Macarthur FC face prospect of legal action over axing of football director Stead

Source: Macarthur FC

Axed Macarthur FC football director Ken Stead is considering legal action after being off-loaded by the A-League expansion club, just five weeks into his tenure.

Stead, who worked in tandem with Ange Postecoglou during the Yokohama F.Marinos kingpin’s trophy-laden reign at Brisbane Roar, was cut earlier this week, the latest head to roll in an off-field purge at the Bulls.

With the newcomers in turmoil before a ball has even been kicked, there are also question marks over how closely the remaining management structure at the Campbelltown-based club resembles that of the South West Sydney bid, which had little hope of winning a license prior to being corralled by the FFA into an amalgamation with billionaire Lang Walker’s rival Macarthur-based bid.

In the past two weeks alone property baron Walker - whose entry into the game was seen as a major coup - has sold his 50 per cent stake in Sydney’s third A-League club, executive chairman Rabieh Krayem has stood down and the prospect of another significant back-room departure is looming.

That’s on top of the abrupt exit last year of CEO Archie Fraser after just four months in the job.

Stead expressed his “surprise and shock” at his role being made redundant when contacted on Friday by The World Game.

“Yes, it certainly came as a surprise and a big shock to me the way things have turned out, especially after relocating from Queensland,” he said.

“I’m disappointed for the people in the Macarthur region who have been very welcoming to me.

“The club have said they’re going in a new direction, I think there needs to be some clarity provided around what that direction is going to be.”

Stead’s appointment in October was hailed by the Campbelltown-based club as “a major off-field signing” in an over-arching role within its football department as a key figure in building its community and academy structures.

It’s understood that Stead is pondering litigation over his role being made redundant, though he declined to comment specifically on that prospect.

“I hope people keep following Macarthur - it’s a part of the world I’ve not spent much time in before and the people have been great,” he added.

Gino Marra, the normally effusive former vice-chairman who has now replaced Krayem in the top job, declined to comment on the back-room ructions when contacted by TWG.

But he told News Corp earlier in the week: “Ken as football director was put in to run our academies, but for now we want to focus closely on our region.

“Ken is professional, a great guy, but unfortunately he didn’t fit into our plan for ensuring we have a strong local focus.”

Marra and former Sydney United boss Sam Krslovic now effectively run the show, as was the case during their partnership as leaders of the initial SWS bid team.

With less than nine months until the club makes their A-League debut, only one player - former Socceroos winger Tommy Oar - has signed on for their inaugural season.

A-League chief Greg O’Rourke could not be contacted for comment at the time of publication.