Does anyone care about the summer of football?

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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374 Have your say

    Will the ‘Summer Football Festival’ be a success? Who knows? But the fact is that preaching to the converted isn’t working, and nor is arrogantly dismissing what football can learn from other sports.

    My fiancée Ashton Rigg is the Content and Social Media Manager at Youfoodz, and thanks to her I watched last night’s clash between Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory from a corporate box.

    It was nice to watch a game while sipping on some free beers and enjoying Suncorp Stadium’s hospitality, and the young lady bringing us our snacks couldn’t possibly have been any nicer.

    As for the game itself… who cares?

    Well, the Aloisi brothers for one. They’ve had a couple of run-ins with supporters at the end of the past few games.

    And the 7,000 fans in attendance cared – or at least a portion of them did. The rest just sat around looking dazed and confused and no doubt unimpressed with the sterile atmosphere.

    Not many on Twitter seemed to care. I saw a few tweets about the game, but mostly it was silent.

    And Fox Sports cared. Enough to produce the same high-quality broadcast they do for every A-League game, at any rate.

    Anyone else? Mainstream Australia couldn’t have cared less. They were all watching the Big Bash League.

    And this mysterious grassroots base of ours – the lazy million or so social players who call themselves football fans despite never setting foot inside an A-League ground – they don’t care.

    Because if they did, they would surely sense that the A-League is in a spot of bother and pitch in to help out.

    A-League crowd empty seats

    (AAP Image/Darren England)

    But you can’t talk sense into people. I should know.

    The second I point out that Brisbane Roar attracted 7,000 fans to Suncorp Stadium for an A-League game just a night after Brisbane Heat drew 27,000 fans to the Gabba for a Big Bash League one, is the second someone in the comments section writes: “apples and oranges” or “look at the size of their broadcast deal” or “it’s just mindless entertainment”.

    It sure is. So what exactly is the A-League? Is it also just entertainment?

    Or is it a sport that demands more respect, one we should put on a pedestal because of its long and proud history?

    Because if it’s the latter, then where are the fans? Not the 7,000 in attendance at Suncorp Stadium – who deserve to be commended – but the rest of them?

    How come we can’t get crowds like Bristol City did at Ashton Gate when they knocked Manchester United out of the League Cup in those unforgettable scenes?

    Is it Football Federation Australia’s fault that the same number of fans aren’t coming to A-League games? Or Fox Sports’? Is it my fault?

    If we were to release a soundtrack for the Summer of Football, surely an apt name for it would be ‘Apathy for Destruction’.

    Because going through the motions and doing the same things we’ve always done is yielding the A-League increasingly diminishing returns.

    Yet pointing this out will bring me nothing but grief from readers of a free website who demand to know why The Roar didn’t run the same match report they can read elsewhere; who criticise Fox Sports’ coverage despite many refusing to pay for it; who insist I offer some solutions when no one else in the game seems able to.

    The truth is that I don’t have any more answers beyond the obvious – ticket prices, marketing, scheduling, connecting to the grassroots.

    But what I do know is that I bought my fiancée a season ticket at the start of the campaign, and increasingly I’m struggling to justify why she should bother to use it.

    The A-League today is not where I thought it would be.

    And that’s a problem for the executives who get paid big bucks to solve.

    Otherwise the only people who care about the next marketing campaign will be the same faceless suits who came up with it.

    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 (374)

    • December 22nd 2017 @ 6:28am
      Swampy said | December 22nd 2017 @ 6:28am | ! Report

      How was the atmosphere with 7000 people in a 54000 seat stadium?

      There is part one of the problem.

      Did Bristol play in a stadium that was 85% empty?

      Our persistence with inappropriate and costly stadia makes the A League hard to watch live or on TV. A huge part of any football experience is the atmosphere generated by the fans.

      The standard of play is often irrelevant to the excitement of a contest. I’ve coached u/9 games with kids who would fall over the ball but if there were enough parents hollering then the games could get the adrenaline rising.

      How much has the Parramatta stadium works hurt the A-League with WSW not providing the aural or visual candy they used to?

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 6:47am
        Waz said | December 22nd 2017 @ 6:47am | ! Report

        yeah, it must be the size of Suncorp stadium why attendances are down 15% across the competition this season …

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:03am
          AR said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:03am | ! Report

          Our stadiums too big…that’s why people don’t turn up.

          Quick, build us a new slightly smaller one!

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:32am
            Waz said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:32am | ! Report

            yeah, i’ll agree with you on this one – they’re turning them away at Hindmarsh, NIB and Central Coast Stadium lol.

            • Columnist

              December 22nd 2017 @ 9:58am
              Mike Tuckerman said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

              Let’s see how many fans turn up at AAMI Park for the Melbourne derby on Saturday night. It is in the opinion of many – including me – the best football ground in Australia.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 10:03am
                Waz said | December 22nd 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

                Well, we’ve already had 6 games there this season. How did they go?

            • December 22nd 2017 @ 12:09pm
              Ken Spacey said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

              But those venues, Coopers especially don’t look so awful on TV and the atmosphere of whatever crowd is there is captured by vision and sound. 17,000 at Suncorp. 22,000 at Etihad, 14,000 at Allianz is almost imploring the curious not to come. Once the ratio of the absent to the missing gets out of whack, you’re screwed. The apparent dissatisfaction with FFA or whoever is all very well but what is missing across the board is a decisive ction plan to solve problems.

              Eg “there’s no parking around Coppers Stadium”
              No you mean there is no free or ‘currently available” parking because the club and tthe FFA etc are too stupid to negotiate ways to access the thousands of mainly unused parking options or ask the govt to run stadia specific transport options.

              Suncorp is a barn “then why not condense the spectator areas by blocking parts ofthe stands with portable advertising hoardings, pottted palms etc or creating exclusive child friendly areas etc.

              “Our club pays too much…” Then get into a profit sharing deal where the venue operator charges less rent but has an incentive to get better crowds in.

              “It’s so hard to get to”. Then do a sponsorship deal or hire your own buses for specific areas. Imagine the goodwill created by doing this in concert with NPL clubs as transit points. Adelaide’s premier beach side tourist suburb is Glenelg. The tram running from there ends at Coopers Stadium. Do I have to explain to Mr Griffin how that opens up several possibilities?

              Time to stop repeating the problems and finding some solutions.

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:50am
        Jordan said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:50am | ! Report

        I was there last night and will be going to every Roar game in the future, but it really isn’t a compelling product right now.

        Roar are a bad team playing bad football. Which is fine, all teams have ups and down and its at this time that true fans show their support. But when it’s in a stadium that completely lacks atmosphere, you don’t get much value for your money. I need to see a performance or I need to see atmosphere (preferably both). Last night, and a few games at Suncorp this year, I haven’t felt like I’ve got either. I’ll still keep turning up, but I respect if others don’t.

        The solution for Roar is to either a) play excellent football all the time and get 15,000 regular season and 20,000 in finals or b) move to a 20,000 seat stadium. The first suggestion is obviously not realistic, and the second, while realistic, is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

        I will allow others to comment on the state of the A-League via the prism of their respective teams, but in my opinion Roar will always be a nobody team whilst they play at Suncorp.

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:03am
          Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:03am | ! Report


          What roar is experiencing is what it felt like to be a jets fan for 10 years . Stick behind your team buddy .

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:15am
            Fadida said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

            Exactly Kanga. Roar have one bad season and the fans jump off

            • December 22nd 2017 @ 12:49pm
              Realfootball said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

              It’s tough, though, when your team has an utterly incompetent coach.

              I’m voting with my feet and not going back to Suncorp until he and his boys club are gone.

              The only question now is how many losses that will take.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 2:57pm
                Fadida said | December 22nd 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                I raise you Phil Stubbins

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 6:18pm
                Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

                I raise u Mark jones

            • December 22nd 2017 @ 1:43pm
              Ian said | December 22nd 2017 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

              Which Roar fans are jumping off?

              My family was there.

              We will be back again on the 5th January and 8th January to see SFC and WSW.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 2:58pm
                Fadida said | December 22nd 2017 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

                7k weren’t there…..

        • Columnist

          December 22nd 2017 @ 10:01am
          Mike Tuckerman said | December 22nd 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

          Cheers for the insight, Jordan. It was a pretty flat out atmosphere, wasn’t it? Although I’ve got to give credit to The Den and those around for them for at least trying to generate some noise.

          We all know a 25,000-seater stadium would do wonders for football in Brisbane, but is it a realistic ambition?

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 12:08pm
            pauli said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

            If we kicked out the YMCA from Perry Park and told the cashed up NIMBYs to mind their own business, it’s entirely possible. But, you know, reality.

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 12:13pm
            pauli said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

            Futhermore, as much as the Den cops it from southerners and football “elites” who think there’s only one way to have active support, I have always (even as someone who supports a team other than BR) admired what they have tried to do, at times trying to incorporate others in the stadium. They’ve done this despite the cavernous stadium, the off-field rubbish and the sheer lack of hype around their beloved club in a town dominated by the Broncos and the Heat. Anyone else would have walked away, but they’ve stayed true and still generate as much noise as perhaps 3x the number of rugby fans in the same venue.

            • December 22nd 2017 @ 12:52pm
              Waz said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

              I copied that and sent it on to the Den leadership group. thanks ?

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 5:58pm
            steve said | December 22nd 2017 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

            Unless its privately funded, it wont be happening.

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 10:23am
        Alicesprings said | December 22nd 2017 @ 10:23am | ! Report

        7000 crowd..inflated much?? No way 1 in 7 seats were filled.

        There are 26 bays in the bottom tier (excluding the corner sections) at Suncorp. Lets say there was an average of 100 fans in each bay – there’s 2600. Maybe add a few hundred for those in the second tier and corporates like Mike. Where was everyone hiding?

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 11:09am
          LuckyEddie said | December 22nd 2017 @ 11:09am | ! Report

          Probably the same people that count the NRL crowds. The standard of maths is hitting an all time low.

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 1:13pm
            punter said | December 22nd 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

            Must be a NSW & QLD thing, because I struggle to believe the crowds at GWS, Swans, Lions & Suns as well.
            I swear the Suns & Giants count feet.

            • December 24th 2017 @ 2:18am
              Mitcher said | December 24th 2017 @ 2:18am | ! Report

              Why would the swans have to fudge figures? Genuine question.

      • December 25th 2017 @ 10:37am
        Arto said | December 25th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        Anyone expecting different stadia to be used for A-League games isn’t really thinking things through. Unless some super rich soccer philanthropist send in a whole bunch of council applications that the clubs involved have already agreed to, there aren’t going to be any changes anytime soon. The NSW govt. is already copping it big-time for their planned revamps of Allianz & ANZ so I can’t see them backing something more ’boutique’in size.

        These are the stadia we have so let’s focus on using them mire effectively.

    • December 22nd 2017 @ 6:49am
      Waz said | December 22nd 2017 @ 6:49am | ! Report

      You’re a glutton for punishment Mike.

      There’s no point looking beyond the core Supporters, the 60-80,000 people who are (or were) prepared to turn up most weekends.

      To a large number of them, the A League has become a joke, a laughing stock, and what’s coming next the FFA deserve. It’s going to be ugly.

      • Columnist

        December 22nd 2017 @ 10:01am
        Mike Tuckerman said | December 22nd 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

        “You’re a glutton for punishment Mike.” Tell me about it!

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 12:03pm
        Greg said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

        Is anyone going to ask what the Roar did to promote the game last night?

        Or is it just easier the blame the FFA for the garbage the roar are throwing up at the moment and minimal promotion all a-league clubs are putting in at their local level?

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 12:17pm
          Fadida said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

          Good question

          • Columnist

            December 22nd 2017 @ 12:42pm
            Mike Tuckerman said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

            Given that FFA controls the marketing of the A-League, a more salient question would be to ask why they did to promote the game.

            • December 22nd 2017 @ 2:57pm
              Bfc said | December 22nd 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

              Surely the Roar also bear some responsibility for promoting the game…if purely out of self interest. The National body (FFA) may have oversee the HAL, but clubs would be negligent if they didn’t actively promote their ‘home’ games…we are season ticket holders, so attend all games as possible, but what is being done by our club to attract the ‘casual’ supporter?

            • December 22nd 2017 @ 4:31pm
              Greg said | December 22nd 2017 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

              They do not control the marketing of the A-League! This is the very thinking that has the competition in a plateau at the moment. FFA play a role through competition wide promotion, but the local level promotion is very much in the hands of the club. They take the income from the gates, it is in their interest to actually make an effort where it matters most – in their local area!

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 12:55pm
            Waz said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

            It would be a good question if crowds weren’t don’t across the entire competition along with tv viewing. The FA have $12m set aside for marketing the A League, why wouldn’t we blame them for a shambles of a season??

    • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:00am
      AR said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:00am | ! Report

      Ratings and crowds reflect the interest in a professional sports competiton.

      It’s as simple as that. Same for every other sport.

      Crowds may wax and wane from one season to the next (fixture, weather, a new marquee, my dog is sick, whatever), but we have 12 years of data for the ALeague.

      There’s no real mystery…other than the insistence of some who claim there are a million lazy or dumb ‘supporters’ who don’t know how to watch ALeague games.

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:30am
        Waz said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:30am | ! Report

        And until this season we can say about 1.8 million people attend A League games each season, generating an average crowd not too far from that of the NRL, gets average tv audiences about a quarter of NRL/AFL for a fraction of the price, and gets crowds/tv viewership that basketball, netball, baseball would die for. So yes, there’s lots of interest there. Is that what you meant?

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:51am
          AR said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

          “So yes, there’s lots of interest there. Is that what you meant?”

          Yes exactly.

          There is very healthy, very stable support for the ALeague…even in ‘down’ years.

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:55am
          not so super said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

          a quarter for a fraction? ialways thought a 1/4 was a fraction. average crowds are now 11k, that is a long wa below NRL and likely to fall further

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 10:31am
            Alicesprings said | December 22nd 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

            NRL average crowd for 2017 was 14919. HAL was 12650.

            Both codes are strugglingly for crowds but the NRL is hardly way out in front.

            Give it a couple years and those figures could easily be reverse.

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 1:15pm
            R King said | December 22nd 2017 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

            Sorry Waz, but I have to defend you [not that I think you aren’t capable of doing so yourself]

            So Not So Super, If you read what was written you might understand the statement made.

            The NRL/AFL get a lot more money when you compare it to the A League [so the A League are getting a fraction of the money] but their TV audience is about a quarter of either the NRL or the AFL. Fox I think would be pretty happy with the situation.

            Waz also thinks that other sporting codes would love to have the following the A League has got and he is most likely right.

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:58am
        Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        A r

        Ratings are a guess , but crowd figures are a reflection on where we are at .
        That position is better then 12 years ago of the nsl

        No the A league will not match the Epl for crowds but I honestly don’t care . I can live with that .

        It’s only 20 years that rugby league in Sydney would get 20000 crowds every week . That went downhill too. Now nrl is reliant on the dinosaur that is mainstream media . So basically on life support in 5 years . Rugby league is near extinction at junior and country levels , that is not an exaggeration.

        The only code I see making any small growth is afl is growing in country nsw, so that’s a positive.

        The ups and downs of following a team or sport are obvious. And for Brisbane and some A league fans are not enjoying at the moment.
        That’s life my friend

        Merry Xmas

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:17am
          Cathar Treize said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:17am | ! Report

          ‘Near Extinction’ LOL Also AFL hype I see makes an appearance. You remind me of Peter FitzSimons. RL regos in the country are on the increase again driven by the sport’s links with touch & tag footy that is starting to trickle into the tackle version. The womens RL version is also seeing small towns/villages that haven’t had RL in years, appear again on the radar. Lot of work still to be done but certainly not the picture you paint & with the NRL’s big increase in TV monies I’m already seeing the CRL advertise for people to join its development teams throughout NSW, for example. AFL has had the luxury of big TV deals & big corp support from NAB Bank while RL was screwed by Newsltd/Nine prior.

          RL’s a tough sport & country people may not be as tough as they once were, but the sports making big adjustments to this change & the results are positive. AFL in my neck of the woods has to join up with clubs over the border in QLD just to continue & going by the number of foreits, soccer is the only contact sport able to brag about growth which is exceptional.

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:27am
            Steve said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:27am | ! Report

            Haha, thanks for the laugh

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:31am
            Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report


            Maybe in far north nsw where I think u may be from rugby league is recovering, but I have played coached and followed league for 40 years and never seen the numbers so low , and this is in the hunter valley , a heartbeat of rugby league . I wish rl a recovery. Just re the Afl , the Newcastle afl competition now has 16 women’s teams alone as well as 12 first grade etc . That’s massive growth for afl.

            I can co exist with all these sports and snipe at me all u want .

            Merry Xmas

            • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:57am
              not so super said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

              maybe next year you should start quoting facts rather than nonsense?

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 10:03am
                Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

                Not so super

                What facts are missing

                Maybe you should ask a genuine question instead of sprouting about nothing .

                Merry Xmas super

          • Roar Guru

            December 22nd 2017 @ 10:29am
            Redb said | December 22nd 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report


    • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:07am
      jamesb said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:07am | ! Report

      I feel like the genre of articles from Mike needs to change. We are going around in circles. Is there something new to be said today, or has it already been told many times over?

      I like to see the Roar have a live Q and A session with David Gallop.

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:17am
        Fadida said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        This is Mike, find the negative and keep on running with it

    • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:12am
      Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      The Christmas grinch mike Tuckerman, you must be so much fun to be around .

      Maybe get out of the corporate box and get in the den and try to be part of the solution.

      Mike you are part of the problem.

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:24am
        Waz said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

        Unfortunately he’s not part of the problem.

        Mikes done his bit, he’s bought his fiancée a Roar membership and – despite supporting the Smurfs – regularly attends Brisbane games, all last season he wrote a positive and interesting article for the Brisbane match-day program, and I’ve even caught Mike buying food and drink inside Suncorp contributing even more to everyone’s coffers. I bump in to Mike on regular occasions and we’re never in the corporate boxes when that happens so that little barb was unfair.

        What Mike has done is write about the problems in our game and too many people, for a few years now, have been content to attack the messenger and the message, and not look at the cause. Mike and his articles are not the cause.

        The A League is a complete mess this season, and positive articles written in denial won’t change that. It’s a mess.

        If Mike has made one mistake in this article it’s in believing there were 27,000 people at the Gabba the night before, if he checks with his mates at Fox he’ll find it was about half that.

        But all the rest – we have big problems so don’t shoot the messenger!

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:31am
          AR said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:31am | ! Report

          This is a good comment.

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:51am
          Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report


          You are correct and I was harsh on mike

          But he is in a negative cycle now . It’s like listrning to a person with depression over and over . It’s a viscous cycle .

          I suggest Mike take a break from the game and writing , enjoy life and then come back when he actually has something positive to offer .

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:20am
            Waz said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

            Don’t get me wrong, the negative articles are getting me down too but the solution lies with the FFA, HAL owners and now FIFA. it beggars belief that Gallop and O’Rourke still have a job but they do ?

            • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:33am
              Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:33am | ! Report

              To waz and mike .

              Keep the faith. I truly don’t believe gallop and lowy will last or Aloisi

              Brisbane Roar will be much better next season .
              Heads up

              Merry Xmas

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:09am
          Onside said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:09am | ! Report

          Totally agree Waz.

          And Kangajets, do you have any ideas mate, that might help turn things around.

          For example , you must have a few friends who used to be part of the Den, who
          these days are no longer as enthusiastic as they once were about attending.

          The Den, is the supporters coalface. From the Dens perspective, what do you
          and your mates think should be done to bring ‘old’ members back.

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:23am
            Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:23am | ! Report


            I’m a jets fan . Despite having a winning season the jets are about 4000 fans short of what they roughly get .

            The squadron has regathered on social media this week . I expect abt 1500 in the noisy section

            As for getting family to attend , it’s actually really expensive. Newcastle is not an overly wealthy city .. so tonigjt all kids get in free.

            I actually think kids should get in free every game to reduce the cost .

            So there’s my thoughts

            Merry Xmas

            • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:47am
              Onside said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

              Merry Christmas to you and your family Kangajets.

              That’s an idea, kids admitted free.

    • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:15am
      RandyM said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      overcrowded local sports market, easy access to global comps like EPL, NBA, BundasLiga etc, other summer entertainment options… There is just too many things all competing for attention. A League is well down the pecking order for many…

      BBL is wildly successful cause it’s a very short season and its mindless entertainment for the short attention spans. You know you’re going to see a heap of 6’s and close run chase.

      • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:00am
        Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

        Even the bbl crowds are underwhelming too, not sold out in Sydney derby , empty seats galore at Brisbane. Swings and roundabouts

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:21am
          Waz said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

          13-14k in Brisbane apparently. Not even close to the reported crowd.

          • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:08am
            spruce moose said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

            Do you have proof of that?

            We do need to be careful here. Part of the problem is that people will ignore the A-league concerns by default fobbing off other sports achievements as fiction.

            • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:35am
              Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report


              Nobody is fobbing off any a league concerns by stating bbl crowds are down

              I still enjoy the A league . I just don’t have unrealistic expectations that it will be as big as the Epl

              Merry Xmas spruce

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:55am
                spruce moose said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

                Me too (I posted similar thoughts below).

                Happy holidays to you to. Enjoy the break!

            • December 22nd 2017 @ 10:06am
              Waz said | December 22nd 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

              Proof Super? No more than I have proof there were 7k there last night even though it looked less.

              But that 13-14k cane from someone in the media that was there that night.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 11:34am
                LuckyEddie said | December 22nd 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                We have to be realistic in that crowds for all sport including the AFL are dropping. The AFL has a lot of give aways for some games to just get a few in the stadium. NFL crowds in the USA are dropping so it could be a trend in that a lot of people are at home on life support – attached to some IT device.

                Where as sport used to be the big thing it seems cyber space might be eroding the interest in sport – SAD.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 12:48pm
                Aligee said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

                Wrong, AFL crowd averages after a big drop due to the GC and GWS joining have been going up for the last 2 or 3 years, they will go up again next year due to new Perth stadium and Richmond drawing them in.

                GWS crowd average has risen every year since its inception.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 1:32pm
                Nemesis said | December 22nd 2017 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

                AFL crowds are going up because of 1 market. The Adelaide market with the new stadium.

                Even that market is not great.

                Port Adelaide crowds were down last year & down 15% on 5yrs ago.
                Crows crowds were down last year & virtually the same as they were in 1993.

                Here are some FACTS about AFL crowds that the media conveniently ignores

                2017 AFL Crowds

                1) Brisbane Lions: DOWN 50% from 2004; lower ave than 20 years ago
                2) Carlton: DOWN 30% on 6yrs ago; lower crowds than mid 1990s
                3) Collignwood: DOWN 25% ON 5 yrs ago; lower crowds than mid 1990s
                4) Essendon: DOWN on 10yrs ago, lower crowds than late 1990s
                5) Hawthorn: DOWN 15% on 5 yrs ago, lower crowds than late 1990s

                Do you see the trend? Or, should I keep going?

                So, let’s not make stuff up. AFL crowds are strong, but AFL crowds in Melb have gone backwards over the past 20 years.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 3:12pm
                Casper said | December 22nd 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

                Nemesis – very selective in your stats there. Essendon average about 50k over the last 20 years. Sometimes slightly higher or lower depending on how the team is going or who the opposition is. Etihad being their main home ground from 2000 also ha s an affect.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 22nd 2017 @ 2:20pm
                Grobbelaar said | December 22nd 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

                That is damning, I knew they were making it up when they said their crowds increased in 2017.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 2:45pm
                LuckyEddie said | December 22nd 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

                Good work Nemisis your stats are very helpful in getting an honest assessment of crowds.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 3:02pm
                duecer said | December 22nd 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                Nemisis – you’re just cherry picking to try and prove a point.
                Lions have been woeful for ages, Carlton not much better, Essendon had the whole drugs saga, Hawthorn missed the 8 as did Collingwood.
                Why not mention Richmond, Bulldogs etc.
                The facts are AFL crowds up 7% this year, NRL crowds down 2% this year, will have to wait on A league crowds.
                It would be nice to get an independent view instead of rusted on supporters like Cathar and Nemisis and some AFL folk who just talk up their sport to the point they can’t accept what’s actually fact.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 3:36pm
                Deladi said | December 22nd 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

                Actually Nemesis average crowds in the AFL have gone up by 2000 over the past year. Nothing made up about that fact.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 5:19pm
                Nemesis said | December 22nd 2017 @ 5:19pm | ! Report


                There is nothing selective about my data.

                Go to this website:

                Only 1 AFL club in Melbourne has grown its home attendances over the past 20 years.

                A club like North Melb in 2017 got lower home crowds than it got in 1985. That’s 32 years and they’ve gone backwards.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 5:56pm
                Kangajets said | December 22nd 2017 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

                Go north Melbourne

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 6:41pm
                Aligee said | December 22nd 2017 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

                And after all that some clubs up, some down, some in, some out, AFL crowd averages have gone up year upon year for the last 3 year, that is the ultimate fact.

                Either 3rd or fourth highest average in world sport.

                Will rise again next year with the new Perth stadium.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:05pm
                Nemesis said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

                “And after all that … AFL crowd averages have gone up year upon year”

                The average season crowd across the whole AFL competition (not just a club here and there) in 2017 was lower than it was in 1998.

                So, even on that point, you are wrong.

                In addition to the average home crowds for the Melbourne franchises being lower than they were 20 years ago, the whole AFL competition’s crowds in 2017 were lower than 20 years ago.

                And, remember, the AFL has a compromised fixture to ensure the fixtures that draw high crowds (all the Derbies) are played twice, but the fixtures that draw low crowds are played once.

                If the AFL had a proper 34 match H&A season like all proper sporting competitions with 18 teams, then it’s not unreasonable to think the average crowds would plummet even further.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 7:49pm
                northerner said | December 22nd 2017 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

                Nemesis: you claim to have some expertise in statistics, so you should know that you don’t cherry pick data to try to prove a point. It’s intellectually dishonest to select isolated high or low points and claim they represent a trend.

                Incidentally, it’s a dead give-away that you’re cherry picking when you pick different dates for your comparisons – mid 90s for some, late 90s for others. No one with real genuine statistical understanding does that because it’s deliberately misleading. It’s even worse when you get some of your “data” wrong.

                You say that Port’s attendance were down last year and down 15% on five years ago. Attendance was indeed down in 2017, at 38136 – but the last four years were still the highest attendances for the club since it entered the AFL, and well ahead of the numbers five years ago. Average attendance in 2013 was 26,915 and in 2012, a lowly 19,911.

                You claim that Adelaide’s crowds were down this past year and comparable to 1993. True as isolated statements but hardly true as a depiction of a trend. Adelaide has had average crowds of over 46,000 in each of the last four years. It has managed figures like that only once previously in its time in the AFL – that’s right, 1993. How odd that you picked an anomalous year to try and prove stagnation, when the real story is quite different. Adelaides figures have ranged in the high 30s to low 40s for most of the time the club has been in the AFL. The last 4 years have all been well above historic averages.

                How about Essendon? You say down on 10 years ago, lower than the late 90s. I say, up 50% last year, and higher than all but one year in the last 15. See, I can cherry pick data too. The fact is that Essendon’s figures are all over the place, with no particular trend obvious at the moment, though last year was a return to a 50,000+ average for the first time in a decade. Again, you picked dates to prove a point, rather than to depict what has really been going on there.

                Hawthorn? You claim that the club’s attendance last year was down (true) and lower than in “the late 90s” Actually, 2017 attendance was lower than in 1999 (which was at the time the highest attendance ever) but higher than every other year in the 90s, late, middle or early. And that 1999 record has been surpassed 8 times in the last 18 years, so I’d hardly call declining attendances a “trend.”

                How about Carlton? Lower than in the mid 90s, you say? Actually, crowds last year were higher than all but one year in the mid 90s. The real trend is that Carlton had a purple patch from 2008 through to 2013, when attendances ranged in the mid to high 40s, peaking at over 50,000 before reverting to the mean – which is high 30s. There is a trend there, but it’s not the one you’re trying to depict.

                I can’t be bothered looking up the data for the other clubs – everyone knows the Lions are a basket case so their downward trend, and the disaster area that is Gold Coast, no doubt impact heavily on AFL figures. And GWS isn’t exactly a ray of sunshine either.

                Another reality check: attendance overall has been pretty stable for over twenty years, sometimes up, sometimes down, but circling a mean of around 33 to 34,000. It is certainly an “alt fact” to claim that the overall attendance is lower than 20 years ago:

                2017 total attendance 6734062
                1997 total attendance 5842591

                Average attendance over that whole period has been in the 32,000 to 37,000 range that whole time.

                If you don’t understand statistics, fine. But if you do, and are producing these kinds of figures to “prove” your case, you’re just another wannabee Trumpite who won’t let a fact get in the way of a belief

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 8:28pm
                Nemesis said | December 22nd 2017 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

                I’ve provided FACTS.

                Not opinion, or even analysis. Just FACTS.

                You don’t like that the facts tell us AFL clubs in Melb have lower home crowds in 2017 than 20 years ago.

                Too bad. If you find any fact that is incorrect, point it out. Otherwise your input is of no consequence.

              • December 22nd 2017 @ 9:37pm
                Aligee said | December 22nd 2017 @ 9:37pm | ! Report

                LOL, not only did you not bother to quote me correctly, you didn’t either bother to quote the full sentence, an absolute novice.

                You are a joke.

                My quote -” AFL crowd averages have gone up year upon year for the last 3 years,”

                What you quoted i said – – “AFL crowd averages have gone up year upon year” …..

                Why do you really bother, seriously!

              • December 23rd 2017 @ 12:45am
                AR said | December 23rd 2017 @ 12:45am | ! Report

                It’s hard to know what’s funnier…

                – Fuss claiming (incorrectly) that AFL crowds have gone down in the past 20 years. A quick google shows this is false.

                – Fuss claiming (incorrectly) that AFL crowds in Melbourne have gone down in the past 20 years. A quick google shows this is false.

                – Fuss actually having the gall to atttack the AFL for…wait for it…crowd numbers.

                Popcorn time.

              • December 23rd 2017 @ 8:48am
                Nemesis said | December 23rd 2017 @ 8:48am | ! Report

                For those interested in facts as they are, not facts as the AFL fanboys want them to be told, then here is the source for AFL attendances from 1921.


                Ave crowds in 2017 were lower than the average crowds in 1998.

                Not my opinion.
                This is a FACT.

                And, if you dig into the data for each club, you will see the same picture emerge for every Melbourne AFL club (except Richmond) – the 2017 average crowds for each Melbourne Club in 2017 was lower than the crowds they attracted in the 1990s.

                Swans, Lions, Suns, Power, Eagles, Fremantle… all their 2017 crowds were lower than they were at various stages in the past.

                No growth.
                Stagnation at best.
                Erosion at worst.

              • December 23rd 2017 @ 9:16am
                Redondo said | December 23rd 2017 @ 9:16am | ! Report

                Correct Nemesis. And AFL crowds look even worse when adjusted for inflation i.e. population growth. It seems none of those people making up the 30% increase in Melbourne’s population over the last 20 years have any interest in AFL.

              • December 23rd 2017 @ 10:12am
                duecer said | December 23rd 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

                Lets get this straight Nemisis – for a comp to be considered as ‘growing’, every single team in that comp must have a higher average that at any time in their past? This seems to be what you’re saying.
                You ignore the fact that Suns and GWS bought in post 97 have very poor averages and therefore would drag the average down.
                Redondo then brings in the notion, which is correct, that when adjusted for population growth crowds are down further. The only fault with that statement is that it is also true for the A League and moreso the NRL – they are performing even worse when this metric is applied.

              • Roar Guru

                December 23rd 2017 @ 11:13am
                The_Wookie said | December 23rd 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

                Heres an actual fact. Crowds in Melbourne for the AFL are up 7% over the 1998 figures. Average crowds in Melbourne have risen from 38,014 to 40,851 since 1998.

                The total number is down an entire 1%, but theres also 9 less games in Melbourne for 2017 than there in 1998.

                Thats facts. And using the same source Nemesis did.

              • December 23rd 2017 @ 11:26am
                Nemesis said | December 23rd 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

                “theres also 9 less games in Melbourne for 2017 than there in 1998.”

                Surely, common sense tells us that the fewer games played, the average will rise?

                If each Melbourne team only played 1 match each season in Melbourne, each of the 9 Melbourne teams would likely have that home match sold out.

                But, if each Melbourne team played 17 home matches, we know that will not happen.

                Having said that, the majority of home matches played by the Melbourne teams are Melbourne Derbies.

                This puts into clear perspective how few fans of each club actually attend matches.

                If 28,000 attend Bulldogs vs North Melbourne (Etihad, 24/6/2017) it means 14k from each team bothered to turn up to watch the best players in the world & best teams in the world playing in the best competition in the world. Or, if more from one team turned up, then it means even fewer from the other Melbourne team bothered to attend.

              • December 23rd 2017 @ 12:39pm
                AR said | December 23rd 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

                Here are some facts (using Fuss’ source):

                Since 1997…

                – Total AFL crowds are up.
                – Average AFL crowds are up.
                – Average MCG crowds are up.
                – Average Docklands crowds are up (since it opened in 2000).

              • December 23rd 2017 @ 6:20pm
                Perry Bridge said | December 23rd 2017 @ 6:20pm | ! Report


                I love your point of reference.

                Brisbane Lions down 50% from 2004.

                Okay – yes, 2004 was a GF year (they lost to Port) after having gone 3-peat in 2001, 2002, 2003. Since then – the QLD market has been split with the introduction of the Suns. And currently – the Lions are the wooden spooners. So – what point are you trying to make on the basis of that??

                Carlton – in the mid 1990s – won a premiership in 1995. This year they were bottom 4.

                Collingwood – this year Essendon hosted the Anzac Day clash and Melbourne hosted the Queens Birthday clash – what you’ll notice is the Collingwood home average goes up or down season to season on the basis of the hosting of those matches.

                Hawthorn 5 years ago were a premiership team heading into a 3-peat. This year they missed the finals.

                Essendon – yes – they hosted Anzac Day, and Hawthorn in Rnd 1, Let’s even humour you – 1999, they average about 57K for 11 home matches – compared to 50,800 this year. Both years they hosted Anzac Day. In 1999 both Ess and Carl were in contention and drew heavily both H&A games. Importantly though – Essendon was playing home matches at the MCG – Etihad didn’t exist yet (well, operationally) – so, hosting interstate sides such as West Coast they drew 55K. Yes – you can cram that many into Etihad – however – that doesn’t happen. Not with the Medallion Club and the extreme parking cost ($30 at Etihad vs $10 at MCG).

                And – importantly – since the mid 1990s – the ranks of interstate sides has swelled with the addition of the Suns and Giants. While not every club hosts them – what it does mean is that between Freo, Port, Suns, Giants – there more low drawing clubs that if you draw 2 or more then you average home attendance gets hit. Essendon did very well with at least 40k for such games.

                Nothing to worry about amongst all of that.

                And the effect of success – Richmond this year had a 12K better average than the BEST year of any in the 1990s.

                Funny that.

              • December 23rd 2017 @ 7:50pm
                Kangajets said | December 23rd 2017 @ 7:50pm | ! Report

                Perry bridge

                Merry Xmas too you and the rest of the Afl fraternity.

              • December 24th 2017 @ 9:37am
                Redondo said | December 24th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

                I can’t believe you AFL guys are still talking about this. Just accept the facts i.e. compared to 1998 (20 years ago):

                – AFL average attendances are down
                – AFL total attendance is up only marginally (way below population increase)

                The Football crowd accept that A-League attendances are down and are discussing ways to fix the problem. Why do you AFL guys so vehemently deny AFL has the same problem?

                I’ll answer for you. It’s because if the only national Aussie Rules competition in the world fails then the sport will quite likely shrivel up and die. You Aussie Rules guys are riddled with angst because the AFL is probably your sport’s only barrier against extinction.

                You should just enjoy what you have while you have it – it’s not going to get much better and will gradually get worse and worse. Your sport is not dead yet but you are already in denial – the first stage of grieving. Relax, enjoy a Football-rich Christmas.

              • December 24th 2017 @ 10:15am
                Alicesprings said | December 24th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

                Redondo check out, the site also does NRL crowds, would be great if someone would get a similar table up and running for the HAL.

                1997 total AFL crowds 6403814 average = 34615

                2017 total AFL crowds 7287880 average = 35207

                Remember next year the AFL will see a significant increase in average and total crowds with the new Perth stadium coming on line and resurgent Melbourne clubs. Likewise HAL crowds will bounce back hard once Parramatta Stadium is completed and Brisbane sorts its self out!

              • December 24th 2017 @ 10:41am
                Alicesprings said | December 24th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

                While we are talking crowds whats with the discrepancy in the reported crowd figure for last nights game??

                ABC say there were 2k more than the HAL website.

                Looked like more than 20k there last night.

              • December 24th 2017 @ 11:24am
                Nemesis said | December 24th 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

                “While we are talking crowds whats with the discrepancy in the reported crowd figure for last nights game??

                ABC say there were 2k more than the HAL website.”

                Maybe, ABC hired that girl that AFL uses to count the crowd?

        • December 22nd 2017 @ 12:14pm
          pauli said | December 22nd 2017 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

          Really? Economy must be stuffed then.

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