Anthony Di Pietro and Caroline Carnegie address APL’s Grand Final decision

Melbourne Victory Football Club wishes to advise that on Monday, Chairman Anthony Di Pietro officially tendered his resignation as a Director of the Australian Professional Leagues with immediate effect.

Di Pietro said he could no longer maintain his role as an APL Director and be able to freely advocate on behalf of Melbourne Victory. 

“It has become clear that in order for me to act in the best interests of Melbourne Victory and football in Victoria, I needed to resign as a board member of APL,” Di Pietro said. 

“My resignation was ultimately driven by the decision announced yesterday, that sees the next three Grand Finals being hosted in Sydney. 

“While I know first-hand the decision by APL was made with a view to growing the game and creating financial sustainability for the League, the fan and member sentiment has been overwhelming and I cannot support maintaining a decision which is not in the best interests of the loyal Melbourne Victory faithful and football. 

“As such, together with Caroline, we have urged APL to pause this plan and consider an alternative that supports the growth and stability of the League while also allowing both the Men’s and Women’s A-League Grand Finals to continue to be played in the city of the highest ranked qualifier.”

Managing Director, Caroline Carnegie said we must work together to grow and unite football.

“It is natural in this game for there to be tension between the competition regulator and Clubs on certain matters, and in such cases like this one, we will always stand with our members and fans, who are the lifeblood of our Club,” Carnegie said.

“While the Chairman and I understand that the League has a need to challenge the status quo and drive funding into the sport, we must also prioritise outcomes that unite and bring football fans together.

“We have a unique opportunity to capitalise on the growth of the game following the successful Socceroos campaign, and in the lead into the Women’s World Cup in Australia next year, and to do that we need the professional game to flourish, with fans at the core of our thinking.

“Ultimately the Club must continue to work with the League on growing football in a progressive, sustainable and aligned manner and the Chairman and I will continue to urge the APL to revisit this deal and advocate an outcome that in this case delivers for our fans and the entire Victory family.”