Geoffrey Schuhkraft - the would-be leader of a post-Clive louis vuitton handbags Palmer Gold Coast United - was reportedly set the almost impossible target of raising $5 million in two weeks. You may remember Rabieh Krayem’s Fury having similar problems, amid ever moving goalposts as to the actual figure required.
Therein lies another issue - FFA’s apparent shifting of position on a key area of policy.
Wasn’t it only a month or so ago that Chairman Frank Lowy publicly condemned clubs thrusting forward the begging bowl, saying FFA was "not a bloody bank"?
Well, just a few short weeks later, it appears FFA IS a bank - for Western Sydney, the franchise it has now promised to bankroll (with some government help) for the next three years.
Then, there is the issue of Canberra. Poor old Canberra, twisted hither and thither in their quest for an A-League club. Bid leader Ivan Slavic raised an estimated $4 million, but was led down the garden path so many times, he eventually threw up his hands and walked away.
At least Gold Coast and North Queensland had their opportunity.
But even now, we don’t know on what basis FFA decided to expand into those - untried - markets. Was due diligence done? Was there a business and development plan aside of the money of Don Matheson and Clive Palmer? More than likely, we’ll never know.
All of which leads us back to gucci bags Western Sydney.
If the new franchise is to succeed, it will need deep roots, and even deeper pockets. FFA will subsidise it for the first three years, but what then? If investors can’t be found, will the governing body cut and run as it did in Queensland? Is there a Plan B? How will it tackle a notoriously tough and crowded market - a market in which Sydney FC went without a front of shirt sponsor for the entire season?
While applauding FFA for taking a club into the oft-quoted heartland of the game, we MUST as a football community ensure this latest attempt into expanding the game works properly.
To this end, we should expect a full, public roll-out of FFA’s detailed model for the club (supposedly in the planning for months) over the next week or two. The advisory board needs to be announced as soon as possible - and given the autonomy to get on with the job, lest FFA be perceived to be "running" the club as well as financing it. That will only alienate the new fan base from day one.
Already, speculation is rife as to the identity of the new coach, players and possible stadium. In my opinion, they are secondary concerns. The really meaningful work needs to be done behind the scenes in building community links, a fan base and an identity. We await with interest to see how those issues are to be tackled.
FFA has had five tries at expansion. Gold Coast and North Queensland are dead, Sydney Rovers never even got off the ground. Only Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Heart can be said to have had any measure of success.
Western Sydney is both the A-League’s biggest opportunity and biggest test - the worry is its birth has been hurried along so rapidly, there is the very real danger gucci slippers of a weak child being born.