Anthony Di Pietro

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Anthony Di Pietro
A portrait of Anthony Di Pietro
Di Pietro speaking at a Melbourne Victory in Business function at the Crown Palladium Room in 2013
Born (1969-02-15) 15 February 1969 (age 46)
Frankston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Residence Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Ethnicity Italian
Occupation Businessman
-CEO and Board member of Premier Fruits Group (2003-)
-Chairman of Melbourne Victory FC (2011-)
Known for Chairman of Melbourne Victory FC

Anthony Di Pietro, (born 15 February 1969) is an Australian businessman, who is also known for his long affiliation with association football (soccer) club Melbourne Victory FC.

Di Pietro is Chairman of Melbourne Victory FC, a professional association football (soccer) club that participates in the Hyundai A-League, and also the Chief Executive Officer and Board member of industry leading fruit & vegetable producer and marketer Premier Fruits Group.

Early life and education[edit]

The grandson of Italian immigrants, Di Pietro was born in Frankston, Victoria, Australia. He completed his secondary education at John Paul College, Frankston, and obtained a Bachelor of Commerce at The University of Melbourne in 1990. Di Pietro was appointed Group CEO of Premier Fruits Group in 2003. In his role as CEO he was invited back to the University in 2013 to deliver the Occasional Address to the graduating students in the Business and Economics faculty.[1] Di Pietro's love for football (soccer) grew out of playing with Peninsula United Junior Soccer Club.

Agribusiness[edit]

The Premier Fruits Group is an Australian based fresh fruits and vegetables supply chain company.[2] Its business is regarded as the second biggest in Australia in fresh fruit and vegetables.[3]

The company's farming and marketing enterprises[4][5] cover all major Australian markets. Its Bundaberg, Queensland and Victorian joint venture farming operations, combine as one of Australia's largest tomato producers.In 2014 the company acquired South Australian vegetable production and processing business Freshway Farms and long-standing local produce wholesaler Stam Fruits Supply.[6]

Di Pietro is a strong advocate for an 'Australian-led Asian food boom' and was a key participant in the Victorian Government's Food Trade initiatives to Asia.[7]

Hospitality[edit]

Di Pietro was a Director of the Sovereign Hotel Group from 2007 to 2010,[8] whose flagship business is Federation Square’s Transport Hotel, Taxi Dining Room and Transit Cocktail Lounge.

Melbourne Victory FC[edit]

Di Pietro alongside newly appointed coach Kevin Muscat at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in October 2013

In 2013 Di Pietro was named as one of the 10 most influential people in Australian football to help shape its future.[9]

Since becoming Chairman of the A-League's Melbourne Victory Football Club in January 2011, Di Pietro oversaw a number of key achievements for the club; including the 2014-15 Premiership, making it the only club to have one three Premiership titles. Di Pietro was appointed to the Board of Melbourne Victory FC in 2006 during its formative years.

Until 2010 he was Chairman of Victory in Business, which is regarded as Australia's largest sporting business network outside of game day.

Di Pietro is known for winning the race against Sydney FC and several overseas clubs to sign star recruit[10] Harry Kewell in August 2011. It was hailed as the most important signing in A-League history. Record crowds and TV ratings were a result.

Notable Melbourne Victory signings under Di Pietro include Australian International Marquee player Harry Kewell in 2011, the appointment of much sought-after A-League coach Ange Postecoglou on 26 April 2012,[11][12] and the signing of Albanian international Besart Berisha for the 2014-2015 season.[13] Major sponsorship deals include global companies Adidas and Adecco.

In February 2012, Di Pietro called on Football Federation Australia to deal with Gold Coast United owner and chairman Clive Palmer’s attacks on the A-League. Palmer was ousted from the sport after losing a Supreme Court bid against Gold Coast United’s expulsion from the A-League.[14]

In April 2012, Di Pietro severed ties with sponsor EnergyWatch[15] following a series of racist rants[16] from CEO Ben Polis on Facebook.

In November 2012, the FFA announced a landmark new rights deal to bring the A-League back to free-to-air television.[17] Di Pietro said the deal would open up new revenue streams for the sport, stating: "We knew this was coming, it's about two parts - the free-to-air component, which widens the potential audience, and financially it's a big plus because it gives clubs sustainability and surety."[18]

Di Pietro brought Premier League heavyweight Liverpool F.C. to Melbourne in July 2013 as part of the club's plan to enhance the profile of Melbourne Victory and the A-League.[19][20] The game attracted a record crowd of 95,446 people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for a soccer match and the biggest crowd ever to have watched Liverpool.[21]

Following the appointment of Victory’s esteemed coach Ange Postecoglou to the Socceroos’ coaching role, Di Pietro appointed former Victory skipper and assistant coach Kevin Muscat to the coaching role. He said Muscat was ‘by far the best-placed person to continue’ Postecoglou’s work.[22][23] Muscat's contract was extended in late 2014 for a further three seasons, with Di Pietro saying he was the 'best person for the job' to take the club back to the top of the A League.[24][25] This was proven in 2015 with Melbourne Victory winning its third A-League Premiership title (2006-07; 2008-09; and 2014-15) and its third A-League Championship (2007; 2009; and 2015).[26]

In 2014, Di Pietro was part of a group of long-term shareholders acquiring a 35% parcel of Melbourne Victory shares on sale. The share acquisition was claimed to further enhance Melbourne Victory's financial stability and governance.[27][28]

On football hooliganism, Di Pietro has been a strong voice, including standing resolutely against antisocial behaviour of ‘alleged’ club fans and also backing the FFA’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on hooliganism, saying fans’ “safety and enjoyment must be upheld at all time".[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Di Pietro, Anthony; The University of Melbourne, Faculty of Business & Economics (November 2013). "Be prepared for change". Insights 14. 
  2. ^ Wilmott, Ben. "Food Grower Expands its Reach". Australian Financial Review. Fairfax. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Neales, Sue. "Premier Fruits Group ripe for expansion". The Australian. News Ltd. Retrieved 21 March, 2015.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ Goodwin, Sandra. "Victorian tomato grower joins Premier Group". News Ltd. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Thistleton, Rebecca. "Tomato growers sign deal for all seasons". Fairfax. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Premier Fruits secures SA links". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Stensholt, John. "Di Pietro encourages food industry to think big". Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Wilmot, Ben. "Hotel Investors Pour In". Highbeam Research. Retrieved 11 October 2007. 
  9. ^ Davutovic, David. "David Davutovic names the 10 people he believes can shape soccer's future in Australia". Herald Sun. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Socceroos star Harry Kewell confirms deal with Hyundai A-League club Melbourne Victory". Fox News. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Ange Postecoglou announced as Melbourne Victory coach". Football Australia. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Davutovic, David. "Ange Postecoglou confirmed as Victory Coach". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  13. ^ The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/football/melbourne-victory-signs-besart-berisha-from-brisbane-roar/story-fn63e0vj-1226807645629.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "FFA axe Gold Coast United". 29 February 2012. 
  15. ^ Lynch, Michael (5 April 2012). "'No other option': Victory cuts ties with EnergyWatch". The Age. 
  16. ^ "Melbourne sponsor Ben Polis in racist rant storm". The Australian. 5 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "FFA announces new A-League broadcast deal". ABC News. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  18. ^ Davutovic, David. "$160m TV deal gives soccer a kick-start". Herald Sun. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  19. ^ Gatt, Ray. "Liverpool fans ensure $5m sellout for Melbourne Victory match". The Australian. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  20. ^ Stensholt, John. "Man U, Liverpool to share $10m from Australian games". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  21. ^ Hogan, Jesse. "Victory wave on a sea of Red" The Age. Fairfax. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  22. ^ "Kevin Muscat handed two-year deal". Australian Associated Press: News Ltd. 
  23. ^ Weiner, David. "Kevin Muscat's on-field reputation preceded him but what will his style be like as a manager?". News Limited. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  24. ^ "Melbourne Victory lock in Muscat for three more years". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "Di Pietro needs Muscat to succeed as much as the coach does himself". The Age. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  26. ^ Herald Sun http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/football/melbourne-victory-premiership-kevin-muscat-wants-his-side-to-enjoy-win-but-be-prepared-to-work/story-fnk6pqhd-1227322158147.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ @gomvfc (12 November 2014). "Share sale confirms stability at Melbourne Victory". Melbourne Victory. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  28. ^ "Melbourne Victory fans' plans to own stake in team dashed". The Age. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  29. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/melbourne-victory-chairman-blasts-alleged-fans-20140104-30azx.htmlbv

External links[edit]