Melbourne Victory managing director Caroline Carnegie insists the club is financially “OK” despite being fined $550,000 following the pitch invasion and crowd violence at last month’s Melbourne derby at AAMI Park.
Found to have brought the game into disrepute, the Victory was penalised more than half a million dollars – $450,000 in fines and damages and $100,000 in lost revenue – by Football Australia.
The financial blow came a little more than a week after reports that Victory had lost $6.7m in the 2021-22 financial year before partnering with US private-equity investor 777 Partners in October.
Carnegie said the Victory would “move forward” and “build” from the fines and other sanctions imposed on the club.
“It’s hurtful,” Carnegie told SEN radio.
“I’m not sure there are many sporting clubs or organisations around, particularly off the back of three years of Covid, that would sit back and want to be in a position where they’re fined over half a million dollars by their governing body.
“(But) we also understand FA had a job to do in this situation, and an example needs to be made that that conduct isn’t acceptable.
“Melbourne Victory’s a big club and we’ll be OK. We’ll move forward from these sanctions and build from there.
“We’ll be fine. We’re very excited about our new partner (777) who creates a lot of opportunities for us not just commercially but also from our pathways perspective in our sport, for men and women, which is very exciting for us.
“It’s been a tough climate for three years and we’ve gone through a lot of change. It’s no secret that two years ago we finished bottom, and we built from there, and we’ve also looked at ways in which we can build new income and revenue streams, which take some time.”
Carnegie said the Victory needed to work with all of the sport’s stakeholders to avoid a repeat of the December 17 derby disgrace and ensure greater safety for fans at matches.
“If we’re going to have active support in the future … we absolutely don’t want anybody feeling that they’re unsafe or that the behaviour is escalating and we haven’t done anything about it,” she sad.
“It’s not Melbourne Victory on its own that can solve these issues, and it’s not just the incidents at the derby that we’re trying to prevent. It’s any of those sorts of anti-social behaviours moving forward.
“If we could do it on our own absolutely we would be looking at that, but the reality is that we have a whole heap of stakeholders that are involved in risk and security, game-to-game and we’ll have those sorts of people involved moving forward.”