EXCLUSIVE: Read the A-League’s reasoning for planning stuff that left fans without football for two weeks before the grand final
- Football fans are wondering why the men’s grand final isn’t this weekend
- The A-League has since explained why the decider is June 3
- Melbourne City and Central Coast Mariners will face off
The puzzling reason the men’s A-League grand final won’t be played until June 3 at Sydney’s Commbank Stadium has been revealed.
In a left-field set of circumstances, an A-League spokesperson has explained to Daily Mail Australia why the biggest game of the season between Melbourne City and Central Coast Mariners is not taking place this Saturday night.
“Prior to the start of the men’s A-League season, an additional week has been built into the schedule to account for potential delays resulting from Covid-19,” the statement read.
“With the pandemic no longer an obstacle for fans and teams, there is now an opportunity to add a layer of anticipation to one of the biggest days in our football calendar.
“By staging the Grand Final on June 3, we have given fans from Melbourne and the Central Coast more time to travel to Sydney – and also potentially secure cheaper travel prices.
The A-League have given a puzzling explanation for the jaw-dropping decision to suspend the men’s grand final between Central Coast and Melbourne City until June 3 (pictured, Mariners star Josh Nisbet)
Many football fans wanted to see the decider follow on May 27, a week after the second legs of the Grand Final qualifiers (pictured left, Melbourne City star Mat Leckie)
“In addition, the Mariners and Melbourne City have planned fan-based activities over the two-week period as they continue to prepare for the decider.
“Ticket sales are very encouraging, it promises to be a fantastic event for football fans of all ages at Commbank Stadium.”
The Covid pandemic ceased to be an issue for the country’s major sporting codes in early 2022, when the closures hadn’t been in effect for months.
Rival football codes such as the AFL and NRL have returned to their usual travel planning and organizing practices for this season.
And the reasoning that the league has put a gap in the schedule to give fans in Melbourne City and the Central Coast more time to travel and find accommodation makes little sense given that there are had no way of knowing which teams would decide ahead of time – it could have been Sydney FC and Western Wanderers.
It comes as for the first time in the competition’s history dating back to 2005, the A-League Grand Final will be played at a neutral venue on June 3.
This follows a deal – worth $10 million – that was struck between the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) and Destination NSW last year that will see Sydney host male and female decision makers until 2025.
It was a highly controversial move which saw hundreds of Sydney FC fans at ‘The Cove’ launch a boycott of the series finale earlier this month.
But despite the angst the change has caused among supporters, Premier League boss Danny Townsend insisted it had to happen.
Australian Professional Leagues CEO Danny Townsend has put many football fans offside after reaching a deal with Destination NSW that will see the men’s and women’s A-League Grand Finls hosted in Sydney until 2025.
“The decision for the grand final was made because we felt that our showpiece fixtures deserved a date on the national sports calendar,” he said.
“To do that, you have to commit to a place and then also commit to governments to figure out where it is.
“At the end of the day, we want our game to grow.
“We want a marketable and investable proposition that we as football fans can support.”
The Women’s A-League Grand Final between Sydney FC and Western United took place at Commbank Stadium on April 30, with the Sky Blues winning 4-0.