Football Federation Australia officials have confirmed Melbourne Victory will finish in eighth place at the end of the regular A-League season, no matter the points they’ve accrued, to prevent the situation of a Melbourne based A-League Grand Final.
FFA spokesperson Clive Umani described, “As we unfortunately failed to plan for a Melbourne final before the start of the current season, any such game would have to take place at AAMI Park.”
“AAMI Park is a great stadium, but it has a very small capacity and will therefore not be suitable for the sort of massive event that a Grand Final is designed to be. The league’s many important stakeholders, including betting and security agencies, would not be happy.”
Umani asserted that the FFA’s decision was made after consultation with key A-League sponsors, who all agreed that promoting a Sydney or Brisbane based Grand Final would be most suitable. Melbourne Victory missing out on the finals will be deemed, ‘an acceptable write-down’ made ‘for the betterment of the A-League brand’, something Umani believes Victory fans should ultimately be happy about.
“The good thing is that the matter is resolved and we are looking forward to an exciting finale to the regular season and a blockbuster Finals Series.”
“Unfortunately the Victory will miss out on a potential championship this year, but we feel the performance of A-League referees over the course of this season has adequately prepared them for this disappointment.”