Ken Stead departs Macarthur FC following short tenure

Macarthur FC Football Director Ken Stead was made redundant on Wednesday, despite only being in the role since October.

Stead, who has a wealth of experience across the world with the Socceroos, Wellington Phoenix and the Scottish Football Association amongst others, is not the only major figure in Campbelltown to be on the outer in recent weeks.

Executive chairman Rabieh Krayem quit only a few days ago, whilst Lang Walker sold his large stake in the club only last week.

Macarthur are certainly having a tough time and they haven’t even gotten out on the park yet.

However, A-League boss Greg O’Rourke believes that there is no need to panic, yet.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, O’Rourke said that “everything’s fine” and that the departures should be expected following the departure of Lang Walker as a stakeholder.

The property development company is staying on with the club as a major sponsor, as part of a five year deal with the expansion club.

The departure of Stead is certainly going to turn some heads, with the Scot a well-respected figure in Australian soccer circles.

As mentioned, he has filled various roles over the years. But none more well-known than his tenure at the Brisbane Roar.

During a time when Brisbane were dominant in the A-League with former Socceroos and current Yokohama F.Marinos head coach Ange Postecoglou, Stead was one of Ange’s right hand men in that successful period.

He was officially hired in late October last year, before he officially started the role in December.

Former CEO Archie Fraser also left his role only four months in during last year. When combined with the departures of Lang Walker, Krayem and now Stead, things look alarming.

Despite what O’Rourke says, it’s hard not to feel as if something is afoot in Campbelltown. How often do so many important members of a club leave within such a short amount of time, let alone after only just starting in their roles?

The team hasn’t even had the chance to take to the field yet.

The last thing the A-League needs is for its second expansion club to get into off-field troubles. For all of what Western United have been able to achieve during their first season in the league, they are facing some difficulties.

The club has the fifth highest average age in the comp and is one of five teams to have an average age of 26 or over. A lot of reliance has been placed on their older players such as captain Alessandro Diamanti and former teammate at Bologna, Greek international Panagiotis Kone.

Their stadium is supposed to be up by 2021, yet development seems to have been left on pause ala a game of FIFA. Attendance is up there as the worst in the league and many would suggest it would be the very worst in the league, if theoretically, the club wasn’t based in Melbourne.

Currently, Western is second last behind the Central Coast Mariners on both average and total attendance for season 2019/2020. They also hold the record for the lowest attendance of the season.

Just under 3,000 people attended their round 19 loss to the Brisbane Roar. Granted, the game took place at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.

But the point still remains. There is much left to be desired when it comes to Western United’s inaugural season in the A-League.

There is still plenty of time for Macarthur to get themselves ready to go for round one next season and one can hope both them and Western United will turn into strong A-League clubs in the coming years.

What are your thoughts on the departure of Ken Stead from Macarthur FC? Are you worried that there may be a lack of cohesion behind the scenes in western Sydney?

Or are you confident that the A-League and Macarthur are still on track and will be ready for the start of the 2020/2021 A-League season?

Get involved in the discussion on Twitter @Soccersceneau and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to view more articles like this as well as other pieces.

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Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania partake in productive divisional assembly in Singapore

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania engaged in positive talks at the divisional assembly in Singapore for new ambitious strategies for Asian football.

The assembly involved a dialogue between interested sponsors and shareholders with the representatives of 10 Asian FIFAPRO member, candidate, and observer unions.

On the first day, the assembly discussed the central piece of future movements with the FIFPRO Asia/Oceania 2023-2026 strategic framework which allows for streamlining of the collective unions’ player-centred practices and plans.

This included each of the unions presenting effective strategies with the assembly and open discussion on how to improve past strategies that have struggled to enhance the player’s experience and the sports industry.

The second day placed certain player representatives and association shareholders in conversation over a more collaborative focus on the structure of Asian football going into the 2025-26 season.

Importantly, data from the FIFAPRO initiative ‘The Asian Champions League Report’ and other competitions including the AFC Asian Cup, AFC Women’s Club Championship and Olympic Qualifiers were used as first-hand evidence of ways in which more player-based management of football will be beneficial in the new strategies.

The growth of the ever-important tech industry in the sport was evident at the FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Player IQ Tech Summit.

Especially the potential for player data capturing in the industry, this summit highlighted how the profitable sector can work well with improving unions’ data research to influence policy and can further elevate their voice within the confederation.

For football, a stronger dialogue between the player’s unions and their respective Asian football institutions and investors will be able to create a more concise strategy for the future p where shareholders can engage in more business advancement while still allowing the players to have an important say in the way in which the game is going.

As Asia itself is such a strong region in the growth of entrepreneurs and business, it is only obvious that connecting this industry with the tradition of player power will be a massive opportunity.

This assemblies focus was accurately outlined by the FIFPRO Asia/Oceania chairperson Takuya Yamazaki.

“Our collective challenge is to design an industry that aligns the collective interests of all stakeholders, rather than continuing with the current hierarchical model which largely defines global football,” he said via media release.

“As football in the region continues to evolve, the division’s role, and the players’ voice, will only become more important, and that’s where our strategic framework provides a clear vision for our current and future work.”

These assemblies reiterate how strong professional leagues where strategies are impacted by players and their unions are profitable and beneficial for the association’s shareholders.

Football Coaches Australia presents: The Modern Requirements of Midfield players

Football Coaches Australia (FCA), together with renowned UEFA Pro Licence Coach Martin Hunter, will host the online event: The Modern Requirements of Midfield players (Technically/Tactically/Physically/Mentally).

Held from 7:30pm AEST on Monday, May 20, the online event will focus on the essential skills and qualities needed for a midfielder to succeed in today’s game.

Split into four key elements that make up midfield play, attendees will learn about the technical skills needed to excel on the field, the tactical awareness required to control the game, the physical attributes necessary to dominate the midfield, and the mental toughness needed to thrive under pressure.

Martin is one of the best coach educators in the game, with his internationally acknowledged coaching and football management expertise that has helped to develop players, coaches and managers.

He is also vastly experienced at professional club and national governing body levels as Director of Coaching and National Coach – which has seen him develop coaching and scouting systems used in national and international models of excellence.

Martin has worked at Southampton FC in a variety of roles that included Technical Director, as well as Watford FC, Norwich FC and Stoke City as First Team Coach. He was involved in the English FA as a Coaching Mentor and a Regional Coach and has consulted widely throughout Europe.

This online session will contribute 1 hour of FA approved CPD and is free for FCA members.

This is an opportunity not to be missed to dominate the middle of the park.

You can register via the link here: https://ow.ly/zWxn50RCY0l

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