FFA should re-think its marketing of the Socceroos

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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    There are now two distinct types of football fan in Australia, and Football Federation Australia is busy marketing games almost exclusively to the smaller camp.

    It hasn’t been a great few months to be a sports administrator in Australia.

    From the strike action threatened by Australia’s cricketers, to a pay dispute in the NRL, and the botched culling of a Super Rugby team, the executives who run sport in Australia could be forgiven for feeling like they’re under siege.

    But at some point, fans who pay good money to watch these sports need to ask one simple question: what exactly are these administrators being paid to do?

    Because if the answer is to improve the fortunes of their respective sports, it seems that many of our administrators are going about it backwards.

    Take the Socceroos. After fewer than 30,000 fans turned up at the Adelaide Oval to watch one of our most important World Cup qualifiers in years, an equally disappointing crowd will descend upon the MCG for the friendly against Brazil tomorrow.

    Why? Because the FFA has never bothered to play to its strengths and market the Socceroos as a football team the entire nation can get behind.

    In fact, they barely advertise the national team at all.

    There was little fanfare after Australia won the Asian Cup – as though we were embarrassed by the achievement – and outside of Ange Postecoglou, you rarely hear anyone talk up Australia’s results.

    Tim Cahill Australia Football Socceroos 2016

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    So you end up with a situation where a minority of supporters understand the significance of a World Cup qualifier, while the rest of the football fan-base prefers to pay good money to watch Argentina beat Brazil at the MCG instead.

    And very little is said or done by football’s administrators to question that status quo.

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with Bart Campbell of TLA Worldwide bringing down teams like Brazil and Argentina. As a money-making exercise, it’s been a phenomenal success.

    But we should be under no illusions that companies like TLA care about football in Australia.

    They care about profits – like all good businesses should – and whether that benefits the game in Australia is largely immaterial to them.

    You could argue, then, that the FFA is caught between a rock and a hard place in sanctioning the Socceroos’ involvement in tomorrow’s friendly.

    From a footballing point of view, it’s an excellent hit-out before the Confederations Cup. And if it encourages a few more locals to throw their support behind the Socceroos, that’s even better.

    But what FFA has failed to do is market the national team as the pinnacle of football in Australia.

    So the Socceroos end up playing second fiddle in their own backyard – doomed to the role of support act to a travelling circus that pitches up on Australian shores, swipes the cash, and sails off on its merry way.

    And that’s a risky role to play in a world in which globalisation means more fans than ever are strolling around in Barcelona shirts – but rarely the jersey of their own national team.

    That only 13,000 fans showed up at AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon to watch the Wallabies go around should have got the FFA taking notes.

    If administrators continue to charge premium prices for every single sporting fixture that comes to town, at some point fans will simply choose to stop attending.

    Tomas Rogic congratulated by team

    (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

    It’s cheaper to watch the games on TV – and often more comfortable too – and with the Socceroos playing in front of funereal atmospheres, there’s no unique selling point to entice new fans through the gates.

    It’s time FFA took a new approach to marketing the Socceroos, starting with ticket prices.

    No matter how cash-strapped they are, the tactic of charging through the nose and hoping the hardcore faithful show up isn’t working.

    And unless they’re careful, they’ll have missed the chance to market the national team to a whole new generation of fans – one happy to wear a Messi or Neymar jersey, but never a Socceroos one.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (174)

    • June 12th 2017 @ 6:42am
      Waz said | June 12th 2017 @ 6:42am | ! Report

      Well said Mike, I couldn’t agree more. The FFA seem to expect fans to show up irrespective of venue and/or ticket prices. The other factor of course is that game locations are sold (“marketed”) to the highest bidder which means we have a team that is prostituted around the nation, with Gallop acting as chief pimp, rather than a National Team.

      The ffa of course say they need the money, and they do, but they are in the process of killing the Socceroos as anything other than tv content filler. Atmosphere, full houses, and big crowds should be their goal not just easy money from State Governments who will soon get tired of the poor returns and stop paying the pimp.

      P.S. and if they’re only expecting 30k tomorrow night why is it being played at The G??

      • Columnist

        June 12th 2017 @ 11:30am
        Mike Tuckerman said | June 12th 2017 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        I suspect tomorrow night will be another sobering reminder that Aussies are sick and tired of being asked to pay over-the-top prices for absolutely everything.

        • June 12th 2017 @ 12:07pm
          Waz said | June 12th 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

          Shame. It’s worthy of a big crowd.

        • June 12th 2017 @ 2:32pm
          Waz said | June 12th 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

          Forecasting 50,000 which may be ambitious but looking at the ticket prices, it’s a miracle ?

        • Roar Pro

          June 12th 2017 @ 11:55pm
          anon said | June 12th 2017 @ 11:55pm | ! Report

          Frankly $99 for a silver ticket up the back of the Great Southern Stand is disgusting. Even more so in a stadium of 100k that will not sell out. There will be no shortage of supply.

          I’d like to know what ticket prices were for those qualifiers against Iran at the MCG in the late 90’s.

          • June 15th 2017 @ 10:53am
            CrampsRowZ said | June 15th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

            It’s basic economics that the FFA either ignore or haven’t addressed.

      • June 12th 2017 @ 11:35am
        Nemesis said | June 12th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        Did the FFA choose the venue for tomorrow night, or was it chosen by the people bankrolling the event – i.e. the State Government of Victoria and TLA Worldwide?

        I’d be surprised if the FFA is paying 1 cent towards tomorrow night’s match.

        • June 12th 2017 @ 12:11pm
          Waz said | June 12th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

          Well, I wasn’t blaming the FFA but they do sanction these matches. It all depends on the commercial terms of course but sticking on the topic of marketing – the FFA would be better off with a bigger crowd at the G or a smaller crowd at another stadium both of which the could have sought to influence. To my earlier point – Gallop takes the money and runs and doesn’t seem to care about the Socceroo brand.

      • June 13th 2017 @ 8:28am
        Dissapointed fan said | June 13th 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        I was going to go and watch the game with my two boys to get them interested I. Going to games. The cost was going to be a few hundred for us to go in as a family. Absolutely gutted not to go as I could not afford it.

    • Roar Guru

      June 12th 2017 @ 6:49am
      Ben of Phnom Penh said | June 12th 2017 @ 6:49am | ! Report

      It is difficult as money needs to be made, however sanctioning Argentina-Brazil match to occur the day after our most important qualifier meant thousands of fans chose to stay in Melbourne rather than make the journey up the road to watch the Socceroos.

      For various reasons the FFA continues to pursue short-term financial gains over long-term investment. The returns of the latter are vastly superior however risk aversion seems to relfect a lack of confidence in the long term resulting in the short-term decision making we see so frequently. This is something of a fallacy as short-term demand for cash grows with resources and hence is always present, regardless of the funding available.

      I believe the conditions for expansion teams were to be released Feb 2017. Case in point.

      • June 12th 2017 @ 7:11am
        RBBAnonymous said | June 12th 2017 @ 7:11am | ! Report

        The expansion criteria still hasn’t been released and probably will never be released. If and when we have expansion the FFA will simply select two teams of their choosing.

      • June 12th 2017 @ 7:59am
        Waz said | June 12th 2017 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        I have to agree with you on the short-term nature of all of this; rather than build the Socceroos brand we see decisions being made only on financial returns today which will cost us in the long term. Every football supporter should feel a strong affinity with the Socceroos and it should be a uniting factor for the code, unfortunately it’s starting to feel like they don’t represent the nation any more rather they represent the bits of the nation prepared to pay up to see them perform but the fans aren’t responding

    • June 12th 2017 @ 8:20am
      j binnie said | June 12th 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      MIKE -This is a very contentious issue you have broached and actually is deserving of a much deeper investigation into the status- quo than the space on this column allows.
      There is little doubt that in certain areas the FFA embarked on an “Autralianisation” of the Socceroos,especially in the coaching field, and it is probably correct to say that when this change in thinking occurred certain obstacles to success raised their collective heads when the standard of footballer available for selection had actually dropped below the previous standards.
      That leaves the FFA with a problem,How does one go about marketing to a public, what many still regard as a sub-standard product when compared what has gone before in the recent past, Viduka. Kewell,Schwartzer,et al, players who weekly were proving to be good enough to play at the highest levels in Europe.
      How does one start to compare the team that played in the World Cup finals in 2006 under Hiddink,with the team that played Saudi this week,11 of that squad played with top teams in England,3 in Italy, 2 in Switzerland, and 1 each in Germany,Spain,Holland, with 3 local players making up the 23.
      There is just no comparison unfortunately especially when one considers the opponents and results in that competition. Brazil,Italy,Croatia and Japan.
      That brings us back to the present. Where does one start in publicly selling the present Socceroo squad to a public who,more than ever, can watch the world’s best in their lounges and, whether we like it or not ,draw comparisons. Not easy. jb.

      • June 12th 2017 @ 9:16am
        Waz said | June 12th 2017 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        jb “How does one go about marketing to a public, what many still regard as a sub-standard product when compared what has gone before in the recent past” …. that may present a bit of a problem, I’m not sure how much mind you, but that comes back to marketing – one of the strategies is to target kids aged 9-19 most of whom don’t have that problem as they weren’t around/following the glory days. Grumpy old men may still complain “they’re not as good as in my day” but as any parent will tell you when a kid wants to go to something you invariably go – if, IF, it’s marketed right and other conditions work such as pricing, venue etc. it goes back to mikes main point – the ffa have to market this thing differently. Right now I get the impression they don’t give a damn just as long as State governments keep stumping up the cash to host the games.

        • June 12th 2017 @ 12:38pm
          j binnie said | June 12th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

          Waz – How right you are “targeting kids in the 9-19 age groups” unfortunately at the prices being charged the 9-15 year olds do not have incomes so are dependent on their funding coming from another age group all together. You point this out of course but the average parent has no say in where a game is to be played,when it is to be played and the price to be charged, so again we come back to marketing, or, to be honest ,lack of marketing in our code.
          I was simply pointing out the differential in product facing the FFA in the last 10 years,for there is little doubt that most football fans in this country are aware of football clubs called Everton,Middlesbrough,Liverpool,Blackburn, Crystal Palace,Birmingham, Newcastle United,most of whom were playing in the EPL at that time, Inter Milan and Parma from Serie A, PSV, Basel,Dresden,and Alvarez from those respective top leagues.
          You are experienced enough to recognise that in marketing a product it helps to use information that is recognisable.
          The question to be asked of any football supporter today is how many teams can he mention as being represented in this latest Socceroo squad.
          This lack of “recognition” does not assist in any marketing drive that may be envisaged.
          Pity,but factual nevertheless. Cheers jb.

          • June 12th 2017 @ 1:46pm
            Waz said | June 12th 2017 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

            All good, it is a question of marketing alright.

      • June 12th 2017 @ 10:15am
        Bob said | June 12th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

        national pride should be about supporting your team jb not comparing it to some past generation or some foreign team and saying “they’re not good enough”. This is our national team and is worthy of our support always.

        • June 12th 2017 @ 10:32am
          Bfc said | June 12th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

          Football fans know who played in the 2006 WC…but does the casual fan? Methinks not…almost every Oz sports fans know who Kewell is, but I hazard to guess that my rugby mates have barely heard of any other player.
          Playing football on an oval…? It some cases they might sell more tickets, but the watching experience is poor as one is too far away from the action.

        • June 12th 2017 @ 12:46pm
          j binnie said | June 12th 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

          Bob – We are not discussing national pride here we are discussing “marketing” ,that is how to sell your product to the public..
          It is not only at the Socceroo level that we suspect marketing has a very low position in the FFA operation,it is evident in the HALas well where we have average crowd levels ranging from 26,000 per game to 6000 per game..
          That takes us back to the question being discussed,how do we sell the game.??? any suggestions?. Cheers jb.

      • June 12th 2017 @ 11:10am
        Nemesis said | June 12th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report


        As it currently stands, half the current AUS squad is playing in good quality leagues.

        EPL = 3
        England 2nd Div = 3
        Bundesliga = 2
        Ger 2nd Div = 1
        Turkey 1st Division = 1
        Switzerland 1st Division = 1
        Netherlands 1st Division = 1

        I think we can add Sainsbury to this list. He’s good enough to be playing in the Top 10 leagues of Europe, but is chasing the money.

        Given what we know about the Golden Generation, I’ve no doubt that, if they were presented with big money from China or the Middle East, many of them would’ve grabbed the money.

        • June 12th 2017 @ 1:00pm
          j binnie said | June 12th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

          Nemesis – The differential is that all of the players in the 2006 squad were playing in their respective top league clubs, many of whom roll of the tongue of the average football fan.
          Your argument about whether Viduka ,Kewell ,Neill, Bresciano,or Moore would today “chase big money” in China or elsewhere has no relevance whatsoever in the point of this discussion.
          As I have said to you often, I judge teams on what I see on the field and from a marketing point of view there is no doubt in my mind what players were more “marketable”.
          I watched 2 games last week that drove this point home dramatically,
          Australia v Saudi Arabia and Brazil v Argentina.
          The difference in standard was apparent for all to see and remember that 2006 Socceroo squad played Brazil and Italy in their campaign, losing out to the Italians by a single “disputed” goal. Surely that tells us something.
          Cheers jb.

          • June 12th 2017 @ 1:22pm
            Nemesis said | June 12th 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

            Hold on a second. Let’s not re-write history.

            Only Harry at Liverpool & Cahill at Everton were at truly big-name clubs in England. Maybe add Moore at Newcastle, but he hardly was a star for them; he did his best work at Rangers.

            Kalac at Milan was also a big club but he hardly ever played; Langerak was at Dortmund for 4 years and we dismissed that because he hardly played.

            Neill & Emerton were at Blackburn.
            Schwarzer & Viduka at Middlesbrough.
            Skoko at Wigan

            Gerella & Bresciano were at Parma.

            So, basically, we’ve got 2006 Squad: Harry (Livepool) & by 2006 he was on the way out & Cahill at Everton the only 2 players at Big Name clubs.

            • June 12th 2017 @ 2:54pm
              Caltex, TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | June 12th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

              How different it would be if: Rogic was playing and starting for Chelsea, Mooy starting for Man C, Sainsbury starting for Milan, Juric, playing and starting for Madrid. We need Football Icons like that. Hopefully, one day, our boys will get into world class football clubs; then suddenly we will have the Football Icons that will sell football with the sell-out fixtures we are demanding, with very little input needed from the FFA. So therefore, Australian Football, is what it is until our players really reach the top of the tree. We need to stop beating ourselves up on this issue of poor crowds = high ticket prices—-focus on the standard that we need our boys to be at: playing international football—then perhaps the marketing of the national team will come automatically.

            • June 12th 2017 @ 6:09pm
              Swanny said | June 12th 2017 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

              Kewell and voila were at. Leeds utd

              They were far bigger then Everton or man city at the time. They made a champions league semi final too

              Stop re writing history nemesis

              • June 12th 2017 @ 6:21pm
                Nemesis said | June 12th 2017 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

                Kewell & Viduka were not at Leeds Utd when we played WC2006.

                Harry joined Liverpool at the start of the 2003/04 EPL season.
                Viduka left Leeds in the summer of 2004 and went to Middlesbrough.

                You were probably watching AFL & NRL at the time, so not surprised you don’t know this.

                At the time of the WC2006, Leeds Utd were playing 2nd Division England and 2 years later they went down to 3rd Division. Leeds haven’t played EPL since May 2004 – that’s 13 years ago.

              • June 12th 2017 @ 6:30pm
                Swanny said | June 12th 2017 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

                that does take away what they did at Leeds utd very close to 2006.
                They were terrific players of there epl era .

              • June 12th 2017 @ 6:43pm
                Nemesis said | June 12th 2017 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

                No. It doesn’t take away what they did at Leeds.

                But, people are saying WC2006 squad were all playing at big clubs in Europe. They were not.

              • June 12th 2017 @ 9:08pm
                j binnie said | June 12th 2017 @ 9:08pm | ! Report

                Nemesis- As further food for thought,the EPL consisted of 20 teams in 2006.
                Remarkably the top 5 were almost the same as the top five this year, Liverpool being third.
                Blackburn were 6th,Newcastle Utd were 7th,Wigan Ath.10th, Everton 11th, Middlesborough 14th and Birmingham 18th.
                As you can see these are the clubs that most of our 2006 Socceroos were playing with and would mostly be classed as middle of the league identities.
                For added info, Basel finished 2nd in the Swiss league while both Inter and PSV won their respective championships. Cheers jb.

            • June 12th 2017 @ 8:46pm
              j binnie said | June 12th 2017 @ 8:46pm | ! Report

              Nemesis- Again you digress in an attempt to belittle the players in our 2006 squad. You care to differentiate between players playing in first teams in the EPL at that time and go on to, in your opinion ,sort out “big” clubs from “also rans”.
              What is it you are trying to say?,is it that the players who were in those teams were no better than what we have today.????
              Let me refresh your memory
              They drew 1-1 with Uruguay in front of 82000 to advance to the finals.
              They then played 2 friendlies,drawing 1-1 with the Dutch team and beating the then European Champions Greece 1-0 in front of a sold out MCG.
              And so to the finals proper where they opened by beating Japan 3-1,then losing to the then World Champions Brazil by 1-3,before drawing 2-2 each against Croatia.
              They got through to the last 16 and lost out to the eventual champions Italy by a single goal,a disputed penalty.
              Now might I dare to suggest if this present crop of Socceroos could come up with a string of results like that the marketing of their “product” would be infinitely easier. Yes -No? Cheers jb.

              • June 12th 2017 @ 9:35pm
                Nemesis said | June 12th 2017 @ 9:35pm | ! Report


                AUST won the Asian Cup playing terrific football.

                At WC 2014, I thought we played as well against Chile & Netherlands as we did in 2006.

                I’ll never forget WC2006. Probably the best 32 days of my life I spent in Germany at that time.

                But I also am well aware that it was luck as much as skill that got us there. We were absolutely smashed by Uruguay in the away leg. But, luck was on our side for 1st time in 32yrs & we only lost 1-0.

                Then, in Sydney Recoba should’ve buried us in the opening 5′. I still feel nauseous when I watch those opening moments. Popovic should’ve got a RED.

                But it was our destiny to get through. Lord knows we’d had enough bad fortune in the past.

                So, that’s why I keep WC2006 in perspective.

                I’ll cherish that time forever but I won’t pretend we were superstars either.

                We played rubbish for 75′ against Japan, but they eventually wilted in the oppressive heat at Kaiserslautern. I was there.

              • June 13th 2017 @ 9:14am
                j binnie said | June 13th 2017 @ 9:14am | ! Report

                Nemesis. Your opening paraphrases say a lot., a lot about your opinions
                You say Australia played well in winning the Asian Cup. No doubt ,but you appear to ignore the standard of the opposition.
                Like others you say we played well in the 2014 world cup ,yes in the first half against a tactically struggling Netherlands,who changed their experimental structure at half time.
                After the change of ends and the”cutting loose” of one of the world’s truly great players Robben, the second half was a different story.The result against Spain speaks for itself.
                You see when one talks about “football standard” being achieved one has to take into consideration the opposition,and the opposition in the 2006 World Cup. were of top grade teams,reigning champions and soon to be champions. Couldn’t get any better. Cheers jb.

            • June 12th 2017 @ 11:55pm
              Redondo said | June 12th 2017 @ 11:55pm | ! Report

              Most of the 2006 squad found their way into EPL teams when the EPL was still mostly British footballers i.e. late 1990s and early 2000s. By 2005 only about 35% of EPL regulars were English and the EPL had become more of an international division 1. By the mid-2000s the Championship was really the British footballers’ division 1.

              So since the mid-2000s the EPL is no longer a natural, or even possible, first stop for an up-and-coming Australian footballer. The ones who were there before the mid-2000s (Viduka, Kewell, Neill, Emerton, Schwarzer etc) got there when it was easier to get in and stayed because they had already established their reputation. They were good but it was also a lot easier for them to break in when they did.

              Also, don’t forget that group also got regular TV exposure on FTA because the EPL was on ABC or SBS (and no other leagues were on FTA at all – I think). So they were regularly on the tele in a famous league and so naturally more marketable than today’s bunch.

              It’s also hard to judge their quality relative to today’s group – don’t forget how dire they were when they played for a badly managed national team before Hiddink took over in 2005.

              • June 13th 2017 @ 5:09am
                punter said | June 13th 2017 @ 5:09am | ! Report

                Thank you Redendo, this is not belittling the achievements of the 2006, but comparing apples & oranges.
                The WC 2006 squad played in a mainly country dominant era, especially in the EPL (lots of British players), I saw the squads of the Scotland v England game, hardly the who’s who of the EPL. Now you lucky to get more then 2 Brits in a top 10 team in the EPL.

                Hiddink himself, said of the WC06 squad, great team spirit, willing to work, bereft of football skills outside of a small few & limited squad & also didn’t give either Skoko or Lazardies any game time & Skoko especially went back & played EPL.

                Spoke to Brazilians after WC06 (I was at game) & impressed with result asked what they thought of Socceroos, they said well behind at skill level.

                We sometimes look back with nostalgia, but not reality. It was the golden generation & blessed with 2 of our greatest Kewell & Viduka, but big drop after those 2.

              • June 13th 2017 @ 8:50am
                j binnie said | June 13th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

                Redondo – Don’t quite follow your logic in this discussion. You appear to be pointing out that in the mid 2000’s the EPL was not quite a “British footballers ” league.
                Of course you may well be correct in your observation but at least 8 of those, shall we call them “invaders”, came from a place called Australia.
                Of course those 8 were only the Australian “invaders ” selected in the WC squad. There were other “invaders”.
                What does that have to do with “marketing the Socceroos.? Cheers jb..

              • June 13th 2017 @ 9:08am
                Caltex, TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | June 13th 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

                This makes no sense!

              • June 13th 2017 @ 9:15am
                Caltex, TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | June 13th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

                “Spoke to Brazilians after WC06 (I was at game) & impressed with result asked what they thought of Socceroos, they said well behind at skill level.”

                #Punter — I hope you don’t ask the same question after tonight’s fixture—you’ll most likely be even more dismayed by their response.

              • June 13th 2017 @ 10:42am
                Redondo said | June 13th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

                JB – sorry I wasn’t very clear. There are a couple of different threads running through these comments – I was replying to 2 of them.

                Point 1: Marketing…Many of the 2006 team were playing in the EPL. At the time, the EPL was probably the highest profile national league and it was on FTA tv in Australia. Nobody had to market a Socceroos team that included Kewell, Viduka, Emerton etc who all regularly appeared on FTA in the highest profile league in the world. That automatically overcame the Aussie cultural cringe – “these guys must be good if they’re playing in the EPL!”.

                Point 2: Quality…The 2006 Aussies playing in the EPL got there when the EPL was still predominantly a British league, and far lower quality than it is today. Many of the 2006 guys wouldn’t have a chance of making an EPL side today. Kewell probably, Viduka maybe…not sure about the rest. So it’s very hard to compare the quality of today’s team with the team back then.

                My own opinion…I think the the 2006 squad wins but it’s hard to tell because Hiddink worked wonders with the team when he took over. He got some technically average players (e.g. Wilkshire, Emerton) to perform brilliantly as part of an aggressive, hyper-fit team that was organised to exploit their best qualities.

              • June 13th 2017 @ 7:26pm
                punter said | June 13th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                Caltex, i loved the WC06 Socceroos, gave me the best 2 weeks of best times of my life, i was there in Germany.

                However, many uses this squad as comparison to today’s team. Apart from Viduka & Kewell, I don’t see to much difference, both teams are bereft of high technical skills & Hiddink said at the time.

                Those apart from those 2 mentioned above would struggle to play in the top leagues these days.

            • June 13th 2017 @ 12:42pm
              Brisvegas said | June 13th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

              And Craig Moore hardly played for Newcastle leading up to the World Cup. Mostly he was injured, but also regarded as back up to other fairly mediocre defenders.

          • June 12th 2017 @ 8:46pm
            BrainsTrust said | June 12th 2017 @ 8:46pm | ! Report

            The standard of the finishing was better in the AUstralia Saudi Arabia match.
            There were more dodgy tackles from Argentina than in the world cup qualifier.

        • June 14th 2017 @ 5:08am
          ChrisJ said | June 14th 2017 @ 5:08am | ! Report

          Bloody hell Nemesis. Why do you continue to stubbornly stick to your party line,
          regardless of what is obviously occurring. I think it is pretty obvious that our playing
          stocks at the moment are very poor. I would say that talent available to the national
          team is perhaps the worst since I have been old enough to be able to assess it.
          This goes back to at least 1997 (we all know what happened then), but on review,
          perhaps even as far back as the 1993 Qualifiers against Canada and Argentina.

          You say we have 3 players in the EPL? Who are you talking about, Smith and
          Federici? (They never play) who is the other?

          2 in the Bundesliga? Who are they? Leckie who’s former team just got relegated
          and so is moving to a team that see-saws between the Bundesliga and the 2nd Divison?
          Are you counting Langerak, who’s team just go promoted?

          You are twisting the situation to support a narrative. Even if we did accept the numbers you
          put forward (which you can’t really do at all), that is still a pretty poor array of European-based

          Players we have had in the past, lets say 2005, 2006 were playing and usually starting every week for their EPL and Serie A teams. in 2006 we had Culina playing for a Dutch team that had just made the
          Champions League semi-final. So we didn’t really have players playing for the really big clubs, but
          we had a lot doing very well in EPL teams in the top half of the table.

          Wake up, it is time to assess why we aren’t producing the same quality of players we did in the past,
          not stick out heads in the sand and pretend things are going well.

          • June 14th 2017 @ 7:32am
            punter said | June 14th 2017 @ 7:32am | ! Report


            We have never produced quality players, the fact that the greatest Socceroo is more known for athletic ability then his technical ability says it all.
            Those Aussie players back n 2005 & 2006 running around in mid table teams in Europe are now replaced by Africans, Eastern Europeans & Sth Americans.

            Look at a player like Ninkovic from SFC, never played in the big 4 leagues in Europe, he has a lot more skills then Culina or some of those Aussie players in mid table Serie A or EPL players in 2005 & 2006. Only Viduka & Kewell can measure up skill wise, maybe even Bresc, but I think Mooy & Rogic is the level of Bresc.

    • June 12th 2017 @ 8:59am
      Onside said | June 12th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      Perspective. Played in Adelaide on an AFL ground. Looked and sounded underdone on TV,
      with crowds so far from play there was no atmosphere. All in all, 30K, was not a bad turnout.

      An old observation; supporters behind the goal were so far from play that by the time they’d
      heard a goal had been scored at the other end of the pitch, it was a rumour.

      And nobody out trumps Messi; the value of his contract is more than the combined value of
      every professional AFL player in the country.

      • June 12th 2017 @ 9:54am
        KingCowboy said | June 12th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

        I am not an AFL fan actually enjoy soccer more but i am calling rubbish on the Messi contract being more then all the AFL players combined.

        • June 12th 2017 @ 10:03am
          Brian said | June 12th 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

          It’s true. I recall that Ronaldo earnings in a tear could pay out the entire all and NRL salary caps with change left over

          • June 12th 2017 @ 11:28am
            Jeff dustby said | June 12th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

            It’s not Brian

          • June 12th 2017 @ 1:47pm
            northerner said | June 12th 2017 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

            Apparently, Messi is about to sign for the equivalent of $44million AUD a season. The AFL’s Total Player Payment (ie salary cap) is well over $10million per club. There are 18 clubs. Messi is well paid, but not to the level you claim. That’s not to say he doesn’t get other earnings outside his contract, from endorsements, etc. But no, his contract is not worth the whole of the AFL combined.

        • June 12th 2017 @ 10:04am
          Onside said | June 12th 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          Its up there KC. Things have changed since the last time Messi played in Melbourne , but at the time his contract value was widely reported. That said, you are right to question the assumption nothing has changed,and things my well have improved a lot for AFL players.

        • June 12th 2017 @ 10:11am
          Onside said | June 12th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

          Messi’s contract and sponsors income is upwards of $70 Million per year.
          So you may be right, but by and large ,it’s not a bad little take home pay.
          I suppose that’s the point I was originally trying to make.


          • June 12th 2017 @ 5:24pm
            Steve said | June 12th 2017 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

            Outrageous amount of money for a sportsman. Just pure greed.

            • June 12th 2017 @ 6:28pm
              Waz said | June 12th 2017 @ 6:28pm | ! Report

              But film stars and rockstars deserve it?

          • June 13th 2017 @ 10:34am
            Timmuh said | June 13th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

            Its almost half the total AFL contracts, which at a touch $10m a club come in at $180m if the full cap is used by each club. AFL rules allow for some cap breaching for certain bonuses, and a minimum 95% spend is required. So, player wages are going to be close to that mark. Word is the AFL cap could e increasing by as much as 20% next year.

            I have no idea what the NRL cap is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Messi’s income was getting close to the full NRL wages.

          • June 13th 2017 @ 10:51am
            Nemesis said | June 13th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

            No one, other than Leo Messi & his business advisors know for certain how much money Messi earns each year.

            Even the Spanish Government would have part of the information.

            However, only yesterday, “CIES Football Observatory”, who are “a research group within the International Centre for Sports Studies” produced their valuation for the Top players in Europe’s Big 6 Leagues.

            Leo Messi’s current transfer valuation is estimated to be A$225 MILLION.

            The most expensive transfer valuation is Neymar, estimated to be A$311 MILLION.

            Here are the Top10 estimated Transfer Values (Ronaldo doesn’t make the Top 10)


    • June 12th 2017 @ 9:19am
      Square Nostrils said | June 12th 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

      Unfortunately j binnie above hits the nail on the head, the Australian public are not isolated as they once were from the world, Socceroos 2006 were pound for pound better than the present crop and who can hide from Messi, Ronaldo in the age of the internet and playstations etc.
      Whilst we’d like to see more than 30,000, football fans in Australia have short memories, I dont remember pre FFA a crowd of more than 21,000 for an International football match in Adelaide.
      Given the lack of star power(a couple potentially could be stars) IMO the crowd was about right.
      Advertising the team per se wont create another Harry or Dukes, but maybe advertising the importance of the match in terms of qualificatiion could have pulled in a few more, although as has been said having Messi playing the next night in Melbourne didn’t help.

    • June 12th 2017 @ 9:28am
      Eamonn Flanagan said | June 12th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      Mike good points. Canberran scores a screamer but we cant have an ALeague team..go figure.

      I digress.

      1. There should never be a game in this country that doesnt involve an ALeague club (eg Sydney FC v Arsenal) or the Socceroos (Australia v Argentina then v Brazil). Still be a cash cow for Mr Organiser but gives local game, and indeed the actual game much more meaning.

      2. Lets lock in Aami, Members Perth, Hindmarsh, Jets, Canberra Lower tier at Suncorp and Alliiance Sydney and play all qualifiers there. Great atmosphere, ticket supply reduced. In 4 to 8 years maybe you can grow further and head to bigger stadiums. No brainer. Great for players, great for fans in the ground and at home, and great for TV.

      Two easy solutions that bring credibility and value to the local game.

      So tell me a better strategy?

      • June 13th 2017 @ 9:23am
        Caltex, TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | June 13th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report


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