Forget the AFL, what can we do to get more fans to A-League games?

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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    The AFL’s move to play an experimental version of its sport on A-League grounds is nothing more than a blatant land-grab by a strangely insecure code.

    You can tell the Socceroos have just qualified for the World Cup, because the wild and wacky outbursts from AFL aficionados have reached fever pitch over the past week.

    First we had veteran AFL journalist Mike Sheahan struggling to understand the mechanics of the two-legged inter-confederation playoff, complaining that the first leg in Honduras was “rubbish” because neither team supposedly played to win it, before stating that the AFL wouldn’t have made anyone fly in economy class.

    Then former AFL player and coach Kevin Bartlett used his Hungry For Sport Twitter account to ask the hardest-hitting question of all just a day after the Socceroos reached the World Cup finals: “What should we (Australia) call the round ball game? Soccer or football?”

    And now we hear that the AFL is planning to debut its experimental ‘AFLX’ version at Coopers Stadium in Adelaide, just two days before Adelaide United hosts Central Coast Mariners at the same venue in the A-League.

    No one bothered to inform Adelaide United, of course, and a South Australian government which has received its fair share of exposure from the Reds’ various runs in the AFC Champions League presumably sees nothing wrong in cosying up to Aussie rules at football’s expense.

    ‘Twas ever thus – and even if having to invent a different form of AFL doesn’t say much for the excitement levels of the original version, the truth is that football has bigger problems to worry about than what Australia’s most Machiavellian code is planning to do.

    The first is trying to convince government officials that football is worth paying attention to.

    A recent Football Federation Australia press release screamed “FOOTBALL CONTINUES TO DOMINATE AUSTRALIAN CLUB SPORT” – yes, it was all in caps – and highlighted the fact that there are at least half a million more football players in this country than those who play Aussie rules.

    The subtext of the release was that football deserves more government support, and if you look at what’s happening in a city like Brisbane – where a Socceroos game in the near future is now apparently out of the question – it’s not hard to argue the point.

    Tom Rogic Socceroos tall

    No doubt Tourism and Events Queensland don’t enjoy seeing their name pop up every time the question of whether the Socceroos might ever return to Brisbane is raised, but the news that Perth, Melbourne and Sydney are all likely to do battle for a pre-World Cup friendly will go down like a lead balloon in Queensland.

    But even if a Socceroos game would invariably sell out at Suncorp Stadium – and bring in plenty of tourists at the same time – the fact is the same fans clamouring for the return of the national team are not exactly turning up at A-League games in any great numbers.

    As passionate as football fans in Australia are, it’s difficult to convince those with only a passing interest in the game of that fact when there are so many empty seats at A-League games.

    And we’re running out of time to salvage something from this season.

    Yes, there’s a lack of marketing, and at some point clubs and the FFA will need to re-think some sky-high ticket prices.

    And as frustrating as it is to hear, we’re going to be stuck with Thursday night encounters and late Sunday kick-offs for the foreseeable future. Other codes seem to make it work.

    Right now, the A-League could do with fewer excuses and more fans paying their way at the gate.

    Let the AFL have its fabricated summer fling.

    There’s nothing wrong with the product on display on our pitches – we just need to find a way to rekindle some interest at the turnstiles.

    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 (439)

    • Roar Pro

      November 20th 2017 @ 6:44am
      George K said | November 20th 2017 @ 6:44am | ! Report

      Well at the risk of starting a ‘Code Wars’, I’ve read that many are skeptical of AFLX: not many clubs are willing to use their best players so close to another preseason cup. Perhaps this will be a financial failure?

      In addition, given that the diehard AFL fans are insecure following the Socceroos qualification as you say Mike, wouldn’t the solution be to spam the Socceroos throughout the media? Pre-season Asian cups, international friendlies and perhaps most importantly having Australian and international stars in our domestic league.

      But like you say crowd attendance have been pitifull this year – and I know this is not an indication of success – but in terms of KPIs it certainly is a big one.

      Regardless, AFLX has me very concerned about the future of Australian Soccer.

      • November 20th 2017 @ 7:22am
        Not so super said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:22am | ! Report

        You are concerned about AFLX? Really?

        • November 20th 2017 @ 8:12am
          Christo the Daddyo said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

          Remember the early days of T20 cricket? It was loudly derided as a silly hit ‘n giggle form of the game and would never be treated seriously. But let’s compare the crowds these days for BBL games with A-League games shall we?
          I would be VERY worried about AFLX if I were running football the A-League…

          • November 20th 2017 @ 8:16am
            Fadida said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:16am | ! Report

            We shall see

          • November 20th 2017 @ 9:53am
            RandyM said | November 20th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

            20/20 is just a shortened version of cricket though. AFLX looks like a different game to AFL altogether with different rules and a different pitch. It’s apples and oranges.

            • November 20th 2017 @ 12:39pm
              Christo the Daddyo said | November 20th 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

              Apart from the different field shape/dimensions I think the analogy holds.

              I’m just not convinced the public wants to watch a winter code in summer. I understand the reasoning for holding the A-League in summer, but I think it just never feels quite right. AFLX may have the same challenge.

            • Roar Rookie

              November 20th 2017 @ 1:36pm
              Brendo51 said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

              I would think it is more comparable to Rugby 7s

      • Roar Rookie

        November 20th 2017 @ 7:28am
        Stevo said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:28am | ! Report

        AFLX is a ‘product’ invented by AFL as a vehicle to drive the game internationally using rectangular pitches. Ther is no other way of looking at it. It will be pumped up in Melbourne by the usual media and it will be proclaimed a success after it’s first outing. That will be the ‘reality’ because AFL HQ will make it so. Is it a threat to football. Only the insecure would think so.

        • November 20th 2017 @ 11:23am
          Perry Bridge said | November 20th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

          The “AFLX” brand is an invention of the AFL – of sorts. The product not so much.

          It’s an interesting area – created in 2008, an Australian fellow in Canada was pushing “Aussie X” in Canadian schools and about 5-6 years back appeared on Canadian “Dragon’s Den” – they were introducing kids to footy, cricket, netball – they are now known as “X Movement” and going okay.

          The small version of the game is quite broad too – and AFL9s (and numerical variations thereof) has been played quite widely overseas for some time – in reality – that form of the game was pioneered at grass roots off shore and imported back into Australia.

          The coming together of branding and product with “AFLX” is interesting, it’s the AFL playing catch up to it’s own external community and the question really is how the ‘conservatives’ back in Australia cope with it. Some have had their conservative hackles raised by AFLW so I shudder to think where their breaking point will be!!!

          About the most accurate comment from Mr.T is that the AFLX is a ‘summer fling’ – people have seriously question the amount of pre-season practice matches and dressing mutton as lamb with branding/sponsorship etc. 21 years ago (1996) the AFL dabbled with a Lightning Premiership – something many local country leagues would run – in the AFL it failed, the weather conspired very much against it.

          Anyway – it’s far from a direct attack on soccer. Linking to Mike Sheehan and Kevin Bartlett is pointless – the headline for this article is odd given half the article is far from forgetting the AFL so Mr.T might want to have that reviewed. Especially when Mr.T makes comments such as “Other codes seem to make it work” as I’d guess that the declined (first season since 2004 sub 15k H&A avg) NRL attendances might challenge the statement such that the AFL are whom he has in mind??

          • November 20th 2017 @ 3:22pm
            Fadida said | November 20th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

            Mr T? BA Barracus?

            • November 20th 2017 @ 4:15pm
              Perry Bridge said | November 20th 2017 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

              I’ll merge the A-Team with the Sound of Music…..what is it you can’t face (said mother superior to Maria).

      • November 20th 2017 @ 9:42am
        Tom M said | November 20th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

        As an AFL fan, I would advise A league supporters to just laugh this off. I don’t know any other AFL fan that wants this rubbish. The clubs have already said they wont be risking their key players and I think it will be a huge failure, unlike 20/20 cricket there is no reason to have a shorter version of AFL.

      • November 20th 2017 @ 10:38pm
        Alex said | November 20th 2017 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

        I agree with many others who say that the Lowys have to be removed, in order to save the game.

        How Football ever granted them the power of veto over every issue relating to the future health of the sport is to our great shame.

        Especially, when you consider how little financially they have contributed to the game during their tenure.

        While I dislike News Corp and Ch’s 7, 9 & 10, I grudgingly acknowledge that all of them have at least invested billions of dollars (even if it is their shareholders funds and not actually the owners money) into their favorite sports to help those sport to flourish.

        Thats a charge that you will never be able to accuse the Lowys of doing for Football.

        They are without doubt, the single biggest reason that the game has been stalled in neutral since at least 2007.

        • November 21st 2017 @ 12:43am
          Fadida said | November 21st 2017 @ 12:43am | ! Report

          Since 2007? Bollocks

    • November 20th 2017 @ 6:51am
      stu said | November 20th 2017 @ 6:51am | ! Report

      Firstly recognise that culturally Soccer is not at the heart of the Australian sporting landscape. Secondly, acknowledge that the ALeague has dragged the game into being acknowledged as an acceptable part of the sporting landscape. Thirdly, recognise that no ‘business’ can survive, never mind grow if the ‘features & benefits’ are not marketed.
      The last point is now a critical issue for the FFA, not expansion.

      • November 20th 2017 @ 7:09am
        LuckyEddie said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:09am | ! Report

        You are right Stu and instead of wasting money on world trips for junior teams and hangers on it the FFA should going full bore at marketing. Why don’t they do something? Who is actually running HAL? Are they playing politics with our huge player numbers? What exactly is in the FOX contract because that probably explains the above questions going unanswered.

    • November 20th 2017 @ 7:03am
      LuckyEddie said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:03am | ! Report

      The AFL has the politicians running scared in all states but particularly VIC, SA, TAS and WA. The one and only way for football to get even fair treatment by the media and politicians is to play politics and play it hard. For example, in Qld this weekend we have a very close State election. Gallop and the FFA, instead of planning their numerous trips to Russia, should have been up here playing politics. People have forever talked about our huge numbers of juniors, registered players, large football family registrants, and associated parents, grandparents etc. well use that number politically.

      By today Gallop should already approached all parties including the smaller ones with a list of demands including things like, a Roar 25k stadium, financial assistance to clubs for better fields etc. etc. By today all of the football players etc. should have been made aware of what is on offer. The Cowboys at the last Federal election had a similar close election and used their popularity in Townsville to get a new $200 million stadium.

      Gallop could ask why AFL in QLD has two really good stadiums yet hardly anyone plays the game up here. This soft approach has left football easy prey for the very aggressive codes of AFL and NRL. I have no doubt that with the current demographics in Australia that if the FFA played in hard with our huge numbers things would change.

      Where we are really suffering is the FOX deal that provides about $65 million (in kind) that is it’s not a straight up cash deal. The result is the company that runs sport in Australia FOX then prioritises it’s products with it’s main expenditure going to AFL and NRL. My opinion with FOX is they bought football, not to promote it through their media outlets, but more to keep it in it’s place. FOX originally heavily promoted football,especially it’s first year, but that of course was to boost subscriber numbers. Once they had got the new ones signed up for EPL/HAL it was back to AFL/NRL.

      Big companies buy up small threatening companies (football) and basically shelve them to protect their big ticket items AFL and NRL. It’s the oldest business trick in the world. If football mysteriously took off well FOX has all the rights to it. So FOX and their friends at AFL and NRL have a good laugh as football is put in it’s place,

      So we have an owner (FFA) who has no control over it’s game, a pay TV company that runs the show and seem to no influence politically (although we have huge numbers out there). We are yet to even have a real football person running football and that would be no accident. We have had a rugby bloke, a joke of a bloke from the AFL and probably put their by FOX and now a NRL/FOX lackey who really has done sweet FFA for football.

      I wonder if at any stage the FFA looked at streaming service for a football only product as is taking place in the USA.

      • Roar Rookie

        November 20th 2017 @ 7:20am
        Stevo said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:20am | ! Report

        I wouldn’t be bagging Fox at all. In kind contributions are standard and they only form part of the deal. FFA gets cash in hand and that’s where the arguments start with the A-league owners who want to see more of the greenbacks as they are the ones basically underwriting the league and losing money at the same time.

        • November 20th 2017 @ 7:31am
          LuckyEddie said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:31am | ! Report

          Stevo I agree on some of your comments but Brisbane is a case in point regarding FOX. Now FOX and their boss Newscorp own the Brisbane paper the Courier-Mail and have a perfect platform to help promote football. Sadly they give us little or no coverage regarding HAL in fact the articles that do appear are hard to find. A day before a Roar game at Suncorp they have any comment hidden away to ensure that the public do not even know it’s on. I just stopped buying the rag.

          Meanwhile we get coverage of AFL which is not a big game up here and the NRL and that coverage now is 24/7 and 365 days of the year. It’s got to the stage where the games this two codes are making up get better coverage.

          If FOX put money into football why do they then ignore it?

          • November 20th 2017 @ 7:52am
            not so super said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:52am | ! Report

            forget the courier mail. a few articles by that rag wont change anything

            how do fox ignore football?

            • November 20th 2017 @ 9:21am
              LuckyEddie said | November 20th 2017 @ 9:21am | ! Report

              But that rag is owned by Fox/Newscorp yet it never headlines HAL. It jumps onto the socceroos for a couple of days every 4 years and that is about it. The Federal Govt is even paying FOX to cover womens sport including womens football. Nine has NRL and Seven AFL and they give little coverage to HAL because of that. Everything is about marketing and with football getting so little coverage it will always be a battle for us.

              Fox also schedule the HAL games and that explains the terrible times and days matches are played. They do not care if it is a bad time for fans including families they just want something to fill the screen over summer in between cricket games.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 5:42pm
                Lionheart said | November 20th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

                News Corp owns around 80% of Broncos shares. That makes football their enemy. They’ll never get behind the A League when they own an NRL club.
                It’s why the FFA and HAL have to sidestep the MSM and use the rapidly developing streaming services.

              • November 21st 2017 @ 11:35am
                Perry Bridge said | November 21st 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report


                And the AFL has faced even greater issues with Murdoch printed press over the years. News used to own half the NRL and 3 or 4 clubs including the Storm. It wasn’t a healthy situation (and reflects also in the cross ownership of media debate).

                The AFL was head to head with NRL and ‘invading’ NRL territory. The Daily Telegraph had a field day and the truth was far from top of their agenda.

                The FFA at least – for all the lack of coverage – the HAL is mostly not overlapping the NRL season. It’s still an unhealthy situation. However – the old argument about not picking a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel now has transferred more to TV and online presence.

      • November 20th 2017 @ 7:25am
        Not so super said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:25am | ! Report

        I’m glad for Australian football that you have no part in its administration
        You really don’t have any idea

      • Roar Guru

        November 20th 2017 @ 9:03am
        spruce moose said | November 20th 2017 @ 9:03am | ! Report

        Delusional. Where does one begin with this?

        I’m going to choose to ignore the completely nonsensical (and now repeated, considering you wrote this recently) gibberish on the Fox sports conspiracy and instead focus on these sentences:

        By today Gallop should already approached all parties including the smaller ones with a list of demands including things like, a Roar 25k stadium, financial assistance to clubs for better fields etc. etc.

        You must be joking? Brisbane has one of the best rectangular stadiums in the world in Suncorp, with ZERO need for an additional stadium, and you think Gallop should be demanding a boutique stadium for 25k?

        Gallop could ask why AFL in QLD has two really good stadiums yet hardly anyone plays the game up here. This soft approach has left football easy prey for the very aggressive codes of AFL and NRL. I have no doubt that with the current demographics in Australia that if the FFA played in hard with our huge numbers things would change.

        Um, they have one good stadium, under used in the graveyard of Australian sport. On the other hand, the Gabba has been around for ages and was built for cricket first, AFL second.

        • November 20th 2017 @ 10:57am
          Waz said | November 20th 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

          Brisbane does have the need for another rectangular stadium, now concerts have moved to Suncorp it’s impossible for Brisbane to complete its fixture list every season. In 3 weeks time Roar will play on the Gold Coast as Suncorp is unavailable due to a concert, this will be one of five home games in a series of 6 with Roar being forced to compress home games due to the unavailability of Suncorp due to the RL World Cup and more concerts after Christmas and the RU World Tens. Roar will also have to move their ACL games again, due to concerts. This is not a one off year, this happens every year. The stadium has too many events and a new, smaller stadium is required.

          • Roar Guru

            November 20th 2017 @ 11:58am
            spruce moose said | November 20th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

            Sounds like Brisbane needs a better arena for concerts and other events like that to be honest if they are always going to Suncorp….

            There is simply no need for a new stadium in Brisbane. Plan B should always be Ballymore. It was their training ground for a while anyway.

            But the idea of a new one is farcical.

            • November 20th 2017 @ 1:08pm
              Waz said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

              No it’s not farsicsl.

              Concerts at Suncorp reflect the venues accessibility from all directions, ability to handle very large crowd numbers in a short time frame, and most importantly a State government that needs the money. Concerts aren’t going anywhere.

              Paying $200m+ for a new stadium would I agree be farcical. But the need is clearly there – you said it wasn’t, I think I’ve given you enough examples to suggest it clearly is needed.

              Where and who pays are different questions.

              • Roar Guru

                November 20th 2017 @ 1:19pm
                spruce moose said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

                Hmm, I’m just saying Ballymore is a plan B when Suncorp is booked by someone else.

                Clearly only the government are in a position to pay, so you won’t be getting another stadium in Brisbane. Townsville will be getting one sooner.

                Like I said, Ballymore is a plan B and I’m baffled the A-league would choose not to use it.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 5:43pm
                Waz said | November 20th 2017 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

                Ballymore comes with a few problems though.

                The stadium is in a poor condition generally and not up to ACL standards so they can’t hold AFC games there. If it rains, which it often does in summer, the hill is closed severely limiting the capacity which – if a big crowd is expected – could result in fans with tickets being turned away.

                Even with small crowds of a few thousand there have been problems with toilets and food outlets. Not to mention transport issues.

                Stadium redevelopment is problematic as well, local residents are set to object to redevelopment and it hasn’t got funding in place either.

                So Ballymore can get used for preseason competitions like the ffa Cup but is problematic for A League games and impossible for ACL games.

                It would make more sense of Union left Suncorp and played there – the fact the owners of Ballymore don’t play there themselves probably tells you all you need to know.

                Simple solution would be to send concerts away but that ain’t happening.

                Next best solution is to redevelop Perry Park into a 10k stadium that would suit Roar for A league and ACL games. The government pays for a 10k RL stadium for Dolphins and a similar capacity for Netball, there’s no reason why football can’t get the same.

                Redeveloping a Union ground for football to use would be STUPIDITY of the highest order.

              • November 21st 2017 @ 7:57am
                Nico said | November 21st 2017 @ 7:57am | ! Report

                Perry Park is well connected by rail and bus, would be an excellent call to redevelop

              • November 20th 2017 @ 5:51pm
                Lionheart said | November 20th 2017 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

                “Townsville will be getting one sooner” well yes they will, for their one team one prime user customer. Then there’s one on the Gold Coast for again, just one team, one prime user. Yet Brisbane has three prime users at present, four including concerts, and the hope that another team will be added in coming years.
                If ever there is a case for another stadium, Brisbane has it. The LNP is going crazy at present, with even the PM promising to spend many millions on infrastructure should his team win next weekend.
                Of course the FFA and Football QLD and anyone else who can, should be expressing their case for another stadium in Brisbane. And on a local level they should be demanding decent funding for local suburban grounds too.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 8:58pm
                Waz said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

                $250m minimum spend on the new Townsville stadium, as you say a vote buying political promise from 5 years ago. Where is football this year??


                Construction started in August

        • November 20th 2017 @ 4:50pm
          Hunter said | November 20th 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

          Don’t forget the $70million the Lions are about to get for their training venue and for AFLW games. Gotta love an election.

          • Roar Guru

            November 20th 2017 @ 5:02pm
            Paul D said | November 20th 2017 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

            Not true, as yet anyway. There is $40 million already committed – $18 million from Springfield Land Corp, the AFL have tipped in $10 million and Ipswich City Council has kicked in $15 million.

            The state government has been asked for $15 million, and the feds have said they will match if the state government goes first.

            The main reason it’s been on hold is the Qld labor government is being very careful to avoid having a Brisbane-centric focus with all the resentment coming out of the regional areas. You might see them try and sneak it in later in the campaign. At this stage it’s far from a sure thing. QLD is up to its eyeballs in debt atm and dropping money into a plush facility for a bunch of extremely well paid athletes isn’t likely to be received well in voterland.

        • November 21st 2017 @ 3:35pm
          Timber Tim said | November 21st 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

          Brisbane desperately need another boutique venue not only for the Roar but the possibility of a 2nd A-League and NRL side coming from Brisbane.

          5 teams sharing suncorp plus concerts, state of origin, wallabies and socceroos on top would be a nightmare to maintain the stadium.

      • November 20th 2017 @ 11:44am
        mattq said | November 20th 2017 @ 11:44am | ! Report

        so what are the Roar doing to shore up their future? Why should the FFA be lobbying for a new stadium for the Roar?

        • November 20th 2017 @ 1:13pm
          Waz said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

          The FFA should be lobbying both Federal and State governments as they are the peak administration body for football in Australia and the peak body of other codes lobby all the time including for individual clubs/stadiums:

          The AFL do it.

          The NRL do it.

          The ARU do it.

          Netball do it.

          Athletics do it.

          Basketball is even doing it.

          Can you explain why you think the FFA are unique and shouldn’t do it – especialky when the AFL is lobbying local government in Brisbane for investment into a dedicated $200m stadium for AFLW?

          • November 20th 2017 @ 2:47pm
            Nick Symonds said | November 20th 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

            “Can you explain why you think the FFA are unique and shouldn’t do it – especialky when the AFL is lobbying local government in Brisbane for investment into a dedicated $200m stadium for AFLW?”

            Sounds like the AFL want to relocate the Suns to Brisbane to create a derby before the NRL can move the Titans there.

          • Roar Guru

            November 20th 2017 @ 5:04pm
            Paul D said | November 20th 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

            Where on earth are you getting that $200 million figure from?

            • November 20th 2017 @ 5:44pm
              Waz said | November 20th 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

              That’s conservative. But look at the cost of Townsville and Western Sydney. No reason why it should cost half as much though.

      • Columnist

        November 21st 2017 @ 10:37am
        Mike Tuckerman said | November 21st 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        I think News Corp owns more like 69% of the Broncos. And I personally think Marco Monteverde does a great job of covering Brisbane Roar. The reality is that it’s hard to justify putting the Roar on the back page when they’re pulling less than 10,000 on a Friday night.

    • November 20th 2017 @ 7:28am
      AR said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:28am | ! Report

      Oh gawd. Here we go, yet again.

      The headline begins “Forget the AFL…”
      …before the article breathlessly peppers the AFL in almost every paragraph.

      Irony and insecurity are well-known (but rarely recognised) companions of the ‘Football’ tab.

      The most striking stat I saw over the wknd, was that the International Rules game in Perth attracted more Sydney TV viewers on Saturday night than Sydney FC’s home game against the Jets. For all we hear about how minor the AFL’s presence is in Sydney, it shows the true level of ALeague interest in that city is pretty modest as well.

      On crowds, it’s this simple – the ALeague’s attendances (and ratings) reflect the real level of interest in the top league. We know this. 10+ years of data proves this.

      Stop obsessing over what the AFL is doing with its hit and giggle summer experiment. Worry about what the FFA leadership and the club owners are doing to boost interest in the ALeague.

      • November 20th 2017 @ 7:46am
        Waz said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:46am | ! Report

        “Worry about what the FFA leadership and the club owners are doing to boost interest in the ALeague“ …. couldn’t agree more. The answer to which I suspect will not be relevant until December the 1st and normalisation (or not).

      • November 20th 2017 @ 7:52am
        jamesb said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:52am | ! Report


        Here is a question. Why was an AFL journalist, Mike Sheahan in a position to comment about the Honduras v Australia world cup qualifier?

        When you listen to a sports program, you want to listen to people that know what they’re talking about. And with respect to Sheahen, he is very good at his craft when it comes to AFL, but he doesn’t know anything about the world game.

        I wonder how AFL fans would react if the late Les Murray was allowed to comment on an AFL finals game, where Murray would describe it as “rubbish”?

        But i do agree with you about the FFA leadership.

        • November 20th 2017 @ 8:01am
          Kavvy said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:01am | ! Report

          95% of AFL fans agreed Sheehan had no place commenting on the world game. You are going off a bit of a tangent on a false assumption. 95% of AFL fans also think AFLX is a farce and will have zero impact on the popularity of Association Football, nor should it.

          The issue is what is the FFA doing to capitalise on the game’s interest in Australia, the answer is “nowhere near enough”, the AFL is irrelevant in that discussion

          • November 20th 2017 @ 8:15am
            punter said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

            Have no idea on your 1st paragraph, know nothing of Sheehan or this AFLX.

            But your last paragraph, 99% of football fans would agree with you.

        • Roar Guru

          November 20th 2017 @ 11:16am
          The_Wookie said | November 20th 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

          its a relatively free country, people can have opinions. Sheehan has only been a sports writer/commentator for 40 odd years.

          • November 20th 2017 @ 11:38am
            morebeer said | November 20th 2017 @ 11:38am | ! Report

            …but when he talks about world football, he takes his journalist hat off and puts his AFL propagandist one on…

            • Roar Guru

              November 20th 2017 @ 1:34pm
              Paul D said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

              And? it’s up to viewers to sniff out bias when they see it.

            • November 20th 2017 @ 2:07pm
              Marco said | November 20th 2017 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

              As does Simon Hill – nil all.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 4:18pm
                Perry Bridge said | November 20th 2017 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

                And it must be said that Sheehan admits that – and also that he didn’t really have an emotional investment (which might be more indicative of the lack of a traditional Australian-Honduran rivalry even after Dronegate, Helliergate and any other *’gate.)

          • November 20th 2017 @ 11:46am
            Nemesis said | November 20th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

            “Sheehan has only been a sports writer/commentator for 40 odd years.”

            So what? What does that have to do with football? He’s ignorant about football, so even if he lives to be a thousand years old, he’ll still be ignorant about football.

            But, I’m sure he’s extremely well-credentialed & knowledgeable about Aussie Rules.

            • Roar Guru

              November 20th 2017 @ 12:47pm
              The_Wookie said | November 20th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

              having a different opinion doesnt necessarily make one ignorant.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 12:56pm
                punter said | November 20th 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

                Wrong, Craig Foster on why Richmond is not the best team in the AFL world is ignorance any way you look at it.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 2:55pm
                Nemesis said | November 20th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

                Fully agree. The ignorance comes from not educating yourself with the topic being discussed.

                So, if I offer an opinion on Synchronized Swimming, Gymnastics, Greco Roman Wrestling, etc etc my opinion will be ignorant because I do not watch these sports & therefore my opinion is formed on ignorance.

                Mike Sheehan is entitled to his opinion about football, as I am entitled to an opinion on Renaissance Art. Both our opinions will be based on ignorance.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 3:12pm
                marcel said | November 20th 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

                “Opinions are like a55holes…everybody’s got one!”
                Larry Flynt

          • November 20th 2017 @ 1:20pm
            jamesb said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

            The Wookie

            As an AFL fan such as yourself, my question still remains:

            How would AFL fans react if someone like a Craig Foster was allowed to comment on an AFL finals game, where Foster would describe the game as “rubbish”?

            • November 20th 2017 @ 1:29pm
              valhalla said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

              he has already hasnt he

            • Roar Guru

              November 20th 2017 @ 1:37pm
              Rick Disnick said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

              I’d say they’d just ignore it.

              It’s called discipline, something many lack around here.

              • November 21st 2017 @ 7:33am
                Post_hoc said | November 21st 2017 @ 7:33am | ! Report


                I can guarantee they wouldn’t ‘just ignore it’. How do I know? Easy, look at this very thread, as soon as there is an article critical of AFL on this football tab, yu and your mates flood in here.

                Why are ‘code war’ articles always so many hits? The AFL fan boys like yourself flooding into this thread to sort us lot out. So if that is an indication of just ignoring it?

              • November 21st 2017 @ 8:07am
                Fadida said | November 21st 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

                Post hoc, they flood this tab because their (very good) sport is completely dormant for 5 months, no internationals, no intercontinental club games, no World Cup or qualifier, no marquee signings from other countries, no international transfers.

              • November 21st 2017 @ 8:23am
                punter said | November 21st 2017 @ 8:23am | ! Report

                Didn’t they sign a inter code/sport/cross country marquee signing in Israel Folau, he is from Tongan descent, does that count as international transfer. The fact he had never played a professional of Aussie rules & was the highest paid player in the whole competition was a laugh, but then he was marquee in some way.

              • Roar Guru

                November 21st 2017 @ 12:03pm
                Rick Disnick said | November 21st 2017 @ 12:03pm | ! Report


                I can understand your disdain towards me. I follow multiple codes, as opposed to many here who just follow football, yet have a far superior knowledge of the game.

                It’s okay to be rubbish at something, despite it being your speciality.


                I’d rather the AFL be dormant for 5 months during the offseason than dormant like the A-League during its long arduous season. Ouch!


                Folau and Hunt — two of the greatest League players ever couldn’t last 10 minutes at AFL level. Just shows what it takes.

                Dusty I have no doubt would have been better than Ronaldo had he been given a round ball at age 5 instead of a Sherrin.

                Of course, he may have ended up in jail too, but all the best talent lives on the edge.

              • November 21st 2017 @ 4:29pm
                punter said | November 21st 2017 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

                Rick, IGNORE!!!!

            • Roar Guru

              November 20th 2017 @ 2:45pm
              The_Wookie said | November 20th 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

              they’d laugh at him, but I dont think anyone would say he has no right to comment.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 4:48pm
                morebeer said | November 20th 2017 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

                Yes, but they are more than comments. He makes agenda driven snipes designed to gain a rise, (which they do very well).

                Sheehan is part of a large pro AFL media phalanx in Melbourne with the default setting locked into having a crack at world football whenever an opportunity presents itself. Malcolm Conn from cricket Australia is another repeat offender…don’t get me started on that guy!

            • November 20th 2017 @ 4:01pm
              Jack Russell said | November 20th 2017 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

              Most likely AFL fans wouldn’t care.

              You only have to glance over bigfooty and 442 to see that the general attitude of each code’s fans differs greatly.

              In the middle of the A-League season, days after the Socceroos qualification, there are 3 threads on the main page about the AFL on 442. The only thing I could find on bigfooty’s AFL page equivalent is a thread talking about whether AFL clubs should adopt private jet transport similar to what the Socceroos had back from Honduras.

              So I couldn’t see much angst generated by Craig Foster passing comment on an AFL game. If he was right then most would probably agree with him.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 4:05pm
                punter said | November 20th 2017 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

                You have to remember Jack that AFL is the biggest game in the world in 3 states. It’s absolutely massive there. Blanket to blanket coverage, outside of those 3 states, nothing, nada.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 5:47pm
                AR said | November 20th 2017 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

                Amazing, isn’t it?

                We are now deep into the ALeague season, the racing season is over, cricket yet to start, clear air everywhere, WCQ secured…

                …and all ALeague fans can talk about are low crowds, crap tv ratings and AFLX.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 4:58pm
                Hunter said | November 20th 2017 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

                Well said.

                Football fans spend a heck of a lot time talking about AFL. Practically keeping the AFL offseason alive.

          • Roar Rookie

            November 20th 2017 @ 5:02pm
            Grobbelaar said | November 20th 2017 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

            I thought Sheehan was retired, isn’t he about 80 years old now?

            • November 20th 2017 @ 5:51pm
              punter said | November 20th 2017 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

              No idea who he is, it’s these Melbourne football fans who keep complaining about him, we have no idea who is he, what he wrote.

              • November 21st 2017 @ 8:46am
                mattq said | November 21st 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

                exact same punter. never heard of him. wouldn’t even know anything about AFL if it wasn’t for Victorians.

      • November 20th 2017 @ 8:03am
        Fadida said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:03am | ! Report

        Agree AR

        • November 20th 2017 @ 8:20am
          punter said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

          Not all true Fadida, as you know & it’s very strong in Sydney, while the interest in A-League is not high, this does not reflect football, I know, unfortunately, many football fans that just don’t rate the A-league, whereas every AFL fan in Sydney follows the AFL competition, huge difference.

          • Roar Guru

            November 20th 2017 @ 9:07am
            spruce moose said | November 20th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

            Much of that has to do with marketing. I live in the east and in the winter time it is difficult to not be saturated by the Swans marketing. They do a superb job.

            The A-league simply doesn’t seem to want to market the game in Sydney.

            • November 20th 2017 @ 9:24am
              Nemesis said | November 20th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

              I’m intrigued by this. Are people really making decisions about following a sports team based on slick marketing?

              I follow a team because:
              a) I enjoy the sport
              b) have created a connection with the club

              That’s it.
              I don’t care who is the opposition.
              I don’t care who are the players on the pitch.
              I don’t care who is the coach.
              I don’t care who owns the club.

              I want to watch the team, so I find out when the team is playing & I watch.

              That’s how it is for anything in life.

              If I want to watch a TV show, I look up the TV guide & find out when it is broadcast. I don’t need slick marketing.

              If I want to eat in a restaurant, I ring them up and ask when they’re open & reserve a table.

              • Roar Guru

                November 20th 2017 @ 11:32am
                spruce moose said | November 20th 2017 @ 11:32am | ! Report


                It’s remarkable how well the roar knows you – you are exceptionally open about most of your personal likes and dislikes. Your post almost reads like a personal ad in the paper:

                “Man seeking woman. Must be able to convert oxygen to carbon dioxide. I don’t care about anything else.”

                The problem with your post is that you think people are like you. Which is a baffling belief to have. Fortunately the administrators don’t think like you and are about trying to grow the game instead of catering simply to the militantly hardcore such as yourself. You prefer not to see the game grow and get bigger, but others do.

                The only way to grow the game is to market it properly. It doesn’t even need to be slick marketing – it just needs to be visible.

                The swans are in a similar position to Sydney FC. Both are reasonably successful clubs, with high profile players, in a crowded market with only one direct competitor. Yet the swans get incredibly good crowds because they are incredibly good marketers of their product and game day experience.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 11:53am
                Nemesis said | November 20th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

                @spruce moose

                Having spent many hours watching football with fans around the world, I can assure you I am in the majority; not minority.

                The event-watching fans are a new demographic that’s been created by TV broadcasts. And, they only are watching 4-6 of the biggest brand FCs in each of the Top 4 leagues (maybe now PSG can be added to that list).

                The true football fans are the ones who go to games regardless of weather conditions, big name players, or whether their team is losing.

                But, for sure, the event-watchers are only interested in celebrity. They’ll latch on to ManUtd when they’re flying; they’ll buy a Leicester shirt when they win the comp; they’ll now be avid ManCity watchers.

                These people aren’t fans. They’re just people who want to be involved in the latest fad.

              • Roar Guru

                November 20th 2017 @ 12:08pm
                spruce moose said | November 20th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                Again, a post all predicated on the fact that you would refuse to accept new people into the game.

                No doubt there are event watchers, but if 1% of them can be turned into continuing fans, then it’s a victory for the club and for the game. Using Leicester (which is a very apt example), if there is continuing support for Leicester because of their 2016 success, then that’s a fantastic thing.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 12:15pm
                Slane said | November 20th 2017 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

                So how do you make a connection with the team (or book a seat at a restaurant) if you don’t know when the team is playing(or where/when the restaurant is open)?

                “follow a team because:
                a) I enjoy the sport
                b) have created a connection with the club”

                Point ‘a’ is covered. There are millions of football fans in Australia. It’s point ‘b’ that is begging to be addressed. Clearly there are millions of football fans in Australia who have not created a connection with an a-league club. Maybe the very first step could be informing people that the games are being played?

              • November 20th 2017 @ 12:20pm
                Nemesis said | November 20th 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

                “Again, a post all predicated on the fact that you would refuse to accept new people into the game.”

                Utter nonsense. This is not unique to football. It’s how some people approach all sport. You can’t rely on those people to stick with the team every season year after year.

                This is basic common sense. If people require marketing to attend a football match, it means they’re not drawn to the football match; they’re drawn by the spin around the event.

                No event-watcher is going to be drawn to ALeague (other than the Derbies, a couple of fixtures when MV is visiting and the Grand Final) because we do not, and we never will, have a product that event-watchers desire.

              • Roar Guru

                November 20th 2017 @ 12:35pm
                spruce moose said | November 20th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report


                I do understand that as you are single and focused solely on football, you would find it challenging to accept that people don’t always have football on the mind, and people have competing interests or activities, so marketing is used as the edge to get these people – not you – to go.

                You are a market unto yourself.

                Marketing is vital.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 12:48pm
                northerner said | November 20th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

                It’s been pretty well acknowledged for years that the majority of people who might be termed genuine football fans because they actually play or have played the game, do not in fact follow the sport at the professional level in this country. They follow their local team in the NPL or lower tiers, they follow one or another of the European leagues, but they didn’t follow the NSL and they don’t follow the A League. Yet they certainly have as much right to be called football fans as you do.

                The challenge for the FFA has always been, how to convert those football enthusiasts into A League fans. It isn’t going to happen by osmosis, if the last thirty or forty years are anything to go by, so, yes, damn right, it requires marketing. Anyone with any competence in business would understand the importance of getting someone with a taste for football to attend just a couple of games – because after that, the product can sell itself. But getting them to those couple of games is critical.

                And if in the process of marketing to the generic football fan, you also hook some casual sports fans who have a catholic enjoyment of good sporting experiences of whatever code, all the better.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 12:49pm
                Nemesis said | November 20th 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

                “so marketing is used as the edge to get these people – not you – to go”

                Ok. I’m interested in learning more about this.
                I’m keen to understand how much of the untapped “casual sports fan” ALeague is missing out on, because of poor marketing.

                AFL ave crowds 2017 were 34k
                NRL ave crowds 2017 were 15k
                HAL ave crowds 2016/17 were 12.3k

                AFL & NRL have huge marketing budgets.

                Q1) What % would you estimate of the Ave AFL/NRL crowds are driven by marketing?
                Is it, perhaps, 10%? 20%? 50%? higher?

                Q2) How much would you estimate the marketing investment is for AFL/NRL?

              • November 20th 2017 @ 1:04pm
                Nemesis said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report


                About a dozen family & friends attend ALeague matches regularly in Melbourne (i.e. more than half the home matches of City/Victory, or are members). .

                Not one of us attended NSL.
                Not one of us was drawn to ALeague by marketing.

                We were drawn to ALeague because we enjoy watching football, and we now have a team in Melbourne that appeals to us.

                People within the football community don’t need “a taste for football”. They already embrace the sport & they’re willing to spend most of their sporting time involved in low-quality, amateur, or semi-professional sport. They don’t watch ALeague because they’ve got their own club to watch.

                Maybe, your experiences are different, but don’t pretend you have a clue about my observations & experiences.

                Out of interest, have you ever attended an ALeague match since allegedly migrating from Canada?

              • November 20th 2017 @ 1:05pm
                Nemesis said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report


                Seriously, if anyone is unable to find information in the 21st century, my advice would be: get a basic education, before worrying about watching ALeague.

              • Roar Guru

                November 20th 2017 @ 1:24pm
                spruce moose said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

                @ Nemesis

                “We were drawn to ALeague because we enjoy watching football, and we now have a team in Melbourne that appeals to us.”

                HAHAHAHAHAHA! You are SO blind to the bleeding obvious – I’ll see if the wheels in the head spin fast enough for you to learn how the Victory managed to ‘appeal to you’.

                That was the comment of the day.

              • Roar Rookie

                November 20th 2017 @ 2:06pm
                Brendo51 said | November 20th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

                Nemesis I find this statement a little too black and white. There are many types of football fans.

                There are those as you describe above who need very little marketing. They actively seek the fixture, know when games are on, know the players well and switch on to watch with very little selling needed. A lot of the members fall into this group and that is why you don’t need a lot of extra marketing to members. They bought into the club already the club just needs to provide info “Build it and they will come” marketing.

                However there are also a large group of fans, who maybe attend 3-4 games a season, watch on TV regularly but not religiously. Who maybe become a little disinterested if their club is losing or if there isn’t a hook to keep them interested. You see these types of fans at the games all the time, asking who the new guy on the left wing is? And asking how come Rojas isn’t playing today. These people need to be actively marketed to, they need the hype to maintain their interest, that need a ongoing and active connection to the club. They need to be reminded that a big match in coming up on Friday etc etc.

                Then of course there is a causal fan or as some like to call them the threatre goer. Who goes along to because its the thing to do. All his mates have been raving about that Tim Cahill fellow and so he goes along with a few mates after work to check out Victory. Unfortunately Cahill is not playing that night but it was a good night anyway, Victory won with a last minute goal and the noise and atmosphere was fun. This type of fan isn’t the target of active marketing but a different type of promotion. Call it the cool factor, to get them there the A-league has be seen as the “in” sport.

                Of course there are lots of other demographics as well. How do you appeal to the kids and them keep them interested as they become teenagers and then young adults. How do you make the sport attractive to more females and turn them into members. Etc etc.

                It also isn’t always about active marketing, lots of different ways to skin a cat. As an example, how you price your merchandise is a form of marketing. The more kits on kids at training and in the street is a form of passive marketing, reminding people of the club and its popularity (an area that the FFA hasn’t done very well).

              • November 20th 2017 @ 2:20pm
                Nemesis said | November 20th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report


                The very fact you think there are a multitude of subgroups across sports fans suggests there is no marketing that will appeal to all of them. Each group has different drivers & each group requires different marketing.

                What’s the Return on the investment?

                I seriously want to know:

                a) how many of the 34k AFL fans that attended in 2017 are driven by marketing?
                b) how much marketing investment is required to entice these extra fans.

                When we have this info, we can better understand if that is money well spent.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 3:03pm
                Post_hoc said | November 20th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

                I’d love someone to answer Nemisis question. I have never thought about it that way, but he brings up a very valid point. The NRL figures to the A league figures. What is the difference in marketing spend between those two organisations, and how much value for money is that for an average of 3000 people per week. How much does it cost for those 3000 people.

                We are crucifying the FFA for not marketing the game, but do any of those judge, jury and executioners know the real data?

              • November 20th 2017 @ 3:27pm
                chris said | November 20th 2017 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

                Nem and PH how much do AFL and NRL actually spend on marketing? I dont see either of them taking out any more private ads than say football/A-League. In fact I see more A-League advertising in Sydney than NRL. People think the free rides that AFL and NRL get from the media is marketing (and hence dollars spent).

              • November 20th 2017 @ 3:28pm
                Slane said | November 20th 2017 @ 3:28pm | ! Report


                Seriously, if anyone is unable to find information in the 21st century, my advice would be: get a basic education, before worrying about watching ALeague.’

                Why would somebody who has no ‘connection’ to a club bother to look up when said club is playing? This entire article is lamenting the fact that we have so many Football fans in this country and yet so few A-league fans. Your war cry of ‘We don’t want the casuals’ is as unhelpful as it is besides the point. There are hundreds of thousands of football fans who play football every weekend but still don’t feel any ‘connection’ to an A-league game.

                ‘I seriously want to know:

                a) how many of the 34k AFL fans that attended in 2017 are driven by marketing?
                b) how much marketing investment is required to entice these extra fans.’

                The Richmond Tigers averaged 44k fans this season. In their high-profile and well marketed games(Anzac Eve, Dream Time at the G, etc) they averaged crowds over 80k. Since both the NRL and AFL market and advertise their marquee/high-profile games all the time it is a pretty safe assumption that marketing is well worth the moolah.

                I just want the kids I see playing football across the road to take an interest in Victory. They only seem to care about Messi. See the problem?

              • Roar Rookie

                November 20th 2017 @ 3:57pm
                Brendo51 said | November 20th 2017 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

                yep totally agree. No single marketing campaign/medium will appeal to all fans or potential fans. And yes some marketing approaches are more expensive and/or effective then others.

                Does a broad based TV Marketing campaign provide bang for buck is a great question and I would be very surprised if the marketing department at FFA are not scrutinizing the data for an answer to that. Are there more effective ways to reach the target audience (the question every marketing department should be asking every day).

              • November 20th 2017 @ 4:26pm
                Perry Bridge said | November 20th 2017 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

                Marketing as a lead and attendance as a lag,

                that generally is the domain of the clubs – i.e. in signing up members.

                The ‘league’ (FFA/AFL/NRL) central body will do a bit of marketing perhaps of individuals rounds? more so than individual games?. The season launch and things like that come out of head office. Once the season gets underway – the weekly media cycle kicks into gear.

                The centralised body in the AFL in particular is more responsible for TV based marketing and revenues but a good amount of that is locked away via the broadcast rights as ‘contra’.

                Sponsors play their role – for example Toyota “Good for footy” campaign and the NAB campaigns on the back of the NAB Auskick – these aren’t AFL head office marketing. It’s peripheral but helps create the visibility and background noise in the market place.

            • November 20th 2017 @ 10:03am
              punter said | November 20th 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

              There is no doubt marketing plays a huge part or the lack of it from the FFA, it’s also the governance of the game & the agendas from all the major players, amongst other things bringing down the A-league, but I was talking about the difference in the sport of Football, where the average has far more then just the A-League, whereas the AFL only has the AFL.
              The biggest competition for the A-League is not the other codes, it’s the football competitions around the world.

              • Roar Guru

                November 20th 2017 @ 11:32am
                spruce moose said | November 20th 2017 @ 11:32am | ! Report


      • November 20th 2017 @ 8:09am
        valhalla said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:09am | ! Report

        nothing rallies the troops better during a period of hand wringing uncertainty than the naming of a known verifiable enemy ….. in the case of “well ‘ard” soccerinas, self affirmation comes through the continued pursuit of the afl as the enemy of an enlightened and cosmopolitan people …. to wit –

        “When threatened by political or military conflict, man clings ever more stubbornly to these circumstances in an effort to maintain and regulate his sense of self. Members of any given group revert to childhood ways of reenforcing their bonding, developing shibboleths, and investing objects with mystical value. Anyone trying to deal with interethnic or international conflict must grasp the psychological cogency of man’s need to have enemies as well as allies, and his stubborn adherence to identification with a group when undergoing hardship and danger. This need is the basis of political psychology, connecting the public arena of political action with individual psychological development.”

        • November 20th 2017 @ 8:18am
          Fadida said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

          Why are you on here every day valhalla? I thought you’d be on the AFLX tab

      • November 20th 2017 @ 11:45am
        mattq said | November 20th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

        that was the FTA figure. How many Fox viewers were from Sydney?

        • November 20th 2017 @ 7:59pm
          AR said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:59pm | ! Report

          mattq, we don’t get a Foxtel State-breakdown, but the national Fox figure was 59k.

          However you dice it, it’s an abysmal number for the record-breaking Sydney champions on a Saturday night.

          It’s interesting, there was once a guy called ‘Fussball’ who claimed, for years, that the low SBS tv ratings were due to the misrepresentation of SBS in the OzTAM data collection.

          He doesn’t seem to press that argument anymore.

          • November 21st 2017 @ 6:50am
            chris said | November 21st 2017 @ 6:50am | ! Report

            AR just enjoy the ride over the next 9 months. There’s the World Cup draw coming up. Countless high profile friendlies leading up to the WC. Then the actual WC itself. The greatest show on earth (nooo its not the Ashes AR nor the AFL gf). After the WC we start on the 2019 Asian cup journey where Australia will defend its title. If the socceroos arent your thing enjoy the A-League and FFA cup (the final is tonight). You can get out and enjoy your favourite A-League team and see all the stars in the flesh!
            If overseas football is your thing, enjoy La Liga, EPL, Seria A, Bundesliga or the many other leagues played around the world.
            It really never ends!
            Hows that draft going down there? Have they put out the cones for the XAFL?

            • November 21st 2017 @ 7:46am
              AR said | November 21st 2017 @ 7:46am | ! Report

              chris, maybe you’re too young to appreciate this, but I’ve been to several World Cups.

              It really is the biggest show on earth.

              Makes you wonder why Mike Tuckerman and all his readers – the week after we secured WCQ – are talking about:
              – small ALeague crowds
              – crap tv ratings
              – AFLX

              • November 21st 2017 @ 8:57am
                chris said | November 21st 2017 @ 8:57am | ! Report

                Oh which world cups have you been to?
                The article was in reference to the AFL mafia up to their old tricks and trying to hijack any air (another sport (in this case football) may get.

    • November 20th 2017 @ 7:39am
      Sam said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:39am | ! Report

      Mike……Interesting to read your take on insecurity of the AFL???
      Reading this and all the comments so far, seems the insecurity is with the football people rather than the AFL.

      • Roar Rookie

        November 20th 2017 @ 5:04pm
        Grobbelaar said | November 20th 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

        How can you possibly say that?

        Look at all the bad things the AFL does to football!

    • November 20th 2017 @ 7:42am
      Fadida said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:42am | ! Report

      Don’t bag AFLX. It’ll be a sensation. Imagine the high scoring! There’ll be a score every 2-3 kicks, given the ground size. People love high scoring. Perhaps 1000 points might be scored in a single game?

      If it hasn’t taken over the world within 5 years, or at least has a professional league in 100 countries, I will be amazed. kick to kick could even be an Olympic sport?

      As an aside, coming home from my ride in beautiful Newcastle, for the first time in the 4 years I’ve lived here I saw someone playing AFL. Two twentysomethings kicking the ball to each other. Prior to that I’d never even seen a set of goal posts. I put it down to the power of AFLX. It’s starting folks!

      Ps after about 30 seconds they started to throw the ball league and NFL style….

      We need smaller stadiums. Can the City Group not build a 12k stadium in Lego style, allowing expansion down the track? 12k averages in 10-15k stadiums is perfect.

      • November 20th 2017 @ 7:56am
        peeeko said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        Fadida, smaller stadiums seems to be a common theme by all code supporters on the roar. i know its not a “good look” but with the cost of stadiums i htink the money can be better spent. it shouldnt really matter if we have 15k in a 45k seat stadium.

      • November 20th 2017 @ 7:58am
        Kangajets said | November 20th 2017 @ 7:58am | ! Report


        It’s rubbish to say afl doesn’t exist in Newcastle. I play in a 12 team afl competition where each team has 2 or 3 senior grades plus juniors from under 5 to under 18.

        As a football and jets fan in Newcastle, I don’t see afl as a threat , it’s about attracting more people to watch the jets . The advertising needs to be bigger and start letting kids in for free , make it cheaper , , it’s not an overly rich city .

        • November 20th 2017 @ 8:06am
          Fadida said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:06am | ! Report

          I know it exists Kangajet. A neighbour has a son who plays. I’ve just never seen anyone playing

        • Roar Guru

          November 20th 2017 @ 12:52pm
          Griffo said | November 20th 2017 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

          One thing Tinkler did when he took ownership was to realise to get people through the gates, buy merchandise, and even memberships, was to make the ticket price ‘attractive’…ie: cheaper.

          It worked, even during the very tough seasons that followed.

          Prices have been going up and I think it will be hard to run a campaign of 10k/11k memberships in the Tinkler era now with prices climbing as they are, and wallets tightening. This seasons 8.2k memberships could be a whole lot better.

          Not sure what has happened to last season’s community club initiative, where a whole club was allocated a section in the stands, good pricing especially for kids, and paraded pre-game.

          Also last years final home game as a ‘Family day’ with kids in free. A lot of families turned up because they could afford to go.

          Advertising may help (and there is a TV ad about Jets memberships), but other factors, which may be different for each region, need to also be considered.

          • November 20th 2017 @ 5:05pm
            Jack Russell said | November 20th 2017 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

            Jets went broke though.

            When running a business it’s not all about getting people through the door.

            • Roar Guru

              November 20th 2017 @ 6:16pm
              Griffo said | November 20th 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

              That had more to do with Tinkler having too many fingers in other pies and not allowing the cash to flow through to the Hunter Sports Group (then Jets licence holders) as it was funnelled elsewhere when his business empire was crashing around his, and everyone else’s, ears.

              Sure it’s not ‘all’ about getting people through the door, virtual or physical, but it is to some degree otherwise part of this whole discussion today is rather mute.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 11:33pm
                Jack Russell said | November 20th 2017 @ 11:33pm | ! Report

                If the Jets business was successful then it wouldn’t need money to be funnelled into the team. That it did tells you all you need to know – the Jets were bleeding cash under Tinkler.

                Like I said, it’s not just about bums on seats. That’s all great if there’s 15k a game, but if they’re not paying enough to cover costs then the club is not viable. 10k @ $25 each is a far better outcome than 15k @ $10 in the world of professional sport.

            • November 20th 2017 @ 8:00pm
              Kangajets said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:00pm | ! Report

              Tinkler went broke because he bought millions of racehorse amongst other stupid decisions.

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