SYDNEY ROVERS chairman Ian Rowden believes the sky’s the limit for the A-League’s newest franchise, promising would-be fans they’ll have a ”world-class” club to support by the time the team enters the competition in 2011.Six days after the club was handed the A-League’s 12th licence by Football Federation Australia, and two days after the release of the name, colours, and logo, Rowden says he has been ”overwhelmed” by the positive response.Rowden, Asia-Pacific boss of Saatchi & Saatchi, has said his high-powered board – which includes marketing boss John Moore, and Charlie Yankos and Peter Tredinnick, two former Socceroos with successful business careers – will set a cracking pace to deliver a club the region can be proud of.”This club deserves to be, and will be, the biggest club in Australia,” Rowden said. ”It has to be competitive in the most competitive sporting market in Australia and one of the most competitive in the world. There’s an enormous catchment of fans out there, and they deserve a world-class club.”To be successful in this city, you have to be big, powerful, and smart in everything you do. There’s no way the board would be interested if they didn’t believe this club could become everything we want it to be. We’ve all got careers and reputations, and we wouldn’t be risking them if we weren’t confident we could build a club we’ll be proud of.”While some have suggested the FFA has rushed to admit Sydney Rovers, many of the ideas have been carried over from the failed bid of businessman Joe Meissner. Rowden was chairman of that bid and confirmed the new club had been ”several months” in the making. Discussions with investors and stadiums are well advanced, partly because it wasn’t until the last minute that the FFA decided to delay the entry of the club by 12 months.”You don’t create something like this overnight,” he said. ”This club has developed and evolved over several months. We wouldn’t be at this point, we wouldn’t have got the licence, if things weren’t well developed. Truth is we’re a long way down the track on several fronts. It would be naive of people to assume otherwise. There will be a lot of significant announcements over the next six months.”The announcement about the club’s name, colours and logo may have been precipitated by a leak via the internet, but Rowden remains comfortable with the timetable, saying: ”We’ve been really enthused by the response. Once you take an idea that has been developed over several months and put it in the public domain, you never know what sort of response you’ll get. But [it] has been overwhelmingly positive.”We knew the fans wanted a traditional name, because that was our research. We actually had three names in the mix – Rovers, Rangers and Wanderers – and they all had their attributes. But we’ve gone with Rovers, and the response is telling us people like it. There are plenty of Rovers clubs in Sydney, and it’s also got international connections as well, which is nice.”He revealed the club was pushing suppliers hard to have merchandise available before the next A-League season. He said: ”That’s not just important for the fans, but also for the commercial side of things. We want people, whether they’re fans, sponsors, or members, to engage with the club sooner rather than later.”We want a long lead-in time with everything we do. You’ll see our stuff around during the next A-League season, definitely. We’re out there now, we’re in the marketplace, and although it’s two years before we play our first game, we’re going to set a cracking pace.”
Nanjing Night Net

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