So I have been reading a few blog articles about the problems at Sydney FC. About the lack of culture. About how they just buy good players. About how they aren’t performing. About how they have no philosophy and don’t represent anything. About how they could be better. But one blog really stood out to me and made me think. The Grand Stand: What Makes a Club is well written and comes from the heart of a true blue fan (Pun intended) Boris Gligorevic. I commented on the post and we had a good discussion, but it’s prompted me to write this blog.
Boris made the point that he believes that Sydney FC lack an identity but I don’t believe that’s true. Sydney don’t lack an identity, it’s just not as strong as it should be. I believe they are still “Bling FC” (what they were nicknamed in the first season, but has since been forgotten). That is after all what I believe they represent. The star line-up with marquee players Del Piero and Emerton show that. They represent eastern Sydney, the “bling” of Australia with its Harbours and city skyline; its beaches (Bondi, Manly and Cronulla) and its north shore; The Bridge and the Opera House. Only the Gold Coast could compete with that.
What is Sydney FC missing then? It’s not missing it’s identity (although they should embrace it more) as that is still the “Bling FC”, but its missing its stability. Sydney have gone through so many coaches, managers, players, etc. With each new major personnel comes a new philosophy, a new culture, and that’s the problem. They need to find stability with what they have now for 3-5 years and build on it. Build on their “Bling FC” identity. Represent the riches of eastern Sydney and find some consistency in their playing style and matches (They can be a great attacking team). Then the culture and philosophy will evolve. When that happens and they embrace what they are, then they will be a dominant force. Then they will have a great rivalry that would split a city into east and west.
Now Boris’s article was read by the CEO of Sydney FC, Tony Pignata. Tony requested to speak with him and they had a nice chat, and Boris and I both agree that Tony is probably the right one to lead the club in the right direction. Now that WSW are set up and running nicely, Sydney doesn’t have to try and represent that area. They can focus on the traditional representation of Eastern Sydney. Go back to representing the “Bling” and get the people involved. Tony Pignata understands how the fans feel and some of what they want and he can help bring about change and stability. Now it’s not just up to the club personnel, but the supporters as well. The supporters have to give critical feedback to the club. They have to engage with the club. Go to the games and cheer on their troops. Help bring about a culture.
With stability, engaging supporters and Tony Pignata at the top, Sydney have a chance to turn things around. To represent its people of eastern Sydney. To grow and develop a positive culture and philosophy that the fans love and engage with. And to reinstate its stance as Australia’s biggest football club.
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