Fremantle A-League bid attracts overseas interest
Fremantle City's A-League bid is attracting high-profile interest from Juventus and Liverpool20 December 2016 | Chris Egan
Fremantle City has held formal discussions with Juventus to partner its bid to enter the A-League from 2018-19.
Juventus FC last week formalised a youth academy partnership with Fremantle City and discussions continue around a potential partnership with the Italian giants to bring an A-League side to the port town.
Fremantle City President, Maurice Oteri, says that other clubs such as Liverpool have also expressed interest and this will determine the clubs potential kit colours.
“If it's Liverpool they will decide, likewise Juventus. It will all be dependent on the partner that signs up,” Oteri said.
A Fremantle A-League side would be based out of NIB Stadium in the city for the first few years according Oteri.
The port of Fremantle with the city of Perth in the distance along the Swan River, with Fremantle Oval in the mid-foreground
“Initially we have no choice, as the Fremantle Oval redevelopment may not be finished for another seven or eight years. Our break even figure at NIB Stadium is 6,000.”
Having worked on the bid for three years, February will be ‘D Day’ on whether the Fremantle City bid progresses to the next stage.
“The framework will come through [from FFA] in February. It may be that the FFA say that they are only looking at potential sides in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. They have told us not to spend any money on bids until then.
“They don't want to get it wrong. It will include background checks on potential owners.”
Oteri says the bid wants to ensure that any prospective investor to value, and return dividends to, the grassroots of the game.
“The majority of the A-league clubs and their brands have been manufactured via advertising,” Oteri said. “Our brand represents grass roots community clubs.”
How will the Fremantle City model work?
Oteri explained that they aimed for between 10,000 and 15,000 members to sign-up online to provide an expression of interest from fans to potential investors.
It would not be a side full of marquee players, but rather be a community-based club that provides a pathway for young players to stay at the one club from when they signed on for their first game as a six-year-old to debut for the port based A-League side.
What is driving this dream?
“I dream of Round 1 of the 2018-19 A-League season,” said Oteri.
“It’s at Perth Stadium; a derby between us and Perth Glory with 65,000 attending the game with at least half the crowd six, seven, eight or nine year olds.
“We’re very focussed on young people, young players and the need to have something for the grassroots.”
Supporters of the Fremantle A-League bid say a #PerthDerby would be every bit as hotly contested as it is in the AFL competition between West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers
See Chris Egan’s article from August on Time for FFA to be bold in the west
a-league, fremantle city, a-league expansion