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 45)
Frankston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Residence Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Ethnicity Italian
Occupation Businessman
-CEO of Premier Fruits Group (2003-)
-Chairman of Melbourne Victory FC (2011-)
Known for Inaugural & former director and chairman of Melbourne Victory FC
Religion Roman Catholic
Children Two

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

Di Pietro is both the current Chairman of Melbourne Victory FC, a professional association football (soccer) club that participates in the Hyundai A-League, and also the Chief Executive Officer 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. Di Pietro's love for the game of soccer was invested in Peninsula United Junior Soccer Club where he played his Junior soccer.

Di Pietro completed a Bachelor of Commerce at 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]

Agribusiness[edit]

The Premier Fruits Group is an Australian supply chain company.[2] The company's farming and marketing enterprises[3][4] cover all major Australian markets. Its Bundaberg, Queensland and Victorian joint venture farming operations, combine as one of Australia's largest tomato producers.

Di Pietro is a strong advocate for an 'Australian-led Asian food boom' and was a key participant in the 2013 Victorian Government's Food Trade Mission to Asia.[5]

Hospitality[edit]

Di Pietro was a Director of the Sovereign Hotel Group from 2007 to 2010,[6] whose flagship business is Federation Square’s Transport Hotel, Taxi Dining Room and Transit Cocktail Lounge. In 2010 Di Pietro resigned as Director.[7]

Melbourne Victory FC[edit]

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

Di Pietro is regarded as one of the 10 most influential people in Australian football to help shape its future.[8]

In January 2011 Di Pietro was elected by vote of the Board into the position of Chairman of the A-League's Melbourne Victory FC having been with the club since season one in 2006 as a Director.

Until 2010 he was heavily involved in his role as Chairman of Victory in Business, which is today the biggest sporting business coterie in Australia.

Di Pietro is known for winning the race against Sydney FC and several overseas clubs to sign star recruit[9] 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.

Other notable Melbourne Victory signings under Di Pietro include the appointment of much sought-after A-League coach Ange Postecoglou on 26 April 2012.[10][11] 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.[12]

In April 2012, Di Pietro severed ties with sponsor EnergyWatch[13] following a series of racist rants[14] from CEO Ben Polis on Facebook.

In November 2012, the FFA announced a landmark new rights deal to bring back the A-League to free-to-air television.[15] 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."[16]

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.[17][18] 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.[19]

Following the appointment of Victory’s esteemed coach Ange Postecoglou to the Socceroos’ coaching role, Di Pietro was highly critical of Football Federation Australia’s approach to the transfer arrangements of the coach, saying Victory had been delivered a ‘load of lemons’.[20] Di Pietro later 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.[21][22] Di Pietro further strengthened Victory with the signing of Albanian international Besart Berisha for the 2014-2015 season.[23]

When football hooliganism issues arose, Di Pietro stood resolutely against antisocial behaviour of ‘alleged’ club fans and also backed the FFA’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on hooliganism, saying fans’ “safety and enjoyment must be upheld at all time’.[24]

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. ^ Goodwin, Sandra. "Victorian tomato grower joins Premier Group". News Ltd. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Thistleton, Rebecca. "Tomato growers sign deal for all seasons". Fairfax. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Stensholt, John. "Di Pietro encourages food industry to think big". Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Wilmot, Ben. "Hotel Investors Pour In". Highbeam Research. Retrieved 11 October 2007. 
  7. ^ "Premier Group grower expands reach". Stock & Land. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Davutovic, David. "David Davutovic names the 10 people he believes can shape soccer's future in Australia". Herald Sun. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Socceroos star Harry Kewell confirms deal with Hyundai A-League club Melbourne Victory". Fox News. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Ange Postecoglou announced as Melbourne Victory coach". Football Australia. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Davutovic, David. "Ange Postecoglou confirmed as Victory Coach". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "FFA axe Gold Coast United". 29 February 2012. 
  13. ^ Lynch, Michael (5 April 2012). "'No other option': Victory cuts ties with EnergyWatch". The Age. 
  14. ^ "Melbourne sponsor Ben Polis in racist rant storm". The Australian. 5 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "FFA announces new A-League broadcast deal". ABC News. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  16. ^ Davutovic, David. "$160m TV deal gives soccer a kick-start". Herald Sun. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  17. ^ Gatt, Ray. "Liverpool fans ensure $5m sellout for Melbourne Victory match". The Australian. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Stensholt, John. "Man U, Liverpool to share $10m from Australian games". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  19. ^ Hogan, Jesse. "Victory wave on a sea of Red" The Age. Fairfax. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  20. ^ Lynch, Michael. "Victory fury over way in which coach left". Fairfax Limited. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Kevin Muscat handed two-year deal". News Ltd.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/besart-berisha-to-leave-road-join-melbourne-victory-20140122-317vb.html
  24. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/melbourne-victory-chairman-blasts-alleged-fans-20140104-30azx.htmlbv

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