Rudan draws parallels to Ange as WSW owner under review

Western Sydney Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer is under investigation from Football Australia after he was seen berating match officials following his club's fiery A-League Men draw with Newcastle.

Lederer comes under scrutiny as coach Marko Rudan prepares to explain to Football Australia (FA) why he shouldn’t be sanctioned for provocative comments about the standard of refereeing in Wanderers' 4-3 loss to Macarthur earlier this month.

Rudan has likened his battle with Australia’s football establishment to that of former Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou, hinting he may be forced to walk away from the league.

His club's billionaire owner Lederer gave officials a spray after Sunday’s 3-3 draw with the Newcastle Jets, while Wanderers fans booed referee Shaun Evans off the pitch.

Western Sydney finished Sunday's game with just nine men on the field after Jorrit Hendrix and Tate Russell were sent off. 

"Football Australia confirms that it is investigating the conduct of Wanderers’ officials and fans during and after the A-League Men match against Newcastle Jets FC on Sunday," FA said in a statement.

Hendrix and Russell each received a one-match suspension on Monday, ruling them out of Sunday's clash with Central Coast Mariners.

Lederer was chairman of the Australian Professional Leagues - the body that controls the A-Leagues - until late last year and remains a director of the organisation.

But Rudan, who has until Wednesday to argue his case after being handed a show-cause notice, says he fears being pushed out of the game for daring to voice a concern over its direction.

Postecoglou walked away from the Socceroos job in 2017 because he was frustrated by what he felt was the sport's inability to make progress.

Rudan's good friend Ante Milicic, then coach of Macarthur FC, did similar in 2022. 

The Wanderers fans showed their support for their manager at Sunday's match, unveiling a banner that read, 'Rudan, leading by example, truth spoken'.

The coach said he appreciated the backing.

“It was nice to be appreciated for standing up for them,” Rudan said.

“Having someone that can do that when they probably can't ... (but) I'm also standing up for the game. 

“One of the best coaches that we've ever produced, who's now in the EPL, walked away from the game.

“He had his own reasons for it and they were pretty strong reasons. Maybe that's what the system, the establishment, does to you.”

Rudan said he had no intention of bowing down to FA and said he intends to fight the show-cause notice every step of the way.

The Wanderers boss could be fined, reprimanded or suspended if FA determines that he has breached their code of conduct. 

"My club is going to back me and fight it," Rudan said.

“You get put into a corner, you have got a decision to make - that's for everybody in life. 

“You take the punches and you walk away feeling sorry for yourself, or you stand up for yourself and you carry on and you move forward. 

“That's called resilience. It’s called character.

"I'm never going to back down for this football club, and the fans and my players and staff. Not a chance.” 

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