What is the Australian media’s problem with football?

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By roarlover34, roarlover34 is a Roar Pro

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    Australian sport has long been touted as among the best in the world in terms of competition, variety and other factors.

    Yet the actions of Nathan Tinkler are the last straw in a nation which is becoming disgracefully bigoted and competitive when sports clash with each other.

    The hurtful actions of so many towards the game of football in this country is a complete disgrace, and appears to be a unified hate agenda by this nation’s media and high powered figures.

    Over 700,000 people in Australia are registered players with FFA clubs and school teams. There would be many thousands more who simply play the game for fun with mates but aren’t registered players.

    Australia played four matches at the World Cup in 2006 between the hours of 11pm and 5am. The Oztam viewing figures for these matches were 2.89 million, 2.06 million, 2.77 million and 2.83 million respectively.

    No other sport in this country can possibly boast such figures at this time of night. Admittedly, the audience figures were down in comparison in 2010, but that was expected after Pim Verbeek alienated many Australian football fans with his boring anti-football tactics.

    No other sport in this country will ever have 10,000 people cramming into the city to watch a match on the big screen in the hours around midnight. Football supporters have passion that is hard for any other sport to surpass.

    The average A-League attendance for 2011/2012 was around 10,500. The average for the NRL was 17,235. This does not by any means display a lack of interest in football in this country. All A-League clubs are less than eight years old. They have no established history of supporters.

    Unlike NRL clubs where there are generations of fans attending matches, the A-League currently has one generation of fans. There will undoubtably be a boost in crowds once the children of current fans start attending games and this will continue through generations.

    Clearly Australians love, enjoy and care about football in this country, so why is there such little respect for the game? There are many occasions of late that lead this question.

    Nathan Tinkler opted to purchase the Jets for 10 years after cutting his short-term license short and opting to extend his deal. He then earned the ire of the Jets fans by changing their team colours in his first season in charge and ignoring their pleas to keep their colours.

    He claims expenses of 12 million on the Jets. So what? This man has spent over $200 million on horse races for no more than 10 million in revenue. That’s a loss of at least $180 million.

    He claims that the A-League is not profitable. Well that’s hardly a surprise. If the NRL’s Titans can average 25,000 fans for their first couple of seasons and be over $25 million in debt, than what is he expecting from a club and league with less support?

    The A-League expects losses of $25-27 million across the 10 teams this year. Adding the Titans $25 million to the picture, I can guarantee that the NRL cumulative loss would be far worse. Sadly Tinkler hasn’t realised that selling sport isn’t as easy as selling stuff out of the ground.

    And regarding the license fee, how can Tinkler possibly expect the same cost for acquiring any A-League club? This is completely foolish of him. Does he think that it would cost the same to buy Manchester United’s licence compared to Blackburn Rovers?

    Tinkler has made his two biggest negative announcements on the day of the A-League season launch and the A-League awards respectively. The timing of these suggests that this is not coincidence, but rather a deliberate ploy to cloud the positive headlines with negative ones.

    As for the media, once again their blatant snubbing of football has left so many football fans speechless. There seems to be no consistency whatsoever as to how they deem a sport’s newsworthiness.

    The A-League was not competing against any of the other codes this season, yet still failed to ever get a proper mention in sports newspapers or bulletins. Instead of the Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC opener which attracted 40,000 fans, many news outlets led with stories relating to cricket leading up a Test match. The Test match had average attendances across the days of under 10,000.

    Golf received more sporting headlines than the A-League over the summer. Does golf have a 700,000 strong player base? No. If you were to ask 100 Australian kids who an Australian football player is, half would be able to name Tim Cahill or Harry Kewell. How many would be able to give you the name of an Australian golfer?

    Yet suddenly, when a certain billionaire from the Gold Coast starts carrying on like a fruitcake, the media is all over it. Why?

    Purely and simply, the media refuses to acknowledge football in this country unless there are negative headlines. Simply put, the Australian media hates football. Why this is the case, I cannot explain.

    Stay tuned for part two, and my discussion of Clive Palmer and the FFA.

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    The Crowd Says (126)

    • Roar Guru

      April 12th 2012 @ 3:39am
      peeeko said | April 12th 2012 @ 3:39am | ! Report

      some good points but the fact that the gold coast titans are in deby is due to some silly property investments, nothing to do with the football clubs profitability

      • Roar Guru

        April 12th 2012 @ 3:39am
        peeeko said | April 12th 2012 @ 3:39am | ! Report

        debt not deby

    • April 12th 2012 @ 4:57am
      Axelv said | April 12th 2012 @ 4:57am | ! Report

      Well put, and we all know the reason why 😉

    • April 12th 2012 @ 5:31am
      Steve said | April 12th 2012 @ 5:31am | ! Report

      I’m not entirely convinced: newspapers, advertisers etc, are well aware that they can make more money talking something up than tearing it down :Justin Bieber fan posters will outsell essays on why he’s rubbish every time: magazines, even newspapers might put free posters in the paper for no reason other than attracting more readers. The same principle applies to sports- if people like soccer, they’ll choose to read articles on soccer before articles on how badly the Waratahs are doing etc.
      I just don’t see the media choosing to not cash in if the demand exists.

    • April 12th 2012 @ 7:13am
      ManInBlack said | April 12th 2012 @ 7:13am | ! Report

      Where are you living? The A-League has never had so much coverage as in Melbourne this year. Harry Kewell esp for MVFC, and his King of Moomba status. Hearts ironically had to rely on their on field efforts. Where as MVFC had a heap of off field issues with their coaching merry-go-round and all that.

      Point is – for most codes take note.

      The ‘regular’ on field generates match reports.

      Media is no longer much fussed about the bland auto generated responses of players to interviews.

      It’s the soap opera that the media desperately craves. And the FFA and A-League has delivered in spades this year. Palmer and Tinkler have provided that. But, it’s not unusual. In AFL circles, the start to the year got buried under massive debate about what Jason Mifsud let slip and then the media witch hunt to find which recruiting officer it was, then what Matt Rendell might or might not have said, and this has flowed on into the Mifsud/Davey comments etc etc. It’s the soap opera.

      What I always assured soccer fans craving ‘main stream coverage’ was that they had to be ready for the soap opera getting more coverage than the games. You got it and now you’re complaining about it.

      So, I really don’t know what you’re talking about other than perhaps having unrealistic expectations. Also though, any comparison to NRL in NSW will fail by simple virtue of the number of NSW based NRL sides vs NSW based A-League sides. Likewise in Vic, the number of Vic based AFL sides vs the number of Vic based A-League sides.

      btw – The Titans losses are more around Capex on property development and not to do with the Opex of the football club. So, not really a valid comparison unless there’s an A-League club out there partaking in property development??

      btw – Tinkler is a tool. What’s he got to do with media conspiracy theories??

      • April 12th 2012 @ 9:44am
        roarlover34 said | April 12th 2012 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        the initial headline was different. It was far more broad. The Roar mods made the headline about the media, which it originally wasn’t.

      • April 12th 2012 @ 9:53am
        JamesP said | April 12th 2012 @ 9:53am | ! Report

        Good points re media coverage the Victory have received in Melbourne. The signing of Harry Kewell (and it was Eddie McGuire who first broke the story – and has since had him as a guest on his EMT program on Fox Footy) and the later start to season all contributed to a bigger media build up. Yes, things dropped off a bit when the Big Bash was on – but that was understandable (double the crowds AND triple the TV interest on Fox), and of course the Australian Open (even bigger crowds and ratings).

        But I guess some people will always complain:



        • April 13th 2012 @ 12:08pm
          Kasey said | April 13th 2012 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

          JamesP: Les is well known as having a bug up his @rse at the fact he FFA chased the bigger money on offer and sold the broadcast rights for the HAL to Foxtel, instantly relegating SBS from must-see footballTV to “nice to watch if you can fit it in” – hence the constant criticism of all things FFA and Frank Lowy related from SBS over the last 7 years.

    • April 12th 2012 @ 8:04am
      Lucan said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      Golf received more headlines over summer than the HAL? Seriously? Not in any print media I encountered.
      You’re also underestimating the numbers of participants involved in golf. I would suspect the number of unregistered/social golfers would bury the number of social park footballers.

      * FWIW I’m a football fan and social footballer, not a golf nut.

      • April 12th 2012 @ 9:57am
        apaway said | April 12th 2012 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        A 2010 ERASS survey had the number of people who played golf regularly at around the same as football. But these were figures based on people aged over 15 years. I would guess there are way more under 15 football players than there are golfers.

        • April 12th 2012 @ 11:36am
          Matt F said | April 12th 2012 @ 11:36am | ! Report

          Undoubtedly, though I can’t see too many kids under 15 buying and reading newspapers

    • Roar Guru

      April 12th 2012 @ 8:30am
      Redb said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:30am | ! Report

      Firstly, a fan of any code needs to separate their love of the game with the media interest it ‘should’ command in a certain market. Just becuase you want the your code plastered all over the media does not equate with reality. AFL fans bemoan coverage in Sydney, rugby fans bemoan coverage in Melbourne. We have all been guilty of assumed rightful place in the media landscape.

      The media are all over the Palmer & Tinkler stories becuase it is big news. Billionaires dumping their clubs whilst thumbing their noses at the head body does not happen every day in Australian sport. Threats of legal action and some heavy hitters going toe to toe is sauce for the goose for any newshound. My read is fans of other sports are generally sympathetic to the A League’s plight here and as Australians we support the underdog and that sure aint Palmer or Tinkler.

      Quoting TV ratings from early hours during the 2006 WC does not mean that interest is maintained at every level of a certain sport. Why don’t normal NRL games rate as high as State of Origin in NSW/QLD or demand the same level of media interest? etc,etc,

      If I could make a humble suggestion taker a leaf out of Mark Bosnich’s book, he is a massive fan of his game, but openly enjoys and engages with other sports in Australia accepting of their place in the landscape without a giant chip on his shoulder. Les Murray and Craig Foster are your worst enemy. Go the Bozz!

      • Roar Guru

        April 12th 2012 @ 8:58am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:58am | ! Report


        Football has always been my first love but, for 30 years after arriving in Australia, I didn’t just “engage with other sports” – I embraced VFL & AFL

        I was a paid up Member of my AFL club for around 20 years (junior, student, adult). I attended every home game &, when the competition was purely Victorian, I attended 90% of away games. I queued up to buy finals tickets and have attended 11 GF, including 10 featuring my team. I even attended numerous VAFA games one year as my mates were storming their way back into A-Grade.

        In return, the VFL & AFL community – fans, media & players – treated my Game with open hostility, disrespect & ridicule. If a group of us were playing/training football at a local park and an Aussie Rules game was being played on an adjacent park, you can be sure the Aussie Rules supporters would feel the need to give their opinion of our Game using the words “sheilas, wogs & poofters”.

        We did not provoke this – we simply were minding our own business playing the Game we loved. We’d never hear the comments when cricket, field hockey or any other sport was being played on adjacent fields. Just the ARF community felt the need to attack us.

        Eventually, I said “enough”. I stopped attending AFL games. I cancelled my Membership. And, in 2005, when the HAL was born I decided to financially support the Game I’ve always loved.

        I’ll never embrace Aussie Rules ever again, until the neanderthals involved with the sport are gone.

        • April 12th 2012 @ 11:26am
          Bob said | April 12th 2012 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          you won’t find many park games of AFL up here in Brisbane…very uncommon site…

        • Roar Guru

          April 12th 2012 @ 11:42am
          The Cattery said | April 12th 2012 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          It’s time to forgive and forget, life is too short for such bitterness, especially when the great Australian game boasts so many players of German descent, great players too, some of the very best, big, strong Teutons who commanded great respect, like Carl Ditterich, or his modern lookalike, Nick Riewoldt, courageous players who would mow anyone down that stood between them and the ball.

          Did you see the clip of Riewoldt taking a mark against Hunt last weekend? They both ran from opposite directions for the 50/50 ball, collided mid air, but the big mitts of Riewoldt came down with the ball, Hunt got nowhere near it, they both came to ground, Hunt may even have winded Riewoldt a bit, but he took a quick dismissive glance at the midget that had dared try and get between him and the ball, went back and slotted it.

          If Bozza can enjoy himself with big boofheads like Spud and Dunstall, I’m sure you can find a way to push the hurt aside and build a bridge.

          • Roar Guru

            April 12th 2012 @ 12:09pm
            Fussball ist unser leben said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

            “It’s time to forgive and forget, life is too short ..” – yup. That’s why I’ve forgotten about ARF completely!

            For the 1st time since the VFL/AFL GF was broadcast live on TV (1974, perhaps?) I didn’t watch the AFL GF last year. I’d played football that morning & was exhausted, so had a lie down. Woke up in the middle of the last quarter & the game was over!

            No, I didn’t see Riewoldt catching the ball last week. Who is Hunt? I guess, with St Kilda winning by 100 pts, Riewoldt’s catch couldn’t have been too important?

            • April 12th 2012 @ 8:06pm
              amazonfan said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

              I don’t understand you. You say that you were an AFL member for many years, and you’ve numerous games etc… except you refer to what Riewoldt did as a catch? Have you suddenly forgotten one of the most basic things about the game, or are you just trying to provoke, like always?

              Oh, and VFL and AFL are the same thing.

              “I’ll never embrace Aussie Rules ever again, until the neanderthals involved with the sport are gone.”

              All sports have fools, even soccer. Don’t pretend that there aren’t fools involved with soccer.

              • Roar Guru

                April 12th 2012 @ 8:16pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:16pm | ! Report

                I’m not sure if you’re old enough to remember David Parkin coaching Carlton in the early 80s, but he was the one, who revolutionised the jargon used in ARF, including:
                * “catching” instead of marking
                * “run with”, instead of tagging
                * “talls & shorts” instead of rucks & rovers

                There are others, but my memory of ARF really is fading.

              • April 12th 2012 @ 8:22pm
                amazonfan said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

                Parkin (whom, yes, I certainly remember) may have used certain words, but the fact is that Riewoldt did not catch the ball. He marked the ball. Marking is the proper terminology.

          • April 12th 2012 @ 12:17pm
            Kasey said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

            I stop reading most ARF posts when I see word like”Great Autralian game” strategically placed as they are to reinforce the stereotype that following Socker is somehow less of an Australian passtime. The complete lack of respect regularly shown towards the game I love usually disuades me from interacting on many levels if I can help it with ARF fans.

            • Roar Guru

              April 12th 2012 @ 3:52pm
              The Cattery said | April 12th 2012 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

              what have you got against Autralia?

              • April 12th 2012 @ 5:15pm
                Kasey said | April 12th 2012 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

                see, there you go. a perfectly innocent comment by me about overt nationalism being a turn off and you try to turn me into some sort of Australia-hating terrorist. do you work for NewLtd?I have nothing against Australia – I love my country, just hate having my Australian-ness queried even obliquely because I am a football fan and don’t fawn over an AFL team. find facebook groups like Loving the AFL because you’re a true Aussie for further evidence that some who follow AFL are nationalist racist idiots towards Socka fans. just a tip, you lot ought to weed these guys out before anybody ever lectures football fans on nationalist behavior that may or may not have occurred in the past at NSL games. IMO football will truly have arrived in this country when a fan can openly choose an A-League team as their number one team without feeling the need to pick an NRL or AFL team so they can answer the follow up question, yeah, but who do you really support?

              • April 12th 2012 @ 5:26pm
                Kasey said | April 12th 2012 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

              • Roar Guru

                April 12th 2012 @ 5:52pm
                The Cattery said | April 12th 2012 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

                not really an overly active page, already getting spam from some dubious sources

              • April 12th 2012 @ 6:17pm
                Kasey said | April 12th 2012 @ 6:17pm | ! Report

                you know I finally twigged to what you did there. Nice one. I’ll pay that;) Bravo & well played sir.

              • Roar Guru

                April 12th 2012 @ 7:38pm
                The Cattery said | April 12th 2012 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

                thank you, thank you, I here for the rest of the week, you should try the schnitzel…

        • Roar Guru

          April 13th 2012 @ 8:10am
          peeeko said | April 13th 2012 @ 8:10am | ! Report

          I remember Simon hill writing a column that when he grew up in manchester the general population made fun of rugby players being untalented thugs that had to resort to using their hands to play sport. This is pretty much the same thing as what happens in Australia, majority groups always make fun of minority groups

          • April 13th 2012 @ 12:10pm
            Kasey said | April 13th 2012 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

            Funny, that’s how I see RL(full of untalented thugs) in general myself and being a football fan in Adelaide of Dutch(Paternal) and Australian (Maternal) heritage I am definitely in the minority last time I checked:)

      • Roar Guru

        April 12th 2012 @ 9:40am
        The Cattery said | April 12th 2012 @ 9:40am | ! Report

        Bozz is a fantastic sporting identity and a natural for TV sports shows. He occasionnaly makes an appearnace on the Fox Sunday night footy show (got a mental blank, can’t remember what it’s called, there are so many shows!), Andrew Gaze has become a quasi-regular – great Australian sports identities who mix readily with other sports and slot in seamlessly – that’s what we love to see!

        • April 12th 2012 @ 9:55am
          JamesP said | April 12th 2012 @ 9:55am | ! Report

          Boz was on “After the Bounce”. I watched that show and he was thoroughly entertaining. I suspect Fox are doing a bit of cross promotion here, with Harry and Billy Slater on Eddie McGuire tonight recently, and Storm captain Cam Smith on AFL 360 (he has won the Herald Sun AFL tipping 2 years in a row)

        • April 12th 2012 @ 6:23pm
          Kasey said | April 12th 2012 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

          Bozz and Ange are great ambassadors for football, Foz just comes across as a sanctimonious arse. More Boz/Ange and less Foz in the non-football viewers faces would be much better for our overall image IMO.

          • Roar Guru

            April 12th 2012 @ 7:37pm
            The Cattery said | April 12th 2012 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

            Bozz and Ange are great – plus they know just as much about the game, maybe more

      • April 12th 2012 @ 9:48am
        roarlover34 said | April 12th 2012 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        mate, some good points made.

        I accept the place of NRL and AFL is the two larger competitions in australia. This is justified by tv ratings and attendences. But when the media starts putting football last purely becuase it can then i get riled.

        I love watching codes compete for prime position like in Western Sydney but i am sick of all the other codes getting a free leg up over football.

        • Roar Guru

          April 12th 2012 @ 12:50pm
          Redb said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

          As someone else pointed above, the A League has enjoyed better coverage in melbourne papers than previous seasons IMO. That is just my perception so it may be wrong.

          Media also feed on angles. The old NSL had plenty of admin issues, the FFA appears to have gone the same shambolic path. Albeit I think its chalk and cheese between the NSL and the HAL in terms of professionalism and delivery to the sporting public.

          The FFA has to wear a large part of the responsibility for their handling of various issues. From rushing expansion into Nth Qld and GC to their stewardship of licence fees and placating team owners. Sage seems fairly balanced yet even his rhetoric of late appears genuinely disenfranchised.

          At the end of the day, Buckley may not be up to it. Demetriou love or loathe him (mostly the latter) is a very capable negotiator who can broker agreement from Government & Media Partners down through club land and to the Players Assoc. He knows when to be tough and uncompromising and when to deal.

          The buck stops with Buckley, his senior management ability is clearly doubtful. The media join in for the ride.

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