Dear Victory family,
It has been a while since I provided a member update, and it is certainly timely to do so now.
The 2020/21 A-League season has not commenced in the manner we wanted, and we know this is a sentiment shared by our members and fans.
We are not where we want to be in terms of performance and ladder position, nor are we accustomed to being in this situation. We are also not happy with our whole of match day experience, in particular the restrictions placed on our members and fans attending matches.
We are listening and understand your frustration and even anger. I have been a part of Melbourne Victory for 16 years. I love this club and I have experienced the incredible highs and heartbreaking lows as a member, a board member and as Chairman. I recognise that we are judged on our performance as a club, and we take responsibility for this.
Firstly, I am equally frustrated at the continued restrictions in place for our active supporters, especially when there are drums, flags and standing allowed for other codes.
I agree with you, the members and fans, that you are justified to make these comparisons and while I want every Victory member at the games, it is understandable why active supporters are not currently attending. This issue needs to be addressed. Football needs active supporters. This is what makes us different to every other sport.
To provide more context, our management have been lobbying government, venues and Victoria Police, to lift current restrictions and provide a return of active support for months. We know how important it is for our active supporters, but also for our members, fans and our players.
Football should be considered equal to all other sporting codes and we are pushing for the return of active supporters for our next home game. The club will provide updates on this, but please be assured, it is a priority.
There is no walking away from the fact that our on-field performances in the A-League this season have been disappointing.
Clearly the team are not playing with the confidence they need to be and this needs to return. Win, lose or draw, the expectation at our club is for a determined fighting spirit to be shown from everyone involved.
We are constantly reviewing our club departments and of course football is a focus. Our appointment of Jean Paul De Marigny, as part of the first team coaching structure, is one action which demonstrates our intent to support our Head Coach Grant Brebner, Steve Kean and the A-League program. Reviews will be ongoing as we want to continuously drive improvement and strengthen the program including our recruitment and the squad.
We are all disappointed and hurting but we must stand together and remain calm, clear and positive in all our decisions. As a club we are determined to do what is required to get back to where we should be, and we will do this through considered and informed decisions across all areas of the organisation.
We recognise that we need to provide greater insight into the club, our major projects and our plans for the future.
Going forward there will be more direct connection and we will provide more regular Chairman and CEO updates, Q&A opportunities with key staff members and opportunities for members to provide direct feedback to discuss key topics such as football, academy and membership.
Member feedback is incredibly important, and we are listening to you.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge our 19,000 members this season who have supported us, despite the challenges we face and thank those who have attended matches this season.
We recognise the moment and what lies ahead. Our focus is on improvement and driving change and we ask you to continue to stand as one.
Anthony Di Pietro
Melbourne Victory Football Club