With a successful strategic policy platform in place to partner with government at all levels, FFV estimates that in just 10 months in 2018 they unlocked in total with all leverageable components around $118 million in funding.

This funding will help fund football’s exponential growth in the southern state as the FFV continue to partner with the Government at local and state levels. 

FFV say they've built a model of advocacy that all other states and FFA could learn from, and are now planning for the next Federal Election on the back of 24% growth year on year from 2017.

Inspired by his recent trip to the Spanish capital, Filopoulos’s next big vision is to see how FFV could partner with government to build a series of boutique stadia 

He says boutique stadia are the way of the future for current NPL VIC clubs and potentially Victorian clubs that are in a future A-League or A-League Second Division.

“The next thing is, I want to tackle is how we can start building some boutique stadia for our second-tier clubs,” he told FTBL.

“So that one day when we do have a national second tier or a promotion and relegation system, we could have local boutique stadia.

“I was inspired by a trip to Madrid recently seeing La Liga and second-tier clubs who are playing in stadia of much smaller capacity.


The Municipal Butarque Stadium, home of Leganes

“So they aren’t all Bernabeu and Nou Camp stadia over there. And these clubs with these boutique stadia are big clubs.”

La Liga outfit Leganes, for example, on the outskirts of Madrid, host the likes of Barca, Atletico and Real Madrid in the 12,450 capacity Municipal Butarque Stadium. 

Rayo Vallecano play at a 14,500 capacity Campo de Futbol de Vallecas stadium in Madrid.

And Diego Castro’s former club Getafe also in the Spanish capital, play out of the 17,000 capacity Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

Big clubs but with boutique stadia that have a wonderful atmosphere – it’s the way of the future says not only Filopoulos but A-League players.

“We’ve got a fascination with big stadia in Australia and that’s the next piece of work I’d love for us to address," added the ambitious FFV CEO. 

“To build more boutique stadia in Victoria... these plans also tie in with our Home of Football plans which includes a 5000-seat stadium,” added Filopoulos.

Indeed, Victoria could be the hub for boutique venues with new A-League club Western United already committed to building a 15,000 all-seat football-specific stadium in Tarneit.

The venue should be up and running in an estimated two or so years. 

From a players perspective, former Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets defender Taylor Regan says he’s in no doubt smaller more atmospheric venues in the A-League bring that European style experience to the league.

And in Australia, that unique experience for fans is one of the game’s biggest assets at A-League level.

“For me, the biggest issue in Australian football is our stadia,” he told FTBL. “We have these 50,000 seat stadia that are holding 10,000 fans. It’s ridiculous.

“Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park is good, Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium is good. Perth Glory with a bit of success is getting good now.

“But aside from that hopefully Western Sydney will bounce back with their new stadium, but the crowds are bad.

“The atmosphere needs to improve and that only happens when you get into boutique stadia.”

Adelaide's Hindmarsh is similar to Spanish boutique stadia

However, he says, Adelaide United’s football arena Hindmarsh stands out as a model for future venues.

“I’d pick Hindmarsh stadium - okay I have a connection with the club - but I’d pick it over any other stadium in the league," added Regan, currently playing for Selangor FC in the Malaysian Super League. 

“And if you ask every A-League player, you’d find most would say Hindmarsh and the rest would say AAMI Park.

“For atmosphere, no other venues compare.

"And that’s because a lot of Adelaide United supporters are Greek or Italian and they create that European atmosphere in the boutique stadia.”