Melbourne Victory have responded to the sanctions handed down by Football Federation Australia after the club was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute.
Chairman Anthony Di Pietro, CEO Ian Robson, manager Kevin Muscat and captain Leigh Broxham were on hand as the club responded at AAMI park today.
Robson led the proceedings passionately expressing how the club felt having been put in this situation.
“The club is bitterly disappointed to be in this position,” Robson said.
“It's a significant sanction with wide reaching implications.”
“After careful consideration, we will not be exercising our right to appeal”
Di Pietro then stepped in to reiterate the club’s stance on anti-social behaviour at Victory home games.
“Our message today is clear and simple,” he said.
“No more flares, no more anti-social behaviour - enough is enough.”
Discussion in football circles has circled around comparisons with other leagues in other countries, however this is a point that Di Pietro strongly refutes.
“Whats fine in anti-social behaviour?,” he asked.
“It’s clearly not acceptable here, it’s dangerous, it’s not acceptable here - we’re not interested in comparisons.
“We built an institution in the league at Melbourne Victory… we’re built on success, we crave that.
“We embrace anyone who wants to join our club, from all backgrounds.”
However once more the Chairman of Melbourne Victory stood firm on the clubs stance.
“But we won’t compromise on safety, no flares, it’s non-negotiable,” he said.
With reports of attacks and flares outside the stadium, Robson stated that it was a matter for the Victorian police, although the club would continue to provide assistance.
“Matters outside this stadium are really a public order matter and we’ll continue to work with Victoria police to support as much as we can.”
“Our focus is the immediate precinct.”
Muscat was amazed that after the week that Western Sydney had endured, that fans would continue anti-social behaviour.
“In light of the week we just had it was disbelief,” he said.
“It’s gotten to the point now where it has to be eliminated.”
With star Socceroo Tim Cahill currently a free agent, Muscat admitted that he was more focused on the club’s competitions at hand.
“At this point in time we’ve got enough that we need to focus on with our own competitions - the ACL and the A-League,” he said.
Broxham reiterated his manager’s comments, and echoed disappointment that the side’s hard work had been compromised.
“It’s a similar reaction to Kevin, where as a playing group, I can speak from their perspective,” Broxham said.
“We now have three points hanging over our heads.”
“The three points that we’ve worked very hard for has been put into jeopardy.”comments