Women are undoubtedly the future of football

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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    Instead of writing long-winded screeds about the state of the game, Football Federation Australia would be better off making the Matildas the new face of Australian football.

    First things first: congratulations to Alen Stajcic’s team for winning the Tournament of Nations in the United States.

    Watching our women’s national team in action has long been a rewarding experience, but few could have predicted their astonishing performances in the spiritual heartland of the women’s game.

    Three games played for three stunning victories, including a first ever win over arch-rivals the United States, and the coup de grace was undoubtedly Australia’s incredible 6-1 win over Brazil on Friday.

    Needing only a draw to win the tournament, the Matildas fell behind early to Camila’s side-footed strike, only to register six unanswered goals in what will surely go down as one of the greatest performances from an Australian team in the history of international football.

    Striker Sam Kerr finished the tournament’s top scorer with four goals, with the Matildas rattling home no less than 11 for the week as they positively exploded into form.

    The goal now is to try and win a World Cup, and you wouldn’t put it past the Matildas winning one long before the Socceroos do.

    It’s surprising, then, that the FFA hasn’t done more to lift the profile of the Matildas and the women’s game in general.

    But are they even capable of doing so?

    The surreal 2000-word missive emailed out by FFA chairman Steven Lowy on Saturday morning smacked of a governing body in full retreat.

    With a combined FIFA/AFC delegation set to touch down in Australia later this week, Lowy asked whether football in this country was about to “return to the bad old days of self-interest and suffer the inevitable results?”

    Steven Lowy and Peter Lowy

    One would have thought the self-interest was all Lowy’s – this is an executive who was parachuted into the top job in Australian football at least partly by virtue of being Frank Lowy’s son – and his remarks will have infuriated the ten A-League clubs all calling for a greater share in the revenue they help generate.

    The clubs, along with the Professional Footballers Australia association, are effectively engaged in a tit-for-tat war with FFA not only over revenue sharing, but also the lack of transparency in the game.

    FFA is perhaps fortunate that both Cricket Australia and the Australian Rugby Union have also been ensconced in ongoing industrial disputes, otherwise there’d be far more media interest in an increasingly bitter dispute that threatens to tear the fabric of the professional game apart.

    Most fans are sick of all the politicking and would rather just watch some football, so it’s a good thing the Matildas are back in action on home soil when they host Brazil in a couple of glamour friendlies in Penrith and Newcastle in September.

    As Dom Bossi wrote in an excellent piece in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday, it’s high time the Matildas were rewarded for their on-field heroics with some vastly improved commercial deals.

    Little wonder Sam Kerr has already been asked to switch to the AFLW – her brother is former West Coast midfielder Daniel Kerr – with the long-established W-League a direct threat to the AFL’s recently-launched women’s competition.

    There’s no doubt women’s football is one of the key growth areas of the game, so it’s incumbent upon FFA to ramp up the marketing and bring in the sort of sponsorship that will help develop the commercial side of the women’s game.

    That way, women footballers across Australia can dream of one day being paid just like any other professional player, instead of being forced to hold down multiple jobs purely to make ends meet.

    We’ve traditionally been slow to appreciate the value of women in our game – be it in the stands, behind the scenes or on the pitch.

    The Matildas have reminded us all of what we’ve been overlooking. And for that, they deserve our acclaim.

    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 (118)

    • August 7th 2017 @ 7:45am
      Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      A couple of years ago the W League was arguably the best professional league in the country for women; it’s now lagging behind Cricket, AFL and Netball who have all pulled in sponsors and tv unlike football. Can anyone say what the FFAs plan is for women’s football in this country? Can anyone explain why there’s only two stand-alone sponsors, one from Westfield and the other government? Does anyone think that W Lesgue players and the Matilda’s are appropriately compensated? What have the ffa been doing all this time????

      • August 7th 2017 @ 8:17am
        j,binnie said | August 7th 2017 @ 8:17am | ! Report

        Waz – I think Mike gets into a dangerous area here grouping internal football politics with the lack of recognition for our women’s team.
        Lets take his comments on self -interest. Self interest has been driving committees of all organisations in Australia for years and years. One has to but sit on a committee to soon find out there is a “power struggle” constantly going on as individuals seek to gain a position (usually chairman) where his,and his only, opinion will be carried through to acceptance within that body. —-Self interest.
        It was that fact of life that drove Frank Lowy to change what he deemed a useless ,long term structure, into something approaching a more professional and durable system.
        He foreesaw the need for money, and so set a franchise fee that was aimed at wealthy individuals, or groups, “putting their money where their mouth was”.
        For 11 years this has proved to be reasonably successful but such is the differential in how the franchises have performed there is still an imbalance that has to be faced before any telling change can take place.
        This is the real stumbling block in football at the moment.
        If the FFA is to be criticised for their fiscal policy it would be correct to say they have probably stretched themselves too thin in personnel with the knowledge on how to run a professional sporting body. They have imported CEO ‘s within Australian sport,with little or no knowledge of what we term the “world game” and it is evident now that this lack of knowledge is coming back to bother them..
        Ladies football and lack of sponsorship for the same ,does not reflect solely on the FFA who in fact have allocated huge sums of money promoting the team in world wide tournaments, it is more a criticism of our home grown business giants ,eg the banks, who continually declare record profits in the billions and yet can’t help what could become a”national treasure”known and admired all across the planet. Who’s at fault???? Cheers jb.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 9:04am
          Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

          jb. Again, as with Nemesis below I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said. But just because it’s true does not excuse the ffa from its failure to secure more sponsorship for the female game.

          Having Westfield and the AIS as the only two independent sponsors is a poor return after 7 years of success. Will they encounter corporate resistance and bias, yes they will but they should still have secured more sponsorship, even one more sponsorship would demonstrate they were trying but the evidence is clear – the ffa have failed, its there, in the lack of sponsors.

    • August 7th 2017 @ 7:57am
      Matt Jones said | August 7th 2017 @ 7:57am | ! Report

      Without a doubt, they are the future. Not sure what the men are ? The past ?

    • August 7th 2017 @ 8:15am
      Nemesis said | August 7th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      Let’s forget about the other sports.
      Let’s just concentrate on our women footballers.

      Do they deserve to be paid more? Absolutely

      Just like teachers deserve to be paid more.
      Nurses deserve to be paid more.

      If we talk to promising young poets, artists, sculptors, writers … heck even young journalists, they will think they deserve to be paid more.

      But, in capitalist economies, remuneration for goods & services is driven by market forces.

      If people fill the stands; the Women’s Game will get more money.
      If people tune in to watch games on TV; The Women’s Game will get more money.
      If corporate Australia finds marketing value in the Women’s Game, the Women’s Game will get more money.

      Let’s approach this topic like adults who understand the realities of life.
      Not like starry-eyed kids, who put their hand out each week expecting someone to give them an allowance, but they don’t have a clue about where the money comes from.

      • August 7th 2017 @ 8:53am
        Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 8:53am | ! Report

        None of what you say is incorrect. But in “capitalist economies” there is a history of great products failing due to poor sales and marketing which is what the FFA stand accused of. With only 2 sponsors, Westfield and the Givernment, it’s possible that corporate Australia isn’t interested. I find that highly unlikely and therefore the obvious conclusion to me is the ffa are poor at marketing the female game – this is something at the heart of the dispute between FFA and HAL owners who have stated they believe they can do much better. So as you say, let’s act like grown ups but let’s also not hide behind words – the reason the female game is not getting enough money is because it’s not being sold to corporate Australia well enough.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 9:01am
          Nemesis said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          What you say could be true.

          However, sophisticated buyers in any market always look for value. So, if I’m a corporate looking for a sporting team to sponsor, I want to get the biggest bang from my buck.

          The smart corporate would be delighted the FFA is not marketing the Matildas well. This means the Marketing Department can go to the FFA with a sponsorship offer that is well below the true value & then the Marketing Dept of that corporate will extract much higher return on their sponsorship investment.

          Given all we know about corporate Australia & the media, it’s fair to say the Big End of Town in Australia is not filled with football’s True Believers.

          That’s why MVFC gets huge Business Support from the middle end of town. Fruit & Veg Wholesalers, Engineering companies, Construction firms, Recruitment Agencies, Chicken Wholesalers, etc. etc. Not Blue Chip companies, but these companies are filled with football’s True Believers.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 9:09am
            Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

            Again, I don’t disagree with what you’re saying.

            But let’s say MVFC we’re in charge of marketing the Matildas, do you think they would have been more or less successful? I would argue they would have been more successful – there are certainly some limiting factors but they can be overcome as MVFC managed to do.

            My point is the ffa should be judged on results, I don’t care if Lowy is in or out personally, but I do care for the success of this game and every time we fall short we’ve been making excuses for those in charge instead of holding them accountable.

            • August 7th 2017 @ 9:20am
              Nemesis said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

              Agree with what you’re saying. I think a major issue is that too many people making football decisions at FFA (Board & execs) are out of touch with the Football community.

              They’re trying to run Football as they would run their Blue Chip companies.

              That’s why MVFC has been so good at marketing itself. And, I think WSW, Adelaide are also getting there.

              These clubs are owned by rich people but they’re not the Establishment Rich. They understand how hard it is to build a brand & business and they understand the ALeague is a brand that is in the development stage.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 9:33am
                Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

                Mark Kingsman, Roars MD, sent a members mail out some time back in which he ruffled quite a few feathers because he was praising victory’s commercial set up and contrasted that with Roars ad-hoc commercial approach. It hurt a few fans to hear that contrast but we all have to benchmark against the best and acknowledge when we’re falling short, it’s where Roar are and the same with the ffa here – I just wonder if they’ve tried to tap into Victory’s expertise?

              • August 7th 2017 @ 9:43am
                Nemesis said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

                In relation to the National Teams, I think the FFA have tried to aim too high. I recall, prior to the Caltex deal, Gallop said they had numerous sponsorship offers for the Men’s Team. But, he was looking for a Blue Chip partner that befits the Blue Chip standing of the Men’s Team.

                At the time, I though this was fair enough.

                Now, with hindsight, I think we’re aiming too high. The market will decide who is the best partner for football. It’s unlikely to be the ASX Top50, until football can prove itself to be worthy of a Top50 partner.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 2:02pm
            Midfielder said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:02pm | ! Report


            Astute nay very astute…

            “”””That’s why MVFC gets huge Business Support from the middle end of town. Fruit & Veg Wholesalers, Engineering companies, Construction firms, Recruitment Agencies, Chicken Wholesalers, etc. etc. Not Blue Chip companies, but these companies are filled with football’s True Believers.””””

        • August 8th 2017 @ 3:24am
          matt jones said | August 8th 2017 @ 3:24am | ! Report

          yep, nbetter to blame someone than accept that the greater public isnt interested

          • August 8th 2017 @ 7:56am
            chris said | August 8th 2017 @ 7:56am | ! Report

            oh boo hoo Matt. At least you seem very interested

      • August 7th 2017 @ 3:41pm
        Perry Bridge said | August 7th 2017 @ 3:41pm | ! Report


        Glad to hear you say this “Let’s forget about the other sports.”

        I was annoyed to see Mr.T stating “with the long-established W-League a direct threat to the AFL’s recently-launched women’s competition”. And I ponder – yes – competitors in a relatively immature market place. Which is the greater threat to the other? But that’s a whole different discussion.

        For me – womens soccer has the potential to host a FIFA WC tournament. The mens game doesn’t really. That to me alone agrees with the assertion that the women are the future.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 4:17pm
          Nemesis said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

          If you understand the basics of the Football industry you will not make ridiculous comments like

          “womens soccer has the potential to host a FIFA WC tournament. The mens game doesn’t really. That to me alone agrees with the assertion that the women are the future.”

          1) Football is the most popular sport in Australia, so we don’t have to worry about anything in relation to the actual sport

          2) The ALeague needs more football community watching.
          A Women’s WC will have insignificant impact on the ALeague.

          3) The WLeague needs more football community watching.
          A Men’s WC will have insignificant impact on the WLeague.

          My advice Perry Bridge – save your strategic thinking for Aussie Rules. As a football fan, I’ve got no interest in what Aussie Rules fans think is the best way forward for football.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 9:45pm
          The Auteur said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

          “For me – womens soccer has the potential to host a FIFA WC tournament. The mens game doesn’t really. That to me alone agrees with the assertion that the women are the future.”

          What a stupid, unsubstantiated comment.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 9:59pm
            Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:59pm | ! Report

            Surely it’s just an opinion?

            • August 9th 2017 @ 8:11pm
              Perry Bridge said | August 9th 2017 @ 8:11pm | ! Report


              The irony is – nothing in either response from Nemesis or “The Auteur” disagreed with my suggestion that a womens FIFA WC in Australia is a more realistic hope than a mens one.

              “The Auteur” has no rebuttal at all so is no consequence.

              As far as Nemesis goes – well – I would agree that a Mens FIFA WC would likely have greater benefit to the domestic game. However – that’s in the hypothetical scenario of winning the right to host one this side of a successful Mars Colonisation. (which would be better than a Uranus Colon…isation)

              Anyhoo – he got to his real sticking point – – after having an ex ARU guy, then an ex AFL guy, and now an ex NRL guy – – poor Nemesis has a really good basis to assert that soccer in this country doesn’t care about the opinions of outsiders……really good basis…..if you ask me (but he wouldn’t)!!

      • August 8th 2017 @ 3:23am
        matt jones said | August 8th 2017 @ 3:23am | ! Report

        i cant believe it, a lucid and sensible comment from the Fuss

        • August 8th 2017 @ 6:24am
          punter said | August 8th 2017 @ 6:24am | ! Report

          You should try making one it’s quite good.

    • August 7th 2017 @ 8:25am
      Fadida said | August 7th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      Playing Devil’s Advocate here;

      -Ultimately they won a made up 4 team tournament, the Euros ran concurrently
      -if crowds over 10k turn up to the forthcoming friendlies you could perhaps argue for a slight better commercial deal. The people will vote with her feet
      -The women’s World Cup is much easier to win than the men’s, so yes they’ll win one before the men
      -They undoubtedly deserve better renumeration but unless crowds, tv numbers and greater income are generated then you can’t argue they should be paid “like any other professional player”

      • August 7th 2017 @ 9:15am
        Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        If you want to motivate the female audience, which makes up 50% of the population remember, I would suggest a marketing line of “we’ll keep paying them poorly until you lot start turning up and watching them” is not the way to go lol.

        There’s a reason AFL and Cricket set up a women’s competition, and it wasn’t out of the goodness of their hearts – it’s a marketing investment in the future of their code. Football can not sit idly by and lose this battle, and it certainly can’t win this battle saying “it’s not our fault, no one turns up and watches ….” because mummy just might start the kids in Aus Kick and Cricket instead of Mini-Roos. Then where will we be?

      • August 7th 2017 @ 9:28am
        northerner said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        I think it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Do you wait for the Matildas to achieve more success internationally, assuming that will generate increased support and viewership, and then invest more heavily in the women’s game, or do you invest in the game now in order to generate the support and viewership, and hopefully the successes further down the line?

        Myself, I think you invest now for future return. It’s abundantly clear that there’s a market for women’s sports, and that other codes are putting money into it. It’s a risk, sure, but I don’t see how football can be the laggard when it comes to building support among half the population.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 9:39am
          Nemesis said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

          “Myself, I think you invest now for future return”

          FY2016 the FFA made a $2.8m LOSS. The P&L is freely available.

          There is minimal cash reserves.

          So, can you outline your “invest now strategy”?

          If you can find a way to invest money that isn’t there, you will have revolutionised how we do business.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 10:06am
            Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

            Money is always the problem right.

            This is where I find Lowy’s attack on the foreign owners rather astonishing.

            CFG invested the maximum in women’s football last season including building dedicated training facilities. That’s a good example of getting money when you don’t have any – the ffa aren’t very smart complaining they don’t have enough money on one hand but attacking foreign ownership that provides it, on the other …

          • August 7th 2017 @ 10:29am
            northerner said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report

            “If you can find a way to invest money that isn’t there, you will have revolutionised how we do business.” Really? I am under the impression that rather a lot of businesses invest money they don’t actually have in order to start and grow their business. It’s kind of a fundamental principle of that capitalism of which you speak so highly. Not every business enterprise relies entirely on its revenue or cash reserves to finance future growth. (Just ask Amazon about that one. Or any A and W League team owner.)

            But investment isn’t just about money, it’s about time and resources. The FFA presumably has a team of publicists and marketing specialists on staff – so the question is, are the resources the FFA actually does have being used in the most effective manner possible? Or could some of those resources spend a bit more time on promoting the women’s game?

            • August 7th 2017 @ 10:52am
              Nemesis said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

              Well the money either has to be sourced from Debt, or Equity. What lender is going to give the FFA money to invest in “the Women’s Game” without a robust Business Case showing Cash Flows to cover the interest & principal payments?

              It’s not going to happen.

              Equity investors? For sure. The Lowys drop tens of millions of dollars to support the WLeague and the Matildas. Can we get more such Angel Investors? Doesn’t appear so.

              PS: ” The FFA presumably has a team of publicists and marketing specialists on staff ”

              I laughed & I laughed. Are you being serious? Do you know anything about the FFA? This is the crux of the issue. The FFA is an administrative organization to promote & develop the sport of football across Australia. They do not have the expertise or the cash to have “publicists and marketing specialists on staff”.

              But, if the ALeague operated independently this would be essential. I touched on this in my article a few months ago, suggesting a private equity partner with expertise in operating a Football League is needed. http://www.theroar.com.au/2017/03/04/buy-buy-old-league-welcome-newal/

              • August 7th 2017 @ 12:06pm
                northerner said | August 7th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

                You “laughed and laughed.” “The FFA is an administrative organization to promote & develop the sport of football across Australia. They do not have the expertise or the cash to have “publicists and marketing specialists on staff”.

                Then why are they currently advertising for a “Leagues Marketing and Membership Manager” who will report to the GM, Marketing and Fan Engagement, and who will be responsible, inter alia, “for the day to day oversight of the marketing functions for the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League?” The role also includes “managing key agencies, including key advertising, media and market research companies.”

                Are you saying that the holder of this position, not to mention his GM, won’t have marketing expertise? Or that the FFA is hiring him to manage contracting companies but doesn’t actually have the cash to pay the companies for any work?

                Somehow, I suspect you’re wrong on both counts. And I’m having a chuckle myself.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 12:18pm
                Nemesis said | August 7th 2017 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

                Are you saying, you think 1 Marketing Manager is all that’s needed to market a commercial organization that operates in: Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Gosford, Brisbane, Wellington & Canberra and oversees operations that turn over close to $100m/year?

                Fair enough. I think a specialist team of marketing people will be required:
                1 FTE: WA/SA
                1 FTE: Melb
                1 FTE: Syd/Canberra
                1 FTE: Newcastle/Gosford
                1 FTE: Brisbane
                1 FTE: Wellington

                So, yes, I find it ridiculous that anyone would think the FFA can have “publicists and marketing specialists on staff.”

              • August 7th 2017 @ 1:07pm
                northerner said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

                Amazing. I provide you with the a current advertisement for a senior marketing position within the FFA, and you still think it’s ridiculous that anyone would think the FFA has professional marketing and publicity staff. Maybe you should ask Gallop why he’s advertising for a position that doesn’t exist.

                Incidentally, the FFA also has four full time and two “guest” editorial and reporting staff (ie publicists).

              • August 7th 2017 @ 3:00pm
                Nemesis said | August 7th 2017 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

                “Incidentally, the FFA also has four full time and two “guest” editorial and reporting staff (ie publicists).”

                This comment alone indicates you really don’t know anything about Football, but just Google search your way to an opinion.

                If you read the articles produced by the names listed on the Website “Editorial Staff” you would know that they are nothing like publicists. They do not spin promotional material. The staff simply report on games & issues. They regularly write negative stories about the FFA, ALeague, etc. If that’s your version of the FFA having specialist Publicists then you have a completely different vision for a PR Department than I do.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 4:59pm
                northerner said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

                Gosh, I haven’t been so entertained in ages.

                First, you say I must have discovered a new business model when I suggested putting some resources into women’s football as an investment for the future. Actually, borrowing money to invest in growth has been standard business practice for quite some time. Centuries, in fact. You claim to have business expertise and don’t know that? Really?.

                Then, you tell me the FFA has no marketing or publicist staff because it can’t afford that sort of investment or expertise. When I point out that the FFA is currently recruiting for a marketing manager, I’m told that it’s ridiculous to think the FFA has marketing or publicity staff. Except, of course, there’s that pesky job recruitment exercise currently underway. So which one of us is actually being ridiculous?

                Third, I point out that the FFA has a small staff of editors and writers, four of whom appear to be regular employees. You belittle that as well.

                So here’s the question: who exactly do you imagine is writing, editing and publishing the copious content for the FFA and A League websites? Who is preparing and distributing press releases?

                Well, let’s see now. John Greco is listed on the staff, describes himself as an FFA journalist, and has written scads of articles about the Socceroos and the A League for the website.

                For example:


                Here’s something by Michael Huguenin:


                And how about this from an FFA “staff writer?”


                Go take a look at the News tab of the FFA: more articles publicizing the A League, the Socceroos, the Matildas. Four articles today alone. Fifty or so in the last week. And that’s not even counting social media activity.

                But obviously the FFA doesn’t have any sort of publicity machinery because, according to you, they can’t afford it.

                As I said, thanks for the laughs.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 6:26pm
                Nemesis said | August 7th 2017 @ 6:26pm | ! Report


                You can do all the Googling you like. It doesn’t impress me. I know that you’re clueless about football & the issues pertaining to Australian football.

                The editorial staff are not a PR Department. They’re editorial staff. They’re journos. I quite enjoy reading all of them but that’s not PR.

                Borrowing money to pay WLeague professional wages? Are you serious?

                Have you ever successfully borrowed money for Business Development?

                What’s you spiel to the lender?: “I need to borrow money to pay professional wages to 180 W-League players because their output won’t generate enough revenue to pay for their wages”.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 7:26pm
                northerner said | August 7th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                Nemesis: and you don’t impress me. You haven’t actually addressed a single point I’ve made. In fact, you’ve retreated at a rate of knots from most of them.

                If you don’t understand that the FFA website and twitter feeds and journalists that produce the product for both are PR, you have no grasp at all of what PR in this day and age is actually about. The FFA is employing people (yes, actually paying them money) to keep up the onslaught of good football stories. As indeed they should. But it’s still quite obviously PR.

                Of course they’re publicists. If you can’t get your head wrapped around the difference between (more or less) independent journalism from the MSM, and pieces coming right out of FFA HQ, well, the rest of us can. That’s not to criticize the guys writing the upbeat stories about the Socceroos and the latest overseas players arriving for the A League. It’s to say, this is not independent news, it’s PR. Make sure the A League/Socceroos/Matildas stay in the news. Pure PR. That’s what they’re being paid for.

                And no, I haven’t successfully borrowed money for business development because that’s not my game. Got lots of friends and family members that have done it though. If you don’t know anyone who’s done it, my question would have to be, how much do you actually know about business. And the answer is pretty obvious.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 8:37pm
                Nemesis said | August 7th 2017 @ 8:37pm | ! Report

                That’s just utter nonsense about the editorial team at FFA HQ.

                I follow those guys on Twitter & I do more promotion & publicity on this website & social media than any of them.

                Your lack of experience with Business Development investment explains everything.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 7:10am
                AR said | August 8th 2017 @ 7:10am | ! Report

                “Your lack of experience with Business Development investment explains everything.”

                Actually, this single comment explains everything.

                1) Fuss spends an entire day making claims, then has proof which refutes them, and then switches to attack on something completely different.

                2) The mainstay of any argument he makes (against someone he has never met) is that they lack the requisite “experience/football knowledge/education/whatever…”

                3) He then asserts *his own* experience by writing “Business Development” in capital letters.

                Classic stuff.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 9:08pm
                chris said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:08pm | ! Report

                northerner serious question…Do you actually go to watch any football? Have you ever been to an A-League match? Have you ever been to a football game in Australia?
                Its one thing to get into a serious discussion with people on here that actually follow the game and another thing to get into discussion with someone who just likes to engage in an argument for the sake of it.
                You come across as the latter but if I have that wrong then apologies.
                I just dont get why someone invests in so much time in something they dont actually follow.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 10:33am
                northerner said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

                @Chris – whatever my interest and experience in football might be, it is not relevant to whether I do or do not have a valid point to make. If you and your alter ego can only attack my arguments on the grounds that I’m not your kind of fan, and not on the grounds that the arguments are wrong, well, you’re both indulging in a pretty classic logical fallacy.

                Go back and read how this little debate started. It was a simple suggestion on my part that perhaps the FFA could put a bit more money and effort into promoting the women’s game as an investment for the future. That is hardly a radical viewpoint. Others have made similar suggestions on this very thread.

                I suggested, among other things, that perhaps the FFA could consider using its existing marketing and PR staff resources to do a bit more promotion of the women’s game. Again, not something I would regard as radical. The response – that the FFA has no such staff – was frankly nonsensical. Of course it does – marketing managers and staff writers are exactly the kind of resources I was talking about. And they most certainly do exist. The only issue is how they can best be used.

                Now what exactly would be the big deal with simply adding an extra few articles on the women’s game to the website, for example? Diverting a writer from talking about the A League Spanish connection to writing a few bios of the Matildas? But no, suddenly we’re talking about how businesses can’t and don’t invest money into developing their product unless they have the cash reserves to do so. That will be news to rather a lot of businesses, large and small, and so I’ve pointed out.

                So the question is, Chris, why do you challenge my credentials to comment here, and not the suggestions/arguments/points I’m making? Because you haven’t actually said why you think I’m wrong.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 11:20am
                Nemesis said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:20am | ! Report

                “Now what exactly would be the big deal with simply adding an extra few articles on the women’s game to the website, for example? Diverting a writer from talking about the A League Spanish connection to writing a few bios of the Matildas”

                You cannot be serious?

                The FFA website does this all the time.
                During the WLeague season.
                During this Tournament of Nations.

                They have videos with players giving us a look into their life outside football. They have interviews. They have photos. They have fan days. They have Twitter/Snapchat interaction Q&A.

                You’re delusional if you think this is the specialist skills that will drive millions of dollars from Corporate Australia.

                Heck a High School marketing student could’ve come up with the suggestions you made.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 11:45am
                northerner said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

                @Nemesis: so, you’re now agreeing that the FFA does in fact have a publicity machine geared to broadening exposure to the game. Good. Progress.

                Note my use of the operative words “a bit more promotion.” Sure, a marketing student could have come up with that suggestion. I notice that you couldn’t, though. You clearly don’t grasp the notion of borrowing money to invest in expansion of a business. Apparently, you also don’t understand the concept of reallocation of existing resources to potential growth areas. Another fairly basic business concept, and the one I was suggesting should be considered.

                And who said anything about a little more publicity driving massive corporate investment? I was talking about a little more investment to bring in more fans and perhaps convert female players and female parents of players into fans. Isn’t that’s what this is always about? Converting the participants into supporters?

              • August 8th 2017 @ 11:49am
                Nemesis said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:49am | ! Report

                For heaven’s sake.

                This whole discussion is about how we can drive more value for the Women’s Game.

                You might be oblivious to what the FFA currently does. I am well aware.

                This is why I know the FFA does not have the requisite specialist skills to extract the maximum value from the Women’s Game (nor the ALeague).

                Why don’t you try to learn from the Football community. I don’t care if you ignore what I say. At least listen, read & learn from others who actually watch football.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 1:04pm
                northerner said | August 8th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

                For heavens’ sakes indeed. Yesterday you were insisting FFA had no marketing or publicity staff, which was manifestly wrong, yet today you’re claiming inside knowledge of its operations. Back in the day, we used to call that a “credibility gap.”

                Perhaps, before lecturing me, you should consider your own advice and start learning from those who really are part of the football community.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 6:32pm
                AR said | August 8th 2017 @ 6:32pm | ! Report

                It’s never ending.

                Two days ago Fuss claimed the FFA and all clubs “take a moral stance against alcohol advertising”, thus forfeiting millions in sponsorship…unlike those awful other codes.

                In truth however;

                – the FFA *do* accept alcohol sponship, but haven’t managed to sign a sponsor yet.
                – the FFA backflipped on a previous non-alcohol sponsorship when the government pulled the program (yep, it was effectively a govt-funded “moral stance”…a kind of sponsorship, I guess)
                – he had no idea that Hahn Superdry (for eg) was the Brian Roar’s No.1 commercial partner.

                – …but everyone else was clueless on the topic, lacked experience, and didn’t understand real football issues.


            • August 8th 2017 @ 3:26am
              matt jones said | August 8th 2017 @ 3:26am | ! Report

              Fuss, down for the count and still not giving up. and he tags chris to come in with a true believers comment

              • August 8th 2017 @ 8:00am
                chris said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

                no tagging required matt. Just curious why losers like you spend so much time “discussing” a topic they know nothing about.

            • August 8th 2017 @ 10:58am
              chris said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

              So from your response I will take it that you’ve never actually attended a football match.
              I’ll leave it there.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 11:28am
                northerner said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                So I take it from your response that you have have nothing but “ad hominems” to fall back on. We will indeed leave it there.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 4:50pm
                chris said | August 8th 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

                Northerner its not about attacking the man. But it comes back to credibility. The substance of what you write does not come from the heart.
                Its just a bunch of cobbled together pieces from others that you have found along your way on the internet and media etc.
                You have never been to a game, never will attend a game I daresay, and have never played the game.

              • August 9th 2017 @ 10:36am
                northerner said | August 9th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

                Chris – of course it’s about attacking the man. You’ve just done it again. Whether I’ve ever been to a game or ever watched one on TV has nothing to do with whether the argument I’m making is valid or not.

              • August 9th 2017 @ 10:52am
                Nemesis said | August 9th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

                In any discussion, the credibility of the person making the comment/opinion is at the very core of whether we should accept, or reject, that person’s commentary.

                If you watch a football match & comment on the quality of the game – that’s a valid opinion, even if we disagree.

                But, if you don’t watch a football match & comment on the quality of the game – that’s an ignorant opinion.

                This is basic common sense.

                So, in relation to this discussion, if you are ignorant about the football landscape in Australia and you’re ignorant about what programs & investment the FFA & State Feds make at grassroots level, you are ill-equipped to offer insights.

              • August 9th 2017 @ 8:43pm
                northerner said | August 9th 2017 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

                “If you are ignorant about the football landscape in Australia and you’re ignorant about what programs & investment the FFA & State Feds make at grassroots level you are ill-equipped to offer insights.”

                This coming from someone who thinks the FFA doesn’t employ people with marketing and PR skills, and that it rejects sponsorship from liquor companies. Your own lack of knowledge about the FFA programs and investment certainly hasn’t stopped you from offering your insights into the game.

                But in any case, you and your tag team buddy continue to miss the point: an argument stands or falls on its own merits and not on your assumption, based on nothing more than a dislike of “casual fans,” about the knowledge level of the person making the argument. And frankly, anyone who gives particular credence to an internet comment purely on the basis that the person is “one of us” or has “expertise” or “inside knowledge” is exercising zero common sense: people lie about their backgrounds on the internet all the time. You of all people should know that. You can only judge people on their arguments, and not on who or what they claim to be.That truly is common sense.

              • August 10th 2017 @ 9:36am
                Nemesis said | August 10th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

                Some clown suggested the FFA should be able to borrow money to invest in the WLeague to pay players full-time wages. No doubt that person has never approached a bank for a loan because a bank will laugh in your face if you asked for a loan (around $15m would be needed per year) with little hope of repayment.

                Today, we’re hearing the NRL – a sporting body that has a TV deal that would be around 8x that of the FFA – is seeking a $30m loan. A major bank has said: NO.

                So, if anyone thinks the FFA can borrow money to invest in the Women’s Game, they’re living in fantasy land.

              • August 10th 2017 @ 7:33pm
                northerner said | August 10th 2017 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

                @Nemesis:yet another straw man attack. You’re really good on the logical fallacies, I must say. Not very good on the logic, though, or the fact.

                Did I suggest borrowing money to pay women more? Or did I suggest that, given the the successes of the women in football, they might be worth a bigger share of the existing pie? I rather think the latter.

                You’re very fixated on the importance of balancing the budget. The FFA, and I’m sure every A League owner, is fixated on doing whatever it takes, including borrowing money, to finance growth. It’s the difference between bean-counters and entrepreneurs.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 10:37am
            pete4 said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

            It would be very interesting to see what the cash reserves would be should all the state federations be merged/abolished into the FFA in the coming months

    • August 7th 2017 @ 10:41am
      Betty B said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

      There is a paradigm shift at the top of the rankings in women’s football at the moment. At the Euro’s, none of the top 5 ranked nations Germany, England and France reached this morning’s final. Instead, it was played between 12th and 15th ranked Netherlands and Denmark, won in magnificent fashion by the Dutch. And in the US we all know of course that our 7th ranked Matildas won over 1st ranked US and 6th Japan (& Brazil at 7).
      What does it all mean? At the very least it means that competition at the 2019 Women’s World Cup is going to be super hot.
      As an aside, I did hear that Sam Kerr, when asked about playing AFL, replied ‘real football has so much more to offer’.

      • August 7th 2017 @ 11:07am
        Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

        Sam Kerr grew up on AFL and might have been lost to football had the AFL had a pathway for girls. It’s just another reason why we need to find more investment before we lose the next Sam Kerr.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 11:15am
          Betty B said | August 7th 2017 @ 11:15am | ! Report

          You are right there.
          I heard on ABC TV yesterday that her Dad played AFL, and her brother, and she did when younger. But her family (read Mum) grew tired of her coming home with cuts and bruises and switched her to ‘real football’.
          Let’s hope there is more demand for the W League on TV.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 11:43am
            mattq said | August 7th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

            “real football has more to offer” is a cr@py response. Seriously sportswomen(men) who jump codes obviously don’t love one over the other. I’m not putting Sam Kerr in that category but one day I’d like to see a female athlete respond with, “I love (insert code) so why would I consider playing anything else”. Seems money is often the driver for the women (and probably a result of years of poor remuneration) but I just don’t get code hoppers.

            • August 7th 2017 @ 12:17pm
              Betty B said | August 7th 2017 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

              It’s a bit a bit rough referring to a kid as a code hopper. Most kids play several sports at school and even afterward.
              Many fans of soccer will say much the same as a player who gets to play at a World Cup, Olympics, Continental championship and other international tournaments, and most likely play for a club overseas (or several) – soccer has so much more to offer. It’s hardly about the money for these guys.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 4:04pm
                mattq said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

                sorry I guess my perspective is, I love football and while I had fun playing other games when I was a kid, there was no other consideration of which sport I would play, professionally or otherwise.

    • August 7th 2017 @ 12:14pm
      Midfielder said | August 7th 2017 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

      JB has posted a very mature look at our situation above … my fear in the grand push to criticise everything FFA … there is somewhat of a rewrite of history happening right now.

      Some people are openly questioning whether back years ago the structure and direction FFA have taken from day 1 is correct…. its surreal to see people actually posting and writing that in Hal 1 & 2 we should have done this rather than that etc….

      We are all aware of errors FFA have made over the past two years in particular and much has been brought about by perceptions they created … however and its a big however IMO is while FFA are inept in some areas …. they are not an incompetent through less organisation… the best proof of this is the bids to join and many government backed.

      SBS in Hals 2 to 5, often said we need to treat the A-League like any other league and said we should compare to leagues like the EPL … some years latter they also said that was a mistake as the league does need to grow and was still a baby, needing support.

      I get the feeling today we are experiencing a similar thing to SBS in early Hal days… with many folk assuming the A-League is what it is not… FFA are weak in the sense they have little money and are very poorly led by Steven Lowy who has shown himself incapable of leading the conversation .. like Gallop he is a reactionary.

      While there are huge improvements to make no one is questioning what those who would be king …. claim and say… almost as if the enemy of my enemy is my friend….. further like in this article its cheery pick an issue and hammer it …

      This is where Lowy has let the side down, he should have been out on the front foot two years ago explaining FFA finances and what they can and cannot do… where they plan to go and how they are going to get there…

      Craig Foster, very early on when Steven Lowy was appointed did an on air segment on TWG where he offered advise to Steven Lowy by saying Steven open up the books and led… tell us how we will expand and put a plan in place for P & R …. lead the conversation and control the debate otherwise a storm is coming your way… Craig went so far as to say as long as he put a plan in place he could win the debate …

      The storm is here now, but no one is questioning the motives, goals and wants of those who want to be the new kings and what effect this may have either positive or negative…

      My concern is while things could certainty be improved … equally they could be worse… where is the questioning of the statements many are making …

      • August 7th 2017 @ 12:33pm
        Lionheart said | August 7th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

        Good point about Lowy not leading the conversation and setting the agenda.
        I’m very dubious of the A League clubs getting control of the FFA or of its purse.
        That seems to be where we are headed, which is fine for the A League but what about the rest?

        • August 7th 2017 @ 1:22pm
          Midfielder said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report


          FFA have become everyone’s kicking boy and why they deserve a lot of criticism which has come their way they have also built the A-League where it is today from a past most seem to forget.

          I can recall Socceroo crowds of under 5K, …. weeks and months without any media coverage and when it did come it was about a riot…

          Also the hypocrisy by many former NSL clubs on how they should be treated by the A-League clubs … when they were in charge the way they treated the district association teams far worse…

          We have by my count 14 bidders with lots of cash wanting to invest … the argument is who gets to decide on who and the who gets the revenue stream…

          Its reached the point on some forums to say anything other than a full FIFA system starting next year and you are a fool and apologist for FFA…

          The lack of analysis especially by our media on suggestions by certain groups is staggering in its negligence of our position… in fact it been roughly 2 to 3 years of constant negative FFA articles … and as always it hard to argue when people say this is what I think … but hardly ever anything good written belies our true position.

          I would go so far as to say its like a media feeding frenzy and Steven lowy has shown he can not control it, change it or get on top of it. His reactionary nature and somewhat meek presentation style but also seeking behind closed doors total control has hurt FFA hugely…

          I also love the excuse made by the media writers its not our job to write for FFA and we are allowed our opinion as that is all it is our opinion…. total and absolute cope out and fail and pander to the mob as that will get clicks..

          I actually can’t remember in the last say 4 years a single article by a journalist [I am sure I am wrong as their must be some] that attempts to spell out the Australian Football environment and current position… hundreds maybe thousands of articles in the same time time pointing out errors …

          But back to Steven Lowy he is simply incapable of being our leader he does not have what it takes to lead Football in Australia with its many interest groups and very opinionated media who mostly believe they better understand sports management than those running Football… BTW this has been the case for about 70 years…

          Why in many ways I am glad we are going to 10…. as I think 10 will appoint positive people looking for the good stories…

          • August 7th 2017 @ 4:19pm
            Lionheart said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

            You seem to be hitting it on the head here Midfielder. Articles supporting or even explaining the FFA’s position are non-existent.
            I read an article recently about the EPL and English football, not pretty. So much money generated but very little goes to English football (which is not in a good state by any means). That seems to be where the clubs want to take us.

            • August 7th 2017 @ 4:40pm
              Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

              “That seems to be where the clubs want to take us” … in the same way you haven’t read anything about the FFAs position is it fair to say that you haven’t read anything about the Owners position either?

              What if they were modelling their future on the highly successful and independent Bundasleague?

              • August 7th 2017 @ 5:32pm
                Midfielder said | August 7th 2017 @ 5:32pm | ! Report


                Nail head and Bingo post ..

                No one knows what the others want … we can only assume and this is most of my point those that would be King need a similar level of analysis to FFA.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 6:32pm
                Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 6:32pm | ! Report

                This is hopefully what FIFA will bring. There’s a damning read on the FFAs current position here:


                Mainly because they haven’t implemented the Crawford Report recommendations, instead they’ve recreated exactly what Lowy Snr walked away from (well, almost).

                The owners don’t get the same scrutiny of course, because they have nothing published although I understand it’s ready for FIFAs inspection.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 5:36pm
                Lionheart said | August 7th 2017 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

                You could be right Waz. What I have read is that the owners want a greater share of the money (80%’ish) and a seat each on the board (controlling numbers). I have read Lowy’s article too, which begs a number of questions. The answer is in the grey, it’s always grey, never black nor white. But I’d much rather be reading about games and players. I fear FIFA taking charge as that will make our game a big target for the knockers.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 8:14pm
                Lionheart said | August 7th 2017 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

                thanks for that post Waz – good read, let’s hope some common sense prevails and it works as the article suggests.
                (my much earlier comment awaits moderation ?? but it’s a different world now)

      • August 7th 2017 @ 1:11pm
        Waz said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

        Mid, for almost as long as I can remember we’ve had this debate over the FFA and you’ve always taken a similar stance, “it’s better the devil you know”. Well clearly it is not because we now have an FFA that is in breach of its own constitution and at war with just about everyone bar a handful of State Federations. The situation is unacceptable and has been perpetuated by the ffa being above criticism in the eyes of many.

        We now have the ludicrous situation where the FFA is attacking the foreign owners little over a year after they sold the Jets to a foreign owner. Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up – talk about how to make friends and influence people.

        The list of who the ffa has been in a public spat with is almost complete – FIFA, AFC, old Siccer, The Hal owners, the foreign owners, SBS, the PFA, the Fan boycotts, the Matildas boycott of the USA tour, the AAFC, the Futsallroos; and I’m sure I’ve missed quite a few …. the situation is unacceptable and any alternative, any, is better than this.

        The game is heading into reverse under Lowy & Co and he is now as bad if not worse than any administrator in the games history; yes we haven’t yet had the NSL-style meltdown but who’s to say it’s not around the corner? Especially after Lowy critised foreign ownership – where will we be if the foreign owners of Mariners, City, Roar, Sydney and Jets walked out tomorrow …. could the FFA afford to run 5 clubs? Would any foreign buyer step up and buy any of them? How would you feel if Lowy killed off your beloved Mariners in this process???

        Forget “the bad old days” because these are bad days now, really bad; enough is enough from the FFA apologists, this fear mongering that the past may return hides the fact it’s already here – we have a power Mad dictator in charge of our game and he is choking it.

        Every year we have the same debate, every year we have the same excuses made for the FFA, and every year it continues to get worse. And it gets worse with the support of people who are just too scared to stand up and make change happen.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 1:41pm
          Midfielder said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report


          To some extent true… but read everything I say and I actually doubt anyone has been more critical of Steven Lowy than me… further I have often pointed out many errors FFA have made…

          I am not making excuses for FFA and that’s what so frustrating … what I am saying is not everything they have done is rubbish as many imply … like do they buy the correct staples and the best printing paper…

          FFA are staffed by heaps of Football people…

          Is change needed … I HAVE REPEATEDLY SAID YES F…. YES…

          However why should we not DEMAND … those who say lets go this direction or in this direction be subject to the same analysis… why can we demand of FFA a certain standard and let others shout slogans and take the slogan shouting as correct because its anti FFA…

          Why do we so disregard FFA achievements as if they are nothing and have contributed little to our games growth…

          No one is suggesting or even close to it change is not needed … and in many ways major change… no one is suggesting we don’t need to expand, bring in in time a second division and P & R …

          I find arguments like you keep protecting FFA as over the top … what do you want me to say … every single decision made by FFA down to how they purchase stamps is wrong and from day 1 they did it wrong ..

          In business you need to understand when you have organisational change … you need to look at both the good and the bad of what you are changing… keep the good throw out the bad… further it is essential when you make change you make the right change with the right people and this needs analysis …

          The debate and recent reporting on FFA is they are wrong in every decision they make and everything they have done… IMO this is beyond crazy analysis…

          Its not the devil you know …. it get it done right … so change what needs to be changed .. its not a kill and destroy mission …

        • August 7th 2017 @ 1:51pm
          Midfielder said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:51pm | ! Report


          On Lowy and the game heading into reverse … totally, fully, 100% agree…

          So is the answer to kill and destroy FFA to solve the Lowy issue…

          My answer has always been within a reasonable time period the A-League should be run by the A-League clubs as long as FFA are given funds to do their job…

          A second division is up and running…

          P & R introduced…

          FFA needs fully met in reagrds grassroots etc and pathways etc.

          My concern is looking at the best way to achieve this outcome… getting rid of Lowy would be a good start and arguably Gallop as well but Gallop is a manager not the key decision maker.

          I want best way to achieve these goals in the shortest possible time … and I want whoever wants to be king to prove they can do it with business plans and models not slogans and shouting anti FFA statements or paying certain journalist in a Melbourne paper to write about South Melbourne every month or so.

          Are you suggesting this is not the way to go …

    , ,