Victory eyes Asia, US and new academy

Melbourne Victory will capitalise on impressive revenue growth by targeting a new academy structure and stronger business ties with North America and around the region with their Asian Champions League 2016 campaign.

The Financial Review ( reports that the Victorian powerhouse recorded a $1.5 million profit to June 30.

It added events and hospitality revenue has doubled in two years to be about 16% of the club's revenue.

The reigning Hyundai A-League champions and premiers and 2015 Westfield FFA Cup holders are planning to use some of their profits to further strengthen the club’s footprint in Australia and abroad.

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As an example, club Chairman Anthony Di Pietro says the club will hold government and sponsor events around home and away games in the ACL next year as they eye growth in international markets. 

"As the game evolves, I think the future of it will be about having more ties in Asia – both from a playing and player development sense, and business wise – and into other places like North America with the MLS (Major League Soccer)," Di Pietro told The Australian Financial Review.

Victory will meet clubs from the Chinese Super League, K-League and J-League, with the ACL 2016 draw on December 10. 

Some Asian clubs, such as newly crowned ACL winners Guangzhou Evergrande are hugely powerful in financial terms, able to lure big names such as coach Felipe Scolari himself a former World Cup winner with Brazil. 

“So we will hold events around the Asian Champions League that we think can be successful. We are looking at potential sites around Melbourne for an academy and we think that is very exciting for our future.”  

Melbourne Victory players take part in their warm up ahead of kick-off at Etihad Stadium.

Victory has reportedly signed up 10 Asian-based or -owned businesses for the ‘Victory in Business’ program, for which the 110 corporate members shell out around $9500 annually to sponsor the club.

"Our focus is football first, but [the club] is using football as the platform for other investments and things we do,” Di Pietro added.

"No other sport can do that."