City of Joondalup open to housing A-League franchise

stock image.
stock image.

CITY of Joondalup would be open to housing an A-League soccer team if a second side was to form in WA.

The council endorsed a strategic position statement that if a second team was established, the City would support the licence being located in its boundaries.

Councillor Nige Jones said at a recent council meeting the City already had a similar statement to support a licence if a third AFL team was formed in WA.

“We have seen $36,000 spent on (finding) Joondalup United (Football Club a home) and $2.4 million spent on the Joondalup performing arts centre on reports and information, only to find down the track the council did not have the desire to proceed,” he said.

“Let’s determine now if we as a council have the desire to home a second A-League soccer club in WA.”

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He said his motion had “no expenditure to consider or ramifications in moving forward”.

Cr Russ Fishwick said though this kind of motion was “not our usual protocol” of calling for a report, he saw no issue in supporting the statement.

However, Cr Tom McLean thought it might be “jumping the gun” and believed the council should first request a report, as recommended by City officers.

“We’ve got to manage expectations and I think to jump in and pass this motion without any research by the executive officers would be folly,” he said.

Cr Jones asked how much a report would cost and chief executive Garry Hunt said less than $10,000.

“It would comment on the impact of the licence, what would be required to achieve that licence, and what resources and infrastructure would be required if the licence was in place,” Mr Hunt said.

Cr Jones said he was trying to save costs and time.

“The previous mayor and myself met with Football West last year and they were very supportive about the northern corridor being the host of the next A-League team,” he said.

“It’s going to happen within the next year or two and if we don’t pick up the ball, we’ll be watching Wanneroo Football Club or the City of Stirling on Sky Sports with significant banners flying in the back and we would have missed a great opportunity.

“A private licensee will pick up the licence and they’ll run it, we just need to let them know we’re happy to accommodate them.”

Mayor Albert Jacob said he was “very supportive of the direction of the strategic position statement”.

“As mayor, I see those strategic position statements as direction pointers for,” he said.“However I would need more substance to take that discussion forward.

“If this is something we’re serious about pursuing, we need to do it properly.

“If we just throw it up as a one-line sentence, it looks like a thought bubble.

“When people are looking at where to put a second A-League side, they want to know we have considered this properly so we can take this to the next phase.”

He said a report would give him “more meat”.

However, Cr Jones’s motion was passed 7-6, with Crs Jones, Fishwick, Philippa Taylor, Christopher May, Russell Poliwka, John Chester and John Logan in favour.

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