• Ian Pulczynski

Swindon's Australian owner has the town going crazy - now he wants to do the same down under

Swindon Town's Australian owner Clem Morfuni has revived his club from the doldrums and now wants to create a pathway for young Australian footballers.

Morfuni (left) is the owner of Swindon Town Football Club. Source: Rock'in Robin Facebook

Front Page Football was recently exclusively invited to meet Morfuni and other passionate Australian-based Swindon fans in a meet-and-greet session.

 

On July 21st 2021, Australian businessman Morfuni took full ownership of League Two side Swindon Town.


Morfuni's ambition was to bring the local community together and establish a transparent relationship with fans from day one.


“A football club should be the heartbeat of the town and the local community,” he said in a club statement.

Morfuni took full ownership of Swindon Town in July 2021. Source: Swindon Town

During Swindon's first league match of the season against Scunthorpe away, Morfuni was standing and jumping in the travelling end with other fans, celebrating a 3-1 victory.


Leading up to the first home game of the season, Morfuni was again involved with the fans.


This time he was advertising season tickets whilst driving a van around the town, participating in a local pub tour, and pouring beers for the supporters.

Morfuni driving a van in Swindon selling season tickets. Source: STSC Facebook

Morfuni has been clear about his ambitions with Swindon.


He sees The Robins in the Championship within the next couple of seasons.


First, he wants to build stability in League One if Swindon achieves promotion.


The relationship between the fans and Morfuni has flourished, and he has even engaged with Australian-based Swindon Town fans.


Australian-based Swindon fans, some of whom have supported the club for over 50 years, consistently mention how Morfuni saved the club at its lowest ebb and highlighted his transparency with the fans both in England and Australia.

 

Last Saturday, Front Page Football was exclusively invited by the Swindon Town Australian Supporters Group to participate in a Q&A, a meet and greet with Morfuni and observed the Newport County vs Swindon Town match.


Australian-based Swindon Town fans were able to ask questions on a live stream with Swindon Town CEO Robert Angus and the Swindon Town Supporters Trust members.

Live during the Q&A session with the Swindon Town Supporters Trust. Source: STFCinOZ Twitter

During the session, Morfuni was live in person and sat amongst the Australian-based fans.


Questions ranged from the release date of their third kit, stadium developments, and a possible Swindon tour of Australia.


After the Q&A session, the fans observed Swindon's clash with Newport at 2am local time.

Australian-based Swindon Town fans watching the match with Morfuni at 2am Sunday morning. Source: Steve Hall

A goal by Jack Payne in the 88th minute helped Swindon secure all three points, pushing them in contention for automatic promotion.


Morfuni still had the energy to shake everyone's hand for Swindon's spirited performance as the full-time whistle went.

 

A critical strategy that Morfuni wants to implement is to have links with Australian football.


Front Page Football can reveal that Morfuni has had discussions with several A-League Men and NPL clubs across Australia and with former Socceroos players based in England.

Morfuni taking a photo with fans with a Swindon-coloured Australian flag. Source: Twitter

During his last visit to England, Morfuni caught up with these ex-Socceroos players for a tour across the country, including a trip to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.


Morfuni wants to create a pathway for young Australian footballers to test themselves in the high-pressured English football league system.


He also wants to establish a long-term partnership with several Australian clubs.


He stressed that once Australian footballers hit the ages of 17 and 18, the lack of a clear pathway leads to a drop off in their development.


This reason is why he wants to implement a system for local Australian footballers to build a career in the English Football League.


Morfuni also revealed plans to bring Swindon Town down under for a pre-season tour.


The English Football Leagues will start earlier than usual next season due to the 2022 World Cup.


The 2022/23 EFL season will start on July 30th, 2022, meaning that a pre-season tour of Australia could happen in June or early July.