Within two hours of yesterday’s announcement that a local A-League team would play out of Campbelltown Sports Stadium two former mayors sent text messages.
Former mayor 1: “The question to ask the GM/Mayor is how much is it going to cost the ratepayers to upgrade the stadium to the required standard.’’
Former mayor 2: “The fun starts now.’’
And then there were the readers who responded to the South West Voice in Macarthur coverage yesterday.
“I hope that the team reflects the Macarthur region by identifying the thing everyone knows and that is John Macarthur started the Australian wool industry and name the team the Rams,’’ said one of them.
But first things first, so it’s hearty congratulations to everyone involved in the bid at Campbelltown Council and South West FC.
Most of all though, it is the mayor, George Brticevic, who deserves the bulk of the praise.
Yesterday he was very humble in sharing the glory around but the truth is it was his idea for council to support a bid for an A-League licence.
And now that his vision and determination and hard work have paid dividends it’s only fair that much of the credit goes his way.
It is without doubt Cr Brticevic’s greatest achievement since becoming mayor a little over two years ago and he will no doubt always be remembered for that.
Now that the A-League licence is in the bag it is time to start considering what sort of club we want to end up with.
The first thing to remember is that building an elite football club from the ground up will be a very different challenge from a licence bid campaign.
For me we should aim for a club like no other and the bar should be set as high as possible on everything – from winning on the field to being a good community member off it.
What we all want is a club the envy of all others and one we can be really proud of.
The key to this for Macarthur United or whatever it ends up being called will be the level of transparency – honesty and openness – of the organization that will be built to run the footy club.
We want an organization run by people who embrace the community not just for the sake of winning its support but also by trusting it with as much information as possible.
Too many organisations these days err on the side of caution when it comes to how transparent they are.
Hopefully Macarthur United will stand out from most others because of its democratic nature, its openness and trust of the people who support it.
Of course everyone knows there will be commercial in confidence issues that cannot be made public, which is fair enough.
But as the former mayor said above, if the ratepayers’ money will be used to upgrade the stadium the ratepayers are entitled to know all about it.
The other key to success will be to use as much local talent as possible in the organization and not be tempted by the enticements of the big end of town.
Our people are as good as anyone, anywhere, just like our area was considered as good as anywhere else in Australia to have an A-League licence, so there’s no need to feel inferior or have a chip on the shoulder.
Whether it’s a CEO, marketing expert, coach and coach’s assistants or media relations, Macarthur United should strive to be as local as possible.
The community will see through it if this club ends up becoming a vehicle for some people to achieve their personal ambitions instead of a truly democratic and community driven football club.
There are many more issues to look at between now and August 2020 when Macarthur United take to the A-League playing field for the first time, but we assure our readers we will continue to be their eyes and ears.