Macarthur South West Sydney have confirmed knocking back a last-gasp merger attempt by Southern Expansion ahead of Wednesday’s FFA board vote on the potential granting of two new A-League licenses for next season.
In a clear message that Southern Expansion are concerned their chase for a stand-alone license is losing traction, CEO Chris Gardiner approached MSWS co-chairman Gino Marra on Friday to float the notion of a collaboration on effectively forming a super bid.
However, with minimal deliberation, Marra was unswayed by the $20 million on the table from the Hong Kong-backed bid with Sutherland Shire as its base, and politely declined to play ball.
“There’s no culture mix between us and them,” he told The World Game.
“We were not tempted in the slightest. Our bid is all about our community and what we stand for, and we have no interest in deviating from that.”
It has been postulated that FFA suggested to Southern Expansion that a unification with MSWS would be expedient, posing serious questions over the on-going validity of a bid that has met fierce resistance from Sydney FC over encroaching on its territory to the south of Sydney.
“When we amalgamated with the United for Macarthur bid it made sense because we both wanted to play out of Campbelltown Stadium, we’re both the same region and have the backing of local associations, and it just made sense to come together,” added Marra.
“But there’s nothing in amalgamating with Southern Expansion, it just doesn’t make sense.”
MSWS are already lavishly backed with billionaire property developer Lang Walker on board and remain among the front-runners for a license.
“I believe we’re ready to be a force in football from Wednesday, if successful,” added Marra.
“We’ll be bigger as time goes because we’re part of a community which is rapidly growing.
“It’s made up of smart, intelligent, hard working local people and we’re in this for them and to make something special happen in our region.
“People in our region are already taking ownership of the club and the bid, and I don’t think the Southern Expansion guys understand that.”