Western Sydney coach Marko Rudan unleashed a stunning rebuke on the broader A-league and a perceived bias against the Wanderers that he believes is spilling over onto the pitch before storming out of a post-match press conference on Sunday night.
The former Wellington Phoenix and Western United boss claimed there was a “stigma” attached to the Wanderers that affects the fans, members and players, after his team’s 4-3 loss to Macarthur with the code also battling a financial crisis.
Rudan said people have “lost trust” in the A-League and fans were “not turning up” as poor crowds continue to plague the competition, with just one game across the weekend attracting more than 10,000 people.
“When this football club was created, everyone spoke around the league in glowing fashion about the colour, the entertainment, the noise, the singing and how it was godsend to the league,” Rudan said.
“The west of Sydney is a diverse multicultural area made up of predominantly Europeans, my parents are one of them. Football in Europe and South America and all over the world, when it comes to fans, is on a different level.
“So everybody praises the club, praises its fans for doing all that, and then some issues occur and all of a sudden, since that moment years ago, there’s been this stigma and our poor fans and members have had to pay the price.
“A lot of people have lost trust in the league because of it. Certainly the fans around the country want to keep talking about a successful Wanderers. Well, they’re not turning up, because they’ve lost trust and faith in the system.”
A fired-up Rudan had firstly slammed referee Adam Kersey’s decision not to show Valere Germain a straight red after the Bulls midfielder brought a boot down heavily onto Wanderers defender Tom Beadling.
The French veteran stayed on the field after a brief VAR review determined there was not enough in the clash.
Germain went on to score a hat-trick including the matchwinner in the 93rd minute, while Beadling was dismissed in the second half for a needless challenge from behind on Bulls captain Ulises Dávila .
“For the life of me, how Germain stays on the pitch when he kicks out at my player in that first half, I have absolutely no idea,” Rudan said.
“It’s a retaliation, it’s a clear red. It happened to my players last year, but when it does happen to my football club and my players, they don’t even think twice, it’s a straight red.”
Germain had opened the scoring from the spot five minutes before lashing out with a right boot towards Beadling, and headed home a second goal on the cusp of halftime.
To rub salt in the Wanderers’ wounds there were also doubts over whether Germain’s third goal crossed the line as keeper Lawrence Thomas attempted to drag the ball back in time.
“The message to us was ‘not enough angles to see if the ball was over the line for the winner’,” Rudan said.
“Then the linesman is clear and adamant that it went over the line at the same time, with three or four bodies around him. OK, no dramas. They don’t look at it.
“But the one that really angers me is the card for Germain, clearly kicks out and throws his studs.”
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