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Ex-Man Utd chief Farnan says Australian market important for Premier League clubs

Former Manchester United International managing director Mike Farnan says Premier League clubs remain interested in the Australian football market. Farnan initially drove United's successful marketing push into East Asia and is currently part of FC New York's advisory board in the US.

Asked if he felt Australian football has fallen off the radar for Premier League clubs, Farnan told tribalfootball.com's Simon Williams: "In my opinion, Australia's still an important market because of the talent - football wise - that has come from a huge sporting market place.

"Personally, I think the Aussie market produces fantastic athletes in every other sport. I have no reason not to believe that we'll continue to see this happening. So why wouldn't football clubs continue to invest in Australia?"

Asked if Australia's football fans are on the map for the marketing chiefs of English clubs, Farnan added: "I certainly think that it hasn't got the population of China, but it's still a market that in both economic terms and sporting terms is one not to dismiss."

Farnan also helped Sheffield United establish ties with the A-League's Central Coast Mariners and is impressed by the progress made by those at the coal face of Australian football.

He continued: "I think the league model that they've built, FFA CEO Ben Buckley and Lyall Gorman who now heads up the A-League, creates a good product ad again you know soccer is not the first sport down there, but it's a huge participation sport, it's not the number one sport but it's a growing sport and I will certainly not and never be quoted as saying to dismiss such a marketplace."

Indeed, Farnan is enthusiastic about football's potential in Australia and adds: "In fact if someone asked me to lend my experience for that market place, then I would have no hesitation of doing that."

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