David Gallop’s five NRL ideas for the FFA
Former chief executive of the Australian Rugby League Commission David Gallop. AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Rugby league in Australia had a little bit of just about everything last week. Everything that is, except a slim, bespectacled, silver-haired man sternly addressing a press conference.
Yes, David Gallop has joined the round ball code and the NRL is all the poorer for it. Papa Frank has picked a winner, and would be keen to for Gallop to stabilise the relatively young A-League competition.
However, you can’t expect a doer like David to just sit on his hands umming and ahhing can you?
No, word on the street is that dangerous Dave has got some big ideas for football in this country, some real paradigm breakers. And, perhaps not surprisingly, many of these ideas have been lifted directly from his former footy flame.
So here they are, David Gallops five NRL ideas for FFA.
5. Less draws
One of Gallop’s lasting legacies at the NRL was his unwavering support for extra time ‘golden point’ matches. The man’s a former lawyer you see, can’t stand a draw.
Considering that football has more drawing going on than after little lunch at a kindergarten, it’s only natural Gallop would be keen to ditch the ties so at least one set of fans can go home angry.
How he plans to do this remains to be seen. Golden goal is the obvious choice, but fans really seem to like those penalty shoot-out thingies… don’t they?
4. More Refs
Have you ever watched a game of football and seen the lonely bloke with the whistle wandering around in circles and occasionally writing in a little notebook? Couldn’t he use some company out there?
It’s about time football moved into the 21st century and adopted a two referee system. The NRL did this years ago and fans have more or less completely stopped complaining about the quality and parentage of refs.
While they’re at it, the game needs to figure out a way to get the video ref involved a bit more too, otherwise the code’s going to continue to struggle for real drama.
3. More cool playing strips
Recently the new A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers debuted their jerseys to the press. Red and black hoops… that’s it.
Sadly this is not just a one off either, with a number of A-League sides choosing to go with designs equally uninspiring.
Are we living in the 40′s here?
Surely in this age of watermark logos, patented wicking technology and integrated thermo shark skin compression, fans should expect something more eye-catching.
Also things like lightning bolts, camouflage print and collector item shirts plugging romantic comedy DVD releases never go out of fashion.
2. Bigger rivalries
Sure the A-League has developed some pretty decent spats between sides, but what about in the press?
Save for when some bozo lights a couple of bungers at the bus stop outside Hindmarsh stadium, and the mainstream press rolls out Youtube footage of Millwall psychopaths from 1978 to get their hackles up, football scribes are generally quite an agreeable lot.
Gallop has witnessed first-hand what great publicity sport can be milked from childish vendettas held by journos, and igniting a bit of niggle would definitely be good for the old media monitors.
Craig Foster can’t do this all by himself y’know
1. Higher international standard
When David Gallop was at the helm of the NRL, the Australian Kangaroos held the number one world ranking.
Imagine his shock then, when he was told that the Socceroos are languishing in 24th place behind a bunch of countries who are searching behind the lounge cushions for money just to put petrol in the car.
Time to sort this mess out. Gallop’s thinking academies, private benefactors, celebrity coaches.
Or alternatively, just playing New Zealand a bunch of times and not letting any countries come here to tour until our ranking goes up a bit.
Follow Chris on Twitter: @Vic_Arious
Chris Chard is a sports humour writer commenting on the often absurd nature of professional sport. A rugby league fan boy with a good blend of youth and experience taking things one week at a time, Chris has written for The Roar, Rugby League Player Magazine, US Sports Downunder, the QRL and People. Tweet him @Vic_Arious