How Melbourne Victory can restore their brand

Melbourne Victory fell to their 14th loss of the season on Sunday in Perth, losing to the Glory 2-1.

It’s a new low for the club which has, for the lifespan of the A-League, been the benchmark off the field and sit just behind Sydney FC on it.

The club regularly tops the charts in attendances and memberships each season, with crowds at some points surpassing 40,000 for regular season matches throughout their history.

This season however, tells a different story.

Victory currently average 5,860 people a game, the lowest figure in their history by some margin. They sit sixth in average attendance this season, behind crosstown rivals Melbourne City.

Whilst the effect of a global pandemic has affected numbers all around the A-League alongside other factors, here are some of problems the head honchos at Melbourne Victory must specifically address to regain their prominence in the competitive Melburnian sporting market.

Revamp the current squad

It’s hard to argue that this isn’t the worst Melbourne Victory team ever assembled. The Victory currently sit second last on the table and their goal difference of -29 is unheard of for a club who’s usually vying for the top position in the league. With Tony Popovic set to coach the team next season, his number one priority will be to clear the deadwood at the Victory and bring in some fresh faces to rebuild the club’s winning mentality.

Address the Marvel Stadium situation

Victory have played at the Docklands venue since its second season due to a financially favourable stadium deal, but the overall experience at the ground is not ideal for football fans. The club plays five games a season at Marvel Stadium, however due to declining levels of active support and a poor viewing experience, games at the stadium are becoming a chore to attend.

At a minimum, if games are to continue at the stadium seats on the first level should be pushed in to increase atmospheric levels and active support should be further encouraged, not continuously stifled.

More energy should definitely be put into filling the 30,000 capacity of a premier footballing venue in AAMI Park every gameday.

Develop an academy site – connect better with the community

After 16 years of being in the A-League, Melbourne Victory are yet to have a facility constructed for its academy setup that befits their size as a club. Their proposed academy base at Footscray Park, which also would have been a home for the club’s W-League side, fell through due to push back from locals in the council area.

Local rivals Melbourne City had a state-of-the-art City Football Academy based in Bundoora for a number of years, before switching their academy site in recent months to Casey Fields, to further connect with the South-East Melbourne football community.

With other Melburnian franchise Western United set to develop their own stadium and training facility in the Western Melbourne suburb of Tarneit, Victory is quickly falling behind the other two teams in their state when it comes to ownership of facilities and connecting with strong segments of the Victorian football community.

Remove the ‘Pay as You Go’ ticketing model

Introduced in response to the uncertain nature of a covid effected season, Melbourne Victory’s current membership model is impacting on its current gameday attendance. This season, fans who purchased a season ticket paid a discounted base fee for the year.

However, this was because each matchday these supporters would have to pay to lock in a seat at half the regular price of a normal match ticket, each time they wanted to attend a game.

The new process is more of a hassle and not as accessible as, for example, bringing in your general admission card, scanning in at the gate and picking your own seat on the day.

Re-build the active support in the north and south ends

It’s been touched on before, but the atmosphere at Melbourne Victory home games were once unrivalled in all of Australian sport.

Whilst the loyal folks are still there and making great noise, there is a lot of work to do by the club to encourage those who have been disenchanted with the club and the professional game in general, to come back to the terraces at the north and south ends.


Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Australian Professional Leagues confirm official collaboration with eToro

eToro and A-Leagues deal

Ahead of the upcoming weekend of A-League Men and Women, the Australian Professional Leagues have announced a three-year sponsorship with trading and investing platform eToro.

eToro is now the Official Trading and Investing Platform of the A-Leagues, where their branding will appear on the back of all mens’ playing jerseys for the 2023/24 season, as well as on all the substitution boards across both the Isuzu UTE A-League Men and Liberty A-League Women competitions. In an example of the digital presence they will have, eToro will take ownership of the ‘eToro Assist of the Month’ and all transfers or trade editorial throughout the season.

Founded in 2007 is committed to help you invest, share and learn. Boasting over 33 million users from more than 100 countries, eToro allows everyone to invest in a simple and transparent way.

eToro has already built a significant global sponsorship portfolio – including English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spanish Liga ACB and UK Premiership Rugby.

With the A-Leagues welcoming great crowds across the opening rounds, this deal promises to promote further fan engagement.

“We are delighted to announce eToro as our new Official Trading and Investing Platform partner for the next three years,” APL’s Commissioner Nick Garcia said via a statement:

“With attendance and viewership records already broken in the Liberty A-League Women, and the Isuzu UTE A-League Men kicking off with a bang, we are ready for an incredible season of A-Leagues football. eToro has a long standing connection with football globally and we look forward to developing our long term partnership.”

eToro Australia Managing Director Robert Francis explained how they will connect with the A-League supporters.

“We are inspired by the strong sense of community within the A-Leagues’ fan base that reflects eToro’s focus on community, collaboration and shared knowledge,” he added via media release.

“Following the success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and as part of our mission to empower everyone to take control of their financial destinies, we are excited to be supporting both male and female teams.

“We hope to inspire more people to explore investing as a way to secure their financial future. We are looking forward to attending the games and enjoying some great football.”

Technology companies are a huge addition to Australia’s sporting landscape and with the worldwide appeal that eToro has, this will promote the A-Leagues even further.

Melbourne Victory signs with Subaru Melbourne in Official Automotive Partner deal

Melbourne Victory and Subaru Melbourne

Melbourne Victory has announced that Subaru Melbourne Group will become the Club’s Official Automotive Partner for the next two seasons.

With this partnership, Melbourne Victory players, staff, and their member base will benefit from great offers and discounts presented to them for Subaru vehicles. Melbourne Victory are able to engage their member base with this arrangement and potentially attract more following the start of the 2023/24 season.

Importantly, Subaru Melbourne will also become a member of the Victory in Business’ Female Forum to bring together and empower female leaders in business.

The aim of the Female Forum is to bring together and empower female leaders in business, connecting three times a year on relevant and important topics, with a goal to inspire behavioural change. There is congruency with Subaru Group who have worked hard in 2023 to bring empowerment to female employees and set a goal to increase diversity amongst their engineers.

Subaru Melbourne Group operate sales and service centres in metropolitan Melbourne. The network of experienced dealers help customers across the city find their suitable new or used Subaru vehicle and the company offers a reliable and affordable service.

Melbourne Victory Managing Director Caroline Carnegie expressed her excitement about Subaru Melbourne joining the Victory family.

“The dedicated team at Subaru Melbourne share our understanding of what it’s like to work collaboratively together as a team to achieve a common goal and succeed at the highest level, and we’re looking forward to doing that together with Subaru Melbourne,” Carnegie said in a Victory press release.

“This is a unique partnership that sees Subaru Melbourne become the Club’s first official automotive major partner and we’re excited to see the partnership prosper.”

Subaru Melbourne Group’s Head of Sales Operations, Rodney Tranter, explained the benefits of this two-season partnership for both parties.

“At Subaru Melbourne, we don’t just sell cars, we deliver exceptional customer experiences and forge lasting connections with our owners and the community,” Tranter added via media release.

“We’re thrilled that our partnership with Melbourne Victory will allow us to continue creating those connections and having a positive impact in the community; from supporting the Female Forum at Victory in Business to connecting with fans and members during matches and much more, we’re truly excited about the possibilities this partnership holds.”

The two parties share similar values in terms of female empowerment and diversity and through this partnership they will be able to achieve those goals as well as connect with the Victory fans through activations and offers.

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