This afternoon I participated in a phone call with FFA staff member Robert Squillacioti.
It lasted about 40 minutes and covered a variety of topics.
I hope to cover them all, apologies if I forget anything.
First up, after being bombarded with requests from the members, I have secured a facebook 'like' for our facebook page by the New Sydney Club facebook.
The first part of the meeting was about this site and it's members. I gave information on the way this site started, our membership numbers and other general statistics. I made mention of the way our members have become known to each other through the supporter forums and how this process is going to continue.
I spoke about how the site has two main aspects to it. The first being a general discussion forum for the club itself, and the second that we have members who are organising to active support as well.
I then spoke about the feeling around the club itself. It is very positive right now, and that the FFA are engaging the supporters in the West that Sydney FC have not.
We discussed the survey being launched right now, I believe it is up to around 4,000 completed entries. As requested I asked about the 'security' of the survey answers. The sheer numbers of responses will mean any attempt at 'hijacking' is going to have no effectiveness at all.
Despite it being early days since the survey launched, the current trend in the survey is the way that the supporter forums have gone. Traditional names, colours being Black & Red and so on. This is no guarantee however, as the numbers could always swing back later.
As prompted by many, I discussed the question of what influence the Western Front group have with the FFA. The reply is they have no affiliation at all and have the same status as we do as being unofficial supporter groups. Any 'influence' will be based around the numbers the groups have involved and what those groups are involved with in regards to the support.
Discussion took place in regards to the home ground. As always, I stated my strong objections to games being played at ANZ. Now I understand that commercial considerations may require some games to be played there. I put forward a viewpoint that 1 derby game could be played there as a 'neutral' venue, and 1 game against Melbourne Victory could be played at ANZ when Harry Kewell first returns to Sydney assuming he stays with Melbourne Victory.
I also put forward the idea that Harry Kewell should be contacted and asked about support for the club itself, and potentially to play with the club next season or the season after next.
I was asked about community ownership/fan share in relation to this site. Our site has not made any attempt at this, and is unlikely to do so at all in the near future. I believe the FFA have the resources and knowledge to be able to create a community ownership type model for the club without needing the supporters to actively take up that job. I have no objections to anyone from the community here doing it themselves, but the work involved seems quite extensive and not something I have any experience in.
After the phone call was over I sent through a document to the FFA outlining several issues, concerns and questions our members have had.
If I can make it to the next two supporter forums I will be again making contact with the FFA, and if not I will always have the line open so to speak, to pass anything on to the FFA that I or other members come up with.