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Sydney boss Andrew Ireland defends ANZ Stadium announcement, denies Adam Goodes is ‘avoiding’ Collingwood fans

Sydney has scoffed at suggestions retired champion Adam Goodes is ‘avoiding’ Collingwood supporters, with Swans boss Andrew Ireland forced to defend how the club announced its split with ANZ Stadium.

Sydney revealed on Monday its 14-year association with the beleaguered stadium was over, with three matches scheduled for ANZ Stadium this season moved to the SCG.

One of those is the Swans’ season-opener against Collingwood on March 26.

Ireland said the club’s planned farewell for Goodes and retired ruckman Mike Pyke would remain in Round 3, even though its first match will now be played at home.

The Sydney chief told 3AW the Swans were unable to move scheduled events, like fireworks, planned for the game.

‘Adam is more than happy to do it, I can tell you,’ Ireland explained on Sports Today.

‘There’s some big things we’ve got planned that we just can’t do in Round 1.’

Collingwood is reportedly ‘disappointed’ it found out its season-opener had been moved at the same time as everyone else and will likely seek answers.

The move to switch venues has already angered some Magpie fans, with 3AW listener David one of them.

‘Obviously they knew about this for weeks,’ he said.

‘I’ve already booked my accommodation in Sydney, luckily, but I know hundreds of Collingwood supporters who have booked their accommodation out of Homebush.

‘Who is going to compensate them?’

Ireland admitted it was a ‘really difficult’ situation to handle.

‘The important thing, from ANZ Stadium’s point of view, was (that) their members and the like needed to hear (the news) first,’ he said.

‘We agreed with ANZ that the first announcement would go to their members and corporate supporters, who have got rights at the stadium, and would be clearly miffed if they heard it second hand.’

Click PLAY below to hear how it unfolded on Sports Today