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Victorian State Government provides $1 million boost for Galvin Park

Victoria’s state government has pledged $1 million in funding to help build a new soccer pavilion at Galvin Park in Werribee.

As first reported by Sport and Rec Victoria, the pavilion will include six change rooms, two unisex umpire rooms, a community space, a canteen, and rooms for first aid and storage.

“This investment will support the local economy and create jobs – and support the growing number of people in Werribee keen to get involved in sport and recreation,” said Tim Pallas, Werribee MP.

Pallas added that funding for the project would come from the state government’s $68 million Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program. He also acknowledged the Wyndham council for its support and financial contribution.

Work on the new soccer pavilion began in July and is part of a $3.8 million redevelopment project of Galvin Park which will be completed over two stages.

Stage one will include site mobilisation, early carpark works, and construction of the first part of the pavilion. Stage two, which is scheduled to begin in October will include demolition of the existing pavilion and the completion of the second part of the new pavilion.

According to Glenn Warry, CEO of Football Coaches Australia, the development sends a positive message to the football community that the government is willing to invest in the state’s stretched football facilities.

“With youth participation stronger than ever, it is important that we invest in facilities and to provide the best possible opportunity for the game to continue to grow,” he said.

Cr Peter Maynard added that the project would create a new home for the Werribee City Soccer Club, local schools, and the other community groups who operate in the area.

“The Galvin Park soccer pavilion will service four soccer pitches and will provide another great asset in Werribee that will help boost participation in sport,” Maynard said.

The project is expected to be completed in mid-2021 however due to the current impacts of COVID-19 and uncertainty surrounding future restrictions, this is subject to review.

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Acun Medya Group secures Hull City takeover

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, headed by Acun Ilicali.

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, for a fee in the reported region of $37 million AUD.

Acun Ilicali, a 52-year-old businessman and owner of Acun Medya Group, was introduced to fans at the MKM Stadium prior to the club’s 2-0 win at home over Blackburn Rovers.

The takeover brings the controversial ownership of the Allam family to an end, much to the delight of fans after a roller coaster 11 years in charge.

Despite overseeing two promotions to the Premier League, an FA Cup Final and Hull’s first-ever foray into a European competition through the UEFA Europa League in 2014, the Allam family became increasingly unpopular with the fans.

The unpopularity of the Allam family is due to many different reasons, however it all started when the family proposed a name change to ‘Hull Tigers’ back in 2013. The move was ultimately blocked by authorities a year later, which frustrated the Allams and they then put the club up for sale, straining the relationship with fans and seeing a decline in attendances at home fixtures.

The new ownership will look to win back supporters and turn the negative tide.

Acun Medya Group Owner, Acun Ilicali:

“I am happy that I have fulfilled one of my biggest dreams. We are starting a beautiful journey with Hull City. We have many big dreams and goals to achieve together with our fans,” he said.

Outgoing Vice-Chairman Ehab Allam:

“During our tenure, we have worked hard to create a sustainable model and successful academy set-up, giving the club the foundations it needs for the future,” he said.

“There have been lots of ups and downs over the last 11 years or so, but we will take some very fond memories with us… We have taken a very business-led approach to running the club and I truly hope Acun can rebuild the relationship with the fanbase and also bring back the success on the pitch that fans crave and deserve.”

Hertha Berlin pushing hard for stadium upgrade

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to the Olympiastadion.

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to its current home, the Olympiastadion, releasing fresh renderings of its vision for such a project.

The club has been attempting to progress plans to develop a new home for several years and in February 2020 stated that the OlympiaPark would be the preferred location.

In November 2018, Hertha confirmed it was targeting an opening date in July 2025 for a new-look Olympiastadion, with preference to be building a completely new stadium rather than renovating the current one.

The current Olympiastadion has been home to Hertha Berlin for almost 60 years, and has a capacity of around 74,000. However, the club is seeking a more intimate stadium for its fans, as well as the inclusion of an athletics track.

Hertha’s former stadium commissioner, Klaus Teichert, withdrew an application for a decision to be made on the location for a new stadium, with Brandenburg also put forward as a potential location.

Hertha Berlin Chief Financial Officer, Ingo Schiller:

“We have entered into talks with the new government and are working hard to set the course for our new stadium in 2022,” he said.

“The stadium is the club’s most important project, especially in terms of the economic situation.”

There is a lot of political support necessary for the project to get approved, as the potential worksite currently includes residential apartments, a big reason for negotiations coming to a stall at times.

A resident spoke to local radio station rbb24:

“You talk about ir, but not with us. We are still not prepared to sell our apartments in Sportforumstraße or to negotiate about them,” they said.

“It is very unfortunate that our residents in Sportforumstraße are once again unsettled by this uncoordinated approach.”

Hertha Berlin and backers of the new stadium have been in negotiation with Berlin’s sports senator, Iris Spranger, with talks to continue over the next month.

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