The final Sydney derby of the season sold out in quick time but according to Wanderers CEO Lyall Gorman there is no chance the game will be moved.
Despite the match selling out in less than an hour Western Sydney Wanderers CEO Lyall Gorman says there is no chance of the Round 26 Sydney Derby at Parramatta Stadium being moved to a bigger venue.
Thousands of fans who couldn-t get tickets will have to be content watching the game via Fox Sports and while it-s unfortunate so many must miss out, Gorman says moving the game to a larger stadium such as Homebush-s ANZ Stadium is against the club-s strategy.
“Not at this point in time,” Gorman says when asked if the club would move the game or perhaps other sell-outs.
“You never say never and I don-t like to use the word strategic because it sounds manipulative, but we have a very clear business model we are building and a large part of that is absolute loyalty to our fans in the western Sydney region.
“They come first. Without them we are nothing. That-s our commitment to our fan base and it proudly sits right in the western Sydney region and that-s where we will play our games of football.”
And while a move away from Parramatta is not on strategy for the Wanderers, given their rabid and rapidly growing supporter base, one has to wonder if a stadium with a capacity of 21,500 will be big enough for much longer than the first season of the club-s existence.
Moving blockbuster games to Homebush wouldn-t see matches sold out due to the cavernous stadium, but if Sydney FC can get 30,000 for a match against Perth Glory, surely the Wanderers could do as well, if not better than their neighbours.
Not to mention that Homebush is just down the road from Parramatta and very much part of western Sydney, but Gorman is adamant his fans deserve and have a right to what they asked for when the club held its initial fan forums.
“We-re investing in our brand and in our market,” Gorman says. “We have made a commitment to the people of Western Sydney. We are very driven by a couple of sayings, one of those was this club is powered by the people and is for the people.
“The other is ‘for the pride and the power of the west- - and that-s not for sale at the moment.
“There must be other ways we can address that in the future, whether it-s through upgrading stadiums or whatever it might be, but our commitment is to our fan base and where they told us we needed to play our football at the fan forums we did.”
As for the match, though a while away, Gorman is salivating at the prospect of taking on Sydney FC, when their season might just be on the line and though he respects the Sky Blues he couldn-t resist a slight dig at them, or this journalist, after he lauded the Sky Blues for their recent string of home' victories.
“Their squad is remarkable, people talk about them being competition favourites which is ironic because they are sitting eighth,” he said.
“I am looking forward to that game immensely and it may be one of those games that determines whose season goes well. A sell-out in a vibrant atmosphere, you couldn-t ask for more.”