Football Federation of Australia CEO Ben Buckley holds a media press conference. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

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Another week, another A-League club facing extinction. As the A-League finals series plays out in the background, reminding us that yes, in fact, there’s a sporting component to the league, off field matters continue to dominate as we again question the viability of the league.

With Nathan Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group (HSG) handing back its licence to run the Newcastle Jets, “unable to resolve a variety of issues with the FFA”, the governing body is faced with bankrolling yet another club to guarantee the 10-team competition it desperately needs for the new television rights deal next season.

Only last week the FFA committed around $15 million to underwrite the new as yet unnamed Western Sydney franchise that will replace the culled Gold Coast United to lock in the much-needed 10 teams. This after FFA head honcho Frank Lowy recently said the FFA was “not a bloody bank”, having dipped into its accounts on numerous occasions to fund clubs, sending the governing body further into the red.

Why Tinkler walked:

Some will pigeonhole Tinkler in the Clive Palmer (Gold Coast United) category – a billionaire who simple lost interest in or patience with the A-League.

The business partners and chums were undoubtedly connected after Palmer, in his tirade against the governing body over his licence, highlighted the discrepancy in the amount Tinkler paid for the Jets relative to other owners for the right to run an A-League club.

Others will point to the growing speculation over Tinkler’s financial situation, which is set to become clearer in the coming days and in the legal proceedings the FFA is launching over his decision to terminate his 10-year contract in only its second year.

Like Palmer on the Gold Coast, some will suggest Tinkler just needed an excuse to cut the Jets from his budget; sick of losing money on a club which seemingly became the poorer, uglier sibling to the Newcastle Knights, the National Rugby League (NRL) HSG acquired soon after it was handed the Jets. After all, Tinkler has other investments that seemingly take precedent over his football interests. And many will point to his recent track record in Australian sport as a sign of his instability when it comes to his sporting interests.

He’s has had a colourful and sometimes controversial background in the racing industry, where he has ploughed a reported $240 million into building his stable; his negotiations to acquire the Knights with the NRL generated plenty of headlines for the right and wrong reasons; his last-minute call to pullout of a deal to buy a half share in the Dick Johnson Racing V8 Supercars team a bitter blow for the outfit; and his recent decision to walk away from the Newcastle Jets seemingly puts to bed his idea of uniting and expanding the region’s sporting clubs into one umbrella organisation.

Others suggest that like his dealings with the NRL over the Knights, he is merely bargaining with the FFA to get the concessions he wants; possibly to get a refund on the controversial $3 million acquisition fee he paid for the Jets.

All are plausible reasons for Tinkler’s walkout. But the FFA cannot continue to scapegoat disgruntled owners for the current malaise around the A-League, which, if Newcastle isn’t saved, could see three clubs perish in two seasons.

Why the FFA is also to blame:

Tinkler and Palmer may have acted irresponsibly in their handling of their licences, with Tinkler seemingly in breach of his 10-year contract with the FFA that, according to reports, could cost him $80 million in damages. But what of the system that allows such owners into the game, holding the fate of the clubs and the young league in their untrustworthy, unsteady and disinterested hands?

“You can’t just walk away from contracts,” said FFA CEO Ben Buckley on Tinkler’s walkout. “You can’t just hand back licences. You have to do the right thing by fans who have supported the team.

“Individuals who take on a licence, who sign contracts, who sign players, who make a commitment to fans, who make a commitment to football communities in their regions, have an absolute obligation to fulfill those obligations and commitments.”

Should the same sentiments also apply to the governing body and the contracts they sign with clubs, the fans who support those teams, and the communities in those regions?

There is a real hypocrisy in culling Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury, stripping licences at will, while insisting HSG under no circumstances can walk away from their deal – a deal both parties agreed to and signed.

How can a code build a loyal supporter base when fans are put through this sort of treatment? Why should they invest their time and emotional support into something that will be taken away from them without a say?

Yet this is the environment the FFA has fostered. In the attempt to cash in on the interest of billionaire investors, it has ignored the very foundations needed to guarantee a club can survive beyond its sugar daddy; protected in the hands of a group of investors or its members.

Flawed model:

The A-League now resembles the league it replaced and was meant to improve on, the National Soccer League, where there was a revolving door of clubs entering and leaving; poorly handled clubs replaced by haphazard expansion moves. Sound familiar?

Worrying is the repeated messages from the FFA lambasting the outgoing owners while insisting all’s well with the A-League. The private ownership model is clearly unsustainable.

Clubs such as Perth Glory, Adelaide United, Gold Coast United, Brisbane Roar, North Queensland Fury, New Zealand Knights, Newcastle Jets and Wellington Phoenix have had ownership changes with the majority relying on the governing body to keep them going. Adelaide, Wellington, Brisbane and Newcastle, for example, could very easily have been lost to the league already.

Questions now abound over the Central Coast Mariners’ reported Russian ownership takeover, while new Brisbane Roar owners, led by controversial Indonesian tycoon Aburizal Bakrie, have raised a few eyebrows.

With only nine clubs for next season, should the Jets be left to die, and Western Sydney bankrolled by the governing body, it would only take another walkout to raise serious doubts over the viability of the A-League.

Surely there are now question marks around Perth Glory owner Tony Sage, who has much in common with fellow mining magnates Tinkler and Palmer and also has a hole in his wallet thanks to his A-League club.

Having already scraped the Glory’s women and youth sides from the W-League and National Youth League respectively, only his club’s recent form on the field, which will see a long awaited crack at the Asian Champions League next season, could tempt him to stay.

Nevertheless, like Tinkler and Palmer, he didn’t make his fortune by holding onto investments that consistently lose money. And when you start factoring in the number of potential investors, sponsors and more put off by the ongoing off-field soap opera that is the A-League, untold damage is being inflicted on the league at such a critical juncture.

Where to from here?:

The FFA’s greatest test is thus to stop the bleeding immediately. In the coming months the future of the Jets must be decided, the foundations built for the new club in Western Sydney with only six months until their debut, the next television rights deal negotiations must be stepped up irrespective of the gloomy climate, and other club owners persuaded to keep faith.

The recently created Joint A-League Strategic Committee (JALSC) between FFA and clubs to address policy and strategic matters affecting the national competition is a step in the right direction. But is a bi-monthly meeting between the parties enough to unite and help the clubs have their say, or is it a toothless tiger?

Relations between club owners and FFA must be strengthened for positive reform to take place. They showed faith in the Lowy leadership when they didn’t back another candidate for the role of chairman of the FFA last year. They know there is no alternative to the FFA, certainly not Palmer’s disgruntled Football Australia body, whatever purpose it hopes to serve.

Those immense challenges await a governing body that has overseen a disastrous expansion phase with two new clubs killed off with seemingly no sign it has learned from those mistakes given the lack of changes in key personnel.

The FFA must immediately guarantee the future of the Jets, a different proposition to North Queensland Fury and Gold Coast United. It’s a foundation A-League club with history, pedigree and success.

Newcastle had the third highest crowd average in the 2011-12 season, ahead of the likes of Sydney FC, Central Coast Mariners, Perth Glory and Adelaide United; improving by 4000 on the previous season thanks to family-friendly membership packages, investment in junior development and other community engagement initiatives by HSG.

Worryingly it seems the FFA is putting the onus on running the Jets solely on HSG. A matter for the courts undoubtedly, there still needs to be a guarantee that the FFA will field a Jets team next season, if the FFA “bank” can afford to run two clubs, that is.

But at what point does the FFA stop blaming club owners and accepts that very real change is required to stop the rot? How many more clubs must die? There could be nothing left to save if Newcastle isn’t saved.

The next six months are, therefore, decisive for the league. At best, the Jets survive, Western Sydney is born and the A-League stabilises at 10 teams with the governing body reforming the structure of the league to ensure its survival. At worst, the Jets fold, Western Sydney follows the path of Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury and the A-League becomes unsustainable.

The FFA should remember the A-League is Australian football’s second chance after the demise of the National Soccer League. It shouldn’t bank on a third chance if it can’t make the A-League work.

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 (122)

  • April 11th 2012 @ 8:06am
    Kasey said | April 11th 2012 @ 8:06am | ! Report

    With the morning to think about things, I’m still angry, but as Cockerill says, it’s too easy, convenient and fashionable these days to lay all of the blame at the feet of the FFA. Of course the FFA should shoulder some of the blame and I will one day be glad to see the back of Buckley, but I portion blame in FFA’s direction in the same way the Royal Navy blamed the captain of the Destroyer HMS Nottingham after she struck the only rock between Lord Howe Island and South America in 2002, holing her and almost sinking the vessel. The Captain (CO) wasn’t even on the ship at the time of the incident. He was ashore with the governor of the island. The ship was being driven by the Officer of the Watch (a Junior officer delegated and authorised to manoeuvre the ship) the OOW certification is bestowed by the CO, but ultimately under the discipline and honour code of the military, the CO is responsible for everything that occurs on his or her shipwhether he/she is onboard or not. Responsibility and the recognition of such is a facet of service that sadly seems to have been lost as less and less of our leaders(elected and otherwise) experience the military way of life in their formative years. Witness the how a cabinet member(on either side of the political divide) “slopes shoulders” and sends out the scape goat next time a political storm erupts in Canberra. By this tenet alone Buckley is responsible for his actions and the actions of the administration he leads. By the same token the RN court martial ‘knifed’ the Officer of the watch for not doing his duty. So should the court of public opinion point the bone of contention at Tinkler for failing in his duty to the people of Newcastle. Using/abusing fans as a pawn in his bully-boy fight with the FFA is a despicably low act to pull on what is a footballing heartland in this country.
    I am angry and not for the first time look enviously upon other countries where football is the number one sport. Those fans can focus simply on the game without the seemingly endless administrative stupidity we seem to breed in the game here.
    Mark my words though: there WILL be a Newcastle Jets in the next season of the A-League. The team and the region are just too important for FFA to let this slide. Not only the best supported team in NSW but the 2nd best supported team in the league cannot be allowed to die. Once there is an outbreak of sanity at both HSG and FFA calmer heads will steer the ship. Perhaps his will end up in the courts and just perhaps the judge will uphold FFAs right to delegate licences as it sees fit as was the case in the GCU situation. Just perhaps any punitive damages the FFA wins (awarded for damages to the image of the game caused by Tinkler’s dummy spit) could fund the Jets for long enough to find a real owner, one who care about the football more than he does about his own ego. Either way, If I were a betting man I would have my coins on a 10-team league in 2012-13 including both WSFC and the Jets

  • April 11th 2012 @ 8:27am
    jamesb said | April 11th 2012 @ 8:27am | ! Report

    Newcastle Jets will be in the A-League next season. I’m pretty confident on that.

    However, I blame the FFA for the mess the game is currently in. The game shouldn’t be reliant on over weight mining billionaires.Like Kasey, I’m also angry with the FFA.

    People are saying the A-League is a joke. Correction, the FFA is a joke. The A-League has potential, but the FFA are doing their level best to stuff it up.

    Its time for Buckley and Lowy to go. Buckley knows nothing about football and is probably wet behind the ears, whilst Lowy has been successful with his Westfield empire, he is not a soccer administrator.

    What the game lacks, whether its the old NSL or the FFA is successful, experienced administrators. Your not going to find it here in Australia, so maybe we should be looking overseas, whether in Europe, Asia or the US.

    At least we might get some professionalism in the FFA, because right now, its a joke.

    • April 11th 2012 @ 8:55am
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 8:55am | ! Report

      Frank Lowy and Ben Buckley out they have done untold damage to the FFA—time we had real Football men in charge and they do exist in Australia.

      • April 11th 2012 @ 9:30am
        Kasey said | April 11th 2012 @ 9:30am | ! Report

        Nice throw away line.Who to replace BB and FL? Until you can name even one relpacement, your line brings nothing to the table.

        • April 11th 2012 @ 10:43am
          super G said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:43am | ! Report

          Exactly Kasey. QsAF has brought nothing to the table for a while except his “Lowy/Buckley out!”agenda just because a club was kicked out of the league which played in front of crowd of 3 blokes and a dog.
          Which REAL football people do you want in charge QsAF? Shall get Con “the wacky fruiterer” Constantine or perhaps a Don Tony Labbozetta to run the FFA?
          Be careful what you wish for.
          Listen up folks on and all, without Frank Lowy the game would be dead and buried in this country. If Frank goes it’s “Good Night Irene!” Trust me.

          • April 11th 2012 @ 10:58am
            Kasey said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:58am | ! Report

            Yes please!! Tony Labozetta and Domenic Gelati were so good for the game in the SocAus days, lets get them back! Can Gelati skim off the top this time like last time by tying up the ticket deal for the Socceroos? Perhaps all FFA travel can once again be sent through Marconi travel to line the pockets of ‘don Tony’? Tthere is a reason SocAus were broke people and its not because nopbody cared about the game in the NSL days. just being a “football person” is no guarantee that you will do a beter job. More likely you know a little bit more about where the money is able to be found.

            • April 11th 2012 @ 11:02am
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              Kasey—you forgot Frank Lowy ex president of the Hakoah soccer club.. I get your drift…

          • April 11th 2012 @ 10:59am
            Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:59am | ! Report

            Super G—keep up, I have suggest a HAL team (Canberra) and leadership head for the FFA and you still replying to old comments. where do you live in lala land?

            • April 11th 2012 @ 11:31am
              super G said | April 11th 2012 @ 11:31am | ! Report

              Just looking at your comments on this page alone it seems like the same old story. Will you sleep easier at night if Lowy and Buckley were gone tomorrow? Because it would give you satisfaction that the people who took away your club got what they deserved?
              Where would that leave our sport? Would you care?
              And don’t start with John Howard etc. Any realistic replacements for Frank Lowy?

            • April 11th 2012 @ 12:51pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

              Super G—you do realise that senile Frank is well into his 80s. How much longer do you think he will be able to stand the pressure? Better now to have a backstop in place before he keels over. And yes I’m disappointed FL pulled the rug from underneath us when he didn’t really have to because the crime did not fit the punishment. OK Clive is a bit hard to handle, but if the FFA backed us for another year we would not be in this mess now. All of the sudden the FFA have $15m to spend on WS where they had no money to promote the HAL across the country. Also if you believe your club (I’m assuming it’s the Jets) Troy Palmer said the other clubs were against the FFA backing the West Sydney franchise. Now please tell me where that information he came across came from—it’s on record from Troy Palmer Jet’s spokesman.

            • April 11th 2012 @ 3:23pm
              j binnie said | April 11th 2012 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

              QsAF – Mistake friend. Lowy cannot be grouped with the men who oversaw the death throes of the NSL in 2002. He had left football around 1984/85 and even as an influential member of the Hakoah Club, not the soccer club,but the Social Club at Bondi, he may have had some influence in the demise of (by now) Sydney City around 1987/88, so you are way off beam with this accusation. jb

            • April 11th 2012 @ 4:22pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

              JB—-the point was Hakoah went through a rebirth as Sydney City whatever you want to call it, it was his idea (concept) and failed to attract new supporters to the club under his watch and instigated the demise of the football club—so I do not regret making my comment…

            • April 11th 2012 @ 7:39pm
              jbinnie said | April 11th 2012 @ 7:39pm | ! Report

              QsAF – At times I wonder why people even try to answer to your offerings for I’ve never come across anyone who can go off at a tangent on what they have stated like you can.
              Kasey had written an offering spelling out certain persons who were seen to be guiding lights in football when the NSL collapsed in 2002.You reprimanded him for forgetting Frank Lowy in his summation.
              I pointed out to you that FL had exited football some 17 YEARS earlier and had later supervised the withdrawal of a team backed by the HAKOAH CLUB around 1988,15 YEARS before the birth of the FFA and the HAL.
              Your answer to me makes absolutely no sense and is almost incomprehesible in it’s content. Sydney City were never in the HAL so I think what you may be mixing up is that it was reported that FL had an interest in SYDNEY FC when the HAL began,right or wrong on that count? jb..

            • April 11th 2012 @ 8:15pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 8:15pm | ! Report

              JB—Kasey was being cute and his target was all those who were old Soccer irrespective of what period it was. I think my comment falls in the realms of all those who had been connected with old soccer who failed with a vision or strategies they thought were going to change things for the better—even if there were some 17 years difference between those periods—they flowed on from one to another. You’re making too much out of this tongue in cheek exchange between Kasey and me…

            • April 11th 2012 @ 11:23pm
              j binnie said | April 11th 2012 @ 11:23pm | ! Report

              QaAF – you are off on your tangents again.. When Frank Lowy was top honcho at the Hakoah/Eastern Suburbs/Sydney City football team they were without a doubt the finest football team in the country, & as I said, he was long gone out of football when the HAKOAH Club at Bondi saw fit to take the team out of the NSL 3 years later, in 1988, just around the time the NSL, under the influence of the people Kasey was highlighting, began it’s downward spiral into what was to become oblivion.You even use a terminology called “old” soccer to describe that time which in fact was a term coined into the sporting vocabulary by John O’Neill when he worked for Frank Lowy at the FFA post 2002, and yet you go on trying to justify your error in the reprimand to Kasey. Check your facts before committing your ideas to print,that way people might just start to believe your offerings.. jb

            • April 12th 2012 @ 7:00am
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 12th 2012 @ 7:00am | ! Report

              JB—-so are you denying that Frank Lowy instigated the demise of successful football playing club “Sydney City” back in the old days because he was voted out of the football side of the club? (Who cares what the dates they were they were all pre HAL)… As I have told you it was a tongue in cheek comment to Kasey’s cute comment… My advice to you, is you should listen to what Craig Foster has to say about FFA and how badly they run the game. He is 100% correct.

              Btw.. did I mention those name that Kasey brought up as to who should now run the FFA..? No! I was looking forward to new blood with the likes of Kimon Taliadoros, and perhaps Brendon Schwab or Andy Harper.. With a high profile figure like an ex prime minister to head up the FFA who can get through the front doors of billionaire’s corporations to coax them to come on board.

            • April 12th 2012 @ 8:43am
              Kasey said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:43am | ! Report

              How do you know I was being tongue in cheek? I am old enough to have ‘got into’ football in the mid to late 90’s, when the game was a huge laughing stock and the crooks running the game were like comic book characters. It seemed you couldn’t script their shenannigans any better for comedy value. I find it ironic that many of those currently agitating noisily for transparency & openess in the administration of the FFA were quite happy to sit on their hands whilst all travel arrangements of the National teams were channelled through the agency of a SocAus board Member. Conflict of interest much? Or that the rights to the marketing of the national team including ticket revenue were contracted out to a company run by yet another SocAus board member. This lead to the farcical situation of having our national team being pimped out and playing meaningless games that were designed to generate ticket revenue rather than further the needs of the team. We played a club team(ManUtd) and a World “All StarsXI” for crying out loud! In 1999 we played not one senior A-international! Where were the noisy agitators then? No it’s too easy & convenient to blame everything on Lowy and his reign knowing you’ll always find somebody annoyed enough with the old man to support you in the blogosphere. When you look back with the rose coloured glasses off, I’ll take Lowy any day over Gelati and Labbo. Does Lowy get it right as often these days as even 8-10 years ago? No it seems not. Should we be looking at a replacement? Sooner or later it is going to be needed so the answer is probably.

              I’m intrigued by the idea of say John Howard as head of FFA and perhaps the American Peter Wilt as CEO. I am very wary of change for changes sake. Not all change is good change. Perhaps we need to think about this from a similar point of view as QSAF(there’s a phrase I never thought I’d write!). Headhunting a known problem solver: What about General Peter Cosgrove (Retired)? He would come without the political baggage of Mr Howard and boy if you can survive the politics of Russell Offices (he is a former Chief of the ADF) then I reckon you’re not too badly placed for Whitlam Square and Zurich, as long as you had a solid right hand man with football knowledge to help plot a safe course towards the strong and stable game we all want to see.

            • April 12th 2012 @ 9:51am
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 12th 2012 @ 9:51am | ! Report

              Kasey—-did I say you were writing stuff tongue in cheek? I said you were being cute and I wrote my first lines in response to you, tongue in cheek, to counter your ridiculous nominees not mine. Yes I was totally appalled of what the old brigade were up to—unfortunately there was no internet football platforms one could voice their outrage.

              Ok seven years ago, Frank Lowy had a handle on what was needed for Australian Football and did well for us, but lately his 80yr old decision making has left the FFA in a total mess in a wake of his autocratic decision making that the owners are now questioning his ability to govern properly.

              Time for Frank to retire and allow a new team in (who ever they might be) I have suggested that the head piece does not necessarily need to be a football rich savvy identity, but someone who can open doors to the inner sanctum of the big high rollers in Australia and off shore.

              So who better than an ex prime minister to do that, who has the experience in problem solving, connections to big business and government here and abroad. We are not so lucky as the English FA who have HRH the Duke of Cambridge as their president to open doors. And it would not be his job to serve as a problem solver, but to give the organisation a high profile to open doors in commerce and government at home or abroad.

              Our nearest comparison should be someone with an extremely high profile who has the ability to open doors in Australia and coerce overseas dignitaries someone that the FIFA delegate are impressed with. Once the doors are open in come our team of highly expert football savvy technically minded football people—I have listed a few of the younger generation that would serve this purpose brilliantly in past posts—I’m sure you have read the names.

          • April 11th 2012 @ 3:37pm
            Sandy Crack said | April 11th 2012 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

            Yes if Frank goes I could be hard. If BB goes good.

        • April 11th 2012 @ 5:39pm
          PeterK said | April 11th 2012 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

          Kasey, have we ever really wondered why John O’Neill left?

          Perhaps with a change at FFA, he MIGHT be enticed back. I think he was good for us.

          • April 12th 2012 @ 8:34am
            Kasey said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:34am | ! Report

            Didn’t he leave to go back to his first love, the ARU?

            • April 12th 2012 @ 8:42am
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:42am | ! Report

              He left as reported (SMH) because he no longer could work under Frank Lowy with his style of management.

            • April 12th 2012 @ 12:12pm
              PeterK said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

              QANTAS, I suspect that you’re right, from my poor memory!

      • April 11th 2012 @ 12:32pm
        Raghu said | April 11th 2012 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

        Well Lowy is a football person and we have football person in charge.
        No Frank Lowy=No Gus Hiddik= No world Cup qualification.

        When we had football person in charge in Soccer Australia, how many times did Australia qualify for the WC…. What… NONE???

        • April 11th 2012 @ 12:42pm
          Kasey said | April 11th 2012 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

          Who decides who is & who isn’t a real football person. Obviously the definition is gray as By many definitions Lowy is a football person many times over, having helped start not just one but 2 national leagues and run a club. Look at the rump board of the old Soccer Australia and tell me with a straight face you’d sleep well knowing that lot were running the game. I certainly wouldn’t. Been there done that, didn’t enjoy being a football fan during the days of the NSL much. At leasthere I have a club and its league to follow while my country makes major international tournaments!

          Some people forget their history all too conveniently for my liking, which is kind of ironic if you remember one of the chief beefs against the Lowy/Buckley regime is their treatment of said history.

        • April 11th 2012 @ 12:59pm
          Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

          1974 ring a bell? As they say you are only as good as your last game..

          • April 11th 2012 @ 1:40pm
            super G said | April 11th 2012 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

            For the record QsAF, my club is not Newcastle, my club is FOOTBALL… well as that I’m Sydney through and through.

      • April 12th 2012 @ 12:08pm
        apaway said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

        QSAF, I doubt there is a more “real” football person in this country than Frank Lowy.

        • April 12th 2012 @ 1:54pm
          Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 12th 2012 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

          Not as far as I’m concerned. He’s most probably the richest football person in this country but I wouldn’t say the most real football person in this country.. He has totally disappointed me as a football person now living in Queensland..

  • April 11th 2012 @ 8:43am
    Jon said | April 11th 2012 @ 8:43am | ! Report

    The vultures are circling. Now is not the time for the FFA to sit on its hands. Lowery should stand down and take Buckley with him and allow new blood to take the FFA in a new direction. Bloggers are already putting it out there that junior fees paid by parents are being used to prop up a failed enterprise. Football at grass-roots level is strong and must not be allowed to be used as a pawn in the FFA’s arsenal. The FFA needs to separate its football development commitments from the business of running the A-League (this will also allow tax-free status like the AFL). Only by making the A-League a separate entity will transparency prevail.

    • April 11th 2012 @ 9:40am
      Kasey said | April 11th 2012 @ 9:40am | ! Report

      Who is Lowery?

      • April 11th 2012 @ 10:03am
        Jon said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        Proves how irrelavant he is if I cant spell his name 🙂

        • April 11th 2012 @ 10:22am
          Kasey said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:22am | ! Report

          No it proves you can’t make a coherent argument when you can’t get his name right. Spelling errors devalue everything you write. It’s the first rule of written communication.

          • Roar Guru

            April 11th 2012 @ 10:59am
            wisey_9 said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:59am | ! Report

            “Spelling errors devalue everything you write”


            • April 11th 2012 @ 5:50pm
              clayts said | April 11th 2012 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

              I agree wholeheartedly. Either take the time to respect the language you are using and those that are subjected to reading it, or keep your thoughts to yourself.

        • April 11th 2012 @ 10:48am
          super G said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:48am | ! Report

          I would suggest it proves how irrelevant your opinion is. – (insert smiley face here).

          • April 11th 2012 @ 10:54am
            Kasey said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:54am | ! Report

            To me it also suggests that you are not a football person and as such you are most likely a sheeple who has decided to pop past and stick the boot in while football goes through a rough patch. Please cease and desist and return to whichever sport you prefer over football.

            • April 12th 2012 @ 2:37pm
              Jon said | April 12th 2012 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

              Unfortunately for all of you it is people such as myself that were brought up on AFL but who’s kids play football that you have to convince. If the best you can do is pick out a spelling mistake then you are bringing nothing new to the debate – I write from the heart – suck it up princess… Now, convince me that the sport is worth saving when you have men in charge like Buckley that (on National televison) tell Fury supporters he has a five-year plan for the club and then axes them after 2…

  • April 11th 2012 @ 8:46am
    Teecee said | April 11th 2012 @ 8:46am | ! Report

    Jamesb well said !!!!

  • April 11th 2012 @ 9:07am
    jamesb said | April 11th 2012 @ 9:07am | ! Report

    the reason why I said earlier that Newcastle Jets will be in the A-League next season is very simple really.

    If the FFA fold the jets, than I expect a HUGE backlash from the other remaining clubs to the point where I think Buckley and Lowys position would become untenable.

    • April 11th 2012 @ 9:27am
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 9:27am | ! Report
      The FFA should now start looking at Canberra—the Jets fans can still watch football in the form of Central Coast Mariners and share some home games between the two stadiums (Gosford and Newcastle). Tinkler is going to have to pay big time for his breach of contract and that money can be used to help CCM establish itself firmly and financially in the region.

      • April 11th 2012 @ 9:36am
        Kasey said | April 11th 2012 @ 9:36am | ! Report

        you are dreaming. How old are you? FFA have 2 rather large fights on their hands as of today. First the fight to save the Jets. Second and just as important for the long term viability of the HAL they have to establish a brand new team in Western Sydney. And you want them to open up a third front by trying to breathe life into a Canberra team. You must be on some serious of all people should understand you cant just transfer a support base between teams like a left over bank balance. From day 1 of the HAL, Jets fans and Mariners fans have been at each other’s throats. ‘merging’ the Mariners and the Jets would be a disaster. The only long term workable solution is to continue to try to save the Jets. Whether that involves the HSG or not is up to those in the corridors of power. I would humbly suggest that the HSG have burned some big bridges with their support base this week and just saying sorry wouldn’t make me feel a whole lot better were I a Jets fan.

        • April 11th 2012 @ 9:53am
          Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          How old are you…. 16 ? Nothing is going to save the Jets. Canberra want in and are further along the track then West Sydney, which doesn’t even have a team of administrators together. Oh yes you think Tinkler is going to do a back flip now he has put his cards on the table. And that senile Frank Lowy is going to lose face by giving him back his money—this will drag on till next year with nothing being resolved where Canberra are ready to move.

          • April 11th 2012 @ 5:51pm
            PeterK said | April 11th 2012 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

            QsAF, Canberra WERE further along the track, but as I’ve said below, I think you’ll find they’ve pulled the plug already — unfortunately.

            • April 11th 2012 @ 6:05pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

              No PeterK look at TWG article—they now say they’re ready to step back in (see my link further up)

            • April 12th 2012 @ 12:15pm
              PeterK said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

              Ah, that’s great, QANTAS. I hope they don’t again get the feeling which they reported before of being “strung along”!

          • April 12th 2012 @ 12:19pm
            apaway said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:19pm | ! Report


            Whatever your thoughts and opinions are of the current administration, I find it pretty offensive that you continually use the word “senile” to describe Frank Lowy. It denigrates the man simply because of his age. Perhaps when you have had a family member or someone close to you suffer from senility, you might not be as flippant in using such terms.

            • April 12th 2012 @ 2:03pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 12th 2012 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

              How do you know I haven’t? But OK point taken on board…

        • April 11th 2012 @ 10:09am
          Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          btw you expect the GCU supporters to hitch onto the Roar which is 100klm away, yet Newcastle and Gosford is less then 70 klms apart.

          • April 11th 2012 @ 10:23am
            Michael said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:23am | ! Report

            Jets will be around next season. You can’t join the old Jets fans to the Mariners! LOL.

            Sorry about GCU, for what it’s worth.

            • April 11th 2012 @ 10:40am
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:40am | ! Report

              Well then you better find a new owner in the next six months because Tinkler won’t be.

      • April 11th 2012 @ 11:56am
        Jack from Newcastle said | April 11th 2012 @ 11:56am | ! Report

        As others have pointed out, there is no way I’d support the Mariners, not in my lifetime. I might actually may some attention to the A-League if my jets are out (not as much as I do now, I admit) but if they merge the two I’ll lose what little remaining faith I have left in the FFA. You obviously know nothing about our two supporting groups, so don’t throw around such ignorant comments. I hope the FFA supports us until new owners arrive (like they did with Brisbane) and maybe one day Canberra can come in.

        • April 11th 2012 @ 2:02pm
          Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

          Jack—-the FFA can’t support West Sydney and Jets at the same time—it won’t happen… CCM are not travelling too well either so what will happen to them if the Russians don’t come on board for CCM..? Do you have faith in the FFA supporting all three clubs next year..? Two will have to merge or one will be left to die—can you guess which two out of the three will be around next season..?

      • April 11th 2012 @ 5:48pm
        PeterK said | April 11th 2012 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

        QsAF, I think Canberra have already pulled the plug (and reimbursed all that they’ve collected) BEFORE the Jets’ announcement.

  • April 11th 2012 @ 9:21am
    Futbanous said | April 11th 2012 @ 9:21am | ! Report

    Lowy & Buckley out a throwaway line.
    Show me somebody better & I’ll go along with it.
    I ask those who believe this, to name the people to replace the above,then we can have a proper debate about the merits of their replacements.
    Its something that will be discussed in the future because Frank Lowy will go & he needs a replacement. Who is a candidate?
    Off the top of my head finding a man with the power to influence governments,bring in billionaires(RIght or wrong ones) I dont see anybody of that calibre.
    Buckley is easier,John O’Niell was equal maybe better,Kimon Taliadoros waits in the aisle.
    But the man at the top runs the show & for me he needs to be a powerful figure as he not only has to deal with the game here but the mob in Switzerland & of course the pressures placed on us by the AFC.
    Off the top of my head to find Franks successor,thats a worry,given the half wits that ran the game in this country prior to him.

    • April 11th 2012 @ 9:43am
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 11th 2012 @ 9:43am | ! Report

      John Howard and Kimon Taliadoros to run the FFA… There you are a politican ex prime minister who would relish the political intrigue of FIFA and a real football man by his side (KT).. I think we have been sucked in too much with Frank Lowy’s position in the high end of town, which is now surly on the nose, and has no real appeal anymore with the highend rollers.

      • April 11th 2012 @ 4:18pm
        Axelv said | April 11th 2012 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

        John Howard? But soccer is unaustralian! 😆

      • April 12th 2012 @ 12:25pm
        apaway said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

        Please keep John Howard as far away from our game as humanly possible. The first thing he’d do is withdraw us from the Asian Confederation.

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