It’s not the end of the story, just another chapter in the book.
Team 11 is bitterly disappointed not to have been awarded a licence into an expanded A-League competition, but is adamant that one day the south-east of Victoria will house a professional football club.
The bid team is also immensely proud of the work that has been done in the past two years to build what we believe was a compelling case for A-League entry.
The Team 11 Pty Ltd board expresses its sincere gratitude to the City of Greater Dandenong, City of Casey and Cardinia Shire councils for their foresight and determination to drive this bid from day one.
To also have the support of surrounding councils in Latrobe, Frankston, Mornington, Knox, Monash, Baw Baw, Wellington, Bass Coast and South Gippsland demonstrates that this was a bid that truly represented an entire region.
The support of local politicians, both State and Federal, has been a key factor in the preparation of the bid, led with passion by local member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams MP.
Our ambassadors have been crucial to building knowledge of the bid and garnering support, so heartfelt thanks must go to Vince Grella, Theresa Deas, Debbie Nichols, Clint Bolton and Paul Wade, as well as prominent bid supporters Jackson Irvine, Bailey Wright and Scott McDonald.
But as importantly as anything, the Team 11 board and project team wishes to express its utter appreciation and sense of indebtedness to the grassroots football clubs of south-east Victoria.
More than 55 clubs in our region very publicly signed on to the cause and worked on this bid with us hand-in-hand.
You cannot fake the passion and enthusiasm that exists among our community for this bid. Already this morning Team 11 bid members have been inundated by literally hundreds of messages of support, expressing intense disappointment but also pride in the journey to date.
Team 11 interim chairman Ghadir Razuki said he and his fellow investors were humbled by the support and determined to formulate new plans – be it for entry into an expanded A-League or a National Second Division.
“We have said all along that this bid is about football and is about community,” Razuki said.
“Today’s outcome, while disappointing, does not shake our belief that a football team in the south-east of Victoria will be an immense success.
“We live it every day, we breathe it, we see it, we know it.
“Congratulations to South West Sydney Macarthur and the Western Melbourne Group. Commiserations to South Melbourne, Canberra and Southern Expansion.
“While we have been ‘rivals’ throughout this process, we are kindred spirits in the sense that only we can know and can appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that has gone into this process.
“Let’s hope that one day we will be on-field rivals as football continues its upward trajectory.”
Team 11 officials will not be making any more public comment until further discussion with Football Federation Australia takes place.