Underwhelming Socceroos a major health risk for Australian football

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By Jump Ball, Jump Ball is a Roar Pro New author!

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    Reflecting on a largely no-name Socceroos team limp to a 2-1 second leg win against a gallant (albeit pedestrian) Syria in last week’s World Cup qualifier, it is hard not to feel slightly uneasy about the state of football in this country.

    Dare to say very few of us would have predicted this state of affairs when we watched (through bleary eyes) that epic Socceroo run to the brink of the quarter finals of World Cup ’06.

    You’ve heard it mentioned nostalgically many times before, but headlined by the likes of Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka, that team represented the “golden generation” of Australian soccer.

    Compare that with this current Socceroos incarnation…that is, if you can remember any of their names. 

    More than half the starting Socceroo line-up in the ’06 knockout game against Italy (plus the injured Kewell and suspended Brett Emerton) were then playing regular top flight football in England and Italy, with the remainder playing elsewhere in Europe. Last week’s team on the other hand was largely comprised Asian league and A-League players.

    This is not to be unkind. After all a generation is not dubbed golden unless it is unique in its quality, and bear in mind only 11 Hondurans stand between this battling Socceroos team and World Cup qualification (no mean feat, especially for a country whose football fans still wake up in a collective cold sweat from 1997 Iranian MCG-induced nightmares).

    But having said that, it’s very hard to draw much inspiration from the laboured build-up play and distinct toothlessness up front that have been hallmarks of this Socceroos qualifying campaign. While we were rightly lauding tireless Timmy Cahill saving our skins yet again, this team’s reliance on a 37-year-old A-League striker does not bode particularly well for the future. 

    Throw in an increasingly tetchy and isolated Ange Postecoglou, whose tactics and selections (including the seemingly bizarre decision to not start Aaron Mooy, one of our only regular EPL representatives, last Tuesday night) have invoked fierce criticism from Australia’s – fair to say ever critical and sometime toxic – football community.

    Aaron Mooy Football Australia Socceroos 2017

    (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

    Aside from the immediate concern of World Cup qualification, the current state of the Socceroos potentially has serious consequences for football more generally in this country.

    This is not to warn of a doomsday scenario for the round ball game, as participation rates and interests levels suggest football will not disappear from Australia’s sporting landscape anytime soon.

    But, if we have learnt anything from rugby union and cricket in this country, it’s that successful national teams can effectively compensate for struggling underlying domestic competitions in terms of capturing the hearts and minds of the sporting public and continuing to drive growth.

    There is no doubt the A-League has come a long way since its inception. But when you compare the average A-League crowd for the 2016-17 season of 12,650 to the AFL’s 2017 figure of just over 35,000 you quickly realise how much more work is required to build the game in Australia. A task you suspect will be made infinitely more difficult if the country’s national team endures a relatively barren period. 

    To make matters slightly more urgent is the looming figure of football’s little brother basketball. 

    The parallels between these sports have always been remarkably similar, wildly popular international sports, latent Australian supporter bases, spluttering domestic competitions and Australian fans revelling in local kids making it big overseas.

    While football supporters might shake their heads at any such suggestion of parity, there’s one thing they might not have counted on – and that’s another golden generation, but this time of the basketball variety.

    That’s right, the long-suffering Boomers have never looked closer to that elusive Olympic medal ahead of Tokyo 2020 and what’s more exciting is the fact that we are not entirely sure what colour that medal might be.

    Never before has the NBA boasted so much Australian talent. From the old guard of Andrew Bogut, Paddy Mills, Matthew Delavedova, Joe Ingles and Aron Baynes to relative newcomer (and oft-injured) Dante Exum, and the fresh faces of Thon Maker and No.1 pick  Ben Simmons. 

    Coupled with this are the noises being made by the NBL’s ambitious new owner, Larry Kestelman who is intent on reprising (and ultimately superseding) the NBL glory days of the 1990s.

    All this underlines the importance of the Socceroos overcoming those 11 Hondurans, ensuring the game continues to blossom in Australia and staying one step ahead of its pesky little brother.

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    The Crowd Says (108)

    • October 18th 2017 @ 6:51am
      AR said | October 18th 2017 @ 6:51am | ! Report

      I don’t agree with this article at all.

      First, the comparison of the ALeague and AFL crowds is pointless and unhelpful. ALeague crowds are fine, despite the overall competition taking on a stale feeling for the past season or so.

      Second, the lack of celebrities in the national team is irrelevant (though I believe I know what the author was getting at, in terms of cut-through). The Socceroos are very close to qualifying for another WC. That’s really all we can ask.

      Third, I understand a comparison with basketball, but don’t agree with it. Yes, both sports are in rude health from a grassroots point of view and cash-strapped at the top level. Aus basketball’s rising stars may contribute to a small erosion in the platform soccer enjoys, the Boomers are not about to replace the Socceroos, nor NBL the ALeague.

      • October 18th 2017 @ 9:00am
        Waz said | October 18th 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        well said.

        This website is poorer for articles like this ?

        • October 19th 2017 @ 12:32am
          Matth said | October 19th 2017 @ 12:32am | ! Report

          You realise this is not a professional writer, right. ‘Roar of the Crowd’. Cut the guy some slack.

          • October 22nd 2017 @ 8:55pm
            Kenny said | October 22nd 2017 @ 8:55pm | ! Report

            Bout time they got some if this is the benchmark

    • Roar Guru

      October 18th 2017 @ 7:17am
      Ben of Phnom Penh said | October 18th 2017 @ 7:17am | ! Report

      Welcome to The Roar, Jump Ball. Certainly the Boomers are in a nice place at the moment, though the lack of research on the Socceroos in your article is going to result in you being howled down by the usual suspects. Don’t get disheartened, just do a little more research on the squad before your next article.


      • October 19th 2017 @ 7:38am
        AR said | October 19th 2017 @ 7:38am | ! Report

        Well said Ben.

        The writer seems young and is having a crack. Good stuff

    • October 18th 2017 @ 7:38am
      punter said | October 18th 2017 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      I agree wit Ben, a bit more research would’ve helped, especially comment about relying on Timmy.
      Have a look at the top leagues Spain, Germany, England & Italy & see the array of nationalities there that dwarfs both the NBL & the top leagues in the era of Kewell & Viduka.

      Best left alone this article.

    • Roar Guru

      October 18th 2017 @ 7:46am
      Grobbelaar said | October 18th 2017 @ 7:46am | ! Report

      AFL average attendance of over 35,000? That sounds much to high, I don’t believe it would be that high.

      • Roar Guru

        October 18th 2017 @ 9:12am
        spruce moose said | October 18th 2017 @ 9:12am | ! Report


        mid 34k for H/A and 61k for finals.

        • Roar Guru

          October 18th 2017 @ 12:04pm
          Grobbelaar said | October 18th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

          I was right then.

          • Roar Guru

            October 18th 2017 @ 1:40pm
            spruce moose said | October 18th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

            Or, when every game is factored into it as just one figure (as every competition in this country measures it) – then it’s 35k.

            • October 18th 2017 @ 1:58pm
              Nemesis said | October 18th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

              In ALeague average crowds for each club are measured by using only Home & Away data.

              Finals are not included.
              FFA Cup is not included.

              We have 3 competitions each season.

              1) ALeague Premiership
              2) ALeague Championship
              3) FFA Cup

              2-3 teams also have a 4th competition

              4) ACL Competition
              – Group
              – Knockout

              Each of the 4 competitions is different.
              Different opposition.
              Different regulations.
              Different ticket pricing.

              ALeague Club Season Ticket holders do not get access to all the 4 competitions.

              • Roar Guru

                October 18th 2017 @ 4:14pm
                spruce moose said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

                “We” don’t. The A-league does. You are a follower of it. Don’t forget your place. Until you are a paid employee of the A-league, FFA, AFC or any club that has active involvement in the scheduling/participation/arrangement of a competition, you are only ever just a fan – just like me! Never, ever “we”. You could in future say “they” to distinguish your position as a mere fan and passive participant in football in Australia opposed to those who have administrative responsibilities and are active participants.

                And you’ve validated my point nicely. The AFL H/A and Finals is one competition. The measurements for football crowds are also reflective of the competition in which that match took place.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 4:22pm
                Nemesis said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

                As a Season Ticket Holder, I am a stakeholder in an ALeague clubs and, even if I were not, everyone who attends regularly, or watches regularly on TV is a stakeholder in the ALeague.

                You may not be a stakeholder. Don’t project your inadequacies on me.

                I couldn’t give a stuff about AFL.

                This is a football discussion board.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 4:25pm
                chris said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

                Hi Moose – the point I’m trying to make is the author is trying to compare AFL attendances to A-League attendances. And then other people keep saying its one of the highest average attended competitions in the world. I was curious as to how that stacks up in entirety?

              • October 18th 2017 @ 4:48pm
                Post_hoc said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

                by the way Moose it is no coincidence that the FFA use the term Football Family, WE have used that term for a long time, the football family is widespread, WE are members of it, WE talk about it in distant lands, I have had many conversations with people overseas about Football. So WE talk like that, it’s a cultural thing.

              • Roar Guru

                October 18th 2017 @ 4:50pm
                spruce moose said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

                @ Nemesis

                So, therefore you are the same as me. I attend live A-league games and watch on TV.

                But, I’m not deluded enough to use “we”. “We” do not make the decisions.

                “They” do.

                Lol… I’m the one projecting inadequacies…you think they actually care about you!

                It’s like saying “I eat bread therefore I can say what “our” wheat harvest was on family owned farms.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 4:57pm
                Nemesis said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

                @Spruce Moose

                Our discourse over the past 24 hours should leave you in no doubt: I do not now, nor will I ever, have the slightest interest in your input in relation to AUS football.

                So, call yourself anything you want. I don’t care.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 11:21pm
                spruce moose said | October 18th 2017 @ 11:21pm | ! Report

                And yet you couldn’t help but comment, each time.

                I love that at the end of the day, you’re no more special than anyone else here.

                Baa baa.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 9:20am
                Post_hoc said | October 19th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

                moose, you simply don’t get it it is a cultural thing clearly. Yes I eat bread, and no i don’t grow the wheat and comment on the harvest.

                But I am a member of my A league club, which gives me a say on our direction as a club, my club holds fan forums every year.

                My kids and I play football for my local grassroots club, I coach 2 teams and I am a member of the committee, so i have a say on the direction of that grassroots club, I try and make the club better for all my family and other families.

                As my club is part of a local association i am the clubs representative on that association and participate on sub-committees based around the small sided game (as that is where my kids are at and where I feel I can provide the most input)

                My club has a voice on that association, that association has a voice on the state body and the state body has a ‘say’ (that is a loaded and contentious word but that doesn’t need to be discussed here) at the National level.

                So actually yes I do have a part to play in football in this country from grassroots all the way to the professional competition.

                So you want to re-think that statement of yours?

              • October 19th 2017 @ 12:24pm
                Dom said | October 19th 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

                Have to agree with Spruce.

                The FFA love to talk about engagement with the football family, but talk is all they have ever done, never put any of it into practice

                The FFA are world champions at talking the talk but hopeless at walking the walk

            • October 18th 2017 @ 3:59pm
              chris said | October 18th 2017 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

              Does anyone know what the global attendance figures for AFL are?
              At where it would rank in total attendance against other sports?

              • Roar Guru

                October 18th 2017 @ 4:15pm
                spruce moose said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

                What’s the point you’re trying to make Chris?

                Grob thought the figure was too high, factual information was presented. The end.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 4:25pm
                chris said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

                Hi Moose – the point I’m trying to make is the author is trying to compare AFL attendances to A-League attendances. And then other people keep saying its one of the highest average attended competitions in the world. I was curious as to how that stacks up in entirety?

              • October 18th 2017 @ 4:46pm
                chris said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

                Just to clarify, for example Italy’s professional leagues consist of Seria A, B and C. Spains La Liga very similar. MLS has 3 tiers of pro/semi pro teams. Basketball in the US and NFL in the US has so many teams across multiple divisions.
                I could go on and on.
                So before people start making claims about it being one of the highest average attended etc etc, you need to put it in the context of where it sits in its entirety.
                Hope that clarifies my point.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 4:51pm
                clipper said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

                I don’t think the crowds should be compared to the AFL either – it’s clearly miles in front of any other competition in Australia. It should be compared against the NRL and Super Rugby crowds, in which it is comparable, especially in Sydney where NRL and Rugby crowds continue to decline.

              • Roar Guru

                October 18th 2017 @ 4:53pm
                spruce moose said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

                @ Chris

                Fair enough,

                Individual leagues, not the entirety of the organisational body operating are measured. I’ve not checked in some time, but I believe the AFL is 4th ( 5th depending on what is included or not). NFL, Bundesliga (top flight), EPL and then the AFL.

                Though one could make a fairly compelling argument that the UEFA Champions League is in itself a competition and would therefore rank second only to the NFL.

                That football owns three of the top 5 is a clear demonstration of it’s popularity.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 5:03pm
                chris said | October 18th 2017 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

                Moose individual leagues if not compared in its entirety is a meaningless figure.
                Surely you can appreciate that?
                Thats why I was curious as to where it sits in total attendance across other professional leagues in the world.
                Maybe in the 50’s or 60’s?

              • October 18th 2017 @ 6:00pm
                punter said | October 18th 2017 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

                Just comparing the different leagues in England

                EPL averages 35,822
                the Championship 20,119
                league one 7,933
                league two 2,623,082

                This for a total of nearly 32M & this does not include the champions league, Europa league, FA cup, League cup & internationals.

                That is pretty impressive.

              • Roar Guru

                October 18th 2017 @ 8:17pm
                Grobbelaar said | October 18th 2017 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

                A 2.6 million average for League 2 looks a little bit too high to me.

                I doubt there is a stadium anywhere on Earth that can hold 2.6 million, and if there was, I can’t see them turning out for League 2.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 8:28pm
                chris said | October 18th 2017 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

                clipper in Sydney the AFL total crowd (Swans & GWS) would be 3rd behind football and NRL for paying customers. The term “all tip and no iceberg” as P Keating once said is apt.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 8:36pm
                Nemesis said | October 18th 2017 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

                Punter is absolutely correct.

                The English Football Leagues 4 Divisions had total attendances last season of 30 million people.

                That’s just the Home & Away league matches.
                Doesn’t include League Cup, FA Cup, European matches.

                The EPL is just one competition.

                Last season Sunderland averaged 41,287 for its 19 home matches in EPL. They got relegated. It’s ridiculous to think Sunderland fans will now go and watch the Newcastle Utd because Newcastle Utd is in the EPL but Sunderland is in the Championship.

                Same is happening in Australia. It’s ridiculous to assume Melbourne Knights fans will go to watch Victory or City, just because they’re ALeague.

                Football fans around the world follow a club. They don’t follow a league. For sure, we all might tune in on the TV to watch another competition, but we won’t be buying tickets to watch a rival team.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 8:50pm
                punter said | October 18th 2017 @ 8:50pm | ! Report

                Grob, I do not understand why you cannot understand why a 2.6M average attendance impossible to understand, league 2 is not so bad!!!!

                Only joking, my apologies, this was the total yearly number I stuffed up.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 10:44am
                clipper said | October 19th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

                chris – A league may be ahead in Sydney, but only slightly – think it would be 460k to 450k, but my point is NRL crowds are declining to an average comparable to the A league, whereas AFL crowds increased last season.
                Also, it should be noted that many grounds for the EPL are filled to capacity and the average would be even higher if the grounds were larger.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 3:42pm
                northerner said | October 19th 2017 @ 3:42pm | ! Report

                This little chunk of argument is the sort of thing that drives me to despair. People so desperate to win another skirmish in the code wars that they change argument mid stream and introduce alt-facts. Sigh.

                The author compared average attendance figures for the Australian Football League and for the A League. Note the term “League.” Not sport, not code, not anything other than a direct comparison of two Australian leagues. His figures are correct, so far as I can see. And those figures make the AFL one of the top half dozen leagues for attendance in the sporting world. I repeat the world “League.” Not code. League.

                When looking at league/league attendance, no, you do not look at the “entirety” of the whole sport, because the attendance figures for teams that are not in the league are irrelevant. NFL figures include attendance at all NFL games, irrespective of conference, as do NHL figures. Figures for semi pro or college football are not included in the NFL’s numbers, and figures for minor league hockey or minor league baseball are not included in the NHL’s or MLB’s numbers because, guess what, those leagues are not part of the NFL or NHL or MLB. You wouldn’t include attendance figures for the NPL in those for the A League, and you certainly don’t include attendance figures for the Championship in the EPL , or Serie B in Serie A numbers for the same reason.

                So, when comparing leagues, as opposed to sporting codes, you look at the average attendance for members of that league. Period.

                That is apparently unpalatable to some, so another argument is introduced: that the total number attending Aussie Rules games globally is a fraction of the total attending football games. Well, of course it is. There is no question that more people in total go to football games worldwide than go to AFL games, or for that matter, rugby games, basketball games, ice hockey games, baseball games, or any other sport you could name.

                But that is a very different argument from either of the points being made – that the AFL has a higher attendance level than the A League, and that the AFL attendance figure does in fact rank it among the top half dozen leagues in the world for average attendance.


                The bottom line, the AFL’s average attendance numbers are very similar to those of the EPL and the Bundesliga, which is not bad given that the population of Australia is much smaller than that of England and Germany, and there’s a lot more competition from other codes than is the case in Europe.

                That does not mean the AFL code threatens football’s supremacy at the global level, obviously not, but that is a different issue than simply looking at attendance figures for individual leagues. Do not conflate the two.

                As to the ranking of the three codes in Sydney: if we talk about total attendance over a season, NRL wins hands down, simply because there are more NRL teams and therefore more games in Sydney. AFL is second in total attendance, with a combined figure in Sydney of 512,000 (excluding finals) and A League is a close third with 456,000.

                If we talk about average attendance of Sydney-based clubs, it is actually the NRL that would rank third, the A League second, and the AFL first. The Swans alone had an average attendance of 33,400 last season, head and shoulders above any team in any other code in the city. The Giants get a much weaker 13,200, but that still means a respectable average attendance between the two clubs of over 23,000. By comparison, the Wanderers averaged 17,750 and SFC 16,000. Interestingly, the highest attended NRL team, the Roosters, averaged 15,400 and from there the numbers drop down to just under 11,000 for the Bunnies. Three NRL teams had lower attendance figures than the Giants, and four were only slightly better. And none of them approached the figures for the two A League clubs, never mind the Swans.

                So I’d say it’s a very long shot to make jokes about the AFL in Sydney being all tip, no berg, given those numbers. The Swans are, in fact, one heck of an iceberg.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 4:25pm
                chris said | October 19th 2017 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

                Like I said northerner, looking at the average without looking at its entirety is completely meaningless.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 4:49pm
                punter said | October 19th 2017 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

                First you complain about talking about leagues not sports, but then you measure AFL to EPL & say Australia has a smaller population & compete with other codes (how great is AFL), yet don’t mention that in England, they may compete less with other codes, but their main competition lies with the lower leagues, the Championship, which averages 20K & another lower league which averages 8k. You have to take this into account, just because this doesn’t exist in AFL does not make it real.
                As far as comparison with American sports, there is no comparison, they are the biggest watchers of sport in the world by a fair way.
                Plus you mentioned that the AFL in Sydney averages 23K, the A-league averages 17K, but disreagard the fact, unlike AFL which is the best AFL competition (Only one) in the world, the A-league is far from the best & many football fans just don’t follow the A-league because they think it inferior. It’s easy to talk iceberg & leagues if this is all your have, with football you need to talk sport, the competition is greatest within.
                We can all use numbers to prove what we want to prove.. Football is far bigger then AFL in Sydney despite attendance figures, but even more so, despite attendance figures both sports are a long way behind Rugby League in way of popularity in Sydney. Hence why both are on secondary channels while League is on the main channel.
                No-one is doubting that AFL is a massive followed sport in Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth. I have no met one sports fan that doubts that.
                Your sort of argument confuses me no end.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm
                northerner said | October 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                @Chris – for crying out loud. The comparison of codes is one thing – the comparison of leagues is quite a different thing. Are you now going to argue that the NFL isn’t, after all, the best attended sports league in the world on the grounds that American football isn’t played much outside of America? That’s an argument that American football isn’t the biggest code, but it’s not an argument that the NFL isn’t the biggest individual league. When you count EPL statistics, do you add in and average the numbers for all the football leagues, at any level, anywhere in the world, or do you look at the statistics for the EPL?

                When you talk about a code, you look at all the numbers, everywhere – participation, attendance, income, etc etc. And that leaves football leading the pack. But when you talk about leagues, you look at the league – attendance, income, debt, etc – it’s a different measurement and within its own parameters, every bit as valid as the bigger measurement because its measuring something different.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm
                Nemesis said | October 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                I notice northerner included crowd figures for “Sydney” for games played in Canberra.

                Yet, he refuses to include figures for matches played in Gosford.

                He pretends to be objective & unbiased, but he’s just another who enjoys putting football down whenever he can.


              • October 19th 2017 @ 5:34pm
                northerner said | October 19th 2017 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

                Punter – The original comparison was league to league. It is hardly dishonest of me to point out that the AFL figures are quite good in a competitive market. Of course the EPL has to compete with lower levels of football, but then the AFL has to compete with lower levels of its own sport as well as with top levels of the other codes. It’s hard to make a direct comparison, but I don’t think its unreasonable to think the AFL’s numbers are quite good, relatively speaking.

                And Americans do love their sports. I’m not sure how that is relevant to average attendance comparisons. Either fans attend or they don’t, and that’s the only measure of what league has the best average attendance. It’s not weighted on some sort of scale depending on how sports-mad a country is.

                I grant you the point about football fans who are not A League fans, but again, that’s simply not relevant to a comparison of two Australian leagues (or three, actually, if we add in the NRL). Don’t you see? You are arguing about the strength of football, the code, whereas this argument started over a point about the strength of the A League vs the AFL. Neither your comments nor Chris’s are relevant to that. And his point about the iceberg is simply wrong: there’s an iceberg there all right.

                What you should be cogitating about is not in fact the AFL, but the progress the A League is making relative to the NRL.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 7:15pm
                punter said | October 19th 2017 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

                Northerner, I agree it’s pretty impressive that the AFL is one of the biggest leagues in the world.
                My issue was then that you highlighted matching both EPL & Bunesliga, but with a smaller Population & other codes to content with.
                Well England does have other codes, but their greatest competition, as per the table is another league within football 20K, this was what I was highlighting.

                Now in regards to AFL, NRL & A-League. Very happy with the progress with A-League in Sydney, however, living in Sydney, you can clearly see why NRL is on the main channel & both A-League & AFL are not. They are a long way behind.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 7:17pm
                northerner said | October 19th 2017 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

                @Nemesis: I’m not at all sure what your point is. Are you arguing I should have included Mariners numbers in the Sydney total? Why? Gosford isn’t in Sydney.

                Or are you saying that Giants numbers for their three games played in Canberra shouldn’t be counted? Ever seen Manuka oval? I’ve been to games (various codes) there in the past, and it’s a lovely venue, but hardly likely to increase attendance averages for the Giants, or for the Mariners, who also play the odd game there, for that matter..

                No doubt you can elucidate.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 7:35pm
                northerner said | October 19th 2017 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

                Punter – I think the point here is that the A League vs the NRL is doing very well in attendance numbers, not so great in TV numbers, but that will come. But don’t disregard the inroads being made by the AFL either.

                Sure, the NRL is well ahead in viewer numbers, and getting big bucks for it too, but they’ve sacrificed bums on seats for that. I’m not sure that’s the way to go, long term, especially when a lot of networks globally are beginning to realize they’ve paid over the odds for broadcast rights.

                Like the song says, ” the times they are a’ changing” and viewer audiences seem to be fragmenting. I wouldn’t count on any code or league in this country flourishing without strong roots, good business management, and some vision for the future. Obviously, football has the strongest roots of all, but I’m not convinced about the rest of the package. But it’s nowhere near the disaster area that are the ARU and the NRL, and, I’d have to say, Sheffield Shield cricket either.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 8:02pm
                Nemesis said | October 19th 2017 @ 8:02pm | ! Report


                It’s pretty obvious you excluded CCM’s crowds in Gosford but included GWS crowds in Canberra for your snide little dig that “Total AFL crowds in Sydney are bigger than ALeague”

                If you want to include the GWS crowds in Canberra, then you must include Gosford Crowds and, when you do, ALeague pulled higher total crowds in this Sydney.

                You are heavily biased against everything to do with football. I don’t care that you pretend you are not. Anyone can see you only ever post comments to try to diminish the ALeague.

                You never ever write any comments on the AFL discussion when there are huge exaggerations made. I don’t care that you don’t like football, but your smarmy pretense every day that you are the voice of reason is such utter nonsense.

                Have the courage to admit you like to dismiss any positive football story.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 8:15pm
                punter said | October 19th 2017 @ 8:15pm | ! Report

                There are very little roots of AFL in Sydney, now I agree times are going to change. Just like football, where the kids are growing up with the A-League & the AFL in their lives & won’t have this opinion that these are foreign sports.
                It is rare to see the multiple posts required for AFL, unlike Melbourne.
                But despite Swans being the most attended sporting team in Sydney, I know more people who follow other AFL teams (as they have moved from elsewhere) then I know Swan fans.
                There is very little discussion in workplaces, cafes, pubs,sporting fields about the Swans.

                Now while I do see a lot more Swans merchandise these days, around the same as SFC, they are dwarfed by WSW merchandise, unfortunately, bloody lowlife. I just don’t see any GWS merchandise & I reckon half of the GWS 13K average crowd are there following the other team.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 8:39pm
                chris said | October 19th 2017 @ 8:39pm | ! Report

                Northerner Im going to keep this really simple as I’m just about done explaining my point to you. I dont care what the average is, if in totality its a minute figure. In Sydney people pay to go and watch Sydney FC, WSW and NPL1 matches. If you total them up they would be higher than Swans and the Midgets. Have I lost you yet?
                So on the global stage, to say “AFL is top 3 in average attendance” its even more meaningless. (Use my Sydney example and apply it to just about every country in Europe, Asia, Africa, Nth and Sth America). And apply that logic across a multitude of sports.
                I’m too tired to explain it all again to you so that will have to do.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 9:00pm
                northerner said | October 19th 2017 @ 9:00pm | ! Report

                Nemesis – I’m not sure how to explain this more clearly. You seem to be geographically challenged. Gosford is not in Sydney. CCM doesn’t play in Sydney except as an away game. So why would CCM figures be included in Sydney numbers? Its numbers for its game in Canberra count as a home game,as do GWS’s three games. Canberra figures don’t do either team any favours.

                But if you insist, and we all pretend that Gosford is in Sydney, then yes, that increases the total number of attendances, but it also substantially reduces the average attendance. Instead of being somewhere around 16,900 (the average attendance for the two actual Sydney teams) it becomes 13,720. Instead of being well ahead of NRL figures, it drops behind. Sheer genius reasoning on your part.

                You’re big on quotes, mostly inappropriate ones in the circumstances: well, here’s an oldie but a goodie – ” better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” You should consider a little more silence.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 9:14pm
                northerner said | October 19th 2017 @ 9:14pm | ! Report

                I’m tired too, Chris. So, I’ll say this. The two AFL teams in Sydney pull more punters than the two A League teams. So, since the discussion was about leagues, not codes, the rest of your argument is entirely irrelevant to that point. People attending NPL games are not counted in A league figures any more than people attending Serie B are counted in Serie A numbers. That more people in Sydney follow football, I don’t doubt – but that’s not what the argument was about. And to describe a team that is drawing as many spectators to its games as SFC and Wanderers combined as being “all tip, no iceberg” is, quite frankly ludicrous.

                It’s code war stuff, not reality. And that’s what drives me crazy about this tab. It’s like an alternative reality, where things are what you want them to be, not what they actually are.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 9:24pm
                chris said | October 19th 2017 @ 9:24pm | ! Report

                Oh yes Northerner…the argument is always something that suits your narrative. I changed the point of of the discussion to expose the ludicrous statement being made about “3rd highest average attendance in the world blah blah blah”. When you only have one league and one league only, why would you want to talk about the other professional leagues that people spend money in and have the team that they follow playing in that league.
                Take your “3rd highest average in the world” furphy onto the AFL tab instead of on the football tab and you wont have the code war which you so cant stomach.

              • October 19th 2017 @ 10:55pm
                punter said | October 19th 2017 @ 10:55pm | ! Report

                Northerner, I think Chris has got it pretty spot on. I don’t think I would be very welcomed on the AFL tap if I went on relentlessly about football being played in over 220 countries & in all bar 1, it’s bigger then AFL & even then only in 1/2 a country.

          • Roar Guru

            October 18th 2017 @ 3:36pm
            Rick Figjam said | October 18th 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

            It’s pretty close Grob.

            Before the expansion teams, I think the average was around 38k (don’t quote me exactly) and the third highest average attendance of any elite competition in the world.

            That number will easily surpass 35K as the market in WS grows and the new Perth Stadium comes online next year. 65K – it will fill every week I suspect by the two WA teams being juggernauts.

            • October 18th 2017 @ 4:53pm
              clipper said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

              60k RD – 65k when it’s in rectangular formation.
              West Coast will definitely fill it, not so sure about Freemantle if they continue to languish, but still will be a boost to the average next year.

              • Roar Guru

                October 18th 2017 @ 5:56pm
                Rick Figjam said | October 18th 2017 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

                Can’t wait to see it.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 8:29pm
                chris said | October 18th 2017 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

                All the football fans on this football tab are absolutely breathless at your estimations.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 10:21pm
                valhalla said | October 18th 2017 @ 10:21pm | ! Report

                you might need an angiogram chrissy

          • November 24th 2017 @ 10:04pm
            Bdogg said | November 24th 2017 @ 10:04pm | ! Report

            Nah. You were wrong

    • October 18th 2017 @ 7:49am
      Ian said | October 18th 2017 @ 7:49am | ! Report

      “While we were rightly lauding tireless Timmy Cahill saving our skins yet again, this team’s reliance on a 37-year-old A-League striker does not bode particularly well for the future”

      Can we stop perpetuating this myth?

      Tim Cahill did precisely two things in this match, both of them important. But we do not rely on him to score those goals. He has barely played recently. The very problem that the author complains about – the lack of name recognition of the players – is made worse by apparent ‘fans’ of the Socceroos not taking the likes of Juric seriously. If one of those chances in the first leg goes in, we’re not really even talking about Tim, the backup striker.

      • October 18th 2017 @ 9:37am
        mattq said | October 18th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        and a player of Tim’s quality really could not miss with those crosses placed perfectly on his head, the first from Leckie in particular. That’s where the quality was, not necessarily the header (although brilliant)

    • October 18th 2017 @ 7:54am
      Jay South said | October 18th 2017 @ 7:54am | ! Report

      The article was accurate in referring to the lack of strike power. Our efforts in front of goal have been very poor quality.

      The team needs a forward player with real intelligence , real hunger and real skill. Like a Berisha. But we have no front line stars. Except for Timmy, but we cannot rely on him alone.

      Why ? How did we end up in this position ?

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