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SBD Global/September 10, 2012/International Football
Sydney FC Looks To Cash In On Del Piero Jersey Sales
Published September 10, 2012
POP STAR TREATMENT: In Sydney, Sebastian Hassett reported that Sydney "will pull out all stops" for the arrival of Del Piero, including a public welcome at the airport when the Italian arrives Tuesday. The 37-year-old will be given "the full pop star treatment." Sydney will "aim to milk every drop of publicity" Del Piero's arrival. Sydney CEO Tony Pignat said that fans "would be invited to greet the A-League's biggest signing when he touches down in Sydney." Pignat said, "This is part of fans and everyone else getting involved in the game so I'm not going to sneak him through a back door, and he's comfortable with that" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 9/10).
THE DEL PIERO EFFECT: Also in Sydney, Ray Gatt reported that Del Piero will likely play his first match for the Sky Blues in a trial against Newcastle "in the humble surrounds" of Buff Point in Budgewoi on the Central Coast on Sept. 22. The home ground of Budgewoi Soccer Club can hold several thousand, though there was talk that the game could be switched to Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford "because of the huge interest in seeing Del Piero play." Pignata said, "It will be our final trial before the start of the season and yes, definitely, I can't see why he won't play." Pignata acknowledged the Sky Blues' "heavy financial commitment to the Del Piero signing" -- it is understood he will be getting $4M for his two-season stint -- and confirmed the club "is in discussions with Football Federation Australia over insurance requirements." He said the reaction to Del Piero's signing has been "overwhelming" and has already had "a huge effect on membership sales" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/10).