Victory crisis deepens, key official quits | Ralph Lauren

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Melbourne Victory foundation shareholder and board member Richard Wilson has fired a parting shot upon quitting the struggling A-League club, accusing it of lacking leadership.

Confirming the bitter split on Monday, Wilson took aim at Victory’s direction in recent seasons under chairman Anthony Di Pietro, declaring his objection to a series of decisions from the top.

The parting of the ways comes with former A-League heavyweight Victory struggling at the foot of the table with just one win from seven matches under Grant Brebner this season.

Wilson, who has previously been Victory’s managing director, said his position had become untenable and described his exit as a “very sad moment”.

“My decision to resign as a director of Melbourne Victory FC comes about as a result of the direction the board has taken over the past two to three years,” Wilson said in a statement.

“I have increasingly grappled with the impact this has had on our club.

“Accordingly, I have reached a view that I cannot support the direction taken by the board, which leaves me at odds with the chairman.”

Victory won their fourth A-League championship in 2018 with club legend Kevin Muscat at the helm, but lost the former Socceroos defender when he quit as coach and left for Europe the following year.

The revolving door of the coach’s office has since seen Marco Kurz and Carlos Salvachua come and go before former Victory midfielder Brebner’s appointment last year.

Wilson indicated he will sell his family’s shares in Victory to supporters and members, in order to give them a say in how the club moves forward.

Victory responded to Wilson’s comments on Monday afternoon by welcoming his departure.

“The club is both saddened and disappointed by comments attributed to Richard Wilson on his exit as a director of the club today,” the club said in a statement.

“Mr Wilson is a foundation director of Melbourne Victory, however at this time the board along with a number of shareholders welcome his exit, which has been the subject of discussion for some time.

“The club now has an opportunity to move forward in a unified way.

“The board … will continue working tirelessly to improve and drive results amidst these challenging times.”

Victory suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle on Sunday in front of only 5166 fans, after which Wilson announced his decision to move on.

“This is not a reaction to last night’s defeat,” he said in his statement.

“It is about a lack of leadership over the past few years and the way the club has slid down is the responsibility of decisions taken by the board and the senior management, in my opinion.”

The players were booed off the pitch, with Brebner later conceding fans were “justified” in their frustration.

Victory host fellow battlers Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park on Wednesday.

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