Record crowd figures for A-League


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    A-League boss Lyall Gorman is spruiking record crowd and television figures from the league’s seventh regular season but the uncertain future of Gold Coast remains a dark shadow with players anxious for answers.

    Gorman saw plenty to be positive about on Monday, citing figures showing the cumulative total of 1,416,157 fans attending matches in the 2011-12 season bettered the previous best of 1,393,933 last season.

    That total was achieved despite the demise of the North Queensland Fury after last season, with 30 less matches played – 135 matches across 25 weeks compared to 165 matches in season six.

    The season average regular season crowd of 10,490 was bolstered by increases in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle and Wellington.

    Gorman said television audiences had also soared – up 46 per cent from last season.

    And he pointed to the average of 2.7 goals per game as an indication of good entertainment value.

    “This has been a fantastic season with our goals per game average in line with some of the biggest leagues in the world including the EPL (2.72), La Liga (2.74) and Serie A (2.49),” said Gorman in a statement, using stats from the 2011 European season.

    But the big cloud lingering as the league goes into the finals series is the future of the Gold Coast team after outspoken owner Clive Palmer was stripped of his A-League licence more than a month ago.

    The A-League can ill afford to reduce to just nine teams, especially with its seven-year television rights deal set to expire in 2013.

    Football Federation Australia is mulling over the merits of a local consortium, led by entrepreneur Geoffrey Schuhkraft and Gold Coast mayoral candidate Tom Tate, which is bidding to take over the licence.

    But the FFA says it wants $5 million of funding guaranteed from the consortium in just two weeks.

    Meanwhile Gold Coast captain Michael Thwaite and other United players are in limbo and hoping for a positive outcome.

    “I’ve had interest from A-League (clubs) and in Asia,” said Thwaite after Sunday night’s final match.

    “I’ve got ambitions to play for the national team but I’m a very loyal person and I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this club.

    “I won’t go down without a fight.”

    Thwaite spoke passionately about the club he joined as a foundation member for the 2009-10 season at the post-match press conference following the 2-1 loss to the Brisbane Roar.

    “To be honest I’m very frustrated,” he said.

    “Three years ago I was made a lot of promises.

    “I bought a house and moved my family here. I took on a mortgage and started coaching a local under-12 team.

    “I want answers. I want some people to start talking, (stop) hiding away and (start) taking responsibility for the rise and demise of Gold Coast United.

    “I want to know why the club wasn’t run properly.

    “Obviously we’re waiting for an answer, most likely at the end of this week, but be it positive or negative, I’m very disappointed.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • March 27th 2012 @ 10:00am
      pete4 said | March 27th 2012 @ 10:00am | ! Report

      Don’t want to place a negative on what is some very positive news however the question for mine is for our game should these numbers be even better??

    • Roar Rookie

      March 27th 2012 @ 10:09am
      David Jones said | March 27th 2012 @ 10:09am | ! Report

      Why do these positive articles always have to be tainted with negative stuff.

      Its about a record A-League year – despite 30 less games than last season, the aggregate attendance is a record. Attendances, TV ratings, player registrations and revenues are all up – despite the GC and their 2K attendances.

      Then you go on about Thwaite doesn’t know which club he is playing for next year – save that for another article or AFL mouthpiece Dugald Massey.

      • March 27th 2012 @ 1:08pm
        Lucan said | March 27th 2012 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

        “Why do these positive articles always have to be tainted with negative stuff.”

        Welcome to the internet. 😉

      • Roar Guru

        March 27th 2012 @ 3:01pm
        The Cattery said | March 27th 2012 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

        Some pundits on the Roar have even forecast an NSL style crash.

      • March 28th 2012 @ 10:03am
        Bondy said | March 28th 2012 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        David Jones ,
        I agree I started to read what I believed to be a feel good story but alas pessimism fell in at paragraph five .Why do I follow a sport where i’ve been told the sport is dead for close to twenty years now.

        Infact the only feel good story I can remember this year has been Ali Abbas for the Newcastle Jets .

    • March 27th 2012 @ 12:44pm
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | March 27th 2012 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

      That’s great but why doesn’t Ben Buckley make public what dollars he is asking for.. Some time a go Harold Mitchell said the Football rights would be worth $100m a season if Ben Buckley managed the negotiations properly—well here we go we have turned it around and so Ben, are we going for the big $100m a season as Harold Mitchell said it will be worth by 2013? Now is the time to tell us Ben…

      • March 27th 2012 @ 4:40pm
        Axelv said | March 27th 2012 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

        I think you’ll find that the position of football has changed a lot since then.

        – TV Ratings are down on previous years
        – Crowds are down
        – Socceroos popularity down
        – Expansion clubs have folded

        If you were to predict this 3 years ago when that new $50 million a year deal was turned down, you’d be a millionaire.

        Apart from the A-League haters, none of us saw this coming. That said that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom, there was plenty of positives to be taken out of the last 12 months, although understandably that may be difficult for you to see given the circumstances surrounding your club. I hope your club can be rescued and come up with a thorough plan on how to get crowds on the Gold Coast, the alarm bells have been ringing for a long time now, a sustainable club cannot exist without it’s fans.

        To be honest at the start of this season I thought Clive had turned the corner and learned from his past mistakes, and the crowds showed to be up from it as well, I was wrong.

        • March 27th 2012 @ 5:06pm
          Nathan of Perth said | March 27th 2012 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

          Wait, what? Crowds are up, ratings are up, the Fury, blessed be, got rationalised, and by what measure are the Socceroos less popular? Do you mean they are at a lower ebb on the public awareness because we haven’t yet commenced the final round of WC qualifying?

          • March 27th 2012 @ 5:34pm
            Axelv said | March 27th 2012 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

            I’m comparing 2009 ,when the $50 mill per year deal was supposedly offered to the FFA and rejected compared to 2012 here (worth $30m a year?)

            In 2009, the Socceroos were attracting record ratings, 400k viewers on Foxtel which is massive (big bash was 250k), now in 2012 in the recent World Cup Qualifiers they have been attracting 100k viewers. The popularity of the team compared to post Guus 2006 era is not what it was.

            The 2009 A-League crowds had a larger average than we do have today, 12,181 was the average finishing that season. The season just completed we averaged 10,487. As you know, the popularity of football has been on a slide in recent years, it’s what we’ve been talking about on the Roar every day during that time.

            Crowds are up and TV ratings are up compared to last year, 10/11 which was the worst season for the A-League yet, but still in 2009 we were in a better bargaining position for the TV ratings and that’s why the TV deal was worth more then, than it is now.

            My point is that it is impossible to tell the future and most football fans were not predicting the current slide that we’ve just had as QSAF makes it appear so obvious in hindsight, yet I didn’t hear a word from him at the time predicting it…

    • March 27th 2012 @ 1:07pm
      Lucan said | March 27th 2012 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

      Lyall who???

      As HAL boss, Gorman needs to be front and centre a lot more.

    • March 27th 2012 @ 2:30pm
      j binnie said | March 27th 2012 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

      Sombody must have pulled a switch at headquarters and “viola” we have Lyall and Ben releasing positive stuff to the media on consecutive days. after months of what could only be described as deafening silence.Mind you the “facts” they are citing actually cover up a multitude of sins that have been made over the recent years so one is left wondering when and who is going to “supervise” these grand plans into fact. This is not as many would have you believe,negative thinking, only a quiet reserve about promises made before and shelved for no apparent reason. Ben and Lyall toured the country about 18 months ago to glean the feeling and ideas on an FFA national trophy and must have found it was hugely accepted idea.Outcome? Some months later Smith killed the idea as being too expensive. Explanation -Silence.This is the information people want to get not some vague promises as what may happen if,if,if, in the future. Keep up the dialogue Ben and Lyall. jb
      ps Perhaps an enterprising journalist could find out the format for a national trophy presented to Smith,that would let thinkers know why it was deemed too expensive?????.jb

      • March 27th 2012 @ 2:53pm
        Lucan said | March 27th 2012 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

        “Perhaps an enterprising journalist could find out the format for a national trophy presented to Smith,that would let thinkers know why it was deemed too expensive?????.jb”

        Especially considering Vic and WA have state cups up and running on the equivalent of Buckley and Gorman’s monthly coffee budget. 🙂

        I’m especially critical of Gorman. The HAL is meant to be his baby, but owners, fans, journos, continually bypass him to get their answers from Buckley and Lowy.
        What is Lyall Gorman’s portfolio?

    • March 28th 2012 @ 9:33am said | March 28th 2012 @ 9:33am | ! Report

      I have to agree about Lyall, massive HAL fan and I have heard from him twice this year now in media ! Step up son or step down HAL needs leadership right now

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