Melbourne Victory sanctions, financial, sporting, CEO James Johnson

By Zachary Gates and Matt Bungard

Football Australia exploded Melbourne Victory with additional sanctions Field occupation of club fans in Decemberslapped the franchise with a $550,000 fine and a host of other penalties.

Victory also:

  • Block access to certain seats behind the goals for the remainder of the 2022-23 A-League Men season and the 2022-23 A-League Men final series, and limit the seating at the north end of AAMI Park to registered club members; and
  • Include an instruction that dedicated club supporter seats will not be provided for club away games for the remainder of the 2022-23 A-League Men’s season and the 2022-23 A-League Men’s final series

Australian Football has also given the club a 10-point suspended deduction, which can be applied in the event of any serious fan misconduct this season and for the next three seasons.

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Other sanctions were addressed taking into account Victory’s response to the reason-of-proof statement and the actions taken by the club since then.

«The incident at the Melbourne derby on 17 December shocked Australian football,» FA president James Johnson told reporters.

«It shocked football international – something Football Australia is not proud of.»

Johnson said he was aware that problems with Victory fans were not «the first time».

«We had an invasion of the field in 2016, We had the (Josh) Cavallo incident in 2022We also had a problem with the 2021 Australian Cup (played in 2022) and the fans went onto the pitch after damaging the LED while celebrating a goal.

«This is the real aggravation of these problems.»

The abandoned Melbourne derby will be played again from the 22nd minute in April with a score of 1-0 in favor of Melbourne City.

Johnson said the sanctions were justified given how bad the situation was.

«The scenes in the Melbourne derby were the worst ever witnessed in Australian football in the League A era. We can’t let that happen again in our game,» Johnson said.

«These sanctions reflect our desire to remove this behavior from the sport.»

What about the root cause of the protests?

Johnson was asked APL’s controversial decision to move the A League grand finals to Sydney for the next three yearsbut he refused to prosecute.

«I think the A-League grand final issue is something that needs to be discussed with the APL. They need to continue to communicate the reasons for these decisions, because APL was the body that made that decision,» he said.

«As the organizer of the A-League, we cannot take these issues into account.

«We have to look at the evidence ahead, and the evidence we’re looking at is a few spectators sitting at the north end entering the field.»

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