Sydney FC have sent the greatest shot of all to their upcoming A-League Grand Final opponents, revealing they turned down the City Football Group before Melbourne City's takeover.
Sydney chairman Scott Barlow revealed to the Sydney Morning Herald that before Melbourne Heart's takeover by the CFG, his club was approached and turned the consortium down.
"We weren’t interested," Barlow said. "We were a hundred per cent committed to the club and the strategy we had begun implementing at the time, and we are very proud of what we have achieved since then."
Barlow said that the key to his reluctance relied with the CFG's feeder aspirations for Sydney, which has always been proud of the Bling FC moniker it earned at the league's formation.
CFG then approached Melbourne Heart, which were struggling to compete financially with the league's biggest clubs, and the rest is history.
While their upcoming Grand Final debut may well prove City's takeover was indeed a positive step for on-field, as well as off-field results, their attendances have proven that Australian football fans are incredibly fickle when it comes to supporting teams.
Claims that attendances were anywhere near impressive under the Heart brand are misleading, as the City takeover has led to the club's best attendance averages overall (2015/16).
But while the other major-market clubs have largely managed to retain a solid supporter base, City have proven the most susceptible to the A-League's overall attendance declines.
This Sunday may just be the first step to changing that, but not if Sydney can add insult to injury first.