Gallop defends A-League finals format

By James MacSmith, James MacSmith is a Roar Guru


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    The A-League’s controversial new finals format is proving to be a success according to Football Federation Australia (FFA) boss David Gallop.

    The decision to cram a three-week finals series, consisting of only sudden-death games, into the end of the A-League season after 27 rounds was greeted by derision in some football circles, but former rugby league chief Gallop says the format is providing an exciting finale to the competition’s eighth season at a time when it is competing with the NRL and AFL for the attention of fans, sponsors and media.

    “Talking to people in and around the game about the change this year having sudden-death games where everything is on the line has been important because we are in a very competitive environment,” Gallop told an AAP Sports Editors’ Conference on Wednesday.

    “It was a smart move away from a start in September when the AFL and NRL are at the pointy end.

    “And at the end of the season, we unashamedly realise we are in a very competitive period and we need to adjust to that.”

    The new top-six format, which provides for an opening weekend of elimination finals followed by a second weekend of semi-finals before the grand final on April 21, was a bold move for the A-League and the FFA, both of whom acknowledge the ‘consumer friendly’ nature of its make-up.

    Critics of the format point out Premiers Plate winners Western Sydney Wanderers are not given a second bite at the cherry should they lose, although they and the second-placed Central Coast Mariners had a week off before this weekend’s semi-finals and have home-ground advantage for those games.

    The format has given the game’s governing body a dream set of semi-final match-ups, with the Wanderers hosting defending champions Brisbane Roar on Friday and the Mariners playing Melbourne Victory on Sunday in Gosford.

    “It’s an exciting conclusion to the season, there are no dead rubbers and it is a quick finish to the season and that is why we created it,” Gallop said.

    Gallop also defended the need for a grand final in the Australian market.

    “In Australia, it is about the grand final and, while we will certainly recognise the premiers, sport is all about seizing the moment and that is what the grand final is about,” he said.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (23)

    • April 11th 2013 @ 7:30am
      Dave said | April 11th 2013 @ 7:30am | ! Report

      Where were we. As I recall bearden thinks its a farce and just about everyone else is fairly content with the current format. Carry on.

      • April 12th 2013 @ 2:30pm
        Jaiden Florimo said | April 12th 2013 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

        Ive been banned by the Roar cause i had a go at Kate Lundy and that ridiculous press conference in Feb. Which so far I have been proven right and Lundy/The Roar wrong to ban me for saying the press conference was ridiculous. Speaking of ridiculous, either you do the A-League finals properly or you dont do it at all. If WSW get knocked out tonight it will be a disgrace. -Beardan

    • April 11th 2013 @ 9:15am
      striker said | April 11th 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      I tend to agree this year finals series is a better concept with a knockout system it keeps the game exciting. to think we have taken some of the media from the NRL in there peek season shows its working, and also to have wanderers in the finals series is also driving alot of the success in sydney.

    • April 11th 2013 @ 10:59am
      Souwalker said | April 11th 2013 @ 10:59am | ! Report

      But is it fair for a team lingering at the bottom of the table managed to scrape through the top six and potentially win the champions? Champions should be first to reach the top with consistencies over the season?

      • April 11th 2013 @ 11:44am
        nordster said | April 11th 2013 @ 11:44am | ! Report

        Thats the beauty of having two titles…the League Prem for the consistency trophy…cup finals is the cherry on the end of the season.

        • April 11th 2013 @ 4:02pm
          Football United said | April 11th 2013 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

          i wish it was like that but the FFA are trying their hardest to only value the finals

          • April 11th 2013 @ 6:49pm
            nordster said | April 11th 2013 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

            All in the mind of the beholder πŸ™‚
            The WSW fans value the Premiership, thats what counts.
            And to their (partial) defense, FFA have always recognised the title as distinct and not minor. Even if they have always tried to play down the presentation of the trophy, which is quite shameful to the purist.

            • April 12th 2013 @ 2:31pm
              Jaiden Florimo said | April 12th 2013 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

              When are they giving WSW their trophy? What if they lose tonight. You know that trophy might end up through the FFA’s window for their short sightedness.

              • April 12th 2013 @ 2:41pm
                nordster said | April 12th 2013 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

                Exactly lol…should have been presented on the day…i prefer the stand-in trophy anyway…that salad plate has legendary status. Wonder who owns it?

    • April 11th 2013 @ 11:57am
      dasilva said | April 11th 2013 @ 11:57am | ! Report

      Let’s go bck to the 50’s with the Hungarian Football team that dominated world football

      In a six year period they only lost one match in six years.

      One of the greatest sides ever with talented players and shown consistency for such a long period.

      Unfortunately that one loss was the World Cup Finals to West Germany

      So who were the greatest side in the world back then.

      The Mighty Magyar for the mighty talent and their consistency or the World Champions West Germany to had the mental strength to win in a sudden death do or die encounter where everything is on the line.

      I’ll say they are both Champions and great team in their own right. Mighty Magyars for their shear consistency and surely if the World Cup was determine by league they would have won it easily and West Germany for winning when everything was on the line.

      Of course The Mighty Magyar apart from the olympics never got a trophy for the six year trophy and never were officially champions of the World and that was a shame

      Fortunately in Australia we have a system that rewards both consistency and the mental strength to win in do or die sudden death encounters. That we manage to give formal recognition to both aspects of sports which is an advantage over most leagues in the world and it’s an advantage the A-league has over the World Cup and the Champions League.

      • Roar Guru

        April 11th 2013 @ 9:26pm
        Fussball ist unser leben said | April 11th 2013 @ 9:26pm | ! Report

        “That we manage to give formal recognition to both aspects of sports which is an advantage over most leagues in the world ..”

        Let’s not kid ourselves that we’re doing something different.

        In England, they have EPL & FA Cup; Spain: La Liga & Copa del Rey; Italy: Serie A & Coppa Italia; Germany: Bundesliga & DFB Pokal

        The league system rewards the team that is best equipped to perform technically, tactically, physically & mentally over 30+matches – home & away, in all weather & pitch conditions conditions, with drawn games being vitally important.

        The Cup/knock-out/finals system rewards the team that is best equipped to perform – technically, tactically, physically, mentally – over 5-6 matches. Home ground advantage is often random; matches ending in a draw can lead to extra time & penalties.

        Happens all over the world .. not just AUS.

    • Roar Guru

      April 11th 2013 @ 2:19pm
      dinoweb said | April 11th 2013 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

      β€œIn Australia, it is about the grand final and, while we will certainly recognise the premiers, sport is all about seizing the moment and that is what the grand final is about,” – spoken like a true Rugby League man

      • April 11th 2013 @ 2:39pm
        Roarsome said | April 11th 2013 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

        The rules haven’t changed. It’s been that way since the A-League started with or without Gallop.

      • April 11th 2013 @ 4:03pm
        Football United said | April 11th 2013 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

        This, it’s not all about the grand final. It supposed to be equal.

      • Roar Pro

        April 11th 2013 @ 10:41pm
        West said | April 11th 2013 @ 10:41pm | ! Report

        The NSL had finals football for 27 years and state leagues have finals.

        How is this a Gallop Rugby League idea?

        What about the playoffs in USA and Canada football Leagues?

    • April 11th 2013 @ 3:27pm
      jonno said | April 11th 2013 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

      I think finals football is wrong. It should be first past the post. You want a knock comp then organise one instead of using it to decide on who are champions. Champions are who finish first during season.

      • April 11th 2013 @ 9:17pm
        Deakie said | April 11th 2013 @ 9:17pm | ! Report

        Agree jonno. Here we have an ex-NRL administrator who suddenly thinks that what works for the NRL is instantly transferrable to the A-League. Agree with Beardan that after 27 rounds that we should invite 6 from 10 to a finals format that rewards the best teams on the day. Heck lets make it 10 from 10 and maybe Phoenix will thrash everybody and win the grand final! What will that prove……absolutely nothing! First past the post has it in my view always. Extend the season and be done with it.

      • Roar Guru

        April 11th 2013 @ 10:58pm
        Peter Wilson said | April 11th 2013 @ 10:58pm | ! Report

        I’m very sick and tired of people bagging the A-League finals as “rewarding mediocrity”.

        Every team that made the finals deserved to be there. Only 5 points separated the bottom 5 teams.
        It wasn’t till the very last round that the finalists were decided and the number of teams chasing the final play off places created a lot of extra interest for the game and the A-League.

        We’ve always had finals in Australian football going back to before the NSL even started.

        How are major tournaments around the world like the FIFA World Cup decided – first past the post?
        No, they are a knockout competition and the best team in the competition wins the final.
        Its a different sort of pressure and a different type of skill, stamina and courage under adversity for the manager, the players and the teams.

        Its great and I love it.

        • April 12th 2013 @ 2:35pm
          Jaiden Florimo said | April 12th 2013 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

          You are 100% Deakie. This finals format is a farce. As a WSW fan im nervous and excited about tonight but I rate this finals format just slightly above the ridiculous McIntyre system. -Beardan (writing under Jaiden Florimo as the raor banned me from comments cause i had a dig at Kate Lundy like we dont live in a democracy anymore)