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More Macarthur FC home games could be in jeopardy

The fallout continues from last night’s sensational revelation Macarthur FC were forced to relocate their opening A-League game against Wellington Phoenix because of the sub standard playing surface at Campbelltown Stadium.

The Bulls, while disappointed with Campbelltown Council for failing to inform them of the situation in time to relocate to another Sydney venue, would like to see their home ground back in action as soon as possible.

They have three more home games scheduled until the end of the year, including a blockbuster with Sydney FC on Boxing Day – and their preference is to avoid any more games being relocated.

Last night the South West Voice in Macarthur asked the Campbelltown Council general manager, Lindy Deitz, if she would take some action against the company contracted to do the expensive turf work at the stadium.

We also asked Ms Deitz if she would also take some action against the council person or persons who failed to inform the club of the disaster that had unfolded at the stadium.

“Council has engaged two separate specialist consultants to do independent assessments on the status of the surface early next week due to the conflicting opinions between the turf management contractor and Macarthur FC Bulls,’’ was Ms Deitz’s response.

The mayor of Campbelltown, George Brticevic, well known for his support of the Bulls and soccer in general, was on social media last night where he told Bulls fans “experts deemed it safe, but of course the aesthetics aren’t pretty’’.

The South West Voice understands that the first the Bulls knew of the surface problem was when they turned up for a training session early on Friday morning.

Emergency meetings were held, including consultations with the A-League, and it was decided the surface was not safe to play on.

The Voice has confirmed that serious attempts were made to secure a ground in either Greater Sydney or Wollongong, but none were available at such short notice.

It was then decided to play the match at Newcastle as part of a double header, which meant a more comfortable challenge for the broadcasters as well.

Home side Newcastle Jets are hosting the Central Coast Mariners at 4.05pm, with Bulls v Phoenix to follow at 6.45pm.

Macarthur FC have issued a media release in which they say that after consultation with the A-Leagues, the club conducted a pitch inspection at Campbelltown Stadium on Friday.

“The pitch was deemed not at an acceptable standard that is safe for players, staff, and match officials for this weekend’s game against Wellington Phoenix,’’ the club said in the statement.

“Macarthur FC together with the A-Leagues, have made the decision to move our game to McDonald Jones Stadium as a double header this Sunday.’’

In a second media release, the Bulls took aim at Campbelltown Council, and they did not miss:

“Council did not inform the club of any renovation issues, and in particular of its extremely late decision to relay portions of the pitch with ready to play turf early this week.

“The club only discovered the true nature of the pitch at 8am Friday morning.

“The club is looking forward to fruitful discussions with the turf contractors, council and the A-Leagues in how to move forward and remedy the current situation.’’

5 Responses to More Macarthur FC home games could be in jeopardy

  1. Mick November 21, 2021 at 1:01 pm #

    Disgraceful. But as you know Eric, the stadium field has always been attrocious since they rebuilt the stadium. Its only taken 21 years to come to a head.

    Could you imagine the MCG or the SCG being presented in this state? Its a disgrace. The stadium should be ready to go year round.

    • Eric Kontos November 21, 2021 at 2:19 pm #

      Can’t really disagree with you, Mick.

  2. Andy November 22, 2021 at 5:19 pm #

    This is a joke! Start of the A-League season and the pitch looks like a potato field. Although I’m talking through my wallet as I never would have backed the Bulls if I’d known they were off to Newcastle for their first game. Eric who is responsible for the up-keep of the pitch?

    • Eric Kontos November 22, 2021 at 5:28 pm #

      Andy: Council have contracted the playing surface work to a private firm, but this is a council owned stadium that hosts elite sport, so ultimately the responsibility is with the mayor and the general manager to ensure they have oversight in place to avoid this sort of disasters taking place.

  3. Andy November 22, 2021 at 6:47 pm #

    Thanks Eric. I thought the coming local council elections were a waste of my time but now I know who is going to get my vote!

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