Outgoing Sydney FC boss Adam Santo says the Sky Blues have been rightfully rewarded with an Australia Cup final on their home ground after Allianz Stadium was confirmed as the venue for the October 7 decider.
As reported by News Corp Australia on Monday, Football Australia’s preference for the final to be played at Suncorp Stadium was derailed by irrigation works set to take place at the famous Brisbane venue widely regarded as the nation’s premier rectangular football venue.
FA’s wish for the Cup final venue to have a capacity of at least 15,000 ruled out Ballymore, and the Roar’s former home ground of Kayo Stadium at Redcliffe, while Cbus Super Stadium Stadium on the Gold Coast – which holds more than 27,000 – wasn’t considered due to its location.
As a result, FA chose Allianz Stadium as the location for the Cup final, much to the Sky Blues’ delight.
“It’s the fourth time we’ve been in the final and we’ve only had it played on our home ground once before,” said Santo, who is parting ways with the club after 10 years of service, including 18 months as chief executive officer.
“I have worked tirelessly over many years to ensure this club is successful both on and off the field.
“I am proud of where the club is today and I believe it is now time for a change and for me to find a new challenge.”
Santo – who will remain with the club until a new chief executive officer is appointed – was hopeful that Saturday week’s decider would break the record attendance for an Australia Cup final of 18,751, set in Melbourne City’s 1-0 win over Sydney seven years ago at AAMI Park.
“We’d be thrilled to set a new record for the crowd at a final,” he said.
Roar coach Ross Aloisi said it was disappointing his team could not play the final in Brisbane.
“It’s unfortunate for the players and for our supporters, but we’ve just got to play with the cards that we’ve been dealt,” Aloisi said.