Home Australia Canberra United saved from collapse thanks to last-minute funding injection from ACT Government

Canberra United saved from collapse thanks to last-minute funding injection from ACT Government

0 comment
A woman with brown hair looks away from the camera.

Canberra’s only top-flight football team has been saved from bankruptcy after the ACT Government offered an extra $200,000 in funding.

Canberra United’s future has been in limbo for some months, with governing body Capital Football in dire financial straits.

The team played its final match of the A-League Women season last month, knowing it could be the last the club plays.

Today, ACT Sports and Recreation Minister Yvette Berry wrote to Capital Football director Samantha Farrow, offering her a financial lifeline.

“I am writing to inform you that the ACT Government has agreed to offer Capital Football an additional $200,000 as requested, to further support Canberra United’s operating budget in the 2024-25 season,” Ms Berry’s letter read.

“This offer is a recognition of the ACT Government’s commitment to one of Canberra’s best-loved teams.

“We recognize the role Canberra United plays in inspiring women and girls in our community.”

Berry made it clear to Capital Football that the government’s financial boost would be exceptional.

“Please note that this increased funding offer will only be provisioned for one year in 2024-25 and will not form the basis or set any precedent for future negotiations on association fees funding,” Ms Berry said.

“Furthermore, given that the current four-year agreement expires on June 30, 2025, any future agreement would require financial due diligence to be carried out to ensure Canberra United is a viable and continuing business.”

ACT Sports and Recreation Minister Yvette Berry wrote to the director of Capital Football.(ABC News: Greg Nelson)

“We are very excited”

The ACT Government’s $200,000 comes on top of a $250,000 contribution they submitted earlier this year.

The Save Canberra United community initiative has also been fundraising to save the team and has raised almost $73,000 so far.

Save Canberra United’s Sue Read said the total was enough to fund the team for next season.

“I just got off the phone with Capital Football and they said… they just received the resolution from the board of directors to commit us to continuing with next season,” Ms Read said.

“In fact, we still have about another $30,000 to raise, so I spoke to the minister and we’re going to have to keep raising funds to close that gap.

“But it’s enough to give the board confidence that we can commit for next season, so it’s fantastic news.”

Soccer players dressed in green, white and black uniforms smile at each other during a match.

Canberra United have received funding to play at least one more season. (Getty Images: Jaimi Joy)

Ms Read said reaching this point showed how much the local community cared about the team.

“For us this shows the power of passion, the power of people, the support of the community, everything we have done with the petition and crowdfunding,” he said.

“We’re very excited that this means the team is here…so we’re very excited.”

A complicating factor for Canberra United’s future has been the ongoing move to create a men’s A-League team.

Ms Read said this lifeline means there should be enough time to fix that and other Canberra United problems.

“We have had other more general meetings about more investments for the future,” he said.

“We are very optimistic that Canberra is well positioned, both to have the women’s team and for the women’s team to incorporate a men’s team.

“I think this will give us enough time to be able to make sure that the investment can carry over to the next season.”

Capital Football has been contacted for comment.

You may also like