Will the Socceroos make the World Cup and does Australia even care?

Paul Williams Columnist

280 Have your say

Popular article! 5,536 reads

    To say there is a buzz around Adelaide ahead of Thursday’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia is probably overstating things a touch. It’s more of a light hum.

    The lack of any real fanfare around the significance of this match in the wider populace has me wondering – does Australia actually care about qualifying for the World Cup?

    Of course football fans do, it’s what we live and breathe for, but does the general sports fan actually care? Or will they only care when we’re not there?

    Looking at the numbers of travelling fans for the past three World Cups, where the Australian contingent has been one of the largest, you’d say the answer is yes. But does that say more about our love of an event or our love of football?

    Last week Ange Postecoglou, sensing the same thing, implored fans to stop treating Socceroos matches as a ‘trendy event’ and understand the serious nature of the match at hand – to turn out in numbers and play their role in creating an atmosphere worthy of the occasion.

    But I get the sense that message fell largely on deaf ears.

    Of course nothing will replicate the night of 16 November 2005, but this match isn’t far behind in terms of its significance. If Australia wants to qualify for Russia 2018, only a win will suffice on Thursday, nothing less.

    A match of this magnitude demands not just a full stadium but a heaving one. Imagine this fixture in reverse – imagine the Socceroos had to travel to Riyadh or Jeddah with the home team needing a win to keep their hopes alive.

    As those that were there in September will attest, Jeddah is an intimidating place at the best of times. And those who were lucky enough to be in Riyadh for the 2014 AFC Champions League final still tell stories of the atmosphere inside the King Fahd Stadium in the hours leading up to kick-off. Yes, hours.

    Those fans know the importance of the 12th man and they play their part. There is no doubt whatsoever that the crowd played a role in helping Saudi Arabia come from behind to get a 2-2 draw last time around.

    Tomas Rogic congratulated by team

    (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

    The same can rarely be said of Australian crowds. Only that fateful night in November 2005 can compare. Too often the atmosphere is muted and more resembling a night at the theatre than a sporting cauldron. So why can’t we replicate that atmosphere for these big matches that matter?

    Is it because meaningful World Cup qualifiers back then were rare, occurring only every four years, whereas they now occur every few months? Is there a World Cup qualifier fatigue?

    Do we take qualification for granted? Despite the scare in 2014, when it needed a late Josh Kennedy header to secure our passage to Brazil, it seems the malaise has returned. We now simply expect to qualify. Proclamations of impending failure, which have been said before in previous campaigns, are now like the boy who cried wolf.

    Yes, we may be struggling, but we’ll find a way. We always find a way. It’s the old ‘she’ll be right’ attitude.

    I was discussing this with fellow journalists Tuesday morning at a Socceroos press call, and the thinking was the same.

    It seems Adelaide is more worried about whether Tom Hawkins should be suspended for his ‘jumper punch’ on Adelaide Crow Matt Crouch than whether Tomi Juric should lead the line for the Socceroos or who will fill the void left by the suspended Mark Milligan.

    As one remarked when I asked if the casual fan understands the importance of the match, “They will the next day if we don’t win”.

    And maybe that’s the case. Maybe rather than being emotionally invested in the journey the whole way through and knowing all the permutations at each different stage, it will take a smack in the face from reality for fans to truly sit up and take notice of the situation.

    Perhaps only then will we find out the answer to the question. Does Australia care?

    Paul Williams
    Paul Williams

    Paul Williams is an Adelaide-based football writer. Specialising in Asian football, he writes about the beautiful game for a host of publications including SBS The World Game, FourFourTwo Singapore and Al Jazeera, and is a regular guest on the Daily Football Show. You can follow him on Twitter @PaulWilliams_85.

    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (280)

    • Roar Guru

      June 7th 2017 @ 6:12am
      Ben of Phnom Penh said | June 7th 2017 @ 6:12am | ! Report

      I dare say your mate is correct. We have reached the stage where many believe that qualification is a right rather than an achievement.

      It is a hubris that will worsen with Infantino’s World Cup expansion plans. Qualification will mean far less and the Socceroos brand may be less of a cash cow for the FFA than it is now.

      Something for the long term financial planners to consider.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 1:45pm
        matth said | June 7th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

        It’s possibly because in most major sports where Australia competes, qualification for the World Cup is pretty much a given (cricket, rugby of both persuasions, netball). So we pretty much believe we will always qualify.

        • Roar Guru

          June 7th 2017 @ 3:56pm
          Ben of Phnom Penh said | June 7th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

          It is a good point. That may also explain the angst regarding our underage football sides regularly failing to qualifying – we are not used to it.

        • June 7th 2017 @ 4:14pm
          Cam said | June 7th 2017 @ 4:14pm | ! Report


      • June 7th 2017 @ 8:50pm
        hanners said | June 7th 2017 @ 8:50pm | ! Report

        Aussie Football fans were lucky to have humble and highly skilled Euro coaches who got the Socceroos to 3 consecutive World Cups. The Aussies became cocky and now take it for granted… I can smell a reality check coming…

        • Roar Guru

          June 8th 2017 @ 12:33pm
          Ben of Phnom Penh said | June 8th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

          Coaches at this level are professionals regardless of their origin. The hubris discussed is a fan affliction as opposed to a player or management team issue.

    • June 7th 2017 @ 6:22am
      lesterlike said | June 7th 2017 @ 6:22am | ! Report

      This constant obsession with seeking the approval of the “General Sports Fan” is the absolute worst thing about Australian Football. Why do we continue to seek the approval of the bogans when we have a huge community of actual football people that actually live and breath the game and are obviously hungry for another World Cup qualification.

      We have a million plus Football community, I want them to be who we are targeting. The “general sports fan” leaches atmosphere rather than contributing, only turn up because it’s trendy to talk about at work, have sporting values that are different to ours and frankly I don’t want any more of their awful AFL/NRL culture ruining the unique one that we developed away from their eyes.

      Instead of the mega venues where we’ve allowed our NT to become a placid event, play the Socceroos games at smaller venues where tickets are scarce and 20-30,000 actual Football fans will actually put out an intimidating atmosphere.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 8:44am
        AR said | June 7th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

        If your beef is that the FFA constantly books Socceroos matches at large stadia, especially in Sydney, you should write an angry letter to the FFA.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 8:49am
        reuster75 said | June 7th 2017 @ 8:49am | ! Report

        Agree with you about smaller but more passionate crowd. Imagine playing this game at AAMI and giving discounted tickets to the active fan groups of Victory and City. Give the rest of Victory and City members priority access to tickets. That’d create a brilliant atmosphere that the team would thrive on like in the Asian cup matches.

        • June 7th 2017 @ 11:20am
          Bob said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:20am | ! Report

          no it would not. There isa reason there is no atmosphere at Socceroo’s games and its called “the FFA”

          You would swop a 40,000+ crowd for a 25,000 crowd at AAMI, why ??>?????

          • June 7th 2017 @ 11:30am
            R King said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:30am | ! Report

            To create a cauldron of noise from passionate supporters not event goers.

            • June 7th 2017 @ 11:42am
              Bob said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:42am | ! Report

              no, you wont because the FFA dont want you too. 28,000 in sydney sounded awful, same would be true in AAMI bacuse the FFA ruin it with the way they organise it >>> and you can create a couldron of noise with 40,000 people you know

              • June 7th 2017 @ 2:15pm
                R King said | June 7th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

                As you can with 52,000 like we did in the Grand-Final in Adelaide. But you are right, the FFA are more concerned with image [large stadiums as opposed to smaller stadiums] than they are in creating some atmosphere at Socceroo matches. I stand by what I said in the first instance.

      • Roar Guru

        June 7th 2017 @ 11:23am
        Epiquin said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

        I hate this attitude. If you’re not a die-hard football fan, you are a bogan. Football in this country languished away for decades because the populace always saw it as a game for immigrants who created their own ethnically homogeneous clubs. The FFA made huge grounds in getting rid of this culture, getting rid of the cultural exclusivity and creating something that was open to everyone.

        But no matter how far the game has come in this country, there are still traditionalist football fans who want the game to stay exclusive. These “General Sports Fans” that you mention are still football fans. Many of them are anyway. They may not be club members, they may not have football “pedigree” and they may even “God forbid” enjoy other sports as well. Perhaps even moreso.

        The “constant obsession with seeking the approval of the “General Sports Fan”” is about identifying the casual football fans and engaging them so that they become the die-hards of tomorrow. The more people who live and breathe the code here in Australia, the better resourced the FFA become and the better playing stocks we produce.

        As a Mariners fan, I’m often asked which European club I support. When I say I don’t have a European team, I’m treated dismissively, as if I’m some sort of “Mickey Mouse” football fan and, I have to be honest, it puts me off from getting more involved with the club and the game. Add in the fact that I am an NRL club member and I will almost certainly be treated like a gawker who has come to see the side show. Move along, the real fans are trying enjoy themselves.

        The attitude that you (and others) have just displayed is extremely off-putting. If you want football to remain an exclusive code enjoyed only by the die-hards, that’s fine, but you better get used to the semi-professional status that the A-League and Socceroos will eventually become as it tries to survive on a niche group of fans that are hostile to outsiders.

        Other codes in this country are evangelical in trying to convert those on the fringe into becoming die-hard fans, but for some reason football doesn’t want a bar of it.

        • June 7th 2017 @ 11:41am
          The Auteur said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report

          FFA’s last report essentially said with their 1 million+ participants in the game, only 16% follow an A-League team.

          We shouldn’t care about the general sports fan when we’ve got this under utilised resource who already like our sport but don’t have or follow an A-League club.

          Why throw good money after bad trying to get Bazza and Shazza who think fine dining is the schnitty down at the local RSL and who think football is for “sheilas, wogs, and poofters” and often use their hatred of football to express their racist, sexist and homophobic thoughts?

          • Roar Guru

            June 7th 2017 @ 12:31pm
            Epiquin said | June 7th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

            How many of those 1 million participants are “Bazzas” and “Shazzas?” How many of those 1 million are playing football because it’s a safe sport that’s easy to learn, but enjoy watching other codes?

            • June 7th 2017 @ 1:14pm
              The Auteur said | June 7th 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

              If they’re the 1 million+ that FFA have identified, then that’s who FFA should go after because they already have some connection to the game.

              What you want to do is to convert people who near fundamentalist about the other two codes (Union is irrelevant) and seem to hate the fact football or soccer is a foreign sport. They have been raised over generations to only like Aussie Rules or League and view soccer as a sport for foreigners.

              Tell me, if we’re trying to grow the A-League’s base who do we go after: the people who are already connected in some way to the football pyramid or the masses who at worst are indifferent to football?

              • Roar Guru

                June 7th 2017 @ 1:19pm
                Epiquin said | June 7th 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

                You seem to be arguing with me on a point I’m not even making.

                If somebody cares enough about football to attend a Socceroos WC qualifier, then there is a solid base there to engage with them, even if they do enjoy other sports as well. Obviously if somebody is a die-hard NRL or AFL fan and has an utter hatred of Football, you probably aren’t going to get them doing the Poznan in the stands any time soon.

                What I’m talking about is this attitude of exclusivity from Football fans that says if you’re only a casual fan, you’re not wanted.

                Die hards only…

              • June 7th 2017 @ 1:25pm
                punter said | June 7th 2017 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

                Epiquin, not all football fans like that, all are welcome whether one watches every A-League & Socceroos games or someone like you who like multiple sports or an event watcher only Socceroos game or even only O/S teams, all are fans of the game & welcome.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 1:34pm
                Paul2 said | June 7th 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

                Fair point, Punter. It’s likely to be only a small share of football/soccer fans who take an Auteur-like attitude: fair to say that attitude is over-represented in forums like this.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 3:02pm
                punter said | June 7th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                Paul2 it’s the AFL fanboys who have no interest in the game on the football tabs that have the attitude.

            • June 7th 2017 @ 1:27pm
              Nemesis said | June 7th 2017 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

              “How many of those 1 million are playing football because it’s a safe sport that’s easy to learn, but enjoy watching other codes?”

              Well, the data suggests the vast majority of this 1 million playing football ARE NOT watching other codes. They’re probably watching their local grassroots team.

              The FACTS don’t validate the hypothesis that people playing grassroots football are watching NRL, AFL.

              If they were, then AFL & NRL would have much much bigger viewing numbers on TV since it would mean AFL & NRL are attracting their own grassroots base PLUS the football grassroots.

              This doesn’t happen.

              What AFL & NRL are very very good at is attracting THEIR fans.
              75% of the Aussie Rules community will watch at least 1 AFL match on TV each week.
              Same for NRL.

              Right now, I’d estimate around 10-20% of Football grassroots community watches 1 HAL match on TV each week. If we can double, or even triple, the stadiums will be full & TV ratings would be spectacular.

              • Roar Guru

                June 7th 2017 @ 3:37pm
                Epiquin said | June 7th 2017 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

                I’d be happy to take a look at those facts and data you’re referencing there Nemesis.

                What’s the proportion of adult players to juniors?

                I’m sure the majority of adult players have a preference for football, but I’m willing to bet there are a fair few who follow other sports too.

                I’m also sure there are a number of juniors who would’ve loved to play aussie rules or a rugby code if their parents didn’t think it was too rough.

                This isn’t unique to football. I’ve spent many a Saturday night in pubs watching NRL games with a mate’s basketball team after their games.

                I’m happy to be show data otherwise, but I find it hard to believe that local parks are swamped every weekend by a million people getting out to support their grassroots team.

                You may be right that NRL and AFL are better at engaging their communities, especially since the top professional comps for these sports are on their doorstep, which Aussie football fans don’t get to enjoy. But they are also better at growing their communities because they want more fans. If the NRL had said “we don’t need those looky-loos around here!” they’d have gone bust years ago.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 4:04pm
                Perry Bridge said | June 7th 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report


                The million+ number that keeps getting thrown around – – as far as I can see is based on the FFA audit Dec 2015.

                The quote : “The total number of participants in community clubs, school, indoor, social and introductory programs has soared to 1,188,911”

                Does that equate to 1 million people? Heck no. Same with the other sports. As soon as you see the trifecta of ‘school/club/introductory’ you know that there will be double counted participants.

                Then through in indoor and outdoor. Again – more double dipping.

                Let alone the inclusion of ‘social’.

                Suggesting that audit represent 1 million people is little like suggesting the 4.5million AFL ratings for a weekend of 9 matches represents 4.5 million unique individuals.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 10:48pm
                Jeff dustby said | June 7th 2017 @ 10:48pm | ! Report

                Fuss, this is not a fact. You are trying to convince yourself

              • June 8th 2017 @ 10:06am
                Nemesis said | June 8th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report


                The FACTS are posted every week when the TV ratings are published for AFL & NRL.

                Here is the average TV viewing data for marquee AFL & NRL matches during the H&A season that are simulcast LIVE around the nation each week.

                AFL ave: 914k
                = 626k (5 City FTA),
                = 287 Foxtel

                NRL ave: = 670k
                = 464k (5 City FTA)
                = 206k Foxtel

                These figures are relatively good compared to other sports.

                But, if your hypothesis is that a significant number of Sokkah playing community are watching these matches, then it means there aren’t that many AFL & NRL fans in Aust.

                Those numbers are not so good if they also include a significant number of fans from other sports (basketball, tennis, football, etc.) watching.

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2017 @ 11:06am
                Epiquin said | June 8th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

                Thanks for providing details about TV ratings. However, I was asking about participation figures.

                Regardless, your assertion is based on the notion that people are either Football fans or league fans or AFL fans etc…

                It doesn’t acknowledge that people enjoy more than one sport.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 11:25am
                Nemesis said | June 8th 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report


                Participation figures are widely available to anyone with basic Internet Search skills. Sources of repute include: ABS & Roy Morgan Research

                You & others have suggested that Sokkah participants are watching AFL & NRL instead of ALeague.

                My figures purely show that, if your hypothesis is correct, then there are not many AFL & NRL fans out there.

                If a significant portion of the Sokkah grassroots community (& Basketball grassroots community) is watching AFL & NRL, then it means there aren’t very many grassroots Ozzie Rules & Rugby League people watching AFL & NRL.

                You can’t have it both ways.

                The TV numbers for AFL & NRL are impressive.
                But they are NOT impressive if you are suggesting significant numbers of people who play other sports are also watching AFL & NRL. It’s not happening.

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2017 @ 12:01pm
                Epiquin said | June 8th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

                Forgive me Nemesis, but I find it really, really hard to believe that a fair number of AFL/Rugby watchers don’t play other sports. Viewership for these sports is enormous, yet participation is low.

                The way you have interpreted the statistics is very impressive, so I just want to make sure I’m following along.

                “data suggests the vast majority of this 1 million playing football ARE NOT watching other codes.”
                So we’ve got the tv figures and the participation figures, where is the data that says participants of one sport don’t watch another sport?

                NRL/AFL has higher viewership than participation. Football has higher participation than viewership. This obviously proves that only AFL/NRL fans watch these sports. Sound reasoning.

                “If a significant portion of the Sokkah grassroots community (& Basketball grassroots community) is watching AFL & NRL, then it means there aren’t very many grassroots Ozzie Rules & Rugby League people watching AFL & NRL.”
                It’s hard to argue with that. If players of other sports are watching NRL/AFL, then obviously not many NRL/AFL fans are watching their own sport. That’s just scientific fact. Indisputable.

                I think I understand now. You can only enjoy one sport. It’s all clear now.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 12:31pm
                Nemesis said | June 8th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report


                No doubt some people watch multiple sports.
                No doubt some people like to give the impression they watch multiple sports – it’s not uncommon to see people list 10 different “Favourite Teams” on their sporing profile.

                But, the hard data for TV viewing in Australia tells us how many people are watching AFL & NRL matches.

                The figures are relatively impressive – they’re better than for most other domestic sports.

                But, if the figures allegedly include significant numbers of people who play Sokkah & Basketball then it means only a small percentage of Aussie Rules & RL grassroots community watch their own elite domestic competitions.

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2017 @ 1:11pm
                Epiquin said | June 8th 2017 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

                “But, if the figures allegedly include significant numbers of people who play Sokkah & Basketball then it means only a small percentage of Aussie Rules & RL grassroots community watch their own elite domestic competitions.”

                You can’t honestly believe this do you? You can’t seriously be suggesting that if a reasonable number of football players watch NRL/AFL then there mustn’t be many people from the NRL/AFL communities watching them.

                Is it so hard to believe that the vast majority of the NRL/AFL communities watch these codes on TV and the remainder of the viewers are made up of couch potatoes and fans of other sports?

                For an intelligent person you are making some incredibly sweeping statements and using a lot of straw man arguments.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 1:50pm
                Nemesis said | June 8th 2017 @ 1:50pm | ! Report


                Serious question, so I know I’m not wasting my time.
                Do you have basic arithmetic skills?
                If “no”, then I’m wasting my tiem.
                If “yes” then I’ll give you one last explanation

                The AFL ave TV viewing for a Marquee match that is broadcast around Australia Live on a night when there is no other AFL is 914k.

                Let’s assume 50% of this viewing number do not play organised sport (too old, too lazy, etc.). In reality, the % of people watching sport who don’t play sport is probably much higher since we know the % of the Aussie population playing sport is relatively low.

                But, for easy of discussion, let’s assume 50% of the AFL TV viewers play organised sport.

                So, we have 457k people around Australia playing sport who watch AFL on TV.

                If you hypothesise that a significant number of those who play Sokkah on the week-end are watching AFL, then that means a very small number of people who play AFL are watching AFL.

                It’s basic maths.

                But, as I said, if you’re too young to understand such mathematical reasoning, ignore this post completely.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 2:08pm
                Perry Bridge said | June 8th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report


                You’re still asserting that the only game being watched by any AFL follower that weekend is the 1 game you refer to.

                There are 9 games shown on a regular weekend (on Fox),

                Fri night, Sat night, Sun late afternoon, and generally 1 other on FTA.

                You yourself put forward the apparent % of AFL fans watching “At least 1” game a week. May watch all games (if they have nothing better to do). May watch only 1 game.

                So – that 475K number you’ve plucked is very, very limited because you’ve ignored the other 3 million or more viewers of AFL matches across that weekend.

                If you’re going to argue on a single game then stick to the Grand Final. Last year peak of 5.16 million and ‘reach’ of 6.5 million.

                Note – generally a regular round produces somewhere between 3.5 million and 4.5 million viewers across the 9 games.
                Last year (2016) week 1 of the finals – 4 matches – produced 6 million – avg of 1.5 million per game.

                So – keep playing out your mathematics on the above scenarios if you will. Please.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 2:16pm
                Nemesis said | June 8th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

                @Perry Bridge

                If you are an AFL fan, why would you not watch the Marquee Match on Friday night?

                I’m not saying every AFL fan must watch every Friday, but why wouldn’t the majority of AFL fans who watch AFL on TV watch the Friday night match?

                If you want, we can review the data for the Preliminary Finals. I’m sure you’ll agree every AFL fan who does not have a prior commitment will watch both Preliminary Finals?

                You can definitely look at the Grand Final data, but then you’ll have to exclude the significant percentage of people who have ZERO interest in AFL or sport but tune in to watch the Grand Final.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 2:28pm
                Nemesis said | June 8th 2017 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

                @Perry Bridge

                Further info:

                Apart from Melbourne, the ave viewing on FTA TV for AFL is very consistent, regardless of the day it’s broadcast or the teams playing.

                Here are ave viewing FTA TV for AFL (2016) for Friday night/other nights

                SYD: 30/29
                MEL: 368/273
                BRI: 25/23
                ADE: 112/100
                PER: 92/94

                So, as you can see, apart from MEL, there’s insignificant variation in the number of viewers in each capital city for AFL over a whole season of home & away matches.

                It could be pure coincidence that the averages are so similar, but it’s more likely the majority of people watching the AFL matches are the same people.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 2:37pm
                Perry Bridge said | June 8th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report


                You clearly don’t understand how many AFL followers follow their club and that’s it.

                Many AFL followers are very busy across the weekend, with their own participation/kids etc.

                There’s only so much time for socialising.

                I’m surprised that you don’t comprehend that there are a lot of AFL followers who don’t give a toss about watching other clubs. For many – all they need to know is to be able to check the supercoach stats via the app.

                Were the Friday night game the ONLY game on – – then heck yeah – – you’d see many more neutrals tuning in.

                Not everyone is an avid student of the games they play — often frustrated me – as I tend to be (no surprises there hey!!!) – – and I found that listening to the expert commentators at say cricket (former Aust captains), AFL/VFL (people like Blight, Matthews) – – much could be learned. But – there are many people who would prefer to go out on Friday/Sat nights, drink a few, try to pick up…….

              • June 8th 2017 @ 2:50pm
                Nemesis said | June 8th 2017 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

                @Perry Bridge

                You clearly don’t understand statistics.

                For there to be such insignificant difference between the Ave TV viewing on FTA TV in each capital city (other than Melb) for Fri night matches compared to all other matches…

                people in Syd, Bri, Ade, Per who watch AFL on FRI also watch AFL on the other days. This makes sense with your parochialism theory, since the matches into the other states are the local AFL teams.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 2:56pm
                Paul2 said | June 8th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                “I’m not saying every AFL fan must watch every Friday, but why wouldn’t the majority of AFL fans who watch AFL on TV watch the Friday night match?”

                Oh, ffs. Because their team isn’t playing?

              • June 8th 2017 @ 3:05pm
                Nemesis said | June 8th 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report


                Look at the data for TV viewing on Fri & other nights.
                Get an adult to explain statistical analysis to you.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 3:18pm
                Perry Bridge said | June 8th 2017 @ 3:18pm | ! Report


                We’ll keep this simple.

                Why do you think there would be greater variation in Melbourne?

                Because…..you guessed it – there’s 9 Melb and 10 if we count Geel – AFL clubs based there.

                Why are the other cities more comparable?

                Because, the other mainland states/capitals are all 2 team towns.

                Far less variation.

                You’ve proven that out nicely.

                Actually what you need to do is review for example the Friday night audience in Adelaide when either the Crows/Port are playing interstate….but perhaps Port fans just don’t watch Crows and Crows don’t watch Port…..on 2nd thoughts that mightn’t prove anything. It’s just fun seeing you construct hypotheses and attempt to prove them out to fit your narrative and ignoring other available data that might even extend your theory (but perhaps to the detriment of your narrative).

                I suspect even you would admit that the hard core fans who are desperate to watch every game they can will have foxtel.

                The FTA will be made up of the more club specific, more passive or the poorer fans who don’t or can’t take up Foxtel (I’m in that category).

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2017 @ 3:35pm
                Epiquin said | June 8th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report


                I really don’t think you should be insulting others’ understanding of statistics when your own understanding seems to be pretty superficial at best.

                It’s not about adding up 1 & 1 to get 2. It’s about understanding what 2 means and what we can learn from it.

                As Perry and Paul2 have tried to illustrate above, you don’t have the same people watching every single game. On Friday nights, for example, I’d be willing to bet that very few members of this audience are between 18-25. I know from my own experience that I’s not possible for me to watch the 6pm Friday NRL game and Saturday nights are usually spent with the wife, but I’ll make time for my team and I’ll usually watch the 4pm Sunday game.

                You can’t say “I assume that people from other sporting communities don’t watch NRL & AFL” and then quote cherry picked numbers with no context or analysis and claim that your hypothesis is supported by “facts and data.”

              • June 8th 2017 @ 3:46pm
                Nemesis said | June 8th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

                @ Perry Bridge

                I’m glad you finally understand the numbers and you admit that the majority of the people watching AFL in Syd, Bri, Ade, Per on any day/night are the same people.

                What’s happening in Melb is open to speculation but, unless the Victorian AFL fans are statistically different to the rest of the country, we can assume their behaviour is similar.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 4:04pm
                Chris said | June 8th 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

                Wow – such poor viewing numbers in Sydney! Are they really that low?

              • June 8th 2017 @ 4:18pm
                Sydneysider said | June 8th 2017 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

                “Wow – such poor viewing numbers in Sydney! Are they really that low?”

                Yes they are.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 4:20pm
                Perry Bridge said | June 8th 2017 @ 4:20pm | ! Report


                Hardly what I said nor even intimated.

                You’re telling your story – – don’t pretend to tell mine.

                What I said in a round a bout way is – what you need to do is drill into the numbers.

                The averages don’t tell us anything.

                btw – what’s your data source?

              • June 8th 2017 @ 4:39pm
                Paul2 said | June 8th 2017 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

                “Wow – such poor viewing numbers in Sydney! Are they really that low?”

                I’m pretty sure they approximate Sydney’s A-league viewing numbers, but okay.

                ps Here’s where you complain about MSM bias and insist that millions of Aleague fans stream games on Youtube 😉

              • June 8th 2017 @ 4:48pm
                Sydneysider said | June 8th 2017 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

                For a $2.5 billion tv deal, those numbers in Sydney are rubbish.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 5:33pm
                Perry Bridge said | June 8th 2017 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

                #Nemesis has run away for now (like many of us – perhaps – gotta have some work to show for today).


                Looking at a couple of weeks ago – a single round vs the year average and why Nemesis can’t base his ‘results’ on the average.

                For 2017, the Metro averages are as follows: FTA [STV]
                Syd 30 [15]
                Melb 336 [88]
                Bris 31 [13]
                Adel 127 [21]
                Perth 115 [29]
                In theory a combined 639 [166]

                However – that’s the average. It goes up and down – clearly – into each market based on what game is available.

                The example of 2 weeks ago Saturday night.

                In Melb – Rich v Ess dreamtime – rated at 372 – biggest show in town.

                But NOT beamed into Adelaide – there they had Adel v Freo – a home game – 42k in attendance and pretty well soaking wet. The Adelaide ratings 175 [35]. Tally 210k up from the average of 144k let alone 42k at the game.

                The biggest game in Perth that weekend was again a locally hosted match – the Sunday arvo West Coast hosting GWS (big drawing opponent – NOT!) – 140 [46]. Tally of 186k up on the average of 131k. And that’s along side 37K in attendance.

                So – that example alone illustrates why Nemesis’ hypothesis is let down by his method.

                Even in Sydney – that weekend the Fri night game, Syd host Hawks. Syd numbers 48 [43] for a tally of 91k up – double the 45k average. That along side 36K in attendance.

                But – in Melbourne town – how big a game was that? 325 [134] tally of 459k compared to avg of 424k. Limited interest – many thinking Hawks to be rubbish and Swans well down on previous years when it would instead have been a near top of the table game.

            • June 7th 2017 @ 1:29pm
              League table speaks said | June 7th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

              Thats always been the question for tapping into participants. I have played in areas in inner sydney where its very much full time football fans. In the suburbs and regional i’ve been ….its still soccer for shaz and baz.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 1:33pm
                Nemesis said | June 7th 2017 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

                Why don’t Shaz & Baz play NRL & AFL?

                Aren’t they the greatest sports on earth?
                Aren’t we told AFL & NRL are also sports for women as well as men?
                Isn’t AFLW exploding all across Australia?

                Something doesn’t add up.

                So, what is it?
                Are the sports of Ausie Rules & RL for all body types & both genders; or is this just spin from HQ and the numbers at grassroots are even worse than the low levels on record?

              • June 8th 2017 @ 8:28am
                Post_hoc said | June 8th 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

                Nemesis because shaz and baz haven’t seen their toes for 20 years

              • June 9th 2017 @ 9:30am
                Perry Bridge said | June 9th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report


                You talk about things not adding up.

                Tell me then – – why is not the HAL the biggest attended and watched league in the country?

                Perhaps a learning is that it’s well and good to double count kids in schools, clubs and indoor comps and proclaim them as unique individuals – – however – – it’s the engagement of people via viewing, memberships and attendance that is a ‘participation’ measure that the HAL is struggling for a pass mark in.

                btw – I somehow suspect that people like you would overstate their participation in a phone survey. Something about the psychology of those in the chasing group.

            • June 7th 2017 @ 6:13pm
              Waz said | June 7th 2017 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

              Epiquin – that safe old story that kids play football but watch other codes lol ? not true

              • June 7th 2017 @ 10:44pm
                Jeff dustby said | June 7th 2017 @ 10:44pm | ! Report

                It is so true and you know it
                Check out a survey or 2

              • June 7th 2017 @ 11:34pm
                pacman said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:34pm | ! Report

                Waz, I have lived in Toowoomba (regional Qld for those who do not know) for almost 50 years, during which time I have coached two senior football teams (and countless jnr teams). The senior players, almost without exception, are local RL spectators when these RL matches do not conflict with their football playing commitments and, sometimes, they simply avoid their football playing commitments by taking a “sicky” in order to socialize with their mates attending the local rubbish standard RL matches.

                From my observations, the juniors are not so inclined. But once they leave school, and particularly if they join the workforce, the dynamics shift dramatically. This dynamic has changed little since I joined the workforce 60 years ago. When I commenced playing “soccer” after leaving school, I did the same thing. Played senior football, but went to Sydney RL matches with my mates, although I never took a “sicky” to do this.

                Little has changed, and I believe the only the only way noticeable changes will occur in the future is for the Socceroos to be successful. And score goals, not play possession football with the intention of boring the opposition to death, as Ange Postecoglou has been quoted in his recent book.


          • June 7th 2017 @ 1:27pm
            Paul2 said | June 7th 2017 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

            Bang on the money, Epiquin.

            It really is hard to know where to start with the sort of comments offered by Lesterlike and the Auteur. Perhaps a good place is with this idea that anyone only casually interested in soccer or the Socceroos is likely to be a racist or homophobe. Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up. The irony of this dim-wittedness being accompanied by accusations that others are uneducated and backward is, I’m guessing, altogether lost on the Auteur.

            The funny thing is that soccer fans (at least many of them) obsess more than anyone over crowd numbers, TV audiences etc. Yet some of those same fans turn all keyboard warrior in their ‘we don’t need no-one else’ protestations. You’re right – it really is a turn off.

            • Roar Guru

              June 7th 2017 @ 3:40pm
              Epiquin said | June 7th 2017 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

              “Perhaps a good place is with this idea that anyone only casually interested in soccer or the Socceroos is likely to be a racist or homophobe.”

              Haha. The only time I’ve ever heard a fan yell out the f-word (you know, the one that means a bundle of sticks and is used in a homophobic way) was at a Mariners game by a heavily kitted out Wanderers fan.

              It happens everywhere though. AFL has it’s racists and League has it’s misogynists.

            • June 7th 2017 @ 3:44pm
              The Auteur said | June 7th 2017 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

              Way to misrepresent my point.

              • Roar Guru

                June 7th 2017 @ 4:55pm
                Epiquin said | June 7th 2017 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

                Coming from the guy who tried to argue with me on a point I didn’t even make, that’s pretty rich.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 9:41pm
                The Auteur said | June 7th 2017 @ 9:41pm | ! Report

                I don’t care about your opinion, Epiquin.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 10:50pm
                Jeff dustby said | June 7th 2017 @ 10:50pm | ! Report

                He makes a lot of sense maybe you should

            • June 7th 2017 @ 4:03pm
              Chris said | June 7th 2017 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

              Says the person who can’t keep away from a sport he barely likes

              • June 7th 2017 @ 7:04pm
                Hamish said | June 7th 2017 @ 7:04pm | ! Report

                Chris, I hope you are trying to be sarcastic there. If not you have almost entirely proven Epiqins point.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 7:51pm
                chris said | June 7th 2017 @ 7:51pm | ! Report

                Hamish my response was not aimed at Epiquin who, while not a football tragic, does provide fair and balanced views on most things football.
                My remark was aimed at someone who has form in just being a pain in the a***

        • June 8th 2017 @ 2:26am
          lesterlike said | June 8th 2017 @ 2:26am | ! Report

          The outsiders had 50 years to like us and instead called us wogs and poofters. Now the game is finally standing up by itself, with the changing times of globalisation pushing us along and you think all of a sudden we’ll forget the decades of abuse. Football fans have long memories, why should we want to put up with outsiders? They are a scourge on our game and half the reason why we have an AFL Lite style domestic league instead of an authentically football-style one.

          • Roar Guru

            June 8th 2017 @ 9:59am
            Epiquin said | June 8th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

            Grow up Lesterlike. Do you honestly think non-football fans united in hatred of the game until 2005? I know there’s a few small-minded individuals who would use those types of slurs. They’re also the type to call AFL “G*y-FL” or Rugby “Bum sniffers.”

            The truth is there was overwhelming apathy about football in this country, due to the fact that top-flight was a semi-professional competition with next to no media presence and our national team couldn’t compete with the rest of the world.

            Besides, the A-League has been around for almost 12 years. There are people starting families now who were barely even alive for the “decades of abuse” as you call it.

            • June 8th 2017 @ 10:34am
              Nemesis said | June 8th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

              The AFL was semi-professional until the mid 1990s. I don’t know about NRL, but assume it went professional around the same time when Murdoch threw big money at the competition.

              So, it’s a complete nonsense to suggest semi-pro competition was the reason the media has been, and continues to be, openly hostile towards football.

              I don’t care if the media ignores Football & Aleague – as they ignore other global sports like Basketball, Athletics, etc.

              But, I’ve never understood the constant & open hostility that’s directed by mainstream media towards Football. The only reason I can think of is the mainstream media is filled with Anglo Aussies who still yearn for a White Australia Policy &, apart from eating Pizza, Souvlaki & Asian Take Away, they don’t like Aussies whom they would call “wogs”.

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2017 @ 10:44am
                Epiquin said | June 8th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

                “So, it’s a complete nonsense to suggest semi-pro competition was the reason the media has been, and continues to be, openly hostile towards football.”

                That’s not what I’m suggesting at all.

                My suggestion is that Australian sportsfans (prior to 2005) had apathy towards the game for the following reasons:

                – semi-professional status, whereas the VFL and ARL were the top leagues of their sport in the world
                – an uncompetitive national team, whereas the Kangaroos and Wallabies were world beaters.
                – Lack of coverage in the media
                – And yes, I would argue that the division of football teams along ethnic lines was a big turnoff.

                The media may be hostile towards soccer, I dob’t know, but I think that the vast majority of non-football fans in decades past were simply apathetic towards soccer, rather than hostile.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 11:28am
        R King said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        I agree, the FFA should think less about how much money they can squeeze out of us supporters and more about how do we create an atmosphere. Play it at Hindmarsh get the 18,000 squashed into the 15,000 seated stadium, make it a criteria that you must be an A League member to get a ticket and then you’ll have your cauldron of noise and passion. Or we can leave it as it is and compare it to a night out at one of the many cultural festivals we seem to have.

        • June 7th 2017 @ 11:45am
          Bob said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

          No. play it at the Oval and find a way to make 45,000 people sound like 15,000 at Coopers Stadioum, and whne youve done that find a way to get some of those 45,000 people to watch AU week in week out. If there’s one thing worse than an eurosnob its an Aleaguesnob like you

          • June 7th 2017 @ 2:31pm
            R King said | June 7th 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

            LOL……not sure how you can draw that conclusion [me being an A League snob] Just stop for a sec and read what was written. There is no way the FFA or anybody else can replicate the cauldron that is Hindmarsh Stadium, when it’s full and jumping. Yes I prefer to watch our football at Hindmarsh [who wouldn’t] but I also would like to have a 40,000 seated rectangular venue just for our code. If that makes me a snob, so be it, I, like many others think it can and will happen.

            But this discussion isn’t about that, nor should it be.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 12:00pm
        Marcus said | June 7th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        “Why do we continue to seek the approval of the bogans?”…………………You elitist snob.
        Uneducated, uninformed and stupid comments

      • June 7th 2017 @ 1:46pm
        matth said | June 7th 2017 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

        And what happens when your casual fans take up 10,000 of those tickets? You end up wiht a smaller stadium iwth no atmosphere anyway and less revenue.

        • June 8th 2017 @ 2:07am
          lesterlike said | June 8th 2017 @ 2:07am | ! Report

          That’s why you restrict sales to Football Family first until the stadiums full or sales are slow.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 7th 2017 @ 10:32pm
        c said | June 7th 2017 @ 10:32pm | ! Report

        • classic bogan Peter FitzSimons

        As to you Socceroos playing Saudi Arabia on Thursday night, at the Adelaide Oval, good luck, and make sure you bat first!


        • June 7th 2017 @ 10:52pm
          Jeff dustby said | June 7th 2017 @ 10:52pm | ! Report

          He’s far from a bofan but a poor comedian

        • June 8th 2017 @ 4:12pm
          Chris said | June 8th 2017 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

          Peter has been upset for years when he tried to jump on to the Socceroo bandwagon in Germany in 2006.
          He was basically told to eff off and poor Pete has been licking his wounded pride ever since.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 10:41pm
        Jeff dustby said | June 7th 2017 @ 10:41pm | ! Report

        I think the biggest problem is that you think everyone is a Bogan

    • June 7th 2017 @ 6:25am
      E-Meter said | June 7th 2017 @ 6:25am | ! Report

      The only football I watch are Socceroos games. I’m excited.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 9:18am
        punter said | June 7th 2017 @ 9:18am | ! Report

        This is the difference!!! We have this that some other codes don’t.

        The only Rugby I watch is the Wallabies, I don’t watch the AFL, well maybe last 1/4 of GF. With League I only watch the GF.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 2:24pm
        Sideline said | June 7th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

        I’m the same. I played football as a youngster, but now only watch Socceroos games. I’ve been to a couple of their games, and a couple of A league games, but don’t follow it very carefully.

        I’m quite amazed at the vitriol from the so-called ‘true’ football fans on this thread. I find it genuinely baffling that they have this strange elitism about football as a sport, like you are somehow more educated or refined if you like football rather than the Rugbies or Aussie Rules.
        But what I find more baffling is that they would not want to attract more fans than the sport currently has; like I was some kind of unwanted supporter at the A-League games I have attended. I know of no other sport in Australia where the fans actively dislike the idea of the sport becoming more popular.

        • June 7th 2017 @ 2:29pm
          Nemesis said | June 7th 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

          “But what I find more baffling is that they would not want to attract more fans than the sport currently”

          The SPORT of football has more than enough people. Clubs in Victoria are busting and they have to actually turn people away since they can’t cope with the demand.

          By contrast, RL, RU, Aussie Rules clubs are closing & teams can’t field enough players.

          Yes, the ALeague competition needs to attract more fans.

          We want to attract the grassroots community, who understand the game, love the culture &, because this community is willing to watch low quality grassroots football, they’re not snobs about the what they watch.

          ALeague does not need to convert people who don’t like Football, or who only want to watch football for celebrity players.

          • June 7th 2017 @ 3:03pm
            Sideline said | June 7th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

            Well this is the attitude I’m talking about. Not wanting to attract new fans from other codes, regardless of the numbers associated at a grassroots level, seems incredibly shortsighted.

            Or perhaps the bigger question is why are the numbers participating not converting to the numbers watching? I wonder if there is a breakdown of the “1 million +” participants by age. I might be wrong, but I suspect there would be a massive drop in numbers as age goes up, and people move on to investigate other sports. It’s what I did when I got older.

            Again, I may be wrong, but I suspect that the way to get viewing numbers up would be the opposite of targeting current participants. It seems to me that a large proportion of the numbers participating is probably due to young people wishing to play a fun and relatively safe game, or at least their parents wishing them to. But when it comes down to it, their parents, uncles, aunts etc. are actually supporters of the other sports, so the kids don’t grow up watching the game, despite playing on the weekends.
            So, to increase viewership, it’s the parents, people who watch other sports, who need to be targeted, not the people already participating.

            • June 7th 2017 @ 3:08pm
              punter said | June 7th 2017 @ 3:08pm | ! Report


              • June 7th 2017 @ 3:26pm
                Sideline said | June 7th 2017 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

                I’m not sure you yawn with exclamations, but well done champ, that’s refuted all my logical points.

            • June 7th 2017 @ 3:46pm
              mattq said | June 7th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

              of course, targeting a younger population is not a good long term strategy. good insight.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 4:19pm
                Sideline said | June 7th 2017 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

                Haha, honestly. That’s just ignoring the main point, isn’t it. It’s not a good strategy if there’s no results, as evidenced by the 15% of participants being fans, or whatever the stat above is.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 4:38pm
                punter said | June 7th 2017 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

                Again Yawn!!!!

                Run away with these 2 points.

                A-league is not the premier football competition in the world, unlike AFL top AFL competition (only) NRL top Rugby League competition (only 2).

                A-League has only been around 11 years, prior to that the NSL was not mainstream.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 5:06pm
                Sideline said | June 7th 2017 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

                I’m not entirely sure what point you are trying to make. I’m not really even talking specifically about the A-League, though I would like it to be supported over any other football league. I’m just talking about turning participants into long term fans.

                The point I am trying to make is that thinking football doesn’t need to pursue fans from other codes is crazy. This is because those people will play a large part in the preferences of the next generation, regardless of whether that young generation already participates in the sport socially. So, if you want the next generation to have an increased interest in football, you need to start the change with the current generation.

                It’s seems obvious that if you want growth in popularity, you have to accept more than just the diehards who “know the culture.”

              • June 7th 2017 @ 5:45pm
                punter said | June 7th 2017 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

                Now you have lost me. The 15% you quoted above, is participants following the A-league.
                Most of the participants, if you ever go to the clubs are all followers of football & know their Neymar from the Hazard not to mention the Man U & Chelsea.
                But how do you measure them?

            • June 7th 2017 @ 4:42pm
              Hunter said | June 7th 2017 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

              I was the same.

              Played soccer as a junior from u5 – u10 and then started playing league and later aussie rules. Pretty common in the area I’m in. That said i think there is a tread that is seeing more juniors stay with soccer for longer. The challenge for the code is to retain the elite players – especially as every code is after these players.

              The other challenge is getting that tribal support that i think the wanderers and victory are developing nicely – the other clubs have a long way to go. It is interesting that the Socceroos generally don’t generate this ‘tribal’ support.

              Soccer no doubt has 1million ‘participants’ but only a very small proportion of these live and breath their respective HAL club. This will take a couple generations to change.

            • June 7th 2017 @ 5:00pm
              Nemesis said | June 7th 2017 @ 5:00pm | ! Report


              You say: “I might be wrong, but I suspect there would be a massive drop in numbers as age goes up, and people move on to investigate other sports.”

              Yes. You are WRONG.

              For sure, there is a drop off in numbers FOR ALL SPORTS as people move from junior to adolescence and they have other interests in life.

              1) Football has the highest participator for all team sports for juniors u14
              2) Football has the highest participator for all team sports for people aged 14+
              3) Football has the highest participator for all team sports for junior males u14
              4) Football has the highest participator for all team sports for males 14+
              5) Football has the highest participator for all team sports for junior females u14
              6) Football has the second highest participator for all team sports females 14+

              Once kids move beyond junior level (ages over 14) RL, RU are in massive decline. Aussie Rules is treading water, which means IF the stories are true about huge growth in female Aussie Rules, then the male numbers must be rapidly declining since overall growth has stagnated over the past 15 years.

              This information is widely available to anyone who is interested in sports and knows how to use the internet.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 5:37pm
                Sideline said | June 7th 2017 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

                It seems I wasn’t clear. Stating that football has the highest “participator” out of all sports doesn’t address my issue, even if you say it 6 ways. Football has the highest participation, yes. But I’m talking about the rate of decline in participation (regardless of overall numbers) as related to a relatively low rate of fan support. As has been established, the issue we are talking about is support for professional teams, not participation.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 5:57pm
                Nemesis said | June 7th 2017 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

                I broke it down to make it bleedingly obvious to everyone. Regardless of any drop off, Football is No1 for adult team sports participation.

                If kids are dropping off football they’re not moving to other sports. They’re doing other things.

                All sports have participation declining after junior levels. The drop off rate for Football is not higher than any other sport.

                It’s called reaching puberty & having new interests in life.

                At Adult Level, more people play organised football than play Rugby, League & Aussie Rules … COMBINED.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 10:58pm
                Jeff dustby said | June 7th 2017 @ 10:58pm | ! Report

                More people fish, are they number 1 ?

              • June 7th 2017 @ 7:09pm
                Hamish said | June 7th 2017 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

                Nemisis, In this do you know whether the participation statistics that you are quoting include social indoor and futsal games. Because if so, that is again a misrepresentation of the available statistics.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 7:15pm
                Nemesis said | June 7th 2017 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

                @ Hamish

                The survey is the same for all sports. So any errors you want to pretend there are about football’s data will attach to all the data.

                Roy Morgan Research conducted the data for: people aged over 14 and playing competitive sport. It does NOT include school sport. And Football means outdoor football. Futsal will be called Indoor Football

              • June 7th 2017 @ 11:00pm
                Jeff dustby said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:00pm | ! Report

                How about tag and touch rugby – those numbers are huge

              • June 7th 2017 @ 7:55pm
                chris said | June 7th 2017 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

                Geez some people just don’t get it! Can it be laid out any simpler than how it has?

              • June 7th 2017 @ 11:02pm
                Jeff dustby said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:02pm | ! Report

                Yep it’s plainly obvious mums make their kids play soccer
                It’s an easy game. People play it because it doesn’t hurt then watch other sport

              • June 8th 2017 @ 8:45am
                Post_hoc said | June 8th 2017 @ 8:45am | ! Report

                Hamish, I believe the data that Nemesis referring to (or one of the data sources) is the ABS as they break it down under 14 and 14+. In that data source indoor football/futsal is separated, it has a class of it’s own called indoor football. So it is not counted. Touch/oztag etc I believe (but not 100% certain) is also kept separate, as for AFL 9’s etc there is no mention of it so either it rates so small so as not to register or more than likely it is folded into the AFL figures.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 1:07pm
                northerner said | June 8th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

                As we all know, football has the biggest participation rate of all the organized team sports at both the child and adult level. No arguments there. The best data is probably that on the ASC website, based on Clearinghouse’s surveys, and it currently provides figures to the end of 2016.

                Generally speaking, the figures show that, for club sports, football has very roughly the same number of people under 15 and over 15 playing the game. The same is true of the AFL and slightly less true of League. What is interesting is that Touch has very few child players, but is a growing force in adult sport. One would speculate that people might be switching from the heavier contact sports like Rugby, League, and AFL, that they played as children, into Touch as they get older. The other interesting thing is that over a third of those playing Touch are women. That’s a higher proportion than any of the other football codes and comparable to basketball.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 1:54pm
                Perry Bridge said | June 8th 2017 @ 1:54pm | ! Report


                However the ASC stats you refer to are not primary numbers. It’s survey driven. 20,000 (15+ ‘adults’) nationally plus about 3,600 children via the parents/guardians. Thankfully we don’t call the federal election on the back of 20,000 votes.

                The ASC proclaims soccer to have about 1.086 million club participants and Aust Footy to have about 635K club participants.

                And yet the FFA in their Audit end 2015 reported proclaimed only 499,361 players in club participation across the 2,155 clubs in every state and territory.

                The AFL too – only quotes in it’s 2016 Annual report club football of 360,648. Across 2680 clubs in 230 leagues across the nation.

                So – the ASC – has at very least a somewhat interesting perspective on this. Perhaps there is a capital city skew?

                Believe what you want – but the FFA ran with 1.118 million participants from their own audit. The AFL with 1.404 million but gee, 536K was ‘school-based programs’ not falling under Auskick or school competitions. But – all the codes quote numbers from introductory and school programs.

                Statistical modelling is one thing when on the basis of a production line – but, Australia is far from homogenous in a sporting sense. Note that I’m not saying the ASC has got it right/wrong for a single sport vs any other. I’m neither attacking/defender soccer or Aust Footy in this respect. Just drawing attention to the range of numbers out there.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 2:16pm
                northerner said | June 8th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

                @PerryBridge – I realize these are survey numbers but so, I believe, are the ABS figures. Surveys, if designed properly, can be quite accurate (though I agree that there is probably a skew to urbanized areas in these numbers).

                From what I can work out, looking at the actual data sheets for adult sports participation, the “club” figures include not just the football sports clubs as such, but also general recreational clubs, clubs belonging to educational institutions, and other organized venues which may not count in the FFA’s or AFL’s figures.

                But in any case, if the ASC is using the same methodology to assess numbers in all sports, then the ratio of adult to child participants isn’t going to change much even if they’re counting slightly different groups of people, because they’ll be counting comparable populations for each sport.

                I admit I was intrigued by the Touch figures, though. Especially since the figures suggest that over a third of all Touch players are women, which is a higher proportion than is the case for most other sports (Netball and Basketball being the exception).

              • June 8th 2017 @ 3:02pm
                Perry Bridge said | June 8th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report


                And the old ABS stats, and ERASS stats etc – I’ve always questioned them with respect to quoting as absolute values. They provide trend information. Similar to TV ratings.

                So – if the methodology is largely comparable then the ASC stats can allow trending relative to the previous surveys.

                re the definition of ‘club’ or – – it may be more along the lines of ‘organised’ activity – so, club and school competitions and social competitions.

                From the AFL perspective – let’s suggest it equates reasonably to the 653k the AFL quotes (club,school,social competitions). However – that AFL Annual report could well include double dipping.

                For the soccer – again – the quoted audit number of 1.188 million. The main question there is the quantity of school competitions. Not clear. Basically 500K quoted for club comps. 214K for the MiniRoos program. So – that leaves somewhere between 500k and 974K to remove other non-competition intro program etc. Then you get a number somewhere with the schools comps and probably the indoor component – – again, a fair scope for double dipping.

                The soccer assertion of 2 million includes the ‘informal’ participation – – which always seems a bit rubbery to me. What is ‘informal’? How does that come into the discussion.

                Soccer certainly has big numbers across the nation – trending about 10 years ago showed a big burst by way of female participation. That was a market disrupter that has really helped push the AFL’s buttons I suggest even though there was grass roots demand growing within that code.

              • June 8th 2017 @ 3:15pm
                northerner said | June 8th 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

                Basically agree with you – all I’m really seeing here is that the number of under 15s playing football is roughly the same as the number of over 15s, and the same is true for those playing AFL, so I don’t think it’s true to argue that the kids all quit playing football once they get older. They seem to be at least as connected to the sport as kids who grow up playing AFL. League is different – their numbers do show a drop off, but I suspect those kids move to Touch as they get older and the bruises start to add up.

                But absolute numbers? Don’t think any of the numbers are things I’d want to bet the bank on.

            • June 8th 2017 @ 8:39am
              Post_hoc said | June 8th 2017 @ 8:39am | ! Report

              Not talking for Punter, but I suspect the yawn is a reaction to the same tired old arguments that have been shown to be completely false at least a dozen times on this site alone.

              ABS participation numbers (ie not data produced by governing bodies) but ABS data shows that there is actually a smaller drop off in participation numbers for football then any other football code.

              So yes, as kids grow older a percentage of them STOP playing football, but a larger percentage of kids STOP playing all the other football codes. So it really doesn’t work to suggest they stop playing football and take up AFL/League?union because all of a sudden they can make their own decisions and not mum or dad.

              So, having explained all of that AGAIN, I suspect Punters YAWN response was pretty valid.

          • June 7th 2017 @ 9:02pm
            hanners said | June 7th 2017 @ 9:02pm | ! Report

            The A-League will never get more supporters to come to the stadium until the FFA follows the successfull European formula of NO free to air bread and butter league and compulsory PROMOTION – RELEGATION.

          • June 7th 2017 @ 10:55pm
            Jeff dustby said | June 7th 2017 @ 10:55pm | ! Report

            Seriously Fuss, you believe anything you read as long as it’s fits your agenda
            6yo are made to play soccer by their mum
            Plenty are playing touch rugby for the same reason

            • June 8th 2017 @ 8:47am
              Post_hoc said | June 8th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

              Jeff, sorry to say ALL of the evidence disagrees with you.

              So as the saying goes, you can have your own opinion, but you can’t have your own facts

    • June 7th 2017 @ 6:28am
      RBBAnonymous said | June 7th 2017 @ 6:28am | ! Report

      I have to agree Ben. I think the proposals put forward by Infantino will ruin the world cup or at least drop it down a few notches. I ALWAYS want us to qualify but it’s not the be all and end all. It’s a massive game for us, we need those precious 3 points.

    • June 7th 2017 @ 6:49am
      stu said | June 7th 2017 @ 6:49am | ! Report

      If the game does not discover ‘the power of marketing’, articles like this one will continue year upon year.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 7:05am
        Waz said | June 7th 2017 @ 7:05am | ! Report

        It’s not about marketing, media agencies write to an agenda nowadays – they always have to be fair, only today it’s a matter of survival and any independence has gone out of the window.

        The Australian today wrote a glib article on this topic thats one of those articles that gets dusted down every now and again, given a brief update (e.g. better not talk about effniks anymore seeing as the AFL is now trying to attract them) and published.

        It’s amazing they get printed at all, but they just do. I suppose it’s easier than thinking and meanwhile white, middle class, middle aged Australians can read it and nod in agreement, safe in the knowledge that nothing’s changed in “their country” for the last 20 years …. even though it has lol

        It’s not about marketing anymore.

        • June 7th 2017 @ 11:03pm
          Jeff dustby said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:03pm | ! Report

          Yep, let’s blame safe targets like white shaz and baz

    • June 7th 2017 @ 6:53am
      Waz said | June 7th 2017 @ 6:53am | ! Report

      Does Australia care? …. yes it does.

      But we live in a media world where what we see, hear and read in the news is not “the news” anymore but some Cross-promotional agreement written into an entertainment contract somewhere. It’s why reality tv shows make the news headlines, it’s not news it’s cross-promotion (Gallop knows this, and why he knew he needed a commercial FTA even if he had to give it away).

      So don’t look at the media to generate a buzz as it did in the past, producers no longer have the independent thought and action to talk about news. Quite the opposite, apart from the obvious headlines the other content is promotional material for what your group of media companies has in its stable – if you don’t have the sokha then don’t talk about it much or at all, why promote someone else’s product? If the FFA want space and air-time they’re going to have to play the game and buy it.

      But 40,000 people turning up live and a couple of hundred thousand tuning in ain’t bad for a team with below average performances so far, people care alright. But you just wouldn’t know it if you rely on the news.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 9:27am
        Chris said | June 7th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

        WAZ…perfectly said.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 9:42am
        Brendo said | June 7th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

        Very well said Waz

      • June 7th 2017 @ 10:21am
        jamesb said | June 7th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        Great point Waz.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 10:41am
        Midfielder said | June 7th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report


    , , ,