Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:00 pm
Pretty lame story from the new Sydney club
Do the Swans get upset that the SCG has stands named after cricketers?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------WHEN the Western Sydney Wanderers play their inaugural A-League match at Parramatta Stadium in October, don't expect to see rugby league legend Ray Price in the stands - and you might not see his famous statue out the front, either.
That's because the Wanderers are considering covering up Price's statue on match days as part of a plan to lessen the feeling that Parramatta Stadium is a rugby league venue and make football fans more ''at home''.
Exactly how the statue of Price - known during his playing days as Mr Perpetual Motion - will be obscured from public view remains unclear, and Football Federation Australia, which owns the club, has not officially decided whether or not to go ahead with the controversial plan.
There's also an outside possibility the Wanderers' might pull the same stunt as performed at Suncorp Stadium on grand final day last year. On that occasion the statue of Queensland's most revered rugby league figure, Wally Lewis, was cloaked in a Brisbane Roar jersey.
"In relation to Parramatta Stadium, it's a multi-purpose venue owned by the government, so I'm sure league fans would understand why we would want to make it feel like a real football stadium if the Wanderers play there," a club spokesman told the Herald. "There's a precedent here. The Brisbane Roar put a Roar jersey on the Wally Lewis statute at Suncorp Stadium for the 'Orange Sunday' grand final [in 2011], so maybe the Ray Price stature with a Wanderers jersey for home games is the right idea."
The Wanderers have officially committed to playing only their opening match, against the Central Coast Mariners, on October 6, but it is no secret the club will play most of its matches at the venue once it finalises negotiations with Parramatta Stadium Trust.
While only two A-League matches have been hosted at the venue, it is a stadium dripping with football history, having hosted seven NSL grand finals, between 1986 and 2004.
The FFA insists the proposal to cover up Price's cast is not about insulting rugby league but about maximising football's visual presence. It has already announced plans to rename the stands and terraces during the summer months.
An official told the Herald last month the FFA felt covering up any traces of rugby league was entirely appropriate. ''With all due respect to the Eels, we plan on making this a football venue when they're not there, and somewhere football people feel at home,'' the official said then. ''We're going to be a major tenant, an equal tenant, and they'll have to understand our desire that when we're playing there, we'll be putting our touch on the venue, even if that means covering up some blue and gold.
''I'm sure they won't have a problem with it and I'm sure the stadium trust will like the idea of the Wanderers doing all they can to attract people to Parramatta Stadium.''
A Wanderers fan club representative, Sean Herrett, said the plans had the backing of supporters.
"The fans really love the idea of making sure the Wanderers' home games are played in an authentic football atmosphere and surrounds," Herrett said "We want to have a say about naming the grandstands and the terraces after legends of Australian football, like Johnny Warren.
"Why shouldn't the Peter Sterling Hill be named after Mark Bosnich if the Wanderers play at Parramatta Stadium? Why wouldn't why we also cover up the Ray Price statue? That's up to the fans and the club to decide, but I don't think anything has been ruled out at this stage.''
Yet the revamped main entry to Allianz Stadium will have a greater rugby league and union theme than ever by the time the A-League season begins. Statues of Trevor Allan, Dally Messenger, Reg Gasnier and Ken Catchpole enjoy prime position in the stadium forecourt, next to the new Rugby League Central headquarters.
None have ever been tampered with by the lone football tenant, Sydney FC.http://www.smh.com.au/sport/a-league/coverup-as-price-off-limits-for-wanderers-20120711-21wa5.html#ixzz20MPiSSgx
Lithgow FC for the Football Australia Super Dooper League
Gold Coast Galaxy for the A-League