and stakeholders of the Jets I want to acknowledge the commitment and contribution they have made to us all. Their huge support of this Club will forever be remembered.”

Maverick Sports Partners Director Maurice Bisetto is determined to connect with the Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Northern NSW Community.

“We believe in this Club, the A-Leagues and its players and we’re determined to build success for the Jets and this region,” said Bisetto in a statement.

“We have been impressed by the strength of football here in this region. We know there is a strong historical fanbase and a strong participation base here and we want to bring all of these people together for our Men’s and Women’s games.

“Our team at Maverick Sports Partners are absolutely committed to, and very excited, about the opportunity that exists here at the Newcastle Jets. We see this as the beginning of a new era for the Newcastle Jets and look forward to building a truly great Club with the support of this community.”

This news is huge for the league and the Jets financially, with the club no longer being a financial responsibility for the four other A-League clubs that funded them (Sydney FC, Western Sydney, Western United and Wellington Phoenix).

The Jets can easily recruit players and rebuild to become a stronger unit on the field whilst securing stability off it, and the foundation A-League club with a healthy fanbase and great location can continue to exist.

Iconic Lambert Park re-opens after $2m refurbishment

Lambert Park, home of the APIA Leichardt Football Club, officially re-opened on the weekend after a successful $2m refurbishment.

The extensive investment for the iconic local club includes:

– Replacement of the all-weather playing surface

– Improved drainage

– New concrete edge, stairs and fencing around the perimeter

– Improved access with a new ramp to allow access on the field

The ground is gradually improving to become one of the premier NPL surfaces in the country and this is another one of many recent upgrades helped by the commitment of the Inner West Council.

Currently the ground has two main stands on either side of the playing surface. In the southern stands, there are dressing room facilities, a social club with views of the game, press facilities and media facilities.

On Sunday, the new look Lambert Park was the home for the APIA Leichardt vs Gladesville Ravens NPL Women’s game, and the day was spent in celebration of the refurbishment, as the club organised an event.

The event included an official ceremony by Inner West Council pre-game, free ice cream and activations which drew a decent crowd to the game.

APIA posted an update regarding Sunday’s re-opening.

“Lambert Park was filled with Maroon and Blue as over 400 predominantly female footballers celebrated the $2 million Lambert Park upgrade,” APIA confirmed on their social media accounts.

“The day was filled with some fantastic football and some great activations and enjoyed by all.

“The clubs would also like to thank local clubs Balmain & District Football Club, Leichardt Saints and opponents on the day Gladesville Ravens Women’s NPL football for supporting the day.

“It was a special day for football in our community.”

Lambert Park is an iconic ground that has seen some of Australia’s best names start their careers there since it was first used in 1954.

APIA Leichardt Football Club has produced more Matildas and Socceroos than any other club in Australian history.

The ground gets another much deserved upgrade and will continue to host NPL NSW matches across all age groups in both men’s and women’s competitions.

Most Popular Topics

Editor Picks

Send this to a friend