The Australian Professional Leagues are standing by the controversial call to move A-League grand finals to Sydney for the next three seasons, as fans and players alike continue to voice their displeasure.
A statement that was published late on Tuesday night on social media reiterated the APL’s plans, and was met with as much vitriol, if not more, than the original announcement.
READ MORE: ‘Stuff of legends’: World in awe of Messi magic
READ MORE: Coach confronts jarring question amid Warner rut
READ MORE: Journalist’s brother ‘regrets’ World Cup murder claims
Former Sydney FC and Melbourne City goalkeeper Clint Bolton and Socceroo Jason Davidson were among those who criticised the call, while fan groups are preparing to walk out of games this weekend, and cancel subscriptions to A-League-related products.
Fan groups for both Melbourne Victory and City are preparing to leave Saturday night’s Melbourne derby after 20 minutes, while Sydney FC’s active support, The Cove, said that they will be silent for the first 23 minutes of this weekend’s away trip to the Central Coast, with other more serious actions to follow.
The Sky Blue supporters “will boycott the entire final series for the next three years should there be no change to this system”, and “will campaign to all Sydney FC fans to also not attend the grand final as ‘general fans’ should we not make it for the next three years”.
Popular Victory podcast For Vuck’s Sake’s four hosts each cancelled their Paramount+ subscriptions, with plenty of others online claiming to do likewise as a result.
As far as official club statements go, there have been varying levels of outrage – with Western United and Wellington Phoenix saying they were against the decision, with others opting for a more neutral tone.
Perth Glory’s statement, issued on Thursday morning, was poorly received by fans – particularly after chairman Tony Sage’s original response, in a Facebook comment, was to call the APL’s decision “a joke”.
Regardless of fan fury, the APL looks set to stay the course with this decision – but if punters completely boycott matches and online subscriptions begin to plummet, change could yet still be forced by pure fan power.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
FIFA World Cup 2022 in pictures: Coach’s emphatic ‘GOAT’ claim after Lionel Messi semi-final masterclass