"Kewell looking at Australian legacy"

The protracted nature of Harry Kewell's deal with Melbourne Victory had nothing to do with greed, according to Melbourne Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro.

Kewell scores after five minutes..

The protracted nature of Harry Kewell's deal with Melbourne Victory had nothing to do with greed and everything to do with the player's commitment to a legacy to Australian football according to Melbourne Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro.

The Kewell saga, which has been one of the most drawn out transfer battles in Australian sports history, has finally been resolved with both parties confirming Kewell had committed pen to paper on a three-year deal with Victory.

During the two-month negotiation process, all parties were criticised, the club for being desperate, the FFA for being obstructive and Kewell's management for being arrogant.

But it was the player himself who wore most of the punishment, with a perception the deal was being held up by the former Leeds, Liverpool and Galatasaray player's greed.

But Di Pietro said the laborious nature of the process was nothing to do with money.

"If it was about dollars, we could have done this deal a while ago," he said.

"We could have said 'we're a big club, we are well resourced, we are well networked, here's a cheque, do you want to come?'

"Harry wasn't interested in that himself and we weren't interested in that as a club.

"Part of the reason it has taken some time is that it is complex. But it's about an investment in football and development in Australia.

"It's an investment we've made together with Harry Kewell. It's about upsides and growth and Harry Kewell has been come back on the basis he is re-investing and giving something back to football in this country."

Di Pietro said the arrival of Kewell in the A-League, which is undoubtedly the biggest signing in the seven-year history of the competition, would help further cement football's place in the Australian sporting mainstream.

"It's a very exciting time and Harry Kewell is an iconic sporting superstar in Australia and he is coming back when he can deliver something very special to the sport in this country," he said.

Di Pietro said the precise commercial value of Kewell's arrival to the club would not be known until the end of the year, but he expected significant upside in membership and marketing areas.

"The interest has been amazing. We've been inundated by our members, our fans, and sporting lovers in general. We expect significant upsides in attendances and that goes all around the country," he said.



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