Sale of Melbourne Heart nearing completion

Darrian Traynor

The owner of Melbourne Storm is bidding to be the newest A-League owner at Melbourne Heart.

Major Australian media outlets have been reporting the impending sale of Melbourne Heart FC to Kiwi businessman Bart Campbell, who also owns Rugby League side Melbourne Storm. Over the past week, The Australian, the Herald Sun and The Age have all produced articles reporting and commenting on the sale of the club, which has not yet been completed. While other numbers have been bandied about, at the moment the deal is said to be for AU$12m and a complete takeover.

On the park, things have obviously not been going well for the Heart this season while pressure builds on manager John Aloisi. One line of thinking suggests that the only reason Aloisi has not yet been sacked is because of the ongoing negotiations to offload the surprisingly profitable club.

There have been repeated reports over the past two years about offers for Heart, including a prominent one from South Melbourne FC and a more recent Chinese businessman who offered to take the club off the board's hands. While the current reports are making the negotiations with Campbell public, the story of the transfer of ownership of Heart is likely far from over.

Michael Lynch, of The Age, clearly explains why Heart are a worthwhile investment for an incoming ownership group, from the above-linked article:

"Whereas most of the other disposals of A-League clubs have been fire sales - where investors have come in to rescue ailing businesses loaded with debt and losses and paid little for the privilege - Heart has created something of genuine value.

Hard-headed businessmen with a lot of experience in the sports world are prepared to shell out far more than has been spent on any other A-League franchise for a team that, on performance alone this season, looks something of a dud.

Why? Because there is genuine upside here if they can revamp the business and, to all intents and purposes, relaunch it.

On the pitch is perhaps the easiest to solve. The A-League is a tightly regulated competition with restrictions on salary cap, number of players and overseas signings.

Teams have a history of yo-yoing up and down the table, so bringing on-field improvement should not be a massive problem."

At this point, a finalization of the sale will likely not take place until 2014, at which point Heart could be approaching twenty games without a win.

UPDATEMelbourne Heart released a statement on Saturday denying a sale has been completed but confirming that negotiations have been ongoing for four months.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.