Robert Koren
Robert Koren Stu Forster

Brisbane Roar not sweating over Melbourne's cheque book

BRISBANE Roar coach Mike Mulvey says he isn't concerned about Melbourne City opening its cheque book and signing a host of international stars for the coming A-League season.

Since English Premier League giants Manchester City bought Melbourne Heart in January, and subsequently changed the club's name to Melbourne City, a series of star signings have been unveiled, headed by Spanish international David Villa.

The 2010 World Cup winner will play 10 games from the start of the season before linking with Manchester City's new American franchise, New York City.

Melbourne City has also signed Irish international Damien Duff and earlier this week announced it had secured Slovenia's Robert Koren, who captained his country at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Roar on the other hand has lost star striker Besart Berisha to Melbourne Victory because of salary cap pressures, and this week agreed to a deal with Russian Premier League club Torpedo Moscow that will see Socceroos defender Ivan Franjic play in the R-League in the coming season.

Rather than throw his hands up in dismay, however, Mulvey said his championship team was looking forward to taking on the A-League's new glamour club and its overseas stars.

"It's very exciting - you'd think David Villa will have the time of his life," Mulvey said. "He'll play 10 games in Australia. I think we play them twice, so I'm excited about that and looking forward to that.

"I've got no concerns. I look forward to pitting ourselves against them.

"We've had Alessandro Del Piero here over the past few years, and you saw the effect that had on Australian football.

"It globalised Australia."

Mulvey also said he wasn't concerned the A-League would go down the path of the EPL which is dominated by a small group of cahsed-up clubs.

"I think the likes of Manchester City coming in and taking over Melbourne City is fantastic - we're secure because we've got the salary cap," he said. "It's not open slather, it's not about who's got the biggest cheque book.

"It's who can put together the best squad and perform the best.

"What I promised the fans of Brisbane Roar last year was that we would be extremely competitive in every game that we play, and I make that pledge again."


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