Who Is Walter Pless?


A teacher by profession, but is now in his 38th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Michael Cockerill's article in today's "The Sydney Morning Herald".

BEING the richest man in Ethiopia might not sound like much. This, after all, is a country blighted by drought and hunger on a depressingly regular basis.
But Ethiopia's richest man also happens to be the 43rd richest person on earth and - if excitable local reports are to be believed - he's ready to put a fraction of his wealth into bankrolling Tasmania's bid to establish an A-League team.
Too good to be true? Most probably. But for a backmarker in the race to become the 12th team in the A-League, any publicity is good publicity. Which makes the introduction - or is that invention? - of Mohammed Hussein Ali Al Amoudi a godsend.
So what's the connection between a billionaire ranked eight places above football's most famous sugar daddy, Roman Abramovich, on the Forbes magazine annual rich list, and Tasmania United FC? Ken Morton, an Englishman who briefly played at Manchester United in the era of George Best who has coached on and off in the Apple Isle for years.
Morton is Tasmania's football director, even though there isn't technically a club, or a team. And Morton's nomadic coaching career took him, briefly, to Addis Ababa, where nine years ago he had a short stint with the local Electric Power Corporation team.
Morton hasn't named names, yet, but says he will tell all later this week. Others have made the link. Amoudi, whose mother is Yemeni and father Ethiopian, has mostly lived in Saudi Arabia over the past 44 years, but effectively bankrolls football in Ethiopia. He's supposedly worth around $12.89 billion, which suggests he can handle likely losses of up to $3 million a year to run Tasmania's A-League team.
Will it happen? John McGirr, who's running the bid team, isn't exactly hosing down the expectations. "Our director of football [Morton], is, as we speak, negotiating with a businessman in Dubai, who is very, very keen to come on board," he told local blogger, Walter Pless. "What attracted him was the fact that we're up for sale, and it's a wonderful spot."