Media to blame for A-League struggles

roarlover34 Roar Rookie

By roarlover34, roarlover34 is a Roar Rookie

 , , , ,

137 Have your say

    Related coverage

    The A-League has really gone off the rails in the last two years. There are many causes for this, but the most central of all is the media.

    The media’s perception that football is completely unimportant is a disgrace. You try telling that to the hundred’s of thousands of junior players and coaches in Australia. Football has always been the last highlights shown on the sport report on the news. It has always been on the innermost pages of the sport section. But why? Let’s look at The Australian, for example.

    Every Saturday morning the previous evenings rugby league is the front page news. They even published the Roosters versus Titans game on the front page of the entire newspaper last Saturday.

    Then you have to look forward four pages to find a postage stamp sized article about an A-League game the previous night. Pages two and three are comprised of AFL pre-game analysis and articles from the greatly disliked Patrick Smith, who was found to be hated by more than 80 per cent of AFL fans on a recent radio poll. How is pre-game analysis more important than an actual event?

    A similar train of thought exists for the Socceroos.

    The day that new coach Holger Osieck named his first ever squad there wasn’t even an article. The front page had Collingwood players at the beach and the next pages were AFL and NRL pre-game hype.

    The odd golf tennis and motorsport article filled the rest of the space. I did find the squad eventually, under the ‘Soccer’ section of the results column. What a joke! Can you imagine if the same had have been done to Robbie Dean’s Wallabies squad?

    The great problem for the A-League recently has been publicity. The FFA has very poorly chosen to scrap their A-League advertising campaign, resulting in virtually nobody knowing anything about the games, which has partly led to poor crowds. Well hasn’t that caused a fuss.

    The only football writer in The Australian, Ray Gatt, has been nothing short of pathetic recently. Every single article he has written has been about the crowds and the financial issues with the A-League. If he wants to reduce the size of the problem he should write something positive about the league. The standard has increased greatly this year, so has the quality of goals, the quality of imports, and coaching. But has Gatt written about this at all? No.

    This focus on the negatives is widespread across all media.

    Do you remember how the media was all over the quote from Verbeek that the A-League is low standard? Where are the media now that Les Murray, Holger Osieck and Craig Foster have all praised the quality of the league? No where to be seen. They choose only to report the negatives about football.

    The media has had a very large role in the recent struggles of the A-League.

    Hopefully a successful Word Cup bid may silence them.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (137)

    • September 30th 2010 @ 6:08am
      Tortion said | September 30th 2010 @ 6:08am | ! Report

      Because none of the other sports are never picked on or portrayed in a negative light.

      You can play a sport and have no interest in it at the elite level and vice versa. How many people love rugby league in Sydney for instance and have never actually played the game? I’m one for starters.

    • September 30th 2010 @ 6:16am
      bruski said | September 30th 2010 @ 6:16am | ! Report

      Agree with Kurt.

      Here on the Gold Coast you can not help but think that GCU does not want to be in the A-League, bugger all marketing combined with crowd-caps. How do they expect to drag the Euro-Snobs from the lounge?

      On top of that the Gold Coast (community) has obviously said that they do not want a soccer team here. I wonder why the media is not jumping on the band-wagon?

    • September 30th 2010 @ 6:23am
      PeteHarrison said | September 30th 2010 @ 6:23am | ! Report

      I don’t comment very often but after reading this I could not help myself.

      A few points.

      1. Patrick Smith may be hated by a few people on a radio poll, which as we all know is the single most scientific way to decide something, but that doesn’t mean he has nothing to say, or that he isn’t right a lot of the time. When people are not liked for what they say, it often has to do with the fact that they say things that people don’t want to hear, which brings me to my next point.

      2. If it was not for the fact that the media now found football in this country to be infinitely more attractive than it was 10 or 20 years ago, you would not have an a-league whose coverage you could complain about. Ray Gatt is not out to ‘get’ the a-league, he wants it to succeed, as, I would argue, a majority of people do. There are a stack of factors to be considered when trying to get a league ‘up’. You cannot expect the media, football pundits included, to sit around writing articles about how fully sick the a-league is for no reason other than “they just should”. The standard of coverage the sport gets now is far beyond what it used to get. These things are evolution, not revolution.

      3. Don’t pin your hopes on a world cup bid. The sport has to surivive with or without it.

      4. ” Where are the media know (sic) that Les Murray, Holger Osieck and Craig Foster have all praised the quality of the league?”

      Les Murray and Craig Foster are the media, so I would argue that the media are right there praising the quality of the a-league. I think when you say “media” you actually just mean the media that you don’t like. Media is a fairly broad term.

      • Roar Guru

        September 30th 2010 @ 10:02am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | September 30th 2010 @ 10:02am | ! Report


        It is not the negative comments about Football that I – as a football fan – despise. It’s the fact that the people in the media, who make these negative comments are, generally:
        a) ignorant about the technical requirements to play The Game
        b) ignorant about the Laws of the Game and/or the interpretation of the Laws
        c) ignorant about the individual players, who are playing the game
        d) ignorant about the coaches managing the teams
        e) ignorant about the tactics being employed and how the opposition tries to overcome the tactics.

        basically, they the non-football “journos” in Australia, who write about Football, are totally ignorant about football.

        Leading up to, during and post-2010 WC we had 1,000+ word negative articles/colums about football in the major Australian print media from people, who actually admit they don’t like the Game and never watch the Game.

        Can you imagine a book review, film review or music review written by someone, who gleefully admits “I didn’t actually read the book, watch the film, or listen to the album”?

        Such moronic reviews regularly appear in Australian newspapers and highlights the poor standard of sports journalism in this country.

        Off the top of my head, I recall derogatory articles about football written by: Rebecca Wilson (News Ltd), John Birmingham (Farifax), Jim Main (Inside Football), Jason Akermanis (News Ltd), Neil Mitchell (News Ltd), Peter Fitzsimmons (Farifax), Richard Hinds (Fairfax).

        To a man/woman these “journalists” admitted – either tacitly or actively – they didn’t like Football and didn’t watch football and then went on to analyse the game and tell us why football was an awful sport and the WC was boring!

        Whilst I expect such shoddy and unprofessional journalism from those, who write for the tabloids, it’s a shame that such poor-quality journalism is also accepted by the more reputable broadsheets.

        What I don’t understand is why such “journalists” spend so much time commenting about a sport they don’t like and don’t watch. Surely, their time and limited cerebral capacity would be better utilised in analysing their preferred sports, which – apparently – are far superior to football … ??

        • September 30th 2010 @ 4:05pm
          apaway said | September 30th 2010 @ 4:05pm | ! Report


          Rebecca Wilson is a moron, the worst example to her profession. But I’ve got to say, Peter Fitzsimons is entertaining and usually has his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. You can always email him and remind him that he once called the Australia-Croatia World Cup match in 2006 the best sports event he’d ever seen live.

        • September 30th 2010 @ 7:40pm
          Ben said | September 30th 2010 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

          This is one of the most accurate posts I’ve ever read on this website, you hit the nail on the head multiple times!

        • October 1st 2010 @ 10:08am
          Dan said | October 1st 2010 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          “Such moronic reviews regularly appear in Australian newspapers and highlights the poor standard of sports journalism in this country.”

          No, what it highlights is that soccer isn’t the main sport in this country. Go to Germany and see how their papers report on the Rugby World Cup; nothing but stupid comments about egg shaped balls by people without a bloody clue.

          Get over it mate, it’s just the way it is when a game isn’t the big show in town.

          • October 5th 2010 @ 5:10pm
            DiCanio said | October 5th 2010 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

            No dan, what it highlights is that there is an active agenda by people not interested in football to derail football.

            • October 5th 2010 @ 7:56pm
              Dan said | October 5th 2010 @ 7:56pm | ! Report

              Is this conspiracy one that involves the Jews as well? Because I hear Jewish people are a prerequisite for a conspiracy theory.

    • September 30th 2010 @ 6:42am
      anopinion said | September 30th 2010 @ 6:42am | ! Report

      Personally I would love to get into soccer. I watch almost every game at the WC and enjoy playing the odd social game. However, the WC is full of actors feigning injuries and Socceroo games are “friendlies” instead of “Tests”. Apologies to al Soccer supporters but these qualities do not fit into my ‘National Identity’.

      How are we meant to get into the local league when we can not respect the competitive qualities of the best players in the world?

      Don’t blame the media, why would people read about a game they would not watch?

      • September 30th 2010 @ 12:40pm
        Danny_Mac said | September 30th 2010 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

        Seriously mate, that is simply not good enough… By making the game conform to fit the “national identity” as you put it, starts to take away from the unique identity of football. If you really wanted to get into the game, embrace what is different about it, otherwise your statement is a flimsy disclaimer to mask having a dig at the game.

        As for feigning injury… I’m sorry but have you watched any of the other football codes? this isn’t a football problem… Half backs and Full Backs in RL stay down all the time trying to win penalties, but mysteriously are 100% when the ball comes near them or they make a tackle… Players feigning injury for “high” tackles… it isn’t just a football problem… But because footbally isn’t seen to be as “hard” as RL or AFL, the “simulation” is deemed to be a blight that puts off “real men”.

        • September 30th 2010 @ 12:57pm
          JF said | September 30th 2010 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

          Trying to argue that simulation is just as prevalent in other football codes is part of the problem. Your comparisons are laughable, until there is complete condemnation of simulation by the soccer community, you will never get mainstream acceptance.

          • September 30th 2010 @ 1:08pm
            punter said | September 30th 2010 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

            There is condemnation of simulation in this country, 2 players who percieved to be diving to win penalties in recent weeks were given suspension by the FFA.

          • Roar Guru

            September 30th 2010 @ 1:19pm
            Fussball ist unser leben said | September 30th 2010 @ 1:19pm | ! Report


            You’ve got to be kidding if you think football doesn’t have “mainstream acceptance”!! I laughed and I laughed!

            Unless you are one of “those Southern Cross tattooed Aussies”, who thinks life stops at the Australian border, you should know that Football IS the ONLY mainstream sport across this planet and all other sports are – at best – “fringe” sports.

            Stick to watching your preferred sport and don’t tell us how we should change our Game. We, who love the Game, are very happy the way it is.

            Heck, if “simulation” keeps people like you away from the Game then … I’m all for simulation!

            • September 30th 2010 @ 1:25pm
              Jeff said | September 30th 2010 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

              Who cares if soccer is the mainstream sport across the world and our sports are on the “fringe’, it’s worked for Australia for over 100 years and is part of our culture now, don’t see any reason why OUR football codes shouldn’t continue into the future

            • September 30th 2010 @ 1:26pm
              JF said | September 30th 2010 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

              Mate, this is what the whole article is about, the fact that soccer is continually left out of the media cycle i.e. mainstream acceptance!

              You blokes are a laugh,

              “Stick to watching your preferred sport and don’t tell us how we should change our Game. We, who love the Game, are very happy the way it is.”

              But then also complain ad nauseum that you are continually ignored by the media! Well which is it Fussball?

              • September 30th 2010 @ 1:35pm
                punter said | September 30th 2010 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

                I don’t think you understand this whole article JF, it’s not about ‘mainstream acceptance’
                I follow football but I can’t remember the financial woes & demise of many NSL clubs being aired in the the mainstream media.
                However, we all know about the Nth Queensland, Gold Coast & Newcastle are up against it.
                Football may not be the media darlings of an AFL or NRL, but there is media on it, mainly the negatives.

              • September 30th 2010 @ 1:53pm
                JF said | September 30th 2010 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

                So you are saying that only negative A-League articles get published in the mainstream media, positives are overlooked. Well, if this is the case, isn’t that an indicator of not a complete mainstream acceptance?

                I find the soccer communties arguments confusing, on one hand you want positive, mainstream media coverage yet you jump down the throat of anyone from outside making comments about your game. It is the eternal trade-off between commercial success and critical acclaim, you can’t have both.

              • September 30th 2010 @ 2:02pm
                punter said | September 30th 2010 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

                JF, I think you would find football fans can handle constructive criticism & most football fans at present do realise there is many problems with how the A-League is run in this country.

                It’s when RL or AFL writers decide that they want to kick a dog when it’s not well that is not appreciated, the likes of Rebecca Wilson, Richard Hinds, Patrick Smith & Paul Kent.

                I suppose abit like Craig Foster providing analysis on the NRL or the AFL, it’s not required.

              • Roar Guru

                September 30th 2010 @ 2:20pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | September 30th 2010 @ 2:20pm | ! Report


                I don’t expect only positive articles about football … although a couple such articles occasionally would be nice!

                I think it’s outrageous when ignorant people are paid to talk about issues – not just sport. So, if a journo doesn’t watch football he/she should not be commenting on the Game – it’s shoddy journalism and shows contempt and disrespect for the readership.

                I have no issue with any article anaylsing Football – the Game, the business, the administration – provided the analyst has taken the time to get fully acquainted with the subject matter.

                Surely “research” is still taught in Journalism School … or is “hair and make-up” more important these days?

                And, whilst 2nd hand research tools – like Google – may be fine for “hack analysts” like myself, I reckon a professional sports journalist/analyst has to get off his/her chair and talk to people – do some primary research.

          • October 1st 2010 @ 11:12am
            Danny_Mac said | October 1st 2010 @ 11:12am | ! Report

            To imply that the “soccer community” embraces simulation clearly highlights that you’ve had very little exposure to said “soccer community”

        • September 30th 2010 @ 1:23pm
          Jeff said | September 30th 2010 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

          And those simulators in league get slammed for it by the commentators as well as the spectators, it seems soccer followers merely encorouge it.

          • September 30th 2010 @ 1:26pm
            punter said | September 30th 2010 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

            Jeff, what game are you watching?

          • October 1st 2010 @ 11:16am
            Danny_Mac said | October 1st 2010 @ 11:16am | ! Report

            Watch a game, attend a game… ask people in the stands what they think of simulation. Its a blight on the game that everybody lothes…

            My point was that in any sport where there is an advantage to be had by “staying down” players will do it.

            You watch, any half back that springs straight back up gets ridiculed for being too hasty to get back on his feet, he has cost his side a penalty. Don’t believe me? pay attention to the commentary next season. Both CH9 and FoxSports commentators do it.

            • October 1st 2010 @ 1:45pm
              Lazza said | October 1st 2010 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

              Australians are OK with match fixing, drug taking and assorted forms of thuggery but a bit of play acting to win a free kick will put them off a sport?

    • September 30th 2010 @ 6:47am
      VooDoo said | September 30th 2010 @ 6:47am | ! Report

      Get over it mate. Soccer’s a fringe sport in Australia, undeserving of coverage by State-focused newspapers, let alone papers like the Australian, with a national focus and more sports to cover. If the quality and public interest in soccer ever improves, it will be reflected in the media. But until then, stop whingeing about your lack of coverage – in the digital age you have access to an endless range of media outlets so that you can pick and choose the sports reporting that you expose yourself to. Choose pro-soccer outlets and ignore the Australian, and if enough people like you do the same, soccer coverage will attract more attention.

      • October 5th 2010 @ 5:14pm
        DiCanio said | October 5th 2010 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

        missed the point Voodoo. It’s not about lack of coverage, its about the coverage being one sided and being made by people with less interest and knowledge in the game then my 4 year old nephew and clear negative agendas.

    • September 30th 2010 @ 7:15am
      Chris said | September 30th 2010 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      Where did this idea that soccer has a god-given right to media interest come from? The media writes what people want to see – otherwise they don’t sell papers.

      Perhaps the A-League should actually earn that media interest by getting a decent crowd once in a while? Remember, in business, the consumer is ALWAYS right. The A-League can’t keep blaming others for it’s own fate.

      • September 30th 2010 @ 10:12am
        punter said | September 30th 2010 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        Please do not fall into the trap that all football fans in this country follows the A-League.

        I would say 99% of Aussie rules fans in Australia follow the AFL, there really is not much else.
        I would say 98% of Rugby League fans in Australia follow the NRL, again not much else, yes English super league.
        I would say less than 50% of football fans in Australia follow the A-League, yes many reasons for that, lack of history, NSL fans, the list goes on & most of our own doings.

        But please do not fall into the trap of thinking that the interest in football in country reflects the crowds in the A-League

        • Roar Guru

          September 30th 2010 @ 10:30am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | September 30th 2010 @ 10:30am | ! Report

          Very well said, punter

          Football is the sport we all follow. Some will follow the local product; some the o/s products.

          At various stages I will watch the HAL, ACL, EPL, UCL, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, Copa America, African Cup of Nations, European Championships, South American club football, etc. etc.

          The past 2 mornings I’ve woken at 440 a.m. and have watched 6 hours of football with 8 clubs from 6 different countries and players drawn from diverse cultures across the globe.

          • October 1st 2010 @ 2:15pm
            JimC said | October 1st 2010 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

            Fussball it’s obvious from the hysterical nature of your usual comments that your a zealot…the 4.40am anecdote has just proved it. For the record I have played competitive soccer my whole life, i grew up 6 miles from Old Trafford and have followed England around the world.

            But just because soccer is a global game it does not mean parochial sports like Gridiron, AFL, rugby league or hurling should automatically take second billing…..A-league gets it’s fair share of coverage.

            • Roar Guru

              October 1st 2010 @ 2:40pm
              Fussball ist unser leben said | October 1st 2010 @ 2:40pm | ! Report


              Thanks for the compliment!

              Given the global appeal of your old home team, I’m sure I wasn’t alone in getting up at 4:40 a.m. to watch UCL matches – it’s what every football fan that I know does when the UCL is on SBS. And, of course, morning meetings/patient and client appointments are cancelled to allow for a slightly later start at work!

              And, I would guesstimate, perhaps, several hundred million people around the world probably tuned in to watch the UCL match between Man United & Valencia.

              PS: Not sure why you think I desire “parochial sports like Gridiron, AFL, rugby league or hurling should automatically take second billing…..”? I’ve never ever said that!

            • October 5th 2010 @ 5:17pm
              DiCanio said | October 5th 2010 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

              Missed the point JimC

              The point is not about coverage, its about fairness of existing coverage and the clear negative agendas of mainstream media outlets.

    , , , ,