Tasmania United FC Taskforce still committed to Tasmanian A-League Team
The Tasmania United FC Taskforce (TUFC) today responded to the recent Tasmanian Government commissioned business case report and confirmed its commitment to establishing a future Tasmanian presence in the Hyundai A-League.
TUFC Vice Chairman, Mr Brian Downes, said that the report confirmed the viability of a Tasmanian presence in the Hyundai A-League.
“The Tasmania United FC taskforce notes the release of the final report of a business case for a Tasmanian team in the Hyundai A-League. The taskforce wants to recognise the contribution of the Tasmanian Government in investing in the feasibility study and business case.
“The report confirms the long held views of the taskforce; that a Tasmanian A-League team could be a success both on and off the field. It was particularly pleasing to see the levels of support in the Tasmanian community for a Tasmanian A-League team and the strong interest from every corner of our state in both attending games and becoming a member.
“The report also confirmed our view that sharing home games between the two outstanding sporting facilities we already have in this state – Aurora Stadium and Bellerive Oval – would be viable and generate strong statewide support for the team.
“The report has further strengthened the resolve of the taskforce to pursue the opportunity for a Tasmanian team in the Hyundai A-League. What seemed like a far off dream three years ago when we started this process is now closer to becoming a reality.
“The final report explores a model where the elite A-league team and grass roots administration and game development are combined within the one organisation. Under this model, the Tasmanian Government would also be required to underwrite the A-league team.
“This model, while worth exploring, is not necessarily the preferred model of the taskforce. We recognise that given the current budgetary difficulty in this state, it would be unlikely that the Tasmanian Government would want to expose taxpayer funds to this kind of risk.
“Similarly, while a Tasmanian A-League team will need to work closely with Football Federation Tasmania, the functions of the elite team and grass roots do not need to occur within the same entity.
“The taskforce instead believes that there is the capacity for a privately funded model for a Tasmanian A-League team. The taskforce has held initial discussions and believes that there would be interest from private capital, from both within and outside Tasmania, to invest in this proposal,” said Mr Downes.
Mr Downes also said that the Tasmania United FC Taskforce had recently met with the CEO of the Hyundai A-League.
“Members of the taskforce met recently with Football Federation Australia (FFA) to discuss the prospects for a Tasmanian team in the Hyundai A-League. The meeting with Lyall Gorman, Head of Hyundai A-League, has provided greater clarity and also encouraged the taskforce that a Tasmanian team is a future possibility.
“The meeting was frank and it was heartening that FFA was aware of the work already done in Tasmania on investigating an A-League bid. FFA provided clear feedback that a fully funded business case from Tasmania would be considered should the opportunity present itself for a future expansion of the A-League.
“However, the FFA did make it clear that the first priority was to consolidate the current ten team competition. The taskforce fully understands this position. Following the release of the report and the meeting with FFA, the taskforce is now agreed on the next steps that should be taken.
“The taskforce will continue to develop the concept and model for a fully funded Tasmania presence in the Hyundai A-League. This will be done with a view to approaching funding sources when the current ten team competition is consolidated and the prospect of A-League expansion is again open for discussion.
“The taskforce has been heartened by the overwhelming support from Tasmanians and all sides of politics for a Tasmanian team in the Hyundai A-league. We ask everyone involved in the game that wants to see a Tasmanian team take the field to get behind us as we work to make the dream a reality,” said Mr Downes.
A full copy of the Business Case Final Report is available at:
Tasmania United FC Taskforce also confirms its new membership and structure:
Daniel Hanna – Chairman
Brian Downes – Deputy Chairman
Jason Garrett – Treasurer
Mark De Vries – Secretary
Martyn Wells – Media Liaison
John McGirr – member
Ken Morton – member
Kim Griggs – member
Details of the new structure and biographies of the Taskforce are available at: www.tasmaniaunited.com.au