OPINION: The Western Sydney Wanderers should withdraw any players selected for the novelty A-League All Stars match.
Earlier today the first 6 players were announced for the FFA's money spinning novelty concept the A-League All Stars. The Western Sydney Wanderers were represented by striker Tomi Juric, who won the club golden boot after scoring 9 goals from 25 appearances in his first season at the club, and Australian national team defender Matthew Spiranovic, who guided the club to the Grand Final and ACL Qualification as well as playing all 3 matches for Australia at the World Cup.
The All Stars match this season takes place on Sunday the 10th of August. The Western Sydney Wanderers start their Football Federation Cup campaign only 2 days later, in Adelaide, on the 12th. The All Stars novelty is just that. A novelty. It is a concept designed to do nothing more than fill the coffers of the FFA. It cannot grow A-League clubs, because no A-League club is playing.
The FFA feel that the A-League clubs are a threat to this circus show, and as such have introduced a "fee" to be paid to the FFA in the amount of a quarter of a million dollars in the event one of the A-League clubs can bring a big European team to Australia on tour, such as the extremely successful match between Melbourne Victory & Liverpool FC of England. This is a pathetic attempt to crowd out A-League clubs from carving their own place in the sporting marketplace.
Instead of the Red Devils vs the Blue Randoms last season, I'd have much preferred to be chanting in the RBB for the Wanderers vs Manchester United, instead of sitting 5 rows from the top of ANZ stadium surrounded by people who wanted to know when Ronaldo was coming on.
The idea that the Wanderers could lose their top scorer and a current Australian international player for a real, competitive fixture so that they can play in what is effectively a testimonial match for a marquee player from our city rivals Sydney FC, is a disgrace.
The point of the FFA Cup, at least according to the FFA, is to 'reconnect the grassroots'. Will Adelaide City feel 'reconnected' or respected when the Wanderers show up without key players because they played in a match that means nothing, for a team that isn't the one they face on the 12th of August?
I call upon the Western Sydney Wanderers to immediately withdraw any selected player from the All Stars squad to completely avoid any chance of injury during the Del Piero Tribute match.
I have contacted the club and asked if the Wanderers are considering withdrawing players, and I hope they are.
Update: The Western Sydney Wanderers have responded to my enquiry. Their official statement follows:
The Club won't be making any statements on player withdrawals at this stage.