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May 31, 2012

Pignata named new Sydney FC CEO

After so many changes in leadership at Sydney FC, incoming chief executive Tony Pignata is keen to focus on stability at the A-League club.

Pignata, who on Thursday was named as the Sky Blues' seventh boss in as many years, said his vision for the club is one of growth and sustainability as he attempts to create long-term success.

"Sydney is the largest market in Australia and Sydney FC is one of the biggest clubs. It's important we all work together to turn fans into members if we're to continue to grow," Pignata said.

"Stability is obviously crucial in any business.

"My philosophy is we need to all work together and be united as one club, from the carpark attendant at home games through to fans players and officials."

Pignata knows the A-League landscape well, having been CEO of Wellington Phoenix from the club's inception in 2007 until his resignation in 2010.

He says he's looking forward to the new Sydney derby but denied it would have too much bearing on his approach.

"Having a western Sydney team is fantastic for the league and great for the city, it doesn't change the way I approach my role," he said.

"We want to get the whole town talking about it."

When Pignata takes the helm on June 12 his first priority is gain an understanding of exactly where the club is at.

He wants the football department to have autonomy as part of a broader club plan.

"Ian Crook and (football manager) Gary (Cole) have their coaching philosophies and will look forward to discussing those with them."

Pignata spent three years at the helm of Football Federation Victoria prior to heading up the Phoenix.

The Australian businessman also has 20 years experience in the finance industry.

Pignata is the latest in a number of new names at the revamped club with Russian millionaire David Traktovenko becoming the majority owner earlier this month and youth league coach Crook promoted to the head coaching role.

Traktovenko's son-in-law Scott Barlow, who was this month installed as the club's chairman, feels Pignata is an ideal acquisition for the Sky Blues.

"Tony has a proven track record of successfully managing an A-League club and a state federation as well as a wealth of commercial acumen gained from his background in the banking and finance industry," Barlow said.

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