A-League boss Danny Townsend says sport will not bow to ‘barbaric’ behaviour as sanctions loom for Melbourne Victory

APL CEO Danny Townsend has denied there is a cultural problem in Australian football and affirmed the A-Leagues will not budge on the controversial decision to relocate the grand finals to Sydney.

The news came as Melbourne Victory was officially served a show-cause notice, with Football Australia giving the club until Wednesday to explain why it should not face sanctions. 

Speaking on ABC Breakfast, Townsend declined to draw a link between Saturday night’s pitch invasion in Melbourne and other fan protests against last week’s grand final announcement.

But the CEO of the A-Leagues regulatory board said the decision would stand as the game tried to pick up the pieces from one of the darkest days in its Australian history.

“We certainly won’t, as administrators of the game, be bowing to that kind of behaviour,” he said.

“I think the other 10 games that went on, there were peaceful protests.

“One of the great things about football is fans have a right to voice their opinion and we respect that, we listen and we absorb it, but what went on on Saturday night was not a protest — that was simply barbaric.

“When you look back at the last 10 years, our fans have been largely well behaved.

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