An initiative I would like to throw open to fellow Roarers is the idea of an A-League Cup replacing the finals system.
Unlike the FFA Cup, this would be open only to the teams in the A–League. I feel this would have many benefits.
Firstly, it would forever end the debate over who actually won the league. A constant source of frustration for football fans is that winning the premiership (e.g. the round by round seasonal games) is given less significance by the mainstream media in Australia.
Our country is used to calling this accolade the ‘minor premiership’ due to the term being used by rugby league and AFL scribes. Even some football journalists today still use the term. Those codes recognise the team who wins the finals as being premiers or champions. Many football fans want this issue rectified and for people to recognise winning the premiership as finishing first.
Secondly, replacing the finals with an A-League Cup would still provide content for broadcasters to show on-air. Revenue from TV deals drives growth in sports and having a knockout cup would allow the league to provide a traditional home-and-away season format, while still providing games at the end of the season to watch. It would also give a chance for another commercial partners to join with the league and the potential of a naming rights deal.
Thirdly, the FFA would still be able to provide broadcasters with the same amount of content, while solving another issue that irritates football fans – the season schedule. Currently the A-League goes for 27 rounds with each team playing each other three times. Fans want a traditional home-and-away format. However, this would only provide 18 rounds of football.
An A-League Cup could be organised like the Champions League, with teams playing each other over two rounds. This would provide at least five rounds of football, yet there would technically be more games as each team would have to play each other twice.
This format would have the bonus of giving teams more match day revenue and broadcasters more games to show on air.
Lastly, and in my view the most important, it would sustain interest in the A-League from start to finish.
Imagine going through the season with your team languishing at the bottom of the ladder and missing out on the thrill of finals football. Now, just think of this … suddenly out of nowhere your team pulls off a miracle run of form to win some silverware in the A-League Cup!
So what do people think? Should we give our A-League the chance to win a treble (Premiership, FFA Cup, A–League Cup)? This system would bring more revenue to the game as all teams would be involved and it would provide some hope to fans whose team has had a poor season.