Make no bones about it:
just as Dwight Yorke was a boon for Sydney FC, Christian Vieri would be a
fantastic signing for the club. He has been a world class player, and though
his star is on the wane he was still in consideration for the Italian World Cup
squad until his recent injury.
As reported in
Vieri has produced some of his best performances at World Cups in the past. His
form this season however has been less than dynamic, yielding only five goals.
Nevertheless, a player of his status would be an impressive coup for Sydney FC
and the A-League.
leader board in the coming seasons with the names Christian Vieri (Sydney FC)
and Mark Viduka (possibly Melbourne FC in 2007/08) is a mouthwatering prospect
for fans and, more importantly, potential A-league fans.
But a dose of realism is required
before swallowing the “leak” soup prepared by Vieri’s friend and restaurant
owner Attilio Labbozzetta.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Sydney FC posted a loss
of $5.5 million in its first year. Given the financial troubles that beset
former soccer league incarnations in Australia, this is a massive loss in a competition where
the primary aim of clubs must be consolidation.
The Sydney club recently fell out with Pierre Littbarksi
whose contract was cancelled by mutual consent. To suggest then that
can afford to spend $1.5 million per annum on Vieri, $400,000 more than
it currently pays Dwight Yorke, would appear to be wishful thinking
even if Anthony
LaPaglia decides to help fund part of his salary.
Australia’s new A-League should heed the lessons of the
defunct North American Soccer League (NASL) which collapsed in 1984. The NASL
signed up old,
high profile foreign players on inflated salaries including Pele, Cruyff, Best, and Beckenbauer. Overexpansion
was a huge factor in the death of the NASL, but the wages paid to players in
decline was also a contributing factor.
It would be great to
see Vieri in the pale blue of Sydney FC but let’s hope that it doesn’t come at
the cost of financial prudence and the long term stability of the club.