The smallest club left in the FFA Cup wants to play their semi-final at Australia’s biggest A-League venue.
Hume City, the sole grassroots club to qualify for the last four of the knockout competition, has announced it will be playing A-League giants Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium when they meet on October 28.
The only problem is, they aren’t the ones that decide.
Football Federation Australia are yet to sanction the match at the 50,000-plus venue and are understood to prefer the the smaller 30,000-accommodating AAMI Park.
Hume City’s ABD Stadium, which has hosted the National Premier Leagues Victoria club’s three wins in the competition so far, is seen has too small to host Victory.
The Broadmeadows ground is estimated to hold 4000 but has never had a capacity crowd, drawing 854 people to their round of 32 match against Brisbane Strikers, and just over 1500 to their following cup wins over Sydney Olympic and Oakleigh Cannons.
Having won hosting rights to the marquee match, the biggest in the club’s history, Hume City spokesman Ezel Hikmet said the club wanted to maximise the revenue from it.
“Etihad Stadium have come to us with a deal too good to refuse,” he said.
The stadium deal has been speculated to be worth over $100,000 to Hume City, and even more if the crowd rockets well above 20,000.
“That kind of money gets invested back into our junior set-up, our facilities, our coaching set-up,” Hikmet said.
“Our coaches can go on to get their coaching badges, it’s all going to go back into the club.
“It’s a real big struggle at our level to raise funds so we need to make this one count.”
On Friday, Football Federation Australia confirmed the first semi-final between Perth Glory and Melbourne City would take place on October 21 at Perth’s nib Stadium.
The same announcement listed the Hume City v Victory match on Wednesday October 28, but without a venue.
Ten minutes later, the club tweeted “@FCHumeCity are proud to announce our @FFACup Semi Final home game against @gomvfc will be played at @EtihadStadiumAU on the 28th October.:
Melbourne Victory fan Kire Georgievski responded to the club’s announcement, cheekily asking “Wasn’t the @MCG available? This game would have easily got 85,000 – now 30,000 miss out”.
The MCG Twitter account replied: “We’ve got a cricket match on that day.”