Bite-sized news for you to chew over - All-Star match between A-League and MLS championed, Mariners have investment options and much more
Sydney FC chief executive officer Tony Pignata has thrown his weight behind an annual All-Star match between A-League and Major League Soccer XIs. With the ink on Tim Cahill's move to the New York Red Bulls still to dry, Pignata told sportbizinsider.com.au the concept - considered some years ago but reportedly scrapped due to cost concerns - had its merits. "I'd love to see a match such as a regular A-League v MLS All-Star game down the track, once we bed down the competition," Pignata told the website. "It would be fantastic. We could do it in our off season when they're starting up or vice versa. There's no doubt that would be attractive." Pignata also said a bid from Tribal Sports Management to bring the annual business Soccerex to Australia was worth supporting. Pignata will attend the 2012 conference in Brazil in November and urged other A-League clubs to do so: "As a young league we need to get out there and we need to meet the calibre of people who attend this conference, network and get to know them, share ideas, share opportunities… And if Tribal Sports want to bring Soccerex here in the next two years then we need to support that by attending this one as well."
A Russian consortium is still interested in investing in the Central Coast Mariners but are now not the club's only potential, according to chairman Peter Turnbull. Talking at the Mariners' fan forum on Monday, Turnbull said the Russian group had requested another extension before investing, but that there were two Australian investors also interested. "They still firmly maintain they are committed to their investment," Turnbull said. "But similarly, with things happening since such as Soccer5s opening and Travelodge signing their deal and such as the success of the football team, we've had other approaches to invest. We're contracted so we're waiting to see how the latest extension goes. But because of the success of Arnie [coach Graham Arnold] and the success of the Centre of Excellence we do have two other groups interested."
Meanwhile, former Mariners favourite Matt Simon has returned to Australia for surgery on an abductor tendon. Simon has had a frustrating time of it since his big-money move to K-League club Chunnam Dragons in December, playing just six times. The forward is now in rehab, however, and told Four Four Two Australia he was hopeful of returning to action within four weeks. "I picked up my injury in that first game so I've struggled with it for a long time. The club was really good towards me. They did everything they could to sort it out but in the end they were good enough to let me come and get the surgery done," he told the site. "They're a little bit frustrated. The foreigners are really important to each K-League team. But they're sticking by me, they told me they're happy with what I've done and even when I was injured, they were happy with what I was doing."
Former Melbourne Victory midfielder Grant Brebner has been appointed interim player-coach of Victorian Premier League club Moreland Zebras. The Scottish midfielder, who began his career at Manchester United and spent time at the likes of Hibernian before joining Victory in 2006, takes over after Joe Palatsides departed to join Melbourne Heart's coaching team. The Zebras are mired in the VPL's relegation zone, but Brebner remains hopeful of reaching safety by season's end. "I realise what is in front of me and I’ll need to learn quickly, but it is something that I am looking forward to and hopefully we can get that little something that we need to create a spark to kick start the season," Brebner told the club's website.