While the AFL tries to take China, football will take Australia

mwm Roar Pro

By mwm, mwm is a Roar Pro

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    With the AFL’s sights set on going international, now is the perfect time for the A-League and professional football to take centre stage in our national consciousness.

    While it received lavish media praise, playing an AFL game in China is nothing more than a gimmick which will barely cause a drop of awareness, despite the amount of work it took to make it happen.

    With the NRL mired in controversy every other week, football must strike while the iron is hot and build a respected national brand that includes all Australians.

    The A-League has just come off hosting a thrilling grand final and a season with impressive viewing numbers that are only set to increase as we lead into a World Cup year in 2018. The ways that we can capitalise are as follows:

    Convert football fans into A-League fans
    This has stumped our game for quite a while, in that how do we turn the amount of people who like our sport into fans of our league?

    One simple way is through price points. Why can’t A-League tickets be the cheapest tickets going around? What is better: a stadium barely full at $50 entry, or a loud, full, colourful stadium at $15 a pop? Surely stadium owners must see that having a full stadium looks better on TV which, in turn, will drive people to want to go and see live football, which can’t be beat for fan engagement.

    Access
    Some football fans don’t follow the A-League at the moment because there is no team they feel represents them. Expanding the league and allowing teams of different shapes and sizes will allow more fans to experience professional football.

    As for the so called ‘Euro snobs’ all we can really do is be patient and allow teams the freedom to become as big as they can. Being consistently successful in Asia will allow one of our current clubs to become a ‘super club’ that rivals Manchester United or Real Madrid in terms of popularity and prestige.

    Some people point to having a free-to-air deal as a must have. After all, both the AFL and NRL snagged billion-dollar-plus deals. After reading about the troubles Channel Ten is having, I’m not so sure football should be going down such a traditional route.

    Should we lead the pack by seeking a deal with a streaming company, or follow the pack by trying to cut a deal with one of the traditional TV channels?

    All in all, it’s exciting to follow a code that has the most potential to grow in this country.

    I do find it funny that people complain about only getting 40,000 to a grand final – imagine if the old NSL could hear us now! I wonder ten years from now how we will look back at this era.

    This video could win $10,000!

    It's one of the favourites to take out the Club Roar most popular video award on Monday!

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    The Crowd Says (162)

    • May 15th 2017 @ 11:30am
      Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | May 15th 2017 @ 11:30am | ! Report

      Good football, requires good pitches. Watching the EPL this season, the grounds at the end of their season are just as pristine as when the EPL season commenced. Now if the A-League is to grow, we need to make sure the best possible surfaces are available to us to play on, instead of the rubbish that some stadia served up this year, but that can be fixed—if the Stadiums around the country embrace and install the new hybrid grass surfaces we see around the world with the state-of-the-art football pitches, it will give us, better football and growth in the code. Sydney FC (Premiers/Champions), played the majority of their home HAL fixtures on a sub-standard surface, which was an embarrassment to the club and the City of Sydney. We can, and must do better!

      • Roar Pro

        May 15th 2017 @ 2:24pm
        David McDaniel said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

        I am not sure how hybrid grass would go with the rugby codes when players are constantly driven into the ground and long studs rip it up. What we need are boutique stadiums for A-League and other football games during the off season with the emphasis on keeping the pitch pristine for A-League matches.

        • May 15th 2017 @ 7:56pm
          Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | May 15th 2017 @ 7:56pm | ! Report

          Yes, our own stadiums would be much better of course, but that’s not possible in the near future. The tenants at the SFS are Sydney Roosters, (NRL) Waratahs (Rugby) and SFC (Football). And at season’s end of the Football season we have a cow paddock to play our final on.

          In Melbourne we have the Storm (NRL) Vic Rugby (ARU) and Melb City (Football). The Melb RFS has the new hybrid turf, which was laid in recent times and has stood the test for all codes, which remains in pristine condition right to end of the Football season and with the other codes overlapping.

          In Sydney where it is full grass, the pitch was ripped apart with the same amount of traffic. That is the difference between the all grass and the new hybrid turf, which has a plastic mesh at the base of the grass root system to prevent it being torn apart. 99% of the EPL stadiums have switched over to the new hybrids and the pitches remain perfect right up to he end of the football season. Hopefully in Australia this will be done too and then we will be able to share the stadia with other codes without the fear of pitches being turned into cow paddocks.

          • Roar Guru

            May 16th 2017 @ 4:17pm
            jeznez said | May 16th 2017 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

            A number of the UK rugby union teams use synthetic pitches and it is definitely the way forward to ensure consistency of pitch and particularly prevent union scrums from demolishing the turf for other codes.

            I wonder whether the hybrid or the fully synthetic is the best option?

            Am based in HK and coach and play rugby up here. We often play on fully synthetic pitches that are purpose designed for rugby.

            I note that when I compare our purpose built 4G synthetic rugby pitches to those specifically designed for football that the rugby pitches have more give in them to cater for the higher impacts in rugby.

            Would that be likely to cause an issue for football at the higher levels? We have pitches that cater to both but the football played on them is semi-pro at best.

            • May 16th 2017 @ 4:20pm
              Martyn said | May 16th 2017 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

              Good comment. The new sports arena in Perth will have the same surface. That will be for all codes and cricket.

              • Roar Guru

                May 16th 2017 @ 5:09pm
                jeznez said | May 16th 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                Cheers did a bit of a search on the UK experience as they have a broader implementation than we do and the leading firm over there have a variety of surfaces.

                http://www.sispitches.com/products/sisturf-synthetic-turf/

                Reading the descriptions towards the bottom of the link it looks like the surfaces that satisfy World Rugby also satisfy FIFA, although it isn’t clear whether the same base pad is used to satisfy both – which is the crux of my question above.

    • May 15th 2017 @ 11:42am
      Brian said | May 15th 2017 @ 11:42am | ! Report

      Will never happen.If AFL doesn’t dominate in any particular state then League will.

      • May 15th 2017 @ 2:37pm
        Chris said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

        Too late Brian – football is already number 1

        • Roar Pro

          May 15th 2017 @ 2:41pm
          David McDaniel said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

          Hmm, the value of the TV rights and the coverage in the papers tell a different story…..

          • May 15th 2017 @ 3:08pm
            Chris said | May 15th 2017 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

            Depends what lens you want to view whats number 1. If you value viewing MSM over participation then yes you are right. I look at it differently. And does it surprise you that the MSM (TV and papers) are all going broke?

            • May 15th 2017 @ 4:55pm
              Perry Bridge said | May 15th 2017 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

              MSM isn’t the only measure but it is a clearly accessible measure.

              FTA ratings clearly put soccer quite someway back – unless you can run the FIFA WC 24 weeks back to back each year.

              Even paytv – the other codes come out well ahead even with the competition of FTA coverage often head to head.

              It leads me to suspect that were all codes to give up MSM/paytv and go down the streaming path – that not much would change.

              We already see from the engaging the market perspective – the AFL leads by daylight to second with respect to club memberships and attendance. Each a far bigger commitment than just flicking on the tele.

              Participation – soccer is bloated by it’s core home market of Sydney (and nrthrn NSW). AFL is bloated by the core market of Melb/Vic. RL is bloated to by it’s only 2 real markets. RU is a rotting carcass almost down to the bare bone. A lot of the participation numbers run with are dodgey at best – based on surveys rather than registrations – and often those surveys will double dip (if not triple dip) – -i.e. in the case of soccer, for juniors you may well get a triple dip on indoor, school and outdoor-club (you could have the same with cricket).

              There’s also largely meaningless participation – i.e. over 35s/45s etc aren’t producing the next Socceroos, Wallaby etc. For most the codes – the key is quality development pathways, talent identification and coaching to develop professional standard players (note – I didn’t say ‘athletes’).

              • May 15th 2017 @ 8:32pm
                Chris said | May 15th 2017 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

                Yes PB…whatever you say

              • May 15th 2017 @ 8:56pm
                Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | May 15th 2017 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

                But Aussie Rules will never have a genuine World Cup to participate in. This is the curse of a code that no one outside of Australia (lower southern end) takes seriously.

              • May 16th 2017 @ 9:22am
                Perry Bridge said | May 16th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

                #Caltex

                “But Aussie Rules will never have a genuine World Cup to participate in.”

                Your insight is staggering,

                I don’t dispute this. What’s it got to do with the discussion?

              • May 16th 2017 @ 10:44am
                Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | May 16th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

                “What’s it got to do with the discussion?”

                Everything! If there is no genuine world cup (as you have now come to accept) why would the Chinese be so interested in fostering a code that has no genuine ambition creating one?

              • May 16th 2017 @ 2:09pm
                Perry Bridge said | May 16th 2017 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

                #Tex,

                Nup….still don’t see what relevance that comment had on the particular thread of these comments that you placed it in.

                It’s a salient point stand alone. The Chinese have ambitions on the global sporting stage. That’s pretty clear.

                However – no one has seriously suggested that this is about growing the game at grass roots level in China other than perhaps a handful of players at the Shanghai Tigers (who were there drumming up support).

              • May 16th 2017 @ 3:54pm
                Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | May 16th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

                “The Chinese have ambitions on the global sporting stage.”

                I think you have answered you own question—this event is not in keeping of China’s real ambition, but a fantasy of Koch creating an impression saying “we have the best game in the world” ie world acceptance . Either way; I don’t care, but what is apparent here you AFL fan-boys are so sensitive towards anyone who thinks it’s a folly. I mean compare that, to the money the Chinese are investing in the World Game FIFA football and there lies your answer.

                As Nemesis says:
                If anyone think Aussie Rules will ever gain any traction in China in the next 1 thousand years, they’re living in a state of delusion that cannot even be controlled by the preferred mind-altering drugs common to the AFL industry.

              • May 16th 2017 @ 2:24pm
                Nemesis said | May 16th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

                @Caltex

                You are spot on.

                The utter garbage that’s being disseminated on this topic by the usual AFL nutters is astounding.

                Gaelic Football has a bigger imprint in China than Aussie Rules.

                Baseball & Ice Hockey have bigger imprints in Australia, than Aussie Rules has in China.

                If anyone think Aussie Rules will ever gain any traction in China in the next 1 thousand years, they’re living in a state of delusion that cannot even be controlled by the preferred mind-altering drugs common to the AFL industry.

              • May 16th 2017 @ 4:32pm
                Perry Bridge said | May 16th 2017 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

                #Nemesis

                The utter garbage is being put forward by the anti-AFL folk.

                The AFL folk here are busily watering it down – –

                the anti-AFL folk seem unable to accept that this was NOT an AFL HQ initiative (it was Port Adelaide acting alone and then supported by the AFL to make it happen).

                No one anywhere is talking about taking off as a game in China. Never the point here – however, establishing a presence in the market place, making contacts, generating business – all the off field stuff IS quite important – for the clubs involved.

                The only people who think that anyone is thinking world domination ….. are you buffoons!! (term used in nicest possible way)

              • May 16th 2017 @ 4:50pm
                punter said | May 16th 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

                PB, it’s amazing, like Mister Football before you, when talking AFL, you seem reasonable, positive, your comments are well thought out & you paint your sport in a great light, trouble is you doing on a football tab that no-one cares.
                However, when talking about football, you turn into this unreasonable, negative nancy & your comments becomes irrational & you paint football as something evil (it’s only a sport), again you do this on a football tab & you wonder why? Put your AFL hat to know why. But one thing is similar whether you talk football or AFL, for reasons above,no one cares.

    • May 15th 2017 @ 11:46am
      Perry Bridge said | May 15th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

      Ignoring the headline (which may not be the authors phrasings) – let’s start with the opening statement:

      “With the AFL’s sights set on going international, now is the perfect time for the A-League and professional football to take centre stage in our national consciousness”

      Q. are the AFL’s sights set on going international.

      A. I assert this as a false assumption.

      “Now” – I assume you don’t mean May/June 2017 – as – the A-League just finished up. However, right now is largely the extent of AFL top level international forays for 2017. So – I guess you mean “Now” in the sense of the next couple of years. So – perhaps, St Kilda might play a couple of games in Auckland and Port/Gold Coast might revisit China. It’s hardly leaving the back door ajar.

      Then to the other end of the article:

      “I do find it funny that people complain about only getting 40,000 to a grand final – imagine if the old NSL could hear us now! I wonder ten years from now how we will look back at this era.”

      Perhaps it should be recalled that of the last 8 NSL Grand Finals – that there were 4 crowds in excess of 38,000. Okay – 3 of those in Perth and one in Brisbane.

      Back in the NSL days the Sydney and Melbourne markets were more diluted by the ‘suburban/ethnic’ clubs. What I do ponder now is in the A-League – with a 2 team Syd and a 2 team Melb – you can now get 40k to the GF.

      Has it really gone that far ahead? Okay – Brisbane got 51K (v WSW) to the 2014 GF while 17 years earlier the Strikers got 40,446 hosting Sydney United. Perth Glory are yet to host so we can’t compare – we can assume they’d still attract 40K to Subiaco and perhaps more when the new stadium is completed.

      The ‘potential for growth’ is interesting. All codes in Australia have potential for growth. The AFL North of the Murrumbidgee, the NRL south of the Murrumbidgee. The ARU has perhaps the most scope for growth. Soccer – has been apparently ready to explode since 1977 when it went national. Potential IS a 4 letter word!!

      • May 15th 2017 @ 1:00pm
        Ken Spacey said | May 15th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

        Yes and is it not meeting it’s potential since 1977 Perry? Number of participants on a constant rise. Number of females on steady upward projection. Average wages, media coverage, crowds on way up. While the AFL play at engaging China some of our best players play there and we have gone from the smallest confederation of Banana republics to in Oceania Men’s and women’s champs in arguably the world’s largest regional sporting org the AFC. Strangely the Matildas became entrenched in the FIFA top ten before the AFL invented women’s sport in 2016. Aussies have now made an impact at nearly every major league and some of the world’s biggest clubs. So yes from the incredibly brave and visionary move to create the first and arguably only truly balanced and inclusive national football code soccer is realising it’s enormous potential. Hopefully four world cup finals in a row as long as the morons at Adelaide Oval can prepare a decent ‘football” pitch in June.

        • May 15th 2017 @ 2:52pm
          Perry Bridge said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

          #Ken Spacey

          “before the AFL invented women’s sport in 2016.”

          Silly comment.

          The AFL has for eons had a fine relationship at grass roots level with netball. Communities (especially rural ones) – often see the local footy club as being a FNC club. That is – “Football Netball Club”.

          That was one of the reasons that girls footy was never pushed.

          But yes – I believe the market was disrupted by soccer and the growth in participation in the 2000s based largely around female participation (depending where you looked – ABS, ASC, other surveys). Perhaps it showed people that girls were willing to run around in footy boots. It certainly helped local Govt prioritise funding – if girls participation was included then monies were more forthcoming.

          The AFL has immersed itself fully into womens sports now. Pretty well had to. You can see the efforts made to not burn the bridges with netball, via the Giants and Magpies netball sides.

          • May 15th 2017 @ 4:19pm
            Ken Spacey said | May 15th 2017 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

            The irony/humour implied was fairly obvious Perry but moving on. Besides the AFL and it’s media lackeys have helped give the impression that the AFLW is the beginning rather than a continuation of the growth of women’s sport. OTT? Well look at how Kochie is crapping on as if China and Australia have established relations through sport and culture for the first time and how oz business can follow Port’s lead and breakdown the great wall. The Netball link is there but that was an excuse for inaction. By your own definition these sports were complimentary but they are now competing for the same market,the same athletes and sponsors.

            • May 15th 2017 @ 4:22pm
              Chris said | May 15th 2017 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

              I get ill every time I see Koch in the background trying to make himself seen.

            • May 15th 2017 @ 5:07pm
              Perry Bridge said | May 15th 2017 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

              #Ken Spacey

              “the AFL and it’s media lackeys have helped give the impression that the AFLW is the beginning rather than a continuation of the growth of women’s sport. ”

              However – I dispute this. The AFL did their best to play it all down. In the main – the only people I hear putting this forward are people from outside the AFL – picking on the AFL for a narrative that the AFL certainly hasn’t developed or encouraged.

              What the media got onto – and be mindful, the AFL media is generally pretty conservative (because they can follow a nice annual calendar which includes at what point each year do you put the focus on coaches under pressure, on fixturing issues, etc). The vast majority of AFL media were highly sceptical but too polite to make it overly obvious. I do think what caught the media eye was the sponsorship market that grew quicker than anyone had anticipated. But – gotta be sure it’s sustainable and not too much at the expense of other pieces of the womens sport pie but instead adding to the size of the pie.

              Agreed – the netball WAS an excuse for inaction. I feel the AFL seriously felt that girls wouldn’t want to play and that it would be too rough anyway (and potentially that might make it more of a negative than a positive). Not sure if you know – back in 2003 there were 3 young girls and their families who took Football Victoria to court for the right for the girls to continue playing footy. That was pretty well the start of the journey that culminated in the AFLW this year.

              What is slowly turning is the general community attitude that most women in team sports like cricket, soccer and footy would be more than superficially concerned about gay marriage rights. Hopefully that is breaking down a little.

              At any rate – the AFL has been very, very pleasantly surprised by the growth of the game amongst females. For me – I’m comfortable if it’s adding to the pie rather than at the expense of netball. Basketball I care less about. Gotta be careful in the race for full time professionals too – – as that just builds a bigger pool of future ex-professional athletes struggling with life after the final siren/whistle.

              As for Kochie – always annoyed me. However – in the voluntary role of club president I guess, good on him – he’s having a go and he’s got enthusiasm which might annoy some. I generally don’t watch the brekkie shows anymore.

      • May 15th 2017 @ 1:05pm
        pioneer said | May 15th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

        Perry Bridge, you’ve nailed it. Soccer has always had a solid following in Australia but it’s really only increased per capita (probably the same can be said for the NRL and AFL) as the Oz population has grown. I remember biggish crowds at Marconi games in the late ‘70s that were probably two thirds of what you would see at a Parra Eels or Western Suburbs Magpies rugby league game. The whole ‘sleeping giant’ thing is a myth; soccer enjoys a certain level of popularity and it’s been about the same, relative to the other codes, for probably the last 40 years. There’s no evidence at all to suggest it’s about to take over in Australia.

        Yes, it dominates junior sport (but who in their right mind would want little Johnny to play rugby league?), but what people play themselves and what they chose to watch/barrack for are not necessarily the same.

        Let’s also not forget that the A-League is only a summer sport so that it doesn’t have to directly compete with the rugbies and AFL. I know stadium availability is one reason for the summer time slot, but it’s not the whole story. And if soccer was so strong, surely it would be dictating the terms to the rugbies when it comes to stadium use?

        • May 15th 2017 @ 2:00pm
          Nemesis said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

          “the A-League is only a summer sport so that it doesn’t have to directly compete with the rugbies and AFL.”

          A comment that exposes a level of astounding ignorance.

          Not just ignorant about sport.

          But an ignorance about the occurrence of the 4 astronomical seasons in Australia – something I was taught in Primary School.

          The Aleague starts in Spring.
          It plays all through Summer.
          If finishes in the middle of Autumn.

          The ALeague season overlaps more than 1/3 of the AFL, NRL & Rugby seasons.

          ALeague also overlaps

          * the biggest Horse Racing Carnivals in Australia
          * the biggest Tennis tournaments in Australia
          * the biggest motor car races in Australia
          * the biggest cricket tournaments in Australia
          * the biggest netball & basketball tournaments in Australia

          plus
          * Aleague competes with summer activities that are hugely popular in Australia.
          * Aleague is played during Summer Holidays & Christmas Holidays when a significant number of Aussies are overseas holidays or are taking vacations well away from their local ALeague club

          The level of ignorance from outside the Football community is boundless.

          • May 15th 2017 @ 2:10pm
            Perry Bridge said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

            Your point

            “* Aleague is played during Summer Holidays & Christmas Holidays when a significant number of Aussies are overseas holidays or are taking vacations well away from their local ALeague club”

            is interesting.

            As – in many cases – the crowd record for A-League clubs is the news years eve match or other such like mini block busters taking advantage (like the cricket does) of the holiday period.

            When talking about the big city clubs – there’s no excuse. For a regional club – perhaps yes.

            • May 15th 2017 @ 2:12pm
              Nemesis said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

              “As – in many cases – the crowd record for A-League clubs is the news years eve match.”

              Utter nonsense.

          • May 15th 2017 @ 2:43pm
            pioneer said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

            Well, yes, it does overlap the NRL and AFL seasons (and sundry horse and car racing events), but only because there’s not enough months in a year for it not to. But whatever my ignorance (and I am familiar with your ‘4 astronomical seasons in Australia’), the point here is really simple: one would not play a season of soccer in summer (and part of spring and autumn, as mentioned) by choice. If you’ve ever played it, you’ll know it’s a fast-running/high energy winter game.

            They’re doing it so it doesn’t have to compete with the AFL and the NRL (except, as you say, the first and end bits of the season).

            • May 15th 2017 @ 2:59pm
              Nemesis said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

              Football is a global game. And, for better or worse, the Northern Hemisphere football calendar controls the FIFA international calendar.

              Regardless, within the next 5 years, the ALeague Division 1 & Division 2 will move to a calendar:

              Opening Season
              1st Weekend Feb to Last Weekend May

              Mid Season Break
              June, July
              * international qualifiers, international tournaments, international club friendlies

              Closing Season
              1st Weekend August to Last Weekend Novermber

              Playoffs for Relegation/Finals
              * 3 weekends before Christmas

              But, June & July should always be kept free for internationals.

              • May 15th 2017 @ 3:08pm
                Bilbo said | May 15th 2017 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

                Wow Nemesis, you really have no idea

                The A League will start in Feb? err have you asked Foxtel, who owners of the A League, what their thoughts are?

                0% chance of any move outside of summer, they are looking for filler content.

                The only live local content Foxtel has between October and Feb is A League and NBL so don’t expect any change

              • May 15th 2017 @ 3:20pm
                Nemesis said | May 15th 2017 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

                @Bilbo

                Foxtel wants content 52 weekends per year.
                Foxtel wants subscribers.

                Currently, the domestic club football schedule on Foxtel is

                Feb, Mar, Apr, start of May: Aleague

                June, July, Aug, Sep: Limited content, FFA Cup & international friendlies

                Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan: Aleague.

                The new schedule I’ve mentioned changes nothing apart from

                1) Content for the whole of May
                2) Content for the whole of August & September.
                Foxtel wants more content in Sept since AFL & NRL content dries up.

                3) No content from Christmas to end of Jan.
                Foxtel is not concerned about this because a significant number of Foxtel subscribers are on holidays so ratings on Foxtel are not great.

              • May 15th 2017 @ 3:31pm
                Bilbo said | May 15th 2017 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

                “No content from Christmas to end of Jan.
                Foxtel is not concerned about this because a significant number of Foxtel subscribers are on holidays so ratings on Foxtel are not great.”

                Nonsense.

                That is why they will fall over themselves bidding on the BBL.

              • May 15th 2017 @ 3:44pm
                Nemesis said | May 15th 2017 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

                “That is why they will fall over themselves bidding on the BBL.”

                BBL is designed only for school holidays.

                It’s not a sporting competition. It’s reality TV.

                Look at the ALeague Foxtel Ratings for Dec & Jan.

                If there is no Aleague in Dec & Jan, Foxtel wouldn’t care.

                Use your common sense.

              • May 15th 2017 @ 4:24pm
                Bilbo said | May 15th 2017 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

                Is there a difference between A League ratings in Dec, Jan and the rest of the season?

      • May 15th 2017 @ 1:14pm
        Nemesis said | May 15th 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

        Apart from the commercial success at the professional level in Australia, there is absolutely no aspect of sport in Australia where Football has not exceeded all other sports.

        Whilst Aussie Rules, RL & Rugby are stagnating or going backwards into oblivion at grassroots level; football is thriving.

        Aussie Rules & RL (I don’t know about Rugby) have massive competitive advantage at grassroots level based on “the cost of playing sport”, yet, despite the cheap alternatives available, Aussie athletes choose football in bigger numbers than any other team sport.

        And, it’s not even close.

        More Aussies from ages 14 upwards choose Football than Aussie Rules, Rugby League & Rugby combined.
        For ages below 14, the disparity is even greater.

        • May 15th 2017 @ 1:20pm
          jeff dustby said | May 15th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

          going into oblivion?

          • May 15th 2017 @ 1:40pm
            Perry Bridge said | May 15th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

            #jeff dustby

            The irony is that the sport going into oblivion (if it’s not careful) is Rugby Union – the one code #Nemesis doesn’t claim expertise on.

            You can gauge a lot about people by their responses.

            The choice of #Ken Spacey, #Pioneer and #Nemesis – guess which is the only response I take seriously.

        • May 15th 2017 @ 1:42pm
          Casper said | May 15th 2017 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

          Do they choose soccer because they love the game, or because they know that regardless of their ability, they will be involved in the game?

          We have had kids at our local Aussie Rules club who barely touch the ball during the game. After a season you don’t see them again. Which is fair enough. Also in my opinion Aussie Rules at the junior level is a lot less safe now than it was back in my day.

          The rugby codes also have the safety issue. Parents don’t want to see their kids being smashed every weekend.

          • May 15th 2017 @ 1:53pm
            Nemesis said | May 15th 2017 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

            If they’re willing to pay big bucks to play Football instead of Aussie Rules for free.

            No harm if they have limited ability. Sport is for everyone.

            2 years ago, Aussie Rules laughed at Football as “a game for girls”. Now Aussie Rules is desperately trying to get girls to play their sport.

            In a society which is time-poor and with lots of options available to use the limited leisure time available, common sense says people aren’t going to waste their time & money doing things they don’t like, or where they can’t have some success.

            Use your common sense. If that’s possible

            • May 15th 2017 @ 2:14pm
              Perry Bridge said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

              #Nemesis

              When you say “2 years ago, Aussie Rules laughed at Football as “a game for girls”. Now Aussie Rules is desperately trying to get girls to play their sport.”

              What are your references?

              I ask – because – I figure you must have them, otherwise, you’re no better (with respect to boundless ignorance) than those you attack so aggressively.

              also

              “Aussie Rules for free”

              Might be worth expanding on this one too?

              • May 15th 2017 @ 2:50pm
                Nemesis said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

                @Perry Bridge

                You’re kidding yourself if you have to ask that question.

                Since I’ve arrived in Australia, AFL community has explicitly or implicitly pushed the line that Sokkah is a game for SHEILAS, WOGS & POOFTERS.

                The myth that Aussie Rules is what men play; Sokkah is for people who don’t want to get hurt.

                If you seriously have never heard this before then, fine. You are even more reclusive & insulated from society than I imagined.

              • May 15th 2017 @ 3:50pm
                Perry Bridge said | May 15th 2017 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

                #Nemesis

                funny – the only place I hear that line is…..from you.

                Perhaps you have very long (and selective) memories??

            • May 15th 2017 @ 2:20pm
              Casper said | May 15th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

              Not sure why you think AFL is free. $320 at my junior club, with the club not getting much of that. Don’t know how that compares to soccer.

              I’m not saying kids that play soccer don’t like the game. Just pointing out that there are reasons why they might chose soccer over AFL or the rugby, that aren’t to do with what sport they actually like the most.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 8:32am
        Post_hoc said | May 17th 2017 @ 8:32am | ! Report

        So in recent years we have had grandfinals in Brisbane, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.

        As far as I am aware ever single one of them have been sell outs, ie they are unable to sell any more tickets they are at capacity.

        In that same period the AFL has had grandfinals in Melbourne.

        So unlike a claimed National Sport like the AFL who only ever has their final in 1 city which can give an unfair advantage to a team that is from Melbourne because they may actually play their regular season games at the same venue. Football has played Finals Nationally (or nearly so) and the final is played at the team that has earned it.

        So not sure why you bring in crowd figures for finals, oh yea sorry that and TV is all you really have.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 10:26am
          Ian said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

          This is right post-hoc. I was going to post but realise I’m about two days behind this article as I missed it.

          The alarming inaccuracies in these expert comments from perry bridge, pioneer etc….is that you can’t sell more tickets than what the stadium allows. It is mind-boggling these guys’ insecurities and defensiveness.

          All because AFL is only big in half of one country – and apparently that is all that matters.

          • May 17th 2017 @ 2:21pm
            Perry Bridge said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

            #Post Hoc and #Ian

            “So not sure why you bring in crowd figures for finals”

            Um….let’s see – I READ the original article and was commenting in reference to the BELOW comments by the author:

            “I do find it funny that people complain about only getting 40,000 to a grand final – imagine if the old NSL could hear us now! I wonder ten years from now how we will look back at this era.”

            So #Ian –

            Please note that the phrasing with ‘only’ was NOT mine and I never used ‘only’ in that context.

            I made no reference to AFL or NRL finals. You’ve gone off on that tangent.

            I only referenced the old NSL where the Glory and Brisbane Strikers both managed crowds around the 38-40k mark.

            It’s a popular narrative to dismiss the old NSL and to proclaim the A-League as this shiny great thing.

            Way to let your own anti-AFL agenda get in the way of reading an article and the specific comments responding to it.

            So – to you both – I’ll accept your apologies in advance – I can understand you couldn’t be bothered actually reading the article or the context but gee – – I even double quoted the authors comments.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 10:29am
        Ian said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report

        I’m two days late but I have to say it……..even if no one reads it.

        AFL wants nothing else but world domination but the reality is that the sport is at the complete opposite of that spectrum.

        The reason you refute the assertion is that it paints AFL in a bad light – so if you refute the claim and say it doesn’t matter then AFL is still a success.

        it’s ok……..I know what you are doing when you type that over and over.

        By the way…….’only’ 40,000 only 50,000……….you can’t sell more tickets than what the stadium holds. Very basic stuff.

        Keep up your mission in life though Perry.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 2:27pm
          Perry Bridge said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

          #Ian

          See above response –

          the ‘only’ 40,000 etc was NOT my typing. That belonged to the author of the article. I quoted that.

          You have an over developed anti-AFL reflex that seems to repress your comprehension abilities.

          With respect to “AFL wants nothing else but world domination” – – what I find odd about this narrative you and your anti-AFL types have – is that the world game of soccer has largely achieved world domination. Okay – not total absolute domination in all markets but it’s big enough to make the call.

          So – you have to jump up and down like spoilt children when ‘local’ sports like the AFL or NRL in Australia display any sort of aspiration.

          In this case – the notion of ‘world domination’ as the aspiration is totally ludicrous – and you know that.

          So get off your high horse – – and learn to read who said what because your mindless abuse is infantile – you came to this 2 days late and still couldn’t read the original article. I very much suspect that you’re simply looking through (a limited selection of) the posts and trying your hardest to be offended.

          • May 17th 2017 @ 4:04pm
            Ian said | May 17th 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

            Thanks for coming back to the article.

            I’m not offended by your rants……more bemused you come on here and pretend you aren’t trying to crap all over football.

            As for your misconceptions and rant about the sports I may or may not have followed…….I followed rugby league very closely for two decades and it was my number one professional sport to follow in that period up until a few years ago.

            Another misconception is that, I have noticed die hard AFL followers, proclaim people that support football don’t like any other sports at all in an attempt to put them into a corner and categorise them.. Usually as not being Australian. Because I don’t follow ‘local’ sports…..you know the ones that actually originated in England/Ireland.

            • May 17th 2017 @ 4:15pm
              Perry Bridge said | May 17th 2017 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

              #Ian

              From my original post on this article (May 15th 2017 @ 11:46am) – please tell me what part of it is crapping all over soccer??

              So – you used to follow NRL – it appears you recovered from that – congratulations are in order. Pardon me for asking – did you frequent ‘LeagueUnlimited’?

              #Nemesis is the one who doesn’t follow any other sport – and seemingly proud of it – don’t confuse the confrontations with that poster as being representative of attitudes to all other posters!!!

              Anyway #Ian – I put to you – why we saw articles like #Mike Tuckerman’s GF review and this article by #MWM have to resort to commentary on the AFL match in China? Especially because most of said commentary is either totally false observation of largely ignorant opinion. Why go there? (other than to entice??)

            • May 18th 2017 @ 1:15pm
              Perry Bridge said | May 18th 2017 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

              #Ian???

              Gone missing again?

              It’s frustrating that you can’t even admit when you’ve mistakenly attacked someone.

    • May 15th 2017 @ 11:51am
      Nemesis said | May 15th 2017 @ 11:51am | ! Report

      Excellent points, mwm.

      Fully endorse what you say.

      • May 15th 2017 @ 1:20pm
        jeff dustby said | May 15th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

        because it is pro football? you think the AFLs one silly game in Shanghai has left them exposed?

    • May 15th 2017 @ 11:52am
      peeeko said | May 15th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

      With the AFL’s sights set on going international, now is the perfect time for the A-League and professional football to take centre stage in our national consciousness.
      i dont get the premise of your argument. Yes the CHina AFL game was a gimmick but it hardly means they are losing any attention in Australia.

    • May 15th 2017 @ 12:00pm
      Freddie said | May 15th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

      The article has a little too much hyperbole in my opinion. I doubt the AFL would ever claim they are going to “take” China, or even go international. For them, it’s a little experiment to see if there’s any mileage in it for them. That’s their prerogative, but there’s next to no chance of AFL having a significant presence overseas in our lifetimes.

      Similarly, football doesn’t have to “take” Australia. It shouldn’t even be concerned with the other codes, because really what they do is largely irrelevant. It has to fulfill its own potential first and foremost. Then it will find its own place in the pecking order.

      • May 15th 2017 @ 12:27pm
        punter said | May 15th 2017 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

        Freddie, you are talking too much sense!!!!

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