The Macarthur FC Bulls are continuing with their plans for 2020/21, with the club’s inaugural coach Ante Milicic expected to fulfil his contract, despite his unfinished business with the Matildas.
Club insiders insist nothing has changed with the Bulls, who have had Milicic under contract since October last year.
Milicic’s tenure with the Matildas was due to finish after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but the COVID19 pandemic meant the Games were delayed until 2021.
Word from the Matildas camp is the players are keen for him to stay and see them through to the 2023 World Cup which may be held in Australia. An announcement on the 2023 hosts is due on 25 June.
Milicic was initially announced as the Bulls inaugural coach in May 2019, shortly after he took over from Alen Stajcic as the Matildas coach. A product of former NSL club Sydney United, he was seen as the ideal candidate to steer the Bulls in their foundation years.
Macarthur were expected to start their first A-League campaign in October, but there is uncertainty around next season.
Through no fault of their own, the Bulls will also have issues surrounding their player signings, with the 2019/20 campaign now set to finish in August due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means access to their players will be challenging, an issue faced by all clubs.
The grand final for the current season was due to take place a fortnight ago but the entire 2019/20 campaign was postponed in March.
Tommy Oar has been the only player publicly announced so far by the Campbelltown based team, but he is currently with the Central Coast Mariners.
The Bulls have signed over 2,000 foundation members and have secured several sponsors in anticipation of their debut season.
The club will also play out of Campbelltown Stadium, which was earmarked today by the powerful NRL as one of four grounds they would like the State Government to direct funding too. The Bulls deal with Campbelltown Council to play at the venue is expected to give them a competitive financial advantage over other clubs.
The Bulls are continuing to pay their $10m remaining licence fee in instalments, with $9.75M of this due to be paid back to the club in lieu of the fact they weren’t going to receive any TV revenue during the current Fox Sports deal, which was set to expire in 2022. Within the current climate, this is expected to change.
The $57M per year deal though is looking more and more likely to end early, something that will have severe repercussions for the entire league.