Melbourne City FC

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For the futsal team, see Melbourne City FC Futsal. For the Australian Rules team, see Melbourne City Football Club (1912–13).
Melbourne City
Melbourne City FC.svg
Full name Melbourne City Football Club
Nickname(s) City, Heart
Short name MCFC, Melb City
Founded 12 June 2009; 6 years ago (2009-06-12), as Melbourne Heart
Ground AAMI Park
Ground Capacity 30,050
Owner City Football Group
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak
Head Coach John van 't Schip
League A-League
2014–15 A-League, 5th
Website Club home page
Current season
Active departments of Melbourne City F.C.
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg
Football (Men's) Football Reserves (Men's)
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg
Football Youth (Men's) Football (Women's)

Melbourne City Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in Melbourne, Victoria. It competes in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia.[1]

Founded in 2009 as Melbourne Heart, the club competed under that name from its inaugural 2010–11 season until it was acquired and subsequently rebranded in mid-2014 by the City Football Group, in partnership with Holding M.S. Australia.[2] In August 2015, City Football Group bought out the Holding M.S. Australia consortium to acquire 100% ownership of the club.[3]

The club is run from the City Football Academy, a world-class facility based at Melbourne's La Trobe University.[4] The club plays home matches at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, commercially known as AAMI Park, a 30,050 seat multi-use venue in Melbourne's City Centre. The club also has an affiliated youth team which competes in the National Youth League, a NPL team which competes in the National Premier Leagues and a senior women's team which competes in the W-League.

History[edit]

After the dissolution of the National Soccer League in 2003, brought about by the Crawford Report, plans were drawn up for a new revamped national competition to begin the following season. Despite the calls for the new football competition to feature two clubs from Melbourne, in 2004 Football Federation Australia, opting for a "one city, one team" policy, announced that the Melbourne Victory had won the licence to be the only Melbourne club to compete in the new national competition, known as the A-League. A 5-year moratorium was also established preventing any other expansion sides from the eight original A-league teams' areas entering the competition until the 2010–11 season, allowing Victory five seasons to establish itself in the Melbourne market.[5][6][7]

On 1 March 2008 former Carlton Football Club vice-president and businessman Colin DeLutis expressed his interest in a second Melbourne A-League side, with an approach to the FFA to become sole owner of the second licence with the bid name of 'Melbourne City'.[8] FFA chief executive Ben Buckley raised the possibility of expanding the A-League from eight to 12 teams in May 2008, in readiness for the 2009–10 season.[9] Buckley also revealed the existence of a third Melbourne bid tentatively known as 'Melbourne Heart' backed by Peter Sidwell, to compete with the two other bids of Southern Cross FC and Melbourne City.[10] On 25 July 2008, the Melbourne City bid dropped out of the bidding process leaving the Melbourne Heart and Southern Cross FC bids as the last two bids standing.[11] By September 2008 the Melbourne Heart bid was awarded exclusive negotiating rights for the league's 11th licence, beating out the South Melbourne-backed Southern Cross FC bid. Negotiations continued until Sidwell's group was awarded the licence to join the A-League's 2010–11 season by the FFA on 12 June 2009.[12]

Heart started its inaugural season against Central Coast Mariners on 5 August 2010, at their home ground AAMI Park, losing 1–0.[13] The club's first ever goal was an own goal scored by Ben Kantarovski in the Heart's second league game, a 1–1 draw against Newcastle Jets. Melbourne Heart's first win was a 1–0 victory over North Queensland Fury, which came in the fifth round of their first A-League season on 4 September 2010.[14] They contested the first ever Melbourne Derby against Melbourne Victory on 8 October 2010, and won 2–1. Heart finished their first season on equal points with Newcastle Jets, but behind on goal difference in eighth position. They failed to make it into the top six teams to reach the finals, despite sitting in sixth position for majority of the season.

After a moderately more successful second season, Melbourne Heart finished 6th on the ladder, enough to make the finals. Heart's first finals game was against Perth Glory, where they were defeated 3–0 at nib stadium.

It was announced on 23 January 2014 that the City Football Group had acquired Melbourne Heart for $12 million.[15] The deal involved CFG acquiring 80% of Heart, the other 20% to be held by a consortium of businessmen allied to Rugby League club Melbourne Storm.[16] On 5 June 2014, the team obtained Spanish World Cup-winning striker David Villa on loan from New York City FC, another team owned by the City Football Group. Villa was expected to play in the A-League until New York City entered Major League Soccer in 2015.[17]

Villa played only 4 of an expected 10 matches, scoring twice, before being recalled by New York City. Although none of the matches were won,[18] coach John van 't Schip credited Villa with bringing attention to the new team, and it was estimated that his presence trebled the club's attendance.[19] The club was defeated by rivals Melbourne Victory in the semi-finals of the 2014–15 season. Ahead of the 2015–16 season, City Football Group announced it had bought out the remaining 20% share of the club held by a sports consortium for a $2.25 million fee, thus acquiring 100% ownership of Melbourne City Football Club.[3]

Name, colours and badge[edit]

Melbourne Heart logo (2009–2014)
Melbourne's first home kit

In October 2009, an online competition held by Melbourne's the Herald Sun gave the public the opportunity to submit their preferences for the name of the new Melbourne team. The preferred names were released on the Herald Sun website on 13 November 2009. The four options were 'Sporting Melbourne FC', 'Melburnians', 'Melbourne Revolution' and 'Melbourne Heart FC'. Some pondered if 'Revolution' had some context considering its intimation to the Eureka Stockade, the closest Australia has come to revolution.[20] The name of the new club was to be announced before the end of 2009,[21] but this was delayed until early 2010 due to AFL objections to the use of the words Melbourne, Football and Club[22] in the name. The Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation expressed concern that the name Melbourne Heart was too similar to its annual Heart of Melbourne Appeal, and lodged a protest with IP Australia in January 2010.[23] The club's badge was lodged to IP Australia the same month by the FFA,[24][25] and on 2 February 2010, the name of the club was announced as Melbourne Heart FC.[26][27]

Initially, a colour scheme of either black and white, or red and white were the two options for the club. The eventual choice for the home kit was a red and white striped jersey with red shorts and red socks, the away kit was a red sash on white jersey, with white shorts and socks.[28] For the 2011–12 season Melbourne Heart introduced a third kit which would be worn for one match per season. The design of the kit for each season was determined via a fan-designed competition. All fans could enter a design submission with the final design being decided by a club panel. The winner for the 2011–12 season was Red and White Unite co-founder Steven Forbes and featured a red and white sash on a grey jersey.[29] The 2012–13 winning third kit design had a black and charcoal hoops jersey with red sleeves. The 2013–14 winning third kit design had a red and white chequered jersey with red sleeves.[30]

Name change to Melbourne City[edit]

After the announcement in January 2014 of a takeover of Melbourne Heart by Manchester City, there was much speculation in the media about a potential re-brand of the club including a change of kit colour to sky blue.[31] An application to trademark the name "Melbourne City Football Club" was lodged on 16 January, and Melbourne Heart's minority shareholders had registered the business name "Melbourne City FC" with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).[2][32] However, there was no official statement from the club for some months leaving fans in limbo as to the future identity of the club. In April 2014 media outlets reported that Melbourne Heart had lodged an application with Football Federation Australia (FFA) to rebrand the club similar to that of Manchester City, including a change of their playing strip from red and white to sky blue. It was reported that Sydney FC had lodged a formal complaint with FFA to block the proposed colour change. Sydney FC chairman Scott Barlow commented on the issue, saying "We're extremely concerned about the proposed use of sky blue by Melbourne Heart, and we've made our concerns very clear to the FFA...in a competition with only 10 teams, the idea of two teams wearing sky blue is nonsensical especially when sky blue is so closely associated with NSW".[33] In May 2014, it was reported that FFA had upheld Sydney FC's objection to a colour change to sky blue. However Melbourne Heart released a statement shortly after confirming they were in discussions with Football Federation Australia on a range of matters relating to its future plans including its playing strips, indicating the matter was not settled.[34]

On 5 June 2014, the club officially announced it had changed its name to Melbourne City FC along with a new emblem, colours and kit manufacturer Nike. The new home kit featured a single strip down the side in dark and sky blue, with a white background. The away kit had a similar design as the club's former home kit consisting of red and white stripes, although the new away kit has noticeably more white than previous Melbourne Heart kits. A statement released by the club on the new away kit read, "the away kit 'celebrates the club's history, the wishes of its existing fan base and the red and white that remains at the Heart of its identity.[35][36]

Despite the unprecedented success City Football Group has brought to Melbourne's second club, many fans are still uneasy about the transition from Heart to City, especially in the perceived abandoning of the club's traditional red and white colours.[37] Some of this unease has been abated by the inclusion of red in the Supporters Scarves for the 2015-16 A-League season.[38]

Players[edit]

First team squad[edit]

As of 31 August 2015[39]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Denmark GK Thomas Sørensen
2 Australia DF Ivan Franjic
3 Northern Ireland DF Aaron Hughes
4 Australia DF Connor Chapman
6 Australia MF Erik Paartalu
7 Australia FW Corey Gameiro
8 Australia MF Aaron Mooy
9 Martinique FW Harry Novillo
10 Slovenia MF Robert Koren
11 Australia DF Michael Zullo
14 Australia MF James Brown
15 Australia FW David Williams
No. Position Player
16 Australia MF Stefan Zinni
17 Australia FW Wade Dekker
18 Australia MF Paulo Retre
19 Australia MF Ben Garuccio
20 Australia GK Tando Velaphi
21 Australia MF Stefan Mauk
22 Australia DF Jack Clisby
23 Uruguay FW Bruno Fornaroli
24 Australia DF Patrick Kisnorbo (Captain)
25 Australia MF Jacob Melling
26 Australia FW Marc Marino
28 Australia FW Steve Kuzmanovski

Youth team squad[edit]

Further information: Melbourne City FC Youth
As of 25 July 2015[40]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Australia GK Yaren Sozer
Australia GK Tonio Baresic-Nikic
Australia GK Marko Stevanja
Australia GK Lajos Oliveira
Australia DF Tyler James
Australia DF Andrew Mullett
Australia DF Baki Efe
Australia DF Tom King
Australia DF Matthew Millar
Australia MF Trey O’Sullivan
No. Position Player
Australia MF Anthony Taranto
Australia MF Nick Symeoy
Australia MF Harris Stamboulidis
Republic of Macedonia MF Philip Petreski
Australia FW Hernan Espindola
Australia FW Andy Kecojevic
Australia FW Anthony Rizk
Australia FW Stefan Zinni
Australia FW Luka Prelevic
Australia FW Luke Gallo

NPL team squad[edit]

Further information: Melbourne City FC NPL
As of 25 July 2015[41]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Australia GK Yaren Sozer
Australia GK Marko Stevanja
Australia DF Trey O’Sullivan
Australia DF Baki Efe
Australia DF Harris Stamboulidis
Australia DF Jordon Hall
Australia DF Tyler James
Australia MF Luka Prelevic
No. Position Player
Australia MF Anthony Taranto
Australia MF Mehdi Sarwari
Australia MF Ratip Cileli
Australia MF Nicolas Gonzalez
Australia FW Anthony Rizk
Australia FW Aidan Gossow
Australia FW Luke Gallo
Australia FW Wade Dekker

Women team squad[edit]

Further information: Melbourne City FC W-League
As of 20 August 2015[42][43]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Brianna Davey
5 Australia DF Laura Alleway
Australia MF Beatrice Goad
No. Position Player
11 Australia FW Lisa De Vanna
Australia FW Larissa Crummer
Australia MF Alex Chidiac
Australia MF Monique Iannella

Club officials[edit]

Corporate management[edit]

Position Name[44]
Owners United Arab Emirates England City Football Group (100%)
Chairman United Arab Emirates Khaldoon Al Mubarak
Chief Executive Officer Australia Scott Munn
Football Operations Manager Croatia John Didulica

Team management[edit]

Position Name[45]
Head Coach Netherlands John van 't Schip
Senior Assistant Coach Australia Luciano Trani
Assistant Coach Croatia Joey Didulica
Assistant Manager Croatia Ivan Jolić
Head of Sport Science England Edward Leng
Club Physio Australia Belinda Pacella
Youth Team Manager Australia Joe Palatsides
Youth Team Assistant Italy Ralph Napoli

Past managers[edit]

List of Melbourne Heart managers, with respective records, as of 22 December 2014. Only competitive matches are counted.

From To Name P W D L F A GD Win %
12 October 2009 5 April 2012 Netherlands John van 't Schip 58 17 21 20 67 79 −12 29.31
8 May 2012 28 December 2013 Australia John Aloisi 39 8 7 24 19 62 −43 20.51
30 December 2013 Present Netherlands John van 't Schip 31 11 8 12 41 48 −7 35.48

Sponsorship[edit]

On 16 February 2010, financial institution Westpac[46] teamed up with the Melbourne Heart for a three-year agreement believed to be worth close to $2 million.[47] They are be their principal partner, the Westpac logo appears on the front of the 'Home' and 'Away' Melbourne Heart kits. The club also hosts 3 'Westpac' community camps, annually across regional Victoria.[48] Drake International, Public Transport Victoria and BDO are the major sponsors of the club.[49]

On 1 September 2011 the ParkTrent Properties Group was announced as the Melbourne Heart FC's youth team's primary sponsor. CEO Scott Munn said that the deal is the "largest ever National Youth League corporate partnership".[50]

On 8 May 2012, the club's new kit supplier Kappa was announced on a two-year contract with Melbourne Heart.[51]

As a result of City Football Group taking over the club, deals with Nike and Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad Airways were reached for the 2014-15 A-League season, which saw Nike produce City's kit and Etihad become their new shirt sponsor, pulling them into line with other clubs owned by City's parent owner, City Football Group.[52] As of 2015, New York City FC is the only CFG club to not use Nike kits, as MLS have a league-wide kit deal with Adidas until the end of the 2018 season.[53]

Period Kit manufacturer Front shirt sponsor Back shirt sponsor Sleeve sponsor Front short sponsor Back short sponsor Youth Team sponsor NPL Team sponsor
2010–2011 Reebok[54] Westpac PKF Drake International Metlink Solo No Team Entered No Team Entered
2011–2012* ISC[55] Park Trent Properties
2012–2013* Kappa[51] BDO International AXF Group (Home)

MatchWorks (Away)

PTV Foxtel
2013–2014* Alcatel onetouch Diabetes College
2014 Nike[56] Etihad[56] Host Plus CoCo Joy (Home)

MatchWorks (Away)

Westpac Etihad
2015– Axia Building Group

Stadium[edit]

Melbourne City's home ground is Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. Melbourne City's largest average season attendance is 10,374 (achieved in the 2014–15 season), while the largest ever attendance for a single home match is 26,457 against Melbourne Victory in round 12 of the 2012–13 A-League season.

Club facilities[edit]

Melbourne City bases its training and administrative facilities at the world class City Football Academy, located at the La Trobe University precinct.

Rivalries[edit]

Melbourne City's local rivals are Melbourne Victory. Although there were many state or regional rivalries, the Melbourne Derby was the first and only intra-city derby in the A-League until a second Sydney-based club, Western Sydney Wanderers joined the A-League in the 2012/13 season.[57] The first match between the two clubs saw Melbourne Heart win 2–1 in front of a sold out AAMI Park crowd of over 25,000 spectators.[58] The derby match between the two Melbourne clubs is often marked as an "annual spectacle" both on and off the pitch, attracting large crowd numbers of predominately Melbourne Victory fans for the high profile games.[59][60]

The rivalry became more intense in the third meeting of the clubs on 22 January 2011, when Melbourne Victory's Kevin Muscat made a tackle on Heart's Adrian Zahra, which earnt Muscat a red card and an eight-week suspension, and was the direct cause of a season-ending knee injury to Zahra.[61]

Honours[edit]

Appearances (2): 2011–12, 2014–15

Club records[edit]

For more details on this topic, see List of Melbourne City FC records and statistics.

Matt Thompson presently holds the team record for number of total games played with 82 matches. Aziz Behich has the second most appearances for the club with 80 matches. Clint Bolton and Michael Marrone share being the third most capped players with 70 matches each.

Melbourne City's all-time highest goalscorer is David Williams with 21, followed by Eli Babalj (12), Aaron Mooy (10) and Mate Dugandžić (9).

The club's highest home attendance was 26,579, for a league Melbourne Derby match on 23 December 2011.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b "Manchester City buy A-League's Melbourne Heart". theguardian.com. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b John Stensholt (2 August 2015). "Manchester City buy out wealthy Melbourne City investors". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "City Football Academy unveiled". La Trobe University. 27 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Desira, Peter (21 November 2007). "Geoff Lord and Co take control of full Victory". Herald Sun (Herald and Weekly Times). 
  6. ^ "LORD LEADS MELBOURNE TO VICTORY AS HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE TAKES SHAPE". Archived from the original on 27 May 2005. Retrieved 1 November 2004. 
  7. ^ Lynch, Michael (22 October 2004). "Lord among masters of Victory bid". The Age (Melbourne). 
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  9. ^ Lynch, Michael (1 May 2008). "A-League set for Melbourne derby". The Age (Melbourne). 
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  17. ^ Windley, Matt (5 June 2014). "Spanish superstar David Villa confirmed for 10-game guest stint with Melbourne City in A-League". Herald Sun. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "David Villa departs without a win as Melbourne City lose to Adelaide". The Guardian. Australian Associated Press. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  19. ^ Lynch, Michael (30 November 2014). "Adios David Villa, it's been short but sweet". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "The Melbourne Heart name saga rolls on". The Roar. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "Postcard From Europe". Melbourneheartsyn.com. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
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  32. ^ "Melbourne City FC to replace Heart". theworldgame.sbs.com.au. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  33. ^ "Sydney FC in blue over new Melbourne Heart colours". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2014-04-14. 
  34. ^ "Melbourne Heart's bid to become sky blue blocked after Sydney FC object". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2014-05-29. 
  35. ^ "Melbourne City is born, but can’t wear Manchester City’s sky blue". Herald Sun. 2014-06-05. 
  36. ^ "Melbourne Heart rebranded as Melbourne City". Goal. 2014-06-05. 
  37. ^ 'No Navy On Our Home Strip' - Facebook
  38. ^ Melbourne City FC Stadium Scarf 2015/16
  39. ^ "Melbourne City Team". Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  40. ^ "Melbourne City FC Team". Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  41. ^ "Melbourne City FC Team". Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  42. ^ "Melbourne City Team". Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  43. ^ City Announces Four New W-League Signings
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  49. ^ "Melbourne Heart Football Club Partners". Footballaustralia.com.au. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  50. ^ "Red & White Unite » Aloisi Confirms Youth Squad As ParkTrent Announces Support". Redwhiteunite.com. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  51. ^ a b "Latest Football Australia News". Footballaustralia.com.au. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  52. ^ http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/melbourneheart/news-display/Melbourne-City-FC-Announces-Etihad-Airways-Partnership/91075
  53. ^ http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/5511821/adidas-mls-sign-8-year-sponsorship-contract
  54. ^ [1]
  55. ^ [2][dead link]
  56. ^ a b [3]
  57. ^ Bernard, Grantley (2010-10-06). "Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory preparing for fiery derby clash | A-League". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  58. ^ "First Melbourne derby officially sold out | Australia/Asia News". Tribal Football. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  59. ^ "The Melbourne derby is set to be a sellout when Victory and Heart clash in the opening A-League round". foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  60. ^ "Melbourne Derby a sell-out". footballaustralia.com.au. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  61. ^ "Kevin Muscat banned for eight games for tackle on Adrian Zahra". Herald Sun. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 

External links[edit]