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SBD Global/February 10, 2014/Franchises

Sydney FC Officials Apologize To Supporters Group The Cove, Schedule Meeting

A-League side Sydney FC will meet with leaders of official club supporters group The Cove this week "in a bid to stave off the fan rebellion which threatens to engulf their season," according to Tom Smithies of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. The Sky Blues were "forced to issue a lengthy apology to their own supporters on Sunday after an unprecedented breakdown in relations sparked by heavy-handed security at Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Adelaide." The Sydney FC faithful "demanded the sacking of both coach Frank Farina and club chairman Scott Barlow." Sydney CEO Tony Pignata and Barlow will "meet with Cove leaders this week to hear their concerns and try to convince them to hold fire on the apparent hostility to the club’s administration" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 2/9). In Sydney, Dominic Bossi reported Brendan Slowey, the leader of The Cove, will "hand back his membership on Monday morning in protest at the current administration and said an apology from the chief executive and chairman issued on Sunday may not be enough to repair the fractured relationship between supporters and the club." After fans "unveiled banners calling for the removal" of Farina, Pignata and Barlow at kickoff, some were "ejected from the ground by security, prompting an exodus of home supporters, who staged an impromptu protest outside the ground." Senior Cove figures "vowed not to attend games until a new administration is brought in." It "is understood" that Sydney FC Football Operations Manager Despina Kalogiannis "acted alone in instructing stadium security to remove banners" calling on Owner David Traktovenko to "sack the trio, though the club said they had no say in the ejection of a fan" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 2/10).
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