Passmore Reserve welcomes sports lighting installation

Ground upgrade

Manly Warringah Football Association’s Passmore Reserve will welcome sports lighting for the first time ever following an approval of installation by the Northern Beaches Local Planning Panel.

The ground, which is home to St Augustine’s College Football Club, will include eight brand new light poles that will cover three fields worth with light. The $250,000 project will ensure that evening training and competition matches are able to occur.

With approximately 7% of the Northern Beaches population being registered football participants, the Manly Warringah FA is the largest football association in NSW according to 2021 registration data.

However, in 2017, the Northern Beaches Sportsground Strategy identified a drastic shortfall in playing fields across the Northern Beaches – a massive obstacle in the way of the Manly Warringah Football Association’s 20,000 winter participants.

The NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy, which is similar to the Northern Beaches Sportsground Strategy, identifies football as the largest sport in the state with insufficient infrastructure in place to cater for present and future demand.

Manly Warringah Football Association and Manly United CEO David Mason outlined the significant impact that the Passmore Reserve lighting would have on the region.

“The lighting at Passmore Reserve would allow an extra 20 hours of training per week on two and a half fields,’ he said.

“That equates to 50 hours of training hours for teams that are currently squeezing onto other pitches and putting further strain on council resources to maintain those overused fields.

“Additional training capacity at Passmore Reserve will take the pressure off other nearby fields, improving the quality of those sports fields.”

The challenge that not just Sydney but many football regions endure, is the need to meet the demand of the high participation rates in football. Whilst some existing venues have room to increase their participation capacity, many locations – particularly across Metropolitan Syden – are at maximum capacity.

Provision of sports lighting is an essential infrastructure requirement that will allow for football to build participation, whilst ensuring that football infrastructure is being used at its maximum capacity.

Passmore Reserve’s sports lighting upgrades are due to be completed prior to the 2022 winter season.

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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