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All over red Rovers

10 December 2010-SBS

Writing on the wall ... chief executive Ben Buckley has bowed to the inevitable (Getty)

The plan to set up a Sydney Rovers team in the city’s west is dead ... officially.

Football Federation Australia will open discussions with other interested parties after mutually agreeing with the Rovers consortium not to pursue its bid for a franchise in western Sydney, the governing body said.

FFA remains committed to an A-League franchise in western Sydney and will now engage with other interested investors.

FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said he wanted to thank the Sydney Rovers consortium for their efforts.

“I would like to thank Ian Rowden and his team for all of the work that they have done over the past year or so,” Buckley said.

“We have mutually decided this week to move on so FFA can explore other options with the view to starting a team in Sydney’s west as soon as possible.

“The Sydney Rovers group has completed a substantial amount of work around dealing with stadia, local government and businesses and they have kindly offered to make that work available to other prospective consortiums.”

Buckley said FFA was strongly committed to a second Sydney team and believed that it was time to give other investors an opportunity.

“We are convinced there is enough support out there for a western Sydney franchise and it is an important part of our vision for the A-League,” he said.

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