United’s stadium proposal rejected

September 30, 2021 BY

Playing games: Western United’s plan to play home games at Lakeside Stadium has struck a nerve with long-time tenant and once National Soccer League power house South Melbourne. Photo: FILE

SOUTH Melbourne has rejected Western United’s proposal to play home games at Lakeside Stadium this upcoming A-League season.

The Victorian National Premier League club “vigorously oppose” United’s plan to host seven games at the venue while their new stadium in Tarneit is built.

United will play home games in Ballarat, Geelong and Launceston during the 2021/22 A-League season.

South Melbourne released the following statement: “Lakeside Stadium and Albert Park is the home of South Melbourne FC and has been for over sixty years. Our licencing arrangements with Lakeside Stadium and the State Government ensures it will remain this way for decades to come.

“South Melbourne FC has a stadium, we have a home and we are proud to call it our own.

“Executives at Lakeside Stadium and Melbourne Sports Centres have advised South Melbourne FC that contrary to the announcement made by Western United FC, there is no written or signed agreement in place with Western United FC or the Australian Professional Leagues to allow Western United FC access to Lakeside Stadium for the 2021/22 A-League season.

“South Melbourne considers Western United to be a direct competitor in the Melbourne, Victorian and Australian football market.

“Their acceptance to the A-League was based largely on the commitment to having a purpose-built football stadium constructed in Melbourne’s west. It is approaching three years since the A-League expansion clubs were announced and construction works have still not commenced. Western United’s use of Lakeside Stadium is not acceptable and South Melbourne FC will vigorously oppose any such plans.

“South Melbourne can confirm that it will be exercising all rights to prevent Western United FC from playing A-League matches at Lakeside Stadium.”

The A-League season will kick off on November 19 after it was initially scheduled to start on October 30.

 

– BY ALEX ZAIA/ SEN

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