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Heart chairman dismisses talk of leaving A-League

Melbourne Heart chairman Peter Sidwell has rejected talk that the club is set to become the second A-League outfit inside a month to hand back its licence. It's understood Heart has lost close to $5 million since its inception and at Melbourne Victory's end-of-season awards night on Saturday chairman Anthony Di Pietro claimed that Heart had approached six of his club's current sponsors in a bid to raise revenue.

"Any talk of handing back licences is utter nonsense," Sidwell said.

"Of course as clubs we are all working with the FFA through the Joint A-League Strategic Committee to make sure the A-League gets stronger and better.

"That's all there is to it. We are looking to create a sustainable and economically viable competition and to let the game grow.

"There are issues that will be negotiated but right now the macro view is the most important thing and we can work through the micro issues along the way.

"The most important thing is to create a sustainable long-term revenue model which works for the clubs and FFA.

"Obviously the model is not right yet and that's why there is so much noise and interest in whatever tweaking goes on to improve it."

Sidwell denied Heart would seek any financial aid from FFA, adding: "That's not the case. All clubs need to be treated equally and we are not asking for any preferential treatment per se.

"We've been around two years and we're competitive on the park and need to stay competitive off the park also, just like everybody else.

"We need to get the model right for all clubs and then each one needs to make sure it runs its own business sustainably."

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Dave Williams

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