With A-League 11 two months away, the squads slowing coming together.
On paper Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC are standouts, however Western Sydney Wanderers, Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United look impressive. Melbourne City look stronger which leaves Perth, Newcastle, Wellington and the Mariners.
The Mariners will surprise many this year, with their young side set to play playing an attacking style. They could make the top four.
As for Perth, let’s hope the good folk of the west forgive their recent past and get behind them. They have lost a lot of talent but they could be a thorn in the side of many.
Newcastle have a young coach who will succeed hugely or fail miserably.
Finally the Phoenix seem to be in a state of flux, because FFA only want to give them a five-year licence extension, with their current license set to expire in 2016. As such, they are unwilling to commit to contracts beyond 2016. FFA need to get on top of this situation.
As far as broadcast and TV rights go, Fox, Netflix, Youtube, Google and Facebook, are all reportedly looking at providing broadcasting, suggesting the Fox plus some free-to-air games model is coming under stress.
To that end, we are due for a dip year. The World Cup followed by the Asian cup, the Cricket World Cup, then the women’s World Cup, and with the netball World Cup and the Rugby World Cup to come – as well as the Ashes and the Big Bash – many people are going to be all sportsed out.
The A-League continues to improve its technical awareness, and even if the players cannot always play the systems, they are at least trying.
On the key performances indicators, I see player numbers increasing, a slight dip in crowds, a slight dip in memberships, a slight increase in ratings, and a big increase in net hits.