Melbourne Victory's controversial plans for Footscray Park didn't allow any room for expansion, says the local mayor...and the club would have quickly outgrown it.
Mayor Carter cited that the MVFC would benefit from those other locations around Maribyrnong in a greater fashion, given the club’s growth and ambitions, and the club would have eventually encountered limitations with the Footscray Park site within its proposed 21-year lease.
“Footscray Park would not have been a great location for them into the future, because of it being a passive open space, they would outgrow the three-pitch facility, and the nature of that site would not have allowed us to construct a fourth pitch, and so forth,” she told FTBL today.
“We have to plan for an area that is the gateway to the fastest-growing region in Australia,” Mayor Carter added, referring to the communities around her district and elsewhere, citing that Maribyrnong’s population is set to double by 2040."
She added: “Melbourne Victory is certainly a part of that plan."
But now the club is left to ponder whether other sites, within the borders of the Maribyrnong council or elsewhere, would provide the necessary land required for such an ambitious endeavour.
Trent Jacobs, the MVFC’s CEO, remains adamant that any Academy deals can be struck within the trinity of the club, the Maribyrnong City Council, and the Victoria State Government, with nearby Victoria University playing a side role as well due to the university’s athletic training facilities and its sports science department.
“The obligation of the council was to provide the site... That leaves us to consider our range of options, but it is too early right now to advise what to do next,” Jacobs said on Wednesday afternoon.
“We have an existing relationship with Maribyrnong Council, because our [women’s and youth teams] training site is at Robert Barret Reserve. All options are being assessed at the moment.
“Footscray Park was a very strategic site for us due to the proximity to Victoria University, and our relationship with them."
He added: "Within that, we wanted to work with them, and we will continue to work with them."