Fans protest during A-League men’s match in Newcastle as grand final aftermath continues

Spectator protests in the A-League began following the decision to sell the rights to host the men’s and women’s grand finals.

This week’s domestic competition is embroiled in controversy The Australian Professional League (APL) has signed a new deal to host spectacular finals in Sydney for the next three years..

Friday night’s match between the Jets and Brisbane Roar in Newcastle was the first A-League men’s match to be played since the decision was announced last Monday.

Jets supporter group Terras Novokastria left the Eastern Grandstand in the 20th minute after hoisting a banner declaring “FANS > $$”.

Spectators leave their seats in the first half to protest.(Getty Images: Brendon Thorne)

More protests are planned for both ALM and ALW matches over the weekend, with several supporter groups planning strikes.

APL’s deal with destination NSW — worth an eight-figure amount reportedly to run until the end of 2025 — has received a huge backlash from football fans after its announcement on Monday.

The extraordinary reaction to the decision to change the Grand Finals policy was Melbourne Victory Chairman Anthony Di Pietro resigns from role as APL Director.

On the Newcastle pitch, Nicola Mileusnick poked the ball past Jack Duncan in the 80th minute to give the Roars a 1–0 victory after the Jets goalkeeper saved a spectacular bicycle kick.

A Brisbane Roar A-League Men player celebrates scoring a goal.
Nikola Mileusnik celebrates the Roar’s second-half goal.(AAP: Darren Pateman)

Jaushua Sotirio equalized in the 95th minute after struggling with a header, but Roa goalkeeper Jordan Holmes was able to hit it on the post.

The hosts almost scored in just four minutes when Beka Mikertadze received a pass behind a roaring defense and cut the ball back to Angus Surgate.

Charlie Austin sent in a tame header into the Roar’s goal in the 32nd minute, which Duncan comfortably claimed.

It was a rare sighting for the former Premier League striker, who was playing his final game in Australia after agreeing to end his mutual contract with the Roar earlier this week.

Austin is back in the UK for family reasons.

The Roar, who moved into the top six with a win, will host the Western Sydney Wanderers next Friday, while the Jets have a short turnaround next Wednesday against the Central Coast Mariners in a regrouped F3 derby.

AAP/ABC Fans protest during A-League men’s match in Newcastle as grand final aftermath continues

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