Football West, the state’s peak body for soccer, has reignited its campaign for financial support to build an administration base, centre of training excellence and small competition venue to keep up with the demands of a growing sport.
An online video featuring supportive messages from former Socceroos Stan Lazaridis and Bobby Despotovski, Perth Glory captain Jacob Burns, Matildas Katie Gill and Collette McCallum, West Coast Eagles champion Glen Jakovich and others, has been used to draw attention to the need for a Home of Football.
Initial conceptual designs have been drawn with preliminary estimates to build the Home of Football being about $25-30 million.
We are currently working with the Department of Sport and Recreation on its business model. Football West has already received in principle support for $500,000 from FIFA through its
‘Goal’ Program and we will be seeking support from the Federal Government as well as commencing our own fundraising activities.
We are now seeking a commitment from Government of $20 million.
Although the AFL stands alone commercially as the state’s biggest sport, Federal Government figures in 2010 identified soccer as WA’s most-played team game. According to the Australian Sports Commission’s Exercise, Recreation and Sport Survey (ERASS), around 106,000 people played soccer compared to about 97,000 in Australian Rules football.
The clear conclusion from the ERASS findings is that the world’s most popular sport is also the game which engages most Western Australians in team-based sporting activity, providing significant health benefits to the state. Hundreds of thousands more people are involved in football as coaches, administrators, volunteers and fans from the grassroots to the game’s professional peak, further highlighting the sport’s broad community engagement.
Our game also reaches overseas where high achievers such as Socceroos Brad Jones, Rhys Williams and Nikita Rukavytsya are flying the WA flag.
Through our campaign, we will demonstrate the level of interest in the establishment of a Home of Football, which will have a positive impact on the entire Football Family and beyond.
We will be inviting members of the public to log on at www.homeoffootball.com.au and send a letter of support for our campaign to you and other political leaders.
We will maintain political neutrality but clearly expect football fans will respond to subsequent funding commitments by supporting the associated party in their particular electorate.
Football West’s strong belief is that regardless of the outcome of the State Election on March 9, the State Government should be aware of the positive outcomes the sport has consistently delivered, and the additional benefits to be gained from establishing a Home of Football.
Football headquarters would bring together all aspects of the code – including Perth Glory men, women and youth teams and Football West’s 250 clubs - under a single framework to better serve the game.
A Home of Football would include:
•A centre of excellence training complex, with several full-sized pitches, to
ensure the continued development of our local exceptional players
•The training facilities would also entice the world’s biggest clubs and national teams to Perth for friendly matches, providing tourism exposure and a financial return to the State
•Small venue with a capacity around 4000 spectators and artificial surface to be used for State League, Amateur, Junior and Schools matches, as well as Westfield W-League competition and Hyundai A-League pre-season games
•Education and training resource centre, including theatre and meeting rooms, for coaches, referees, administrators and volunteers seeking improvement from community development to elite
•Improved administration to guarantee
I. better delivery of all programs to its growing number of members
II. expansion of inclusive development programs, which cater for new migrants, people with disabilities and disadvantaged community members
III. cost-savings due to streamlined and more efficient organisation
•Community and corporate facilities
•Commercial/retail space for football-related outlets, potentially including physiotherapy and merchandise
•Dedicated display/museum area to connect with the game’s long WA history
In 2004, on the back of the establishment of a new national body now known as Football Federation Australia, and with the assistance and guidance of the Department of Sport and Recreation, Football West was established and has since projected and maintained a positive image for the sport.
It has also forged better working relationships with government departments and engaged successfully with the corporate sector.
The development of a new facility would further galvanise the game’s various facets, providing a united front and bringing cost savings and more efficient management across the board.
Football West applauds government commitment to sport and its willingness to invest in projects which encourage people to exercise at a time of increasing health concerns.
In recent years we have witnessed this infrastructure support for sports such as rugby union, basketball, netball, rowing, baseball and softball.
We have watched as others have benefited and we ask respectfully for football to be given its fair recognition.
Please reflect on the giant strides the sport has taken in recent years when considering the merits of a Home of Football to the wider community, and specifically the Football Family, which contributes greatly to this wonderful state.