Delay FFA Cup: Smith Report

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    Socceroos’ World Cup qualifiers being removed from the federal government’s anti-siphoning list and the FFA Cup being delayed are two of the findings from the Smith Report.

    The findings of the review into football in Australia by Warwick Smith was released today (Thursday) and included 11 recommendations.

    With Football Federation Australia (FFA) expected to finalise a new broadcasting deal “within six months”, according to chairman Frank Lowy, one of the recommendations could be vital.

    It states that because of the importance of World Cup qualifiers to the next TV deal, the matches should be removed from the anti-siphoning list.

    The World Cup qualifiers were set to be included in the next anti-siphoning list, meaning games on the road to Russia 2018 would be on free-to-air.

    But the Smith Report believes that Socceroos games, along with the A-League, should be part of a package to increase its value.

    “The government should minimise changes to the status quo in the short to medium-term (capturing the current and next broadcast deal), enabling FFA to package World Cup qualification matches with the A-League and other Socceroos matches, thereby decreasing reliance on government support,” the report recommends.

    The report also recommends the FFA put a cup competition, featuring A-League and state league teams, on hold until TV and sponsorship deals were in place.

    “The roll-out of new initiatives or programs should be prioritised, with specific consideration of the funding for and timing of the implementation of the FFA Cup,” it states.

    “In the absence of an appropriate level of sponsor and broadcast commitment, serious consideration should be given to delaying implementation.”

    While not a recommendation, the report also looks at the current stadium deals some A-League clubs have with state governments.

    The report states that $5 million is spent on stadium costs across the A-League each season, which is about a quarter of total losses.

    “It is not suggested that stadium authorities should offer their facilities for free; however stadium authorities should consider the fledgling nature of the competition and the impact of hiring arrangements that do not reflect the revenues of its tenants,” it states.

    “The Commonwealth Government provides special assistance funding to FFA, which in turn indirectly helps underwrite A-League losses which for some clubs are partly due to State-owned stadia hire arrangements.”

    Whether this means the federal government puts pressure on state bodies to reduce stadium hire fees to A-League clubs is another thing all together.

    These are just a few findings from the Smith Report, which can be accessed from here.

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    The Crowd Says (18)

    • December 3rd 2011 @ 9:34am
      Midfielder said | December 3rd 2011 @ 9:34am | ! Report

      No one wants the AC more than me… according to BB the model is now agreed …

      Its a matter of picking the start date…. neither the the clubs nor FFA have the money to fund it … it makes sense to me, there is no point starting something that burns tho the limited resources we have …

      • December 4th 2011 @ 9:46am
        jbinnie said | December 4th 2011 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        Midfielder – Interesting comment. “According to BB the model is now agreed” . DON’T YOU THINK IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO LET THE FOOTBALL PUBLIC KNOW WHAT THIS “MODEL” CONSISTS OF, you know, the people they are reported to be desperate to attract to the game. Or,(maybe it’s the cynic in me) ,is that just another bit of political spin that the public has been getting since the competition was first proposed more than 2 years ago???????jb

        • December 4th 2011 @ 12:06pm
          PeterK said | December 4th 2011 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

          OK, I agree that we shouldn’t implement an FFA Cup until the TV and sponsorship deals are in place.

          OK then let’s get them into place, and quickly!

          Is there a reason we can’t negotiate those deals before the current TV deal concludes? Surely the current deal refers solely to the “A-League”? Or does it include all matches played (officially) by A-League clubs (ie, other than friendlies and pre-season matches)?

    • December 3rd 2011 @ 11:19am
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 3rd 2011 @ 11:19am | ! Report

      The biggest issue for me out of all of this is we have to put pressure on state governments to reduce rentals on Stadia hire. Clearly the State Governments are trying to use these tax paid for facilities as cash cows. A new rental charge system should be worked out to provide a fairer deal (charges) for fledgling football clubs hiring these facilities. Otherwise they will be big white elephants that no one can afford to use. They are to people’s property, for the people to enjoy their football, paid for by the people they represent.

      • December 3rd 2011 @ 11:32am
        Football United said | December 3rd 2011 @ 11:32am | ! Report


        from here in vic it just looks like anna bligh is just building all those stadiums to bleed teams and fans dry. If Clive built his own ground would stadiums queensland still demand to be part of the action?

      • December 3rd 2011 @ 2:13pm
        jbinnie said | December 3rd 2011 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

        QsAF What about that other stadium built to hold 60,000 within easy reach of Brisbane CBD that I daresay has only ever been filled once,the opening of the Commonwealth Games back in the early 80’s.Its been lying there ever since getting used by athletic clubs and the occasional rock concert.Why do the Roar not move there? Oh no,the green field in the middle is not big enough to hold a football match ie (NRL, RU or FOOTBALL). Why is that so???? Believe this if you like. When it was designed the running track HAD to have a START & FINISH point DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE STAND. That meant the running track HAD to be 400 metres so an international size football pitch could NOT be contained in the middle.????????? It should be put into a “strange but true” book,people would not believe it. Back to today,how much would it cost to repair this stupid error?. Pinch a bit of the running track and the problem is solved and the 400 metre race would then start on a staggered corner like they do in every other major stadium in the world. Too easy !!!!! but ??? jb

        • Roar Guru

          December 3rd 2011 @ 3:59pm
          mds1970 said | December 3rd 2011 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

          The Broncos played there several years ago, while Lang Park was being redeveloped. It could be done – but the stands would be a fair way from a rectangular pitch.

          • December 3rd 2011 @ 6:10pm
            Johnno said | December 3rd 2011 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

            And a davis cup tie vs russia was held there at least 5-10 years ago as well.

            • December 4th 2011 @ 2:47am
              jbinnie said | December 4th 2011 @ 2:47am | ! Report

              Johnno- Don’t know if you got your names mixed up but I think the Davis Cup is a tennis tournament. jb

              • December 4th 2011 @ 8:17am
                Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 4th 2011 @ 8:17am | ! Report

                JB—I went to that ground only once in my life so far to watch a Rugby League match (Broncos vs Sydney Bulldogs). Never again it is diabolical to watch football and I totally agree with you.

                Btw our good friend Johnno SO FC supporter is right a Davis Cup qualifier was played at the Comm Games Stadium at the far Nth end of the ground because the Tennis Courts at Milton was burnt to the ground.

              • December 4th 2011 @ 8:28pm
                Stanza said | December 4th 2011 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

                lol, have to correct you jb but there was a davis cup there to which i was there. Temporary grass courts were erected up one end of the field and temporary stands on 3 sides.

          • December 4th 2011 @ 2:44am
            jbinnie said | December 4th 2011 @ 2:44am | ! Report

            mds1970 – Yes the Broncos played several fixtures on QE11 when the ground at Lang Park was being re-developed but what you may not know (or remember) was that at each “corner” of the playing area the “grass” was actually imitation and burns gained when scoring tries there resulted in the players having to wear pantyhose to prevent skin damage,not a “fact” that Rugby League management wished to broadcast. I guess you know why.
            What is not widely known was that when FIFA officials first saw the ground they immediately requested that the ground be booked for the final of the Under age World Cup being held the following year. When a more than observant official asked the size of the playing area he immediately “killed” that idea by informing the official guide that the playing area was not large enough to play ANY international football on (ALL CODES). You can imagine this man’s surprise when the guide informed him in no uncertain manner that -“This place was not built for football it was built for athletics”???????? More taxpayers money down the drain. jb

      • December 5th 2011 @ 8:34am
        Lucan said | December 5th 2011 @ 8:34am | ! Report

        Cash cows????

        I think most non-football fan taxpayers would prefer to see these stadiums generate money for the state. More money means more school teachers, nurses, emergency servies, better infrastructure, etc.

        New stadiums like Bubbledome cost gov’t/taxpayers a bomb. These costs of building the stadium still need to be recouped before we even consider cutting deals for what are in fact privately owned franchises renting the space.

    • December 3rd 2011 @ 11:36am
      Football United said | December 3rd 2011 @ 11:36am | ! Report

      FFS Buckley cut Melbourne and Heart from the mirabella cup so this comp could go ahead (still don’t get how we couldn’t have both). It is extremely infuriating that after getting a decent cup comp to go ahead which was set to be able to bridge the ‘divide’ that we have to can it in anticipation of the non existant ‘buckley cup’

    • December 4th 2011 @ 9:26am
      Swampy said | December 4th 2011 @ 9:26am | ! Report

      World Cup off the anti-siphoning list would be absolute lunacy. Did Fox actually sponsor this report? Foxtel would outbid any network and then on sell some major games – the fans without pay subscriptions would see very little of the world’s greatest sporting event.
      What’s next – removing the Olympics from the anti-siphoning list?

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      • Roar Guru

        December 4th 2011 @ 9:34am
        The Cattery said | December 4th 2011 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        I didn’t think the recommendation was abot the World Cup, but rather WC qualifiers involving the Socceroos, which are currently destined for the anti-siphoning list.

    • December 4th 2011 @ 5:05pm
      Swampy said | December 4th 2011 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

      The Cattery – thank you for pointing that out. Qualifiers – not actual world cup. In review my comment is meaningless.

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      • December 5th 2011 @ 8:28am
        Lucan said | December 5th 2011 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        I still want to see our Socceroos on FTA. WCQ’s especially.

        Packaging them with the HAL is a free-kick for the HAL. 7 years, it is time for the league to stop riding coattails of the ‘Roos TV$$.

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