North Sydney Grass Not Yet Green Enough For A-League Mariners
The A-League Central Coast Mariners' "controversial plan to play some home games at North Sydney Oval next season has hit an early hurdle," according to Dominic Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Football Federation of Australia said that it "will not allow the matches at the venue unless it undergoes major renovations, including upgrades to the playing surface." Mariners were "exploring the benefits of moving some home games to the venue as part of a strategic push into Sydney's northern suburbs." If the Mariners are satisfied they can draw a crowd at North Sydney, the "pressing issue will become the standard of the oval, with A-League boss Damien de Bohun on Tuesday echoing the FFA's stance and ruling out relocating games unless there was an overhaul of the poor facilities and the playing field." De Bohun: ''There's some serious work [required] to get North Sydney Oval to that stage. The facilities, the infrastructure, obviously there's a cricket [pitch] in the middle of the ground." Mariners Owner Mike Charlesworth confirmed on Monday the club's losses of approximately A$1M ($900,000) a year had "prompted him to explore having a greater presence in Sydney's northern suburbs to attract more fans" (SMH, 11/27).