I’d rather watch the A-League than the EPL

Stuart Thomas Columnist

By Stuart Thomas, Stuart Thomas is a Roar Expert

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121 Have your say

    As the thirteenth running of the A-League draws ever nearer and excitement builds around what promises to be another gripping season, membership numbers continue to build, new international signings arrive and fresh kits are unveiled.

    The game has ridden a wave of ups and downs over the years and the current state of play sees the league looking healthy yet suffering from something akin to an irritating and lingering sore throat that pops up each morning.

    No matter how much Vitamin C or echinacea you throw at it, it rears its head each day just to remind you that things are not quite right and that more time is required before the lurgee is defeated.

    Putting it in football terms, some extremely poor crowd figures in particular cities, the ongoing battle for a more significant presence on free-to-air television and the task of developing our young players to international standard on our own shores, continue to cause discussion and debate.

    Seeing Wellington increase its supporter base, creating a comfy home on Channel Ten with the new backing of CBS and better development of youth, particularly attacking players, should be three of the key objectives for the powers at be.

    There is no magic formula and time is the greatest ally that football in Australia has. However, sitting back and waiting for the natural evolution of football, as it morphs into the beast which it will undoubtedly become, isn’t the best course to follow.

    Aggressive marketing, junior development and attracting fans of the international game to the league, are three key components in increasing the speed of the wave that football currently rides.

    There is no doom and gloom, merely some tough decisions and moments ahead, where patience and poise will be key.

    Expansion can’t be too far away, surely, and promotion-relegation must happen. Short term pain for long term gain might be a realistic part of the equation.

    In identifying some of the future challenges and speed bumps ahead, it is dangerous to spread negativity or fatalism. Football will thrive, there is no doubt about that. There are so many young people playing the game, especially women, that the transfer of numbers will eventually take place.

    However, the challenge of connecting the millions of footballing loving people in Australia to the A-League, to the point where they join clubs and attend matches more frequently, is our primary challenge.

    Personally, I am surprised it hasn’t occurred already.

    When I look at the A-League I see something that many don’t. Certainly the Euro snob crowd don’t, nor do some hard core supporters of other codes, who, unlike me, pitch their tent in one game and fail to see the skill and merit across a broader range of sports.

    Alex Brosque Sydney FC A-League Grand Final 2017 tall

    Sydney FC’s captain Alex Brosque (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

    So what do I see when I look at the A-League? The word ‘see’ is vital in that question. I can see it live and in prime time.

    For generations Australians have watched football in the most inconvenient and offensive time zones. Watching EPL teams at three a.m. in the morning with match sticks in my eyes does my productivity at work no favours. Most European leagues fall into this category.

    Major League Soccer in the U.S.A is a far more attractive option, as are some of the La Liga games which often hit our screens around eight or nine pm.

    While some might suggest it foolish to include time zone and accessibility as a point of attractiveness for the A-League, one only has to think back to the uproar around the change in broadcaster rights for the EPL.

    Foxtel customers were furious, sceptical of download speeds and reliability issues. They didn’t want a second box or tablet viewing while huddled under a doona.

    The number of people who voted with their feet and are watching far less EPL than in previous years, myself included, is considerable.

    Optus’ 2016 figures saw an 11.8 per cent decrease in profits despite a solid pickup in handset growth. Early 2017 figures suggested financial growth and a first step towards a payoff on their $189 million investment. Yet data from late 2016 suggested a drop off (10 per cent, approximately) in the number of Australians engaging with the EPL content.

    Unless my allegiance lay with the big six, why would I bother? My league is accessible, supported by excellent midweek programs and viewed live in HD.

    This season, as is mostly the case, predicting the winners of the A-League will prove immensely difficult. One would think Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City will be strong once again. The Wanderers look extremely powerful and should feature once they have introduced themselves to each other and Perth, Brisbane and a rebuilt Adelaide should never be written off.

    The Mariners will go in as youthful dark horses and the Jets and Phoenix will tail off most people’s pre-season selections. At this stage, I am only prepared to write of three teams from championship contention.

    The A-League honour roll has seen six of the ten current clubs nab the ‘toilet seat’ and two others suffer losses in the grand final. Compare that with the two-clubbed La Liga and the absurd financial domination of the big six in England’s top league, throw in Scotland and other examples and my local league stacks up pretty well for parity.

    Watching my A-League club each week makes sense to me. I understand Sydney FC, the city, the people. I get the fact that Sydney is inhabited by elitist snobs who look down upon the rest of the nation. Secretly we are proud of our exorbitant housing prices, we smugly grin, knowing we are just that far ahead of interstate peasants.

    Following a local team means much more because of the understanding and appreciation of the identity and fabric of the organisation. Sure I can cheer on West Ham United yet what knowledge and deep connection do I have to the ‘Irons’. Despite my Anglo-Celtic heritage, the bonds are peripheral and circumstantial.

    Even more tenuous are connections to other teams I enjoy watching and loosely support. Paris St Germain and AC Milan are merely good looking strips that caught my eye, rather than organisations with whom I share a true relationship.

    Brasil and Paris-SG footballer Neymar Jr

    PSG’s Neymar. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

    People still look at me oddly when I tell them the A-League is my favourite league and they openly question my sanity when I tell them that the FFA Cup is my favourite Cup competition.

    They cite the value of the players, the quality of play and the lack of attendees and atmosphere that pervades many games. I can see their view yet there is something they are missing.

    What they don’t get is the fact that not everyone in the broad footballing landscape of Australia wants to watch overpaid megastars with whom they have little or no affiliation, play in lopsided mismatches at an ungodly hour.

    Some of us are happy to watch our domestic league, with all its failings, quirks and idiosyncrasies, knowing full well that in the years to come we will squeeze into packed stadiums to watch our heroes.

    All the time remembering that we were there at the beginning, when we bickered, wavered and buckled under the weight of our own expectations.

    Stuart Thomas
    Stuart Thomas

    Stuart Thomas is a sports writer and educator who made the jump from Roar Guru to Expert in 2017. An ex-trainee professional golfer, his sporting passions are broad with particular interests in football, AFL and rugby league. His love of sport is only matched by his passion for gardening and self-sustainability. Follow him on Twitter @stuartthomas72.

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    The Crowd Says (121)

    • September 14th 2017 @ 3:37am
      Haydos said | September 14th 2017 @ 3:37am | ! Report

      How many Aussies follow a team in the EPL that don’t finish high on the table each year? Also, I can’t figure out how people can have a vested interest in a team in another country who they have no ties with in any way.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 6:26am
        peeeko said | September 14th 2017 @ 6:26am | ! Report

        pretty much everyone i know goes for liverpool or Man U. ones that lived in SW london last decade go for Chelsea

        • September 14th 2017 @ 7:21am
          Nemesis said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:21am | ! Report

          What exactly does “goes for” mean?

          From my observation of Euro football fans in Australia, there are 3 broad types:

          1) people born in Europe, who have ties to a club & their families,

          2) people with no connection to Euro club, but love football & wake up regularly to watch the full match mo matter the ungodly time, or they record the match & watch in full before getting the result,

          3) people who watch goal highlights, rarely (if ever) watch a full 90′ game, wouldn’t know who their Euro team is playing each week, but have the latest merchandise & prefer throwing paper planes when they’re watching their team.

          Groups (1) & (2) are relatively small in number as evidenced by paltry ratings for EPL, LaLiga, Bundesliga, SerieA, UCL.

          A significant number of Groups (1) & (2) also have an ALeague club. They love football. They are involved with grassroots football, which is low quality. They don’t need celebrity players to enjoy a game.

          Group (3) are tossers.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 9:26am
            pauli said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

            This made my day

          • Columnist

            September 14th 2017 @ 9:39am
            Stuart Thomas said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

            Group 1 I respect
            Group 2 Real fans of the game
            Group 3 Australians wearing Messi shirts

          • Roar Pro

            September 15th 2017 @ 5:35pm
            David McDaniel said | September 15th 2017 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

            I always think generalisations are a dangerous thing, I don’t fit in any group.

            I starting supporting Chelsea in the 80’s as they were my first subbuteo team that I bought due to the colour of the strip. I have supported them for 35+ years and have never been to England. I know all the players and can give you who I think should play from the top of my head.
            I got rid of Foxtel as it was a waste of money and have no interest in Optus.

            However, I am not a eurosnob as I was the first president of the Queensland Roar Supporters Club and I have been a season ticket holder for just about every season since inception. I was in the stadium until the end for all 3 grand finals and I rate the first one as the most amazing feeling ever in my sporting life, bigger than Chelsea winning the Champions League with RDM.

        • Columnist

          September 14th 2017 @ 9:37am
          Stuart Thomas said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

          The Liverpool thing does my head in Peeko. Throwbacks to the late seventies early eighties and the very same ‘supporters’ who consistently dump rubbish on the A-League. I have three Liverpool ‘friends’ in this category. They are not football fans, they are cheerleaders.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 9:47am
            Fadida said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:47am | ! Report

            Agree Stuart, those Liverpool fans drive me insane

            • Columnist

              September 14th 2017 @ 10:06am
              Stuart Thomas said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

              Graeme Hughes, a respected rugby league voice in Sydney, described the singing of that little jingle they do before each game as ‘one of the greatest moments in Australian sport’ after their appearance in Sydney. Yeah……right. It’s a show tune!

              • September 14th 2017 @ 12:01pm
                Nick Symonds said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

                You’ll Never Walk Alone –

                “Graeme Hughes, a respected rugby league voice in Sydney, described the singing of that little jingle they do before each game as ‘one of the greatest moments in Australian sport’ after their appearance in Sydney. ”

                Maybe A-League clubs need their own songs –

                Brisbane Roar – My Happiness / Viva Brisvagas

                Newcastle – Chemical Heart

                Adelaide – You’ll Never Tear Us Apart

                Wanderers – We Can’t Be Beaten

                Sydney FC – Impossible Dream

                Melbourne Victory – Hello Hello (The Cat Empire)

                Melbourne City – If I Were A Rich Man

                Mariners – What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor

                Wellington – Always Take The Weather With You

                Perth Glory – Go West

              • September 15th 2017 @ 8:58am
                Post_hoc said | September 15th 2017 @ 8:58am | ! Report

                Pauli, you are wrong, Nick Symonds list made my day. Love the choices, so apt.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 10:00am
            Nemesis said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

            They’re the trailer park trash of cheerleaders.

            Nothing more than sporting club groupies.

            They follow celebrity clubs. 20 years ago they’d have shunned ManCity. 30 years ago they’d have laughed at Chelsea.

            They basically attach themselves to a popular team in every high profile sporting competition & will boast about their favourite team in NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, SerieA, LaLiga …

            .. no doubt they’ll all soon be fanatical PSG fans.

            • Columnist

              September 14th 2017 @ 10:04am
              Stuart Thomas said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

              Yes indeed, Chelsea a little less sexy in the Dennis Wise period.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 12:56pm
                Ken Spacey said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

                Maybe Elvis Costello was predicting the future when he penned “I don’t want to go to Chelsea”

              • September 14th 2017 @ 11:59pm
                Mad Dog said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:59pm | ! Report

                The Gianfranco Zola days were the best. That little magician was what got me into epl

          • September 14th 2017 @ 12:01pm
            BigAl said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

            but, but ! – the Beatles come from Liverpool !

          • September 15th 2017 @ 3:05pm
            Football is Life said | September 15th 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

            Freddy, have you ever attended a World Cup either for Football or Rugby? Ever been to any multi-national sporting event?

            The adrenaline rush that comes from being in a truly international environment where there is no religion, race, colour etc is amazing. A true football fan understands that apart from having the knowledge to understand the game, its strategies and intricacies, it can unite like nothing else.

            Your comments are narrow minded, uneducated and completely and utterly self-centred.

            Since Mr Lowy had the generosity to create the A-League, get us into Asia, which has led to three successive World Cups, look at where football is now. With the NSL what did we have…internal squabbling and prejudice of just about every kind. Go to the Cove there’s a united group of people. Go to the RBB, to the North or South end at Victory a united group of people supporting their team.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 7:30am
        punter said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:30am | ! Report

        I love the A-League best. However I’m a Derby Country fan & have friends & relatives who are Leeds, Wigan, QPR fans.

        However if i want decent football, I’m also a Real Madrid fan, so yes I’m no EPL fan.

      • Columnist

        September 14th 2017 @ 9:34am
        Stuart Thomas said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        As I mentioned in the article Haydos, I am one of the rare creatures who supports a lesser team. Whilst having lunch on father’s day, wearing my West Ham shirt, a young guy walked past wearing the same and threw me a smile. Not ten minutes later a guy approached me wearing the away strip and shook my hand. Imagine if that was standard custom for people wearing Messi shirts? We’d be the friendliest country on earth.

        • Roar Guru

          September 14th 2017 @ 4:14pm
          Rick Disnick said | September 14th 2017 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

          I love it when minnow fans talk like this.

          The extra street cred bestowed upon themselves is just brilliant.

        • September 15th 2017 @ 9:03am
          Post_hoc said | September 15th 2017 @ 9:03am | ! Report

          Well I am a Spurs fan (one side of my family are from North London, the other side are from Kilkenny hence why i support them in Hurling) so Tottenham can’t really be called a glamour club I hope, because us Spurs fans not what frustration feels like. But Stuart you are correct I prefer the A league so i can feel a connection to the team I follow.

          Tottenham I like to watch, but Wanderers I follow.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 6:57pm
        vin said | September 14th 2017 @ 6:57pm | ! Report

        I support a terrible EPL team all the way through the season
        the aleague top 6 is already predictable so whats so exciting about the league this season?

        have to sit through 27 rounds of the same thing for one grand final to decide it all

        good bye Wellington, Newcastle and central coast, and perth will take 7th spot.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 7:21pm
        James said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

        Well thats a limitation on your part then. There are many reasons to have ties to a team, i for one support Bournemouth because i was randomly assigned them in fifa 08 in career mode. I now support them. Just because you are limited and xenophobic doesnt mean other people are. People watch the premier league because its better skill wise than anything the A league will ever have (unless Australia’s population increases 10 fold and the resultant money flows in) and it combines that with the fact that almost every game regardless of who is playing, can result in either side winning. That makes great viewing.

        • Columnist

          September 15th 2017 @ 3:58pm
          Stuart Thomas said | September 15th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

          Limited and Xenophobic? If only you knew.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 8:05pm
        Jordan said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:05pm | ! Report

        Football to me is about supporting your local team, for better or worse, not the best necessarily. Brian Cox the scientist supports Oldham over either Manchester team because that is specifically where he is from I remenber reading. Brisbane Roar is not the best but its where im from. Its mine. The Pyramid structure of football means that every club in the world is up against each other eventually. Sure, we can’t meet Real Madrid until the Club World Cup, but to me I cant really understand supporting a team that my own local team might come up against one day (however unlikely). All teams are fighting for the same players. Being there from day 1 and developing your team into some kind of powerhouse eventually has waay more appeal to me then watching Barcelona win it for the millionth time from a distance. Support local

        • September 15th 2017 @ 7:34am
          Fadida said | September 15th 2017 @ 7:34am | ! Report

          Great post

        • September 15th 2017 @ 9:05am
          Post_hoc said | September 15th 2017 @ 9:05am | ! Report

          Spot on

    • September 14th 2017 @ 5:44am
      Kenny said | September 14th 2017 @ 5:44am | ! Report

      What is this an add for foxtel he can view his team live in HD seriously you omit one thing Alex the league is on Pay tV and your HD channel is an extra fee . If we had a team to get excited about in the A league I would watch I would attend games if it was on free to air tV I would watch .one game a week on sbs dosent cut it .80% of Australians refuse to pay for pay tV so don’t have access to the game .then the A league comp is too small too few teams .its hard to get excited about ten teams . we need an A league that has at least 15 teams for it to be exciting and engaging you want to support your local team in the A league well unless you live in one of the captital cities or Newcastle or gosford you don’t have a team to follow.espansion needs to happen I live on the south coast of NSW we have no team to follow we supported the Wollongong wolves in the NSL days .expansion should be the priority .like you say Alex affiliation is the key.

    • September 14th 2017 @ 5:49am
      Waz said | September 14th 2017 @ 5:49am | ! Report

      Well said Stuart. I have no problem watching football anywhere in the world (I even stop and watch Park football when I’m walking the dog so clearly not fussy). But I love the A League the most and all that’s been achieved there ?

      • Columnist

        September 14th 2017 @ 9:41am
        Stuart Thomas said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:41am | ! Report

        Watching kids play football is wonderful. Those who claim they only want to watch the elite level and dismiss everything else as rubbish are secretly forming poorly engineered paper planes as we speak.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 3:55pm
          Another Paul said | September 14th 2017 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

          You make a lot of valid points in this article but I feel you miss a few too. I moved to Australia when I was 8 from Brazil, that should sufficiently prove my fanaticism for Football. It was only here I discovered the much larger world of Football and started going for Chelsea, this was before the cash came along from Russia.
          I now watch Chelsea play quite frequently and have zero interest in watching the A-league but I will happily watch kids play. The justification isn’t that I only want to watch an elite level but it is that when I watch professional sports I want an elite level, I don’t want to see something that I believe I could achieve. I also happily watch amateur leagues quite frequently.

          As an example if you cast your mind back to the September WC qualifiers just past I made a decision to make sure I watched Australia’s qualifiers, I don’t generally watch Australia play Football for a few reasons but I decided that I could now support both Brazil and Australia. Anyway back to the story. I was watching Australia play Japan and it was stressing me out. I lost count of the amount of times an Australian player controlled a ball with a touch that sent the ball meters away or received the ball and then ended up dancing on top of the ball and unable to pass it to anyone. I then woke up early the next morning to watch the Brazil qualifier and the comparison was cheese and chalk, after the Brazil game I felt cleansed from the horror show the previous night. In both the game vs Japan and vs Thailand it was hard to believe that those playing were paid professionals, hopefully they can redeem themselves vs Syria and Honduras.

          At the level they are currently playing at it doesn’t seem fair that Australia potentially makes it in while some powerhouses in the world will miss just because they exist in a competitive part of the world.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 9:05pm
            chris said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:05pm | ! Report

            What were your thoughts when the Germans put 7 past Brazil on your own patch? Horrified?

            • September 15th 2017 @ 6:50am
              Nemesis said | September 15th 2017 @ 6:50am | ! Report


              Brasil 1 – 7 Deutschland

              Has any nation suffered as big a humiliation, whilst the whole world was watching. One of the most inept football performances I’ve ever witnessed. A

            • September 15th 2017 @ 7:25am
              Evan Askew said | September 15th 2017 @ 7:25am | ! Report


              • September 15th 2017 @ 10:35am
                Sydneysider said | September 15th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

                Yes Another Paul is right, if it’s not the top level then it’s not worth watching.

                So the people who follow Feyernoord in the Dutch league shouldn’t bother watching anymore after they got thumped 4-0 at home by Man City in the Champions League.

                No point for APOEL Nicosia who got beaten 3-0 by Real Madrid as well. Might as well shut up shop and let the EPL and the top clubs from the big 5 leagues in Europe play against each other and everyone else can just watch them.

          • September 15th 2017 @ 7:54am
            punter said | September 15th 2017 @ 7:54am | ! Report

            David Luiz, a great attacking centre back, no idea how to defend plays for Brazil & Chelsea, your favourite player. His performance in the game against Germany, you must question whether he was a professional defender.

      • September 15th 2017 @ 9:06am
        Post_hoc said | September 15th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

        Waz, same here, well said

    • September 14th 2017 @ 7:51am
      Fadida said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      Growing up there was only Match of the Day so we all adopted an English team. Since the A-league has come along I no longer watch the EPL. I hadn’t seen an EPL game for a few years but found myself watching the opening week of the season. 30 minutes into the Liverpool v Watford game I had to turn it off. Overrated, overhyped, two teams playing faster than their ability would allow, pretty basic direct football.

      I still watch out for Manchester United’s results but my heart and interest is with the A-league

      • September 14th 2017 @ 9:11am
        Nick Symonds said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

        “Growing up there was only Match of the Day so we all adopted an English team.”

        It’s good to have a weekly A-League match on FTA but I think there also needs to be a weekly A-League highlights show on FTA as well. Not just the EPL highlights show on Monday at 11PM known as The World Game.

      • Columnist

        September 14th 2017 @ 9:43am
        Stuart Thomas said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        That is exactly where my West Ham support came from. There was a guy named Thomas way back in the early eighties and my father and I latched onto the club. Certainly not a true bond or relationship, despite loving watching them avoid relegation….most years.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 11:27am
          DH said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:27am | ! Report

          I supported Sheffield Wednesday because I loved Carbone and Di Canio, purely from the highlights show.

          I think an A-League highlights show on FTA would do a lot to boost the league and attract young supporters to actually attend their local matches.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 12:12pm
            Fadida said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

            Very true.

          • Columnist

            September 15th 2017 @ 4:00pm
            Stuart Thomas said | September 15th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

            Tara must host.

    • September 14th 2017 @ 9:09am
      Lionheart said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      I love the A League. With Foxtel I’ll watch 4 or 5 games from around the world every week. I like getting to know foreign leagues and players, and try to follow ex A League players overseas. Like everyone, I really want the A League to grow, undoubtedly it needs a boost, and I see only one way to help make that happen – support it.

      • Columnist

        September 14th 2017 @ 9:48am
        Stuart Thomas said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        Sounds like our weekends run pretty much the same way Lionheart. I have watched more French and German football than ever over the last two years and it has been enjoyable. The EPL is becoming somewhat distant. I’m sure fans of Man U, Man C, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are excited but I don’t think any other supporter groups are……even Leicester fans are probably getting bored.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 10:03am
          Lionheart said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

          I’m linked to LFC Stuart, through my son-in-law who made it pretty clear when he married my daughter that our family were now Liverpool fans. I’m ok with that, he linked to Roar in return. But I don’t miss their games on Fox, they pop up on SBS occasionally and this morning’s game was on BeIn. Our season’s so short, need to do something in the off-season.

        • September 16th 2017 @ 7:15am
          Michael said | September 16th 2017 @ 7:15am | ! Report

          you’re making these comments without anything to back them up. I don’t have a team in the EPL but watch 3 or 4 games every week because it is competitive. It’s definitely not the best league in the world but you never know who’s gonna win it. It’s not just Real, Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus, PSG. The quality of the top 6 has been way down the past couple of years too which for me makes it more enjoyable. I dunno if you’ve watched the EPL since the 80’s cos that seems to be how you see it, but it is by far the most enjoyable league in the world.
          Also don’t know what your gripe with optus sport is? it’s $15 a month as opposed to $55. Chuck a bein sports subscriptions on that for another 20 and you’re still $20 under what you’d pay for Foxtel with the EPL instead of the A league. I’ve been to countless melb victory games because of course I support my local league, but its poor

    • September 14th 2017 @ 9:24am
      Ian said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      A-League destroys the EPL in every aspect that counts for me.

      who are these people telling you ‘lack of attendees’? There are less than league and AFL…but that doesn’t equate to ‘lack of’

      Lack of atmosphere……anyone who has attended games for multiple football codes know the truth on that one.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 9:37am
        Lionheart said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        I think A League attendance stacks up ok against league (NRL), especially in Sydney not so Brisbane where Broncos regularly get 40K, but they totally dominate all media. I might add, after years of hearing how they have to keep soccer fans apart because of crowd violence, Broncos home games at Suncorp now have an Away fans section, just like us, even in the same far corner as Roar matches. And has anyone else noticed how, in the last season or two, the other codes have started to copy our chants. Canberra Raiders have introduced the Viking clap (when WSW do it they say it is threatening) and listening closely to AFL/NRL on TV I’ve often heard the standard 2×5 clap beat chant.

        • Columnist

          September 14th 2017 @ 9:55am
          Stuart Thomas said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

          Eels, Dragons, Rabbitohs and Bulldogs fans all share ANZ Stadium in Sydney and when they play each other, the ‘away’ supporters are shunted down to one corner. I get a good vantage point from my spot in the level four members as I sit in my tweed jacket and loafers feasting on a gluten free muffin and sparkling mineral water.

          • September 15th 2017 @ 9:09am
            Post_hoc said | September 15th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

            Typical Sydney FC supporter Mr Thomas LOL

            • Columnist

              September 15th 2017 @ 4:01pm
              Stuart Thomas said | September 15th 2017 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

              We are a bunch of tossers….no doubt. But we are good at it.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 10:16am
          Ian said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

          Agree Lionheart.

          Yes the average match day attendances stack up close to the NRL average. That is often missed. And there has been an increase in the copying of football related crowd involvement for a reason.
          Because it’s better.

          • Columnist

            September 15th 2017 @ 4:02pm
            Stuart Thomas said | September 15th 2017 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

            True Ian, and without the Broncos, I think the A-League just about has them covered.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 11:01am
          Deir-ba-zor said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          The chants have been around for at least two decades in the other codes

          • September 14th 2017 @ 12:05pm
            Ian said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

            Which chants? Not the ones that have copied football chants obviously.

            • September 14th 2017 @ 12:42pm
              chris said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

              I think he means “ozzie ozzie ozzie – oi oi oi”

              • Columnist

                September 15th 2017 @ 4:03pm
                Stuart Thomas said | September 15th 2017 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

                Go Lleyton! Geez I cringe when I hear that crap.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 12:44pm
            Lionheart said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

            oh I’m sure the Canberra Raiders were the first to do that clap thing – and then it spread world-wide at soccer.

            • Columnist

              September 15th 2017 @ 4:04pm
              Stuart Thomas said | September 15th 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

              Yep the ground breaking Raiders!

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