Socceroos hero Craig Goodwin thunders home a free kick for Adelaide United in their A-League clash against Wellington – but nobody was there to see it as punters continue their walk-out protests against grand final sale
- Wellington Phoenix fans walked out of Saturday’s match after just 20 minutes
- Followed trend from other A-League matches, tipped to happen all weekend
- Central Coast and Sydney FC fans have unfurled banners before their match
- Fed up fans leaving grounds in protest after grand final announcement this week
- Sydney will host men & women’s deciders until 2025, deal with Destination NSW
- Supporters not based in Harbour City furious, suggestion A-League ‘sold its soul’
- Click here for all your latest international sports news at Daily Mail Australia
Socceroos star Craig Goodwin has scored one of the best goals of his career – but sadly it was in front of a virtually empty stadium in Wellington.
It comes as A-League fans continue their mass protest over the grand final sale to Sydney until 2025.
Adelaide United skipper Goodwin rifled home a free kick past Phoenix keeper Oliver Sail after 12 minutes, but in proved to be in vain as the hosts won 3-1 to move up to fourth spot on the ladder.
Moments later Wellington fans left in droves, as supporters show their displeasure at the reported $10million deal struck between the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) – led by CEO Danny Townsend – and Destination NSW.
Australian Professional Leagues boss Danny Townsend insists the move commercially makes sense, but he is not a popular figure with many A-League supporters (pictured in Wellington)
Phoenix fans spoke for many after displaying a sign which read ‘Football is for the fans’
Newcastle Jets fans also left McDonald Jones Stadium after 20 minutes during their clash with Brisbane Roar on Friday – and both sets of supporters from Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory are tipped to do likewise on Saturday night in the derby at AAMI Park.
The protests continued in Gosford with Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC fans arriving early and another mass walkout planned for that A-League fixture.
Perhaps the biggest walkout of all is likely to occur tonight in the derby clash between Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory which is expected to have the largest attendance of the round.
Fans signal their non-attendance at the match between the Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC in Gosford with this large banner unfurled before the match
Fans have targeted CEO at Australian Professional Leagues Danny Townsend who was behind the decision to sell the grand final
Channel 10 football commentator Andy Harper admitted fans of the struggling competition are ‘annoyed, angry and hurt’ following Monday’s announcement by Townsend.
‘I am fully expecting (the walkout) to go ahead (at AAMI Park),’ Harper said on SEN Radio.
‘The fans do this because they feel like they are powerless to do anything else.
‘The only thing they have that they can withhold is their financial support and attendance support.
‘I will be in Melbourne looking forward to the football match and 95 per cent of my focus will be on the game.
Moments before the protest, Craig Goodwin scored a cracking goal for Adelaide – but with many supporters boycotting the game entirely in Wellington, it was played out in front of a small crowd
Broadcaster Lucy Zelic blasted the A-League this week, stating they have ‘sold their soul’ following Monday’s announcement
A lack of subscriptions from A-League fans for Paramount+ is the reported reason why grand finals for the next three years will be played in Sydney – it left APL boss Danny Townsend scrambling for a new deal, which he struck with Destination NSW
Channel 10 football commentator Andy Harper stated fans of the struggling competition are ‘annoyed, angry and hurt’
‘When the fans walk out, I will assume that the cameras will keep rolling and we will keep calling the action.’
Harper also acknowledged the deal with the APL and Destination NSW made sense financially – but a lack of consultation with supporters is what has infuriated so many.
‘The APL have misread the room and drastically underestimated the state of things in the minds of the fans,’ he added.
‘I don’t really know where the league goes now.
‘Contracts have been signed and I hope in time that common sense and emotions will prevail.’