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By ESPN Staff

Victory boss backs FFA in Palmer dispute

Melbourne Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro has called Clive Palmer's dispute with the FFA a "by-play" and says the A-League is in good shape.

The Victory boss has issued a statement in support of soccer's national governing body, after Palmer announced on Thursday he would form the rival Football Australia organisation

"The positives from this season are being overshadowed through this by-play," Di Pietro said.

"The metrics are clear - crowds, broadcast ratings and media ratings are all up, right across the country.

"We have leading players coming back to the A-League, like (Harry) Kewell and (Brett) Emerton, and more young home-grown players are being snapped up by big international clubs, reinforcing that the game has never been in a more healthy position.

"These facts will certainly assist in the execution of the FFA's plans."

While conceding that the Victory wanted the FFA to improve in some areas, Di Pietro accused Palmer of hurting the sport.

"The establishment of a separate football body and the airing of club matters, that should be managed via the appropriate channels, are divisive and counter-productive to the growth, development and future of football in Australia," Di Pietro said in the statement.

"Like all football clubs and their governing bodies, there are some areas that we expect the FFA to improve.

"But from ongoing discussions, as well as a recent meeting with FFA chairman Frank Lowy and key members of the FFA board, we are buoyed by their plans and want to see them carried out."

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