A decision on two new A-League licences is expected as early as today (Wednesday) and the Western Melbourne Group is waiting with bated breath to see if its bid is successful.
The Western Melbourne Group’s self-funded bid to set up a club in Tarneit as part of an expansion of the A-League is one of six remaining proposals on the table.
Wyndham council has worked with the Western Melbourne Group on the bid, which also has the support of Brimbank, Maribyrnong and Melton councils.
Wyndham mayor Mia Shaw expressed concern last week after a report in the Herald Sun suggested that the state government was in talks about funding Team 11’s $170 million bid in Dandenong when it could “save it’s money for more important things like roads and hospitals”.
However, Sport and Major Events Minister Martin Pakula said talks over possible stadium funding would only begin once a decision had been made.
Following the clarification, Cr Shaw said she believed each bid would stand on its merits.
“The Western Melbourne bid picks up 1.25 million residents and is a genuine value capture project that will be a game changer for the west of Melbourne and the Avalon corridor,” Cr Shaw wrote on her mayoral Facebook page.
Western Melbourne Group’s director of football Steve Horvat said the consortium was already chatting to possible marquee player recruits to ensure the new club has a strong player base.
Mr Horvat said the Western Melbourne Group has also started preliminary planning for building the Wyndham Stadium, and expects to turn soil on the project within 12 months of a decision. The team is expected to play its first home game in the opening round of the 2021-22 A-League season.