Jim Tsouvalas slams Adelaide City Council’s rejection of football pitch upgrades

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Adelaide City Council has rejected a request by the Adelaide Comets Football Club to upgrade its home ground at Ellis Park, The Advertiser has reported.

The news has left many furious as it means the Comets will not be able to hold any National Premier Leagues (NPL) games at Ellis Park this season.

The proposed upgrades included a 1.1-metre-high fence with gates, in order to comply with Football Australia venue requirements. 

Five out of nine councillors rejected the proposal for the fence, due to the possibility that it could set a ‘precedent’ for the parklands and create an illusion that the public would be excluded. 

Jim Tsouvalas
Jim Tsouvalas. Photo: Adelaide Comets FC.

The fence upgrade proposal was unanimously recommended by the City Community Services and Culture Committee on February 6, after adhering to conditions laid out by the Adelaide Park Lands Authority.

The fence was the last piece of necessary upgrades for the club after it received $1.7 million in state government funding to improve its facilities.

“I just don’t really understand the reasoning why this all happened after approval from the Adelaide Park Lands Authority and an earlier unanimous vote in favour of the fence,” Comets president Jim Tsouvalas said.

“It’s a slap in the face for all our hardworking staff and volunteers who help run a community club and to the parklands authority.”

Adelaide City Councillor Mary Couros called the decision to deny the upgrades “heartless.” 

“This is a heartless decision by the majority faction. It would have benefited so many players and their families,” she said. 

Comets life member and SA Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis said he hoped the Adelaide City Council would reconsider its decision.

“I’m bitterly disappointed for the club. It’s a great community club run by hardworking grassroots volunteers – this is not Manchester United; this is not Liverpool,” he said.

“This was just a requirement for the club to be able to host senior games, it’s not about locking the community out.” 

If the fence is not accepted by Council, the Comets have booked ServiceFM Stadium in Gepps Cross for its home matches this season.

Source: The Advertiser.

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