There was widespread discontent in the Greek community following a recent Neos Kosmos interview with newly-inducted FFA Chairman Chris Nikou on 9 February. Mr Nikou’s interview with Con Stamocostas sparked debate as people commented against many of the decisions made by the new FFA board.
Bill Papastergiadis, president of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, stressed that “football is in a sad state of affairs”. At the forefront of the attempt for South Melbourne’s entry into the A-League, Mr Papastergiadis added that the Greek club’s proposal was by far the best that FFA currently had while he outlined all of its credentials. He pointed out that he still has not been given a clear reason by the FFA as to why South’s bid wasn’t accepted at this time. Instead, he was vaguely told that he would be briefed about the issue on a later date.
Other commentators suggested that there was a hidden agenda behind the rejection, pointing to the heads of Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City as the responsible parties. Others still asked for the release of the Deloitte report so that the financial state of the league could be revealed.
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However, despite all the anger pointed towards the FFA chairperson, during his interview he outlined that South Melbourne still have a good chance of eventually making it within the top-tier league of the nation: “Like all bids they had some nice features about them. Overall unfortunately for South they weren’t the best bid in that pack at this point in time.
“That’s not to say they won’t be at some future point in time. South is a club I actually grew up with and know. The people behind them are very passionate and that is the sort of thing we need in the football community.
“Ultimately you have to make a call as a director for what is in the best interest of the sport. But, as I said on the announcement, it’s not the end of the process,” said Nikou.
Nonetheless, the FFA has been vague as to when the expansion would continue and how many teams it would involve.