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How do you pinpoint western Sydney? From the west of the central business district to beyond the Blue Mountains and everything in between, it seems.

That sprawling landmass, which continues to grow as Sydney overspills, is, based on recent trends, fertile land for Australian sporting codes.

Rugby league and round ball football’s supposed heartland, the region will welcome the AFL’s Greater Western Sydney Giants next season – what many describe as the final frontier for AFL expansion, in a region the NRL dominates.

As the two most popular codes go at it in a western shootout, round ball football is conspicuous by its absence.

But, according to Simon Hill over at Fox Sports, “Former Perth Glory owner Nick Tana and ex-Soccer Australia chairman Remo Nogarotto are being lined up for a sensational return to football as the front men for a new Western Sydney franchise.”

The “old soccer” stalwarts could be charged with doing what the failed Western Sydney Rovers bid never managed; give the A-League a presence in the game’s heartland and the league a justified second team in Sydney, based on population size. And, according to Hill, the project is being fast-tracked by the governing body.

But, as Hill points out and the Rovers discovered, talk is cheap and the reality is much more expensive.

“The sticking point – as is normally the case with football franchises in Australia – is where the rest of the money will come from,” Hill writes.

“Tana is understood to be willing to be a significant investor, but others will be required.”

A minimum of $6 million is allegedly required for an A-League license with much more needed to build a competitive club. And with the next big injection of funds, the next television deal, still to be figured out, how this new bid can squeeze enough money out of a still timid economy remains to be seen; particularly in a market that the AFL will ambush and the NRL will defend rigorously, when the A-League economic model is still yet to convince of its strength.

Tana and Nogarotto may have the personal fortunes to come up with the $6 million-plus, but as the A-League’s short history will attest, proper football clubs cannot be built on just one or two individuals.

The timing of all this is interesting. Only recently the Smith Review, which examined the state of the game, suggested no further expansion of the A-League beyond the current 10 teams until “the competition is financially strong, or a tangible financial benefit can be achieved by expansion”, while Frank Lowy recently said the league would not expand till 2015 at the earliest, unless finances can be found.

So what’s changed? Has the urgency to get into western Sydney before the AFL’s billions turns football’s heartland into a Kevin Sheedy-worshipping Aussie Rules love-in, finally spurred the FFA into action?

Perhaps it’s as simple as Tana and Nogarotto overcoming any anti-“new football” agendas and wanting back into the game, with the FFA marrying their renewed interest into its western Sydney goal.

Either way, there seems to be some positive momentum here.

Expansion may have failed in North Queensland and, to a certain extent, on the Gold Coast, but while the Smith Review talked it down, it also talked up connecting with the grassroots of the game, which, on sheer numbers, has no bigger home than western Sydney. Expansion could be seen as a necessity in western Sydney, not a luxury.

But the code cannot afford another Rovers-type failure to launch – not again. This new club, let’s call it Western Sydney FC, must not only navigate its way through the challenge of finding the necessary funds, but must also find an identity that resonates with western Sydney.

If western Sydney’s geographical sparseness tempts sporting codes in terms of numbers, it should also frighten with the difficulty of pinpointing an exact centre from where to base – Parramatta, Blacktown, Bankstown, Penrith or elsewhere?

As Sydney sporting crowd averages in all codes will prove, the cities sprawling ‘burbs and the resulting traffic nightmares does more to keep fans away than any other factor.

It’s too easy and simplistic to say, therefore, because there’s a football heritage and supporter base in the region, that the new club will immediately have a sustainable number of members and fans.

You see, in addition to those complications, western Sydney football fans are already catered for with football. Over 10,000 of them attended the NSW Premier League grand final between Sydney Olympic and Sydney United this year – more than Sydney FC’s crowd average last season.

The heartland of football is the heartland because of the strength of the clubs in the area, from Olympic and United to Marconi Stallions, West Sydney Berries, Bonnyrigg White Eagles, Blacktown City FC and more – with strong numbers of registered players, clubs with a direct connection to the grassroots, previous successes at national level, and, in most cases, sustainable operations that are run successfully.

As the A-League highlights, supporters of those clubs cannot be expected to shift their allegiances to a new, generic club, even if it represents their hometown – and that is complicated by the difficulty of pinpointing a western Sydney identity that resonates with all surrounding suburbs.

Tana and Nogarotto must find a way to connect their club with the clubs already operating in the region, for that is the heartland that is providing the impetus for Western Sydney FC. And it cannot be a token recognition. It needs to be real otherwise the new club will relinquish its strongest asset.

It’s fitting that the renewed talk of a western Sydney franchise should kick-off in derby week in Melbourne, where Melbourne Victory and Heart’s rivalry is thriving despite the lack of geographical differentiation. After all, it proves two clubs can work in places as big as Melbourne and Sydney.

Whereas Heart’s arrival cut out a chunk of the Victory’s supporter base, Western Sydney FC and Sydney FC can have different geographical bases, identities and personas. If Sydney FC represents “new football”, Western Sydney FC, if built properly, could represent the game’s heritage and the region’s current clubs.

Western Sydney FC could work for these reasons; it has the population and football heritage to build on.

But more than just the financial question mark is that same old dilemma; how to marry “old soccer” and “new football”, for an A-League club based in western Sydney cannot ignore the region’s “old soccer” roots.

Western Sydney FC, or whatever it’ll be called, needs to build on that heritage, rather than ignore it and build adjacent to it. That’s its greatest test.

Adrian Musolino
Adrian Musolino

Adrian Musolino is editor of V8X Magazine, and has written as an expert on The Roar since 2008, cementing himself as a key writer who can see the big picture in sport. He freelances on other forms of motorsport, football, cycling and more.

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The Crowd Says (96)

  • December 22nd 2011 @ 7:24am
    jbinnie said | December 22nd 2011 @ 7:24am | ! Report

    Adrian – Sorry to see you expound all this recycled material on an attempt to justify the creation of an HAL team in the Western Sydney area. Lets look at some facts albeit some of them historic.Most of the areas you mention did try ,at various times,to establish themselves in the NSL.

    • December 22nd 2011 @ 3:39pm
      Ben G said | December 22nd 2011 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

      Who needs to justify? Western Sydney is where the population, interest and players are.

      Comparing it to the NSL is frankly ridiculous. I suppose South Melbourne and Perth Glory should make up a two team A-League. Putting Croatian, Greek, Italian etc teams in the west and using it as a barometer for the potential success of a Western Sydney franchise almost a decade after the NSL died is too stupid for response.

      • December 23rd 2011 @ 12:35am
        j binnie said | December 23rd 2011 @ 12:35am | ! Report

        Ben G – I made a mistake in entering the letter to Adrian so it consists of two parts. Don’t know whether you read the other part which is contained about 9 comments down but I was not trying to compare the NSL with the HAL.They are as different as chalk and cheese.Anyhow you did, despite your words, respond & for that deserve an answer.
        Essentially my comment was about the constant releasing of news items claiming all sorts of wonderful things for the football fans of western Sydney.This latest effort got under my skin just a little for the general tone being projected is one of great promise but the discerning reader would question some of the claims being made.For instance,there has now been 3 “exclusive” newspaper & media releases & not once,despite mentioning the FFA many ,many times does it mention who , if anybody,was speaking for that august body. Strange is it not.?
        I have nothing against the two men mentioned as being interested in feeling out the area for investors, but I object to connecting them to having successful stints in the NSL. Nick & Remo did have stints in the NSL some 18 or 20 years after that competition had started,peaked,and was actually in decline when they entered.Their stints were projected as successful but a look at Wikipedia & both club histories, paints a different picture. Nick did spend millions of his money and you will remember the McMahon&Deane affairs,the vast array of coaches,and the endless purchase of what were deemed “great players” some of whom were “great” in a league that by that time didn’t have too many. The blunt truth is Nick was badly advised. Remo,bouyed by Glory’s “success” decided to do the same in Sydney.The club did make a big impact but after 5 years passed into oblivion.
        Now there is one inescapable fact that you cannot ignore Ben & that is in 7 years of operation not one successful franchise has appeared out of Western Sydney.Until that happens nothing will take place to ease the needs & wants of the fans. Cheers jb

  • December 22nd 2011 @ 7:37am
    SVB said | December 22nd 2011 @ 7:37am | ! Report

    For a West Sydney team to gain any traction it has to represent a part of Western Sydney rather than represent and mean everything to everyone. AFL might have the Hills, but Football has South Western Sydney covered. This is ‘wog/ethnic’ territory. The Fairfield, Liverpool and Holroyd areas. If they can base a team and even play out of say Marconi’s stadium it would be perfect. Trying to make this team too big too quckly (and to represent the whole west) would be a big mistake.

    I am also of the belief that Sydney FC shoud permanently move to Kogarah and get state government to upgrade stadium (with help of St George Dragons). I believe Sydney FC’s core fan base is around Southern Sydney, Shire, Inner West and even Wollongong. Don’t believe that East or North has that much support for Sydney FC.

    This is how Sydney works best. Pick a small region and and make sure the locals become aware of it. Make sure there is a knowledge of the sport in the region, and saturate the area with advertising and community engagement. I think this is something rugby league has done well (hence their popularity)l, and the AFL should have done better (should have concentrated on Hills).

    • December 22nd 2011 @ 9:02am
      B.A Sports said | December 22nd 2011 @ 9:02am | ! Report

      The Previous State Government twice invested tens of millions of dollars into Kogarah. That the then Minsiter for Sport just happened to be one of the Dragons number one ticket holders was of course a mere coincidence (as was the coincidence that the Dragons other home ground (WIN) also received a substantial upgrade). That he was a Minster that couldn’t even retain his own seat in that same electiorate reflected what the public thought of him. In short i don’t see this government spending any money on Kogarah anytime soon.

      Western Sydney as suggested is a huge sprawling area. Geographically, the Southern tip of Campbelltown to the Northern tip of the Hills District is further than Sutherland to Pittwater and from Auburn to Penrith is a much bigger area than say Strathfield to Waverley. And it doesn’t matter what you call th eteam, people in Castle Hill are not going to travel to Bossley Park and people in Mt Druitt aren’t driving to Granville. So where do you base them as there are many different socio eco groups in that “Western Sydney” area, not to mention the history of previous clubs, the diverse ethnicities etc.? Where soccer is strongest is probably where people are doing it toughest. So I think any plan for a “Western Sydney” team needs to be much better defined than trying to cater for everyone.

      • December 22nd 2011 @ 9:53am
        Rusty said | December 22nd 2011 @ 9:53am | ! Report

        Not sure why you think the AFL has the Hills. Having lived there all my life I would have to say there is small following for AFL but it is certainly no stronger than the support for League or Football with Rugby also having very good support within the region. Things may change with the new AFL team but from my experience i would definitely say AFL comes in fourth at this stage but it would be close between them all.

    • Roar Guru

      December 22nd 2011 @ 11:44am
      Cappuccino said | December 22nd 2011 @ 11:44am | ! Report

      Actually, I would say the East and the North are Sydney FC’s main supporter base. The “Eastern Corridor” of The North, the Eastern Suburbs and part of South Sydney is generally accepted as being Sydney’s key support base. While the SFS is not the perfect size, its location is better than Kogarah.

      • December 22nd 2011 @ 1:51pm
        AGO74 said | December 22nd 2011 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

        At Kogarah a couple of weeks ago, 12,000 were there on a horrible day weather-wise. Walking around the ground I saw lots of people wearing jackets of their local soccer clubs – and these clubs were almost exclusively Sutherland Shire, St George, and Revesby/Bankstown area with a reasonable smattering of Wollongong……

  • December 22nd 2011 @ 7:52am
    Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 22nd 2011 @ 7:52am | ! Report

    Marconi, Croatia, Olympic and others need to come together somehow—maybe representation on the board to appease them—make it a franchise that they feel part of with all the other stake holders for the good of the game. Have a forum in the west invite all of them to attend and come together for the good of a United West Sydney FC.

    • December 22nd 2011 @ 9:06am
      MelbCro said | December 22nd 2011 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      Absurd idea. EIther a West Sydney franchise can stand on its own two feet or it can’t.

      • December 22nd 2011 @ 10:12am
        Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 22nd 2011 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        How would you know you live in Melbourne.. They only need to be shown a way that they can be part of the bigger picture and not be confined to be part of Australian Football history. Still have their state club identity, but can be part of a new Australian Football direction with a higher level of participation.. Rugby League’s Western Suburbs and Balmain RL clubs have achieved it—so it only needs an open mind, but you of course we know don’t have one—maybe it’s because you live in Melbourne. I did play for Sydney Croatia Football Club going back to the NSW Soccer Federation days. I still have Australian born Croatian friends who think it could work—have you ever actually played football?

      • December 31st 2011 @ 2:12pm
        PeterK said | December 31st 2011 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

        MelbCro, why can’t any interested clubs become part-owners? If it’s because of not enough money, then it seems to me as a long-distance observer, that you are right!

  • December 22nd 2011 @ 7:53am
    jbinnie said | December 22nd 2011 @ 7:53am | ! Report

    (Cont) In it’s heyday from 1977 to 1987 this competition could have been said to be thriving.In that time there is little doubt that Marconi and to a lesser extent Olympic were reasonably successful while the league itself was dominated by Sydney City/Eastern Suburbs etc etc.Nick Tana’s Glory did not enter the league until 1995 and Remo Nogarotto’s Northern Spirit until later.Glory survived the tragic demise of the league,Spirit didn’t.
    Back to this article.Who is the spokesman speaking on behalf of the FFA? Simon mentions no names. Are we to assume from the headings and pictures used that it was Frank Lowy? In my mind ,doubtful.,Smith has said,and apparently FL agrees,no more expansion until 2015.
    Now that could be a clue.Have Nick and Remo been given the green light (and 3 years) to see if they can succeed where many others have failed? That to me is a much more realistic approach to the problem if in fact a problem exists.
    Why do I say that.? The HAL is essentially a super football league,made up of franchises or licences who, it is hoped, will take Australian football to a higher level.No one seems to have noted that fact in articles such as Simon’s, it is not played in competition to those masses of clubs and teams who play winter football in the huge Western Suburbs but should be seen as a natural stepping stone for young Australians making their way up the ladder in the game. It is already showing signs of achieving that aim with most clubs giving youngsters a go at the top level.
    So Adrian,back to the drawing board. Let us all concentrate on this “super league” image and sell that to the thousands of youngsters wanting to progress to the highest level,but,don’t make the same mistakes as before and make the task easier just by adding more and more clubs to the mix. Historically this too has been tried and failed miserably jb

    • December 22nd 2011 @ 9:29am
      Stevo said | December 22nd 2011 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      If we think of HAL as a “super league” then discussion concerning rivalries between Olympic, Marconi, etc, etc disappear. I think the key is to market the HAL as an opportunity for young players from State leagues (and even from overseas countries) to progress their career’s through exposure nationally, then hopefully ACL appearances, Socceroos and then to some of the better leagues elsewhere (asia, europe, etc). If this is how HAL can market itself to youngsters then the constant focus on why a team wont work here or there because of this traditional team or other disappear. Young people will vote with their feet and bypass the rivalry talk and go seek opportunities which give them a pathway to success. And HAL can certainly be part of that pathway.

    • December 22nd 2011 @ 11:20am
      Punter said | December 22nd 2011 @ 11:20am | ! Report

      JB, I enjoy your input. Your knowledge & experience in the local game is 2nd to none on the Roar. Now this does not mean I agree with everything you say, but you do bring up good discussion points. Expansion is a must into West Sydney, I think you agree, the quicker the better. However, we all don’t want another WS Rovers or a team that struggles to include the communities, providing a pathway for the thousands of footballers in this area. We need to do it RIGHT.
      Yes the Smith report has stated no expansion until the league is financially viable & Mr Lowy has stated the same, however, he did have a proviso, unless the money comes from outside.

      Now according to Simon Hill, yes not FFA, we have 2 NSL combatants, who may be willing to fund the 2nd A-League side & especially Tana, he was very quite successful in Perth in the NSL days with Nogarotto, not sure when he got involved in Northern Spirit, but in the early days, there was a strong following. So if the money is there & the experience is there should we not try again, understanding the difficulties as Melbcro has mentioned of uniting all the tribes. Now time is what is needed that I do not disagree, however, are we in a situation where the AFL are taking aim & we need to take action. All this talk of AFL into NRL heartland in media, I still recall the fox sports show ‘Backpage’, on one of the few times I watched it, they were debating (3 guys with RL background & 1 AFL), especially the RL guys about room for both sports in Western Sydney, when the AFL guy said, ‘it’s Soccer we’re worried about not RL, that’s why we are going to Western Sydney’.

  • December 22nd 2011 @ 7:56am
    Patrick Angel said | December 22nd 2011 @ 7:56am | ! Report

    Everyone’s been through the reasons why a Western Sydney team would be a good idea, but connecting will still be hard with the NSL clubs in the area and the grass roots. The club could maybe use the Men of Football or something similar to make a presence in the area in a positive way. Again though, these things cost money which again is the issue.

  • December 22nd 2011 @ 8:22am
    JAJI said | December 22nd 2011 @ 8:22am | ! Report

    Its been hard watching AFL throw all the TV money at trying to convert Sydneys West when in reality Sydney generally is not into AFL – especially when one thinks how strong football is out West, Hopefully with time a solution will come for football out West that can be longlasting and at the same time operate in concert with the NRL as we are in opposite seasons….(a bit like Nathan Tinkler is doing in Newcastle)

    Lowy and Buckley got very cocky after 2007/2008 season – the A League was killing ’em and they decided to expand very quickly. However the GFC hit which crunched finances locally. I think if they had their time again they would have ditched Gold Coast and Townsville and focused on getting Sydney West and Canberra up and running

    • December 22nd 2011 @ 8:53am
      Patrick Angel said | December 22nd 2011 @ 8:53am | ! Report

      Can’t believe that the Gold Coast was seen as preferable, as a long term prospect.

      Wonder if it would be possible to get joint memberships (join Wests/Canterbury/Parra/Penrith or WS and get yourself a discount by joining another). Instead of $700 for both, you could pay 550-600 or something.

      • December 22nd 2011 @ 9:21am
        Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 22nd 2011 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        9k juniors play in the GC region and thousands of oldies who still love the game here. We only have a 2yr and a bit professional football history. Give us 5 more years and we will have the 10k supporters in the stands. The GC region is new to professional football culture, so if we want to be a truly national competition we can’t have all the teams playing out of Victoria and NSW.

        • December 22nd 2011 @ 10:05am
          Ian Whitchurch said | December 22nd 2011 @ 10:05am | ! Report

          The theory was that the very rich owner would subsidise GCU until it was a success.

          I believe this is a very, very, very over-rated idea, no matter which code it is applied to.

          Note that GWS sold 12 000 $50 memberships before entering the AFL. Personally, I would have “membership pledges”, with a non-refundable fee, as part of any application, and have the new team play for a year in the lower level competition, so they can get as many bugs as possible out of the structure before joining the big time.

          Again, its my general advice to copy what the well-run and professional code does.

          • December 22nd 2011 @ 10:24am
            Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 22nd 2011 @ 10:24am | ! Report

            If we take the advice of the AFL we would shut up shop on all fronts. No we can do it. It just needs unification and finance to launch a decent media campaign, which will eventually happen when the next Digital Fox TV deal comes about—this will allow some head way in that department, until then, we just keep nibbling away with the grass roots and the money men who support us.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 10:40am
              Ian Whitchurch said | December 22nd 2011 @ 10:40am | ! Report

              QSAF,

              Im not saying to take the AFL’s advice.

              Im saying look at what they have done well, and done badly, and copy the things that work.

              Instead, Association Football in Australia appears to be hell-bent on copying the mistakes of the Edelsten Era at the Swans – specifically, in star owners hiring star players.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 10:53am
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 22nd 2011 @ 10:53am | ! Report

              Believe me no one is copying Eldestien and believe me the FFA are trying to get the Media finance that the AFL are getting now, but the reality is at present the media money is not available to us like it is for the AFL. So we rely on our benefactors—the likes of Clive Palmer who are willing to hold up the clubs until a decent Fox digital deal is forth coming. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer with Ben Buckley working hard behind the scene as we speak.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 12:30pm
              Ian Whitchurch said | December 22nd 2011 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

              By being excessively reliant on a single private owner for a club, association football in Australia certainly copying Edelsten in spades.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 1:00pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 22nd 2011 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

              Sorry Ian I have to disagree there—Edelsten was a different kettle of fish dabbling in an insular code that has no tentacles outside of the Australian market place. I think our owners have much higher ambitions yet to be realised. Granted they have not been fulfilled as yet, but when the HAL is on the same footing as the J-League it will have tremendous potential for international exposure. I think making profits is secondary to what Asian, and international exposure, with networking can bring to their other business interests.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 1:21pm
              Jaceman said | December 22nd 2011 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

              QSAF,

              Edelstein is 25 years ago and by default made the AFL spend more money on the Swans to where they are now. If the Socceroos go on the anti-siphoning list as Conroy promised, I’m not sure how the A-League gets a bigger deal as soccer fans will keep Fox for the EPL, La Liga and serie A…

          • December 22nd 2011 @ 10:50am
            Punter said | December 22nd 2011 @ 10:50am | ! Report

            Ian,unfortunately the A-League does not have a rich history, nor does football have a rich history of strong football administration & they need to rely on these rich owners for the time being.
            AFL does have a strong administration & deservedly got a very strong media deal which allows it to pour lots of money into West Sydney (GWS) (into the councils & schools, on top of all the marketing)& use it’s strong media arm (rightly so) toain attention. Hence why the GWS will have a short term gain. The Swans after 30 years has only created a niche following.
            The FFA does not have the budget for this much to our displeasure. I think it unfair to compare the 2 at present. The NFL a sporting organisation with a far larger budget than the AFL has hardly made a splash in making the NFL a worldwide alternative outside the superbowl beyond their heartland. So the AFL understands this & are aiming all their monies on their last potential targets SE Queensland & Sydney.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 11:56am
              stabpass said | December 22nd 2011 @ 11:56am | ! Report

              i would disagree that the AFL are aiming all their moneys at SE QLD and GWS, and i would disagree that these areas are their last potential targets, their is a fair bit of potential for new teams in other areas of Australia, Nth QLD, 3rd WA team, Canberra, Tassie, even way down the track another team around the southern Sydney/Gong region or north to Newcaste CC area.

              But they will wait a substantial time, before any other teams are embarked on, maybe if GWS fails, they may relocate that team, but seriously, do you think its going to fail.

              The Swans do OK, with their 30,000 members, GWS with the initial help of their Canberra members will probably do OK as well.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 12:15pm
              Punter said | December 22nd 2011 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

              I’m not talking about new potential teams, I’m talking about potential areas of expansion into non AFL heartland.

          • December 31st 2011 @ 2:21pm
            PeterK said | December 31st 2011 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

            Sounds to me too, like a good model to copy, Ian.

        • December 31st 2011 @ 2:20pm
          PeterK said | December 31st 2011 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

          QSAF, nor can we have NO teams in a supposedly National competition coming from north of the Brisbane line of latitude.

      • December 22nd 2011 @ 10:04am
        Australian Rules said | December 22nd 2011 @ 10:04am | ! Report

        I agree PA.

        The FFA’s decision to go into Gold Coast (and Nth Qld) before West Sydney was shockingly shortsighted.

        Obviously they felt the pinch: the NRL had an almost perfect launch with the Titans model in 2007…and they knew the AFL was on the way.

        The region just wasn’t ready for it (a stadium notwithstanding), and as often happens on the GC, crowds lost interest after a while. You need more than a few juniors playing, which happens everywhere. You need a large adult population (families) with a genuine appetite to follow a professional sporting team week in week out. With AFL and NRL taking up a large section of the sports-going community on the GC, Football will always be third fiddle.

        A team in West Sydney is a must…and a complete no-brainer for the league. It will add massively to the sporting landscape of the region, (with NRL and AFL) and provide a much-needed boost for the game in NSW, which despite its claims as the home of Football, FFA HQ, “glamour” etc etc…has been an underwhelming influence since the A-League began. Bring it on.

        • December 22nd 2011 @ 10:41am
          Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 22nd 2011 @ 10:41am | ! Report

          GCU only need 10k average to be a viable concern. This will be achievable in 5yrs. Not saying we don’t need a West Sydney, but you need a Clive Palmer there with community spirit to do it. We have a Clive Palmer with community spirit on the GC and wants to put his money back into the community where he lives—he has chosen football to do just that to help the 9k grass root kids to find their way to professional football and the Australian National Football Team.. We have in two years produced James Brown a home grown local now playing for the Olyroos. The next step for him is the Socceroos. Clive Palmer is very proud he made that possible for a Gold Coast youngster to live his dream.

          • December 22nd 2011 @ 12:30pm
            Australian Rules said | December 22nd 2011 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

            I think your first sentence really captures the problem QSAF.

            Yes, a 10k average is achievable but probably unlikely from what the GC public have showed us thus far.

            You can talk about “community spirit” but it’s just not there on game day. It’s been a problem for sporting teams for decades on the GC. The Titans experienced it this year and no doubt, the Suns will be tested by fickle support in the future as well.

            It’s great that the GC is producing home-grown players, but that is not the thrust of this debate. Expansion teams for the A-League must have (at the very least) local support from fans and I think West Syd would achieve that quickly, particularly from an East v West perspective.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 1:07pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 22nd 2011 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

              AR—I said 5 years time not tomorrow.. And I think I did say West Sydney is an important market, but we don’t just want all of our clubs to be based in the Sydney and Melbourne markets. Surely not?

          • December 22nd 2011 @ 12:57pm
            Ian Whitchurch said | December 22nd 2011 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

            QSAF,

            “GCU only need 10k average to be a viable concern”. Wrong. With 10k, they are viable at the current level of salary cap expenditure.

            For the quality of the league to go up, the level of salary cap has to go up with it.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 1:20pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 22nd 2011 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

              Disagree with 10k avg. and a talented home grown XI to take the park along with a better TV deal and Clive in the background to tinker with an occasional top up for a talented marquee it’s a real goer. What ever the salary cap will be our younsters will fall within it. Sydney RL Clubs barley pass the 10k av and have been with us for 100yrs

          • December 22nd 2011 @ 1:36pm
            Ian Whitchurch said | December 22nd 2011 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

            QSAF,

            You may or may not have noticed Manly ran out of money due to low crowds, lowballed their coach and he left for another club. After winning a flag.

            Here are rugby league crowds for 2011. Lowest average home crowd for Sydney clubs is Cronulla at 12 000. You will note questions keep being asked as to which Sydney clubs will go broke.

            http://stats.rleague.com/rl/crowds/2011.html

            Relying of anyone’s deep pockets to keep funding a club is a losing game.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 1:59pm
              Johnno said | December 22nd 2011 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

              Very good facts and backed up with evidence as always Ian, unlike me often johnno facts.
              But it amazes me to be honest that Brisbane Broncos can attract 30,000 plus fans to home matches every year. When it is on the box, easier if you ask me. Rugby league is booming in Brisbane clearly, and i though rugby league was in decline Ian in Brisbane becoz of the QLD reds well not yet it isn’t.
              And amazed Cronulla could still pull and average of 12,000 to Shark park unbelievable but true fact Ian.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 3:50pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 22nd 2011 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

              NRL 16 clubs with squads far bigger then HAL squads and their wage bill and out goings are far larger then any HAL clubs. CCM FC in their couple of years were all square financially and in the black with gate avg. of about 10k a season or there abouts. All done on a shoe string budget.

              Now I’m talking about the next TV deal and some of the informed football analysts have said $500m to $600m for the digital and Fox TV is not beyond them (negotiated deal). Recently Ben Buckley announced that this year so far very aspect of Australian football avenues, crowds, ratings, etc. across the board have gone up by 17%

              The first Fox deal was worked out from the old NSL figures (they were the only ones available), which we know is only $160m for 7 years—no Asian tournaments involving the National Australian Football Teams.

              The FFA have said they are going to cover the cap by giving the clubs a dividend from the pending new digital and Fox deal. The burden on the HAL will not be any where near it is now, which leaves the owners to just mop up any outstanding debt.

              Of course there may be some to worry about, but it will all be dealt with out their petty cash so to speak. The next digital and Fox deal will be very much close to $600m. whereas the first one was only $160m.

            • December 22nd 2011 @ 8:10pm
              Whites said | December 22nd 2011 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

              The next TV deal will not be anywhere close to $600m over 5 years. $300m would be a fantastic result. No serious person has suggested $600m.

        • December 22nd 2011 @ 12:36pm
          me, I like football said | December 22nd 2011 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

          Weren’t there conditions at the time of GCU forming stipulating one team for one market?

          • Roar Guru

            December 22nd 2011 @ 1:53pm
            The Cattery said | December 22nd 2011 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

            milf
            yes – it was a strict one town one team policy at the time that both GCU and the Fury came into the league, people keep forgetting this.

            Heart was able to come into the comp in season 6, the original licensing agreements ran out at the end of season 5.

            People also need to remember that after a very successful season 2, going into season 3 as well, there were multiple bids available for GCU and the Fury, in fact, both nearly came into the comp in season 4.

            It didn’t work out – but at the time when the FFA had multiple bids to choose from, and being the only areas where new teams could go in without contravening licensing agreements – the Gold coast and Townsville made a lot of sense.

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