Round 27 did little else but confirm the fact that Sydney FC are ready to launch a compelling case for back-to-back titles.

A repeat championship, on top of the FFA Cup and premier’s plate, would be an outstanding achievement, and one predicted by many early in the season.

Quite simply, Sydney have hardly put a foot wrong.

But for shock losses to the Mariners and Roar, and an unlikely defeat at the hands of ten brilliant men from Newcastle, the Sky Blues have rarely faltered and are justified favourites.

Snatching away the title from the boys in blue will take something special from the three teams remaining.

The future holds serious challenges in the post-Graham Arnold era. Social media has been alight with fans fearing a Tony Popovic-led Harbour City, although his own rhetoric appears to deny this. Concerns over the new ‘boss’ have dominated conversation and seemed to distract the group, as soon as the announcement of Arnold’s appointment to the national position was made.

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold

AAP Image/Joe Castro

The players’ focus was affected amidst the demands of the Asian Champions League campaign.

Concerns around player retention will always circle. The club’s ability to draw quality has been the secret to their run of success and maintaining Milos Ninkovic, Bobo, Adrian Mierzejewski and Jordi Buijs in the same squad, while paying their true value, will be difficult.

Powerful Asian clubs with sizeable chequebooks are always lurking and whether it be a straight-out sale or a more strategic transfer window deal mid-season, Sydney’s list will continue to be under pressure in the coming months.

Throw in some quality homegrown talent – such as Alex Brosque, Brandon O’Neill, Michael Zullo and current Socceroo Josh Brillante – and the problem is magnified. The impressive collection of tools is humming along once again and will undoubtedly take some beating.

In terms of preparedness, the Jets have looked anything but. Until Round 27 that was. Even keeping in mind the disastrous season for the Mariners and their lack of commitment over the final few weeks, it was a stunning form reversal and much needed.

Up to that point, and coming off consecutive losses to Perth, City and Adelaide, questions were rightfully asked.

Losing Andrew Nabbout stung, representative selection for Dimitri Petratos was joyous yet difficult to manage, and when captain Nigel Boogaard broke his tibia, some Ernie Merrick magic was required.

The long-awaited return of Ronald Vargas has helped and he will have a key role to play in the finals campaign. However, whether Newcastle have what it takes to ride the wave of success all the way to glory is questionable.

In their defence, they have been playing in a vacuous space lately, with little to gain or lose from their last month of football. If the thrashing of the Central Coast was a true return to form, everybody else had better look out.

Ernie Merrick of the Jets

Ernie Merrick of the Jets (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

The entire concept of Melbourne City being ready is bizarre. They always look ready on paper yet perennially disappoint, despite possessing the quality to succeed.

In another campaign where their early form suggested this could be the year, they battled through the middle part of the season; wobbly and unstable.
Despite never threatening Sydney’s mantle atop the ladder, they have managed to win when expected despite losing ten games for the season.

Just recently, something strange has occurred. City appear made of steel; gaining a resolve and fortitude that was always lacking in days of old. No doubt Warren Joyce has played a key role in this and wonderboy Daniel Arzani has helped out along the way.

Bruno Fornaroli’s return has been a success and reminded a few people of the damage he once inflicted on defences when at the peak of his powers.

That resolve was never more on show that in the elimination final victory against Brisbane, where they were polished, professional and clinical. The feeling that City might be ready for something special has since grown stronger by the day.

The final combatant in the semi-finals was only confirmed late Sunday as Melbourne Victory defeated Adelaide at AAMI Park and as a headline, that reads expectantly, considering their finals record at home.

However, it was more than astonishing. In a chaotic affair where Adelaide took a lead before Leroy George pulled it back, the stage was set for extra-time. It was a game that you didn’t want to end, such was its to and for-nature and expansive palette late in the second half.

Then, with all the hallmarks of his turbulent and brilliant career, Besart Berisha produced a piece of football artistry that will live forever in the home of supporters’ minds.

He has been offside all year, looked a step slow at times and not hit the back of the net as frequently as he has done in the past, yet Berisha did what all the champions do.

The Kosovan produced the remarkable as his manager resisted the temptation to substitute him, which had been the pattern for around a month, sensing the great one could produce another fairy tale.

One can’t help feel that Berisha’s rather mooted celebrations this season have contained a little anger, frustration and venom. His future has been questioned. Too old, slow and out of sorts some said and there have been poor games.

However, when the moment arrives he will always be ready.

Just as four teams will need to be ready this weekend if they are to take another step towards the biggest prize in Australian football.

Stuart Thomas
Stuart Thomas

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

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The Crowd Says (105)

  • Roar Rookie

    April 24th 2018 @ 6:18am
    Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 6:18am | ! Report

    Victory are certainly ready.

    City might be, you can never be too sure.

    Jets, who knows, but most neutrals I suspect are preying they are.

    The “Dream Grand Final” scenarios:

    Best case – Jets v Victory

    Next Best – Melbourne Derby

    Worst Case – Sydney vs anyone … (let’s face it, not even Sydney want to watch SFC so why would the rest of the country care?)

    All followed by the longest off-season in world football … sigh

    • Roar Rookie

      April 24th 2018 @ 6:27am
      Stevo said | April 24th 2018 @ 6:27am | ! Report

      Salvation is at hand Waz. The world cup will fill in a bit of that 6 month gap, then Chelsea coming to Perf and off season practice matches, local leagues, etc.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 24th 2018 @ 6:34am
        Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 6:34am | ! Report

        Ahh yes, I forgot about the World Cup 😀

        And I must admit NPLQ is an excellent distraction this season too.

        • April 24th 2018 @ 7:23am
          Nick Symonds said | April 24th 2018 @ 7:23am | ! Report

          “Ahh yes, I forgot about the World Cup”

          Don’t forget the UAE Asian Cup next year either, which has been expanded to 24 teams and will include both China and India. It’ll be the biggest Asian Cup ever. Beats the hell out of Andrew Forrest’s “World Series Rugby”. In fairness, including teams from the Pacific Islands with those in Asia is a good idea though and the OFC should be merged into the AFC.

          But they might need to expand the Asian Cup to 32 teams so that more East Asian teams can qualify, two thirds of the teams are from Central or West Asia, only a third come from our neighborhood.


          EAST ASIA – China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea.

          ASEAN – Australia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam.

          SOUTH ASIA – India.

          CENTRAL ASIA – Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.

          WEST ASIA – Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE, Yemen.

          • April 24th 2018 @ 8:14am
            lesterlike said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:14am | ! Report

            They don’t need to expand it anymore, 24 teams is more than enough and the qualifying tournament will be totally devalued if it expands further. South East Asia needs to get it’s act together. It’s ridiculous that dinky little city states like Bahrain can over-perform consistently but Indonesia and Malaysia still manage to implode consistently.

            • April 24th 2018 @ 9:23am
              Nick Symonds said | April 24th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

              Or add OFC and go back to 16 teams and have 4 teams from 4 zones.

              ASEAN 4
              NORTH ASIA 4
              OFC 4

            • April 24th 2018 @ 11:03am
              lesterlike said | April 24th 2018 @ 11:03am | ! Report

              Neither of those things are going to happen. OFC will not merge into AFC now they have a guaranteed world cup spot (even if they should) and Asian Cup qualification is rightfully based on merit across the whole confederation.

    • Roar Guru

      April 24th 2018 @ 9:42am
      Rick Figjam said | April 24th 2018 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      “Worst Case – Sydney vs anyone … (let’s face it, not even Sydney want to watch SFC so why would the rest of the country care?)”

      Great stuff.

      • April 24th 2018 @ 10:56am
        Nick Symonds said | April 24th 2018 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        “Worst Case – Sydney vs anyone”

        I think Sydney v Melbourne City is the absolute worst case though.

        Conversely, best case is Newcastle v anyone.

  • Roar Rookie

    April 24th 2018 @ 6:30am
    Stevo said | April 24th 2018 @ 6:30am | ! Report

    “In another campaign where their early form suggested this could be the year, they battled through the middle part of the season; wobbly and unstable.”

    Stuart, the wobble was due entirely to McCormack having to leave the club and Bruno not being entirely fit and ready. Once Bruno had a few games under his belt we fired back into action. Bring on Friday!!!!!

    • April 24th 2018 @ 6:38am
      Kangajets said | April 24th 2018 @ 6:38am | ! Report

      Didn’t Shankeveld miss a month with injuries. Anyhow I think he gives city the stability, in a way that Boogard provides for the same for Newcastle.

    • Roar Guru

      April 24th 2018 @ 2:16pm
      Griffo said | April 24th 2018 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

      Wasn’t Cahill’s departure among all that?

      It seemed from the outside looking in that there was a period of instability with Joyce quite rightly needing to take a firm hook to steady the ship.

      Spot on though the loss of McCormack and the arrival Fornaroli, not to mention Vidosic has settled in and some stability to a squad never hurts.

      If City lose, I don’t think it would necessarily be to any mental frailties. They’ve got it all there at the right time to challenge.

  • April 24th 2018 @ 6:35am
    Kangajets said | April 24th 2018 @ 6:35am | ! Report

    Boogard played in the inter club trial last week and is apparently a real chance to play

    I’m pretty certain that kantarovski is out , so the whole structure of the Jets central defence and defensive midfield is still not clear .

    I would only expect Vargas and Rodriguez to come off the bench as the jets need to play there most energetic team to unsettle city , expect Hoffman and Champness petratos and Magree to play with quick transition into attack the key.

    Arzani has given Vujica a torrid time twice this season, so it’s possible that Georgeski plays on arzani with possibly the youngster Koutrombis as the other fullback.

    O’Donovan is likely the only non Australian in the starting line,

    Expect a decent crowd despite the high ticket prices .

    • April 24th 2018 @ 1:17pm
      Melange said | April 24th 2018 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

      KJ, what I love is to watch the development of young players and how they respond to adversity. Vujica has had a torrid time on Arzani this year, in fact last game Arzani gave him a bath, a shower, a full body massage and then towelled him down and applied the talcon to top it all off. Does Ernie give up on Arzani or does he give him the chance of redemption? it’s one of the match ups I’m looking forward to.

      • April 24th 2018 @ 2:03pm
        Kangajets said | April 24th 2018 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

        Vijuica got dropped for the last game v ccm , so I be surprised if he gets recalled

        Georgeski was man of the match in last years grand final, I expect Merrick to use Georgeski for this role with ugsrchovic in a double team arzani and Brattan
        Also lachy Jackson is very inexperienced at cb , so I won’t be surprised if boogard comes straight back in for him

        It’s highly unlikely Newcastle will keep a clean sheet , so I expect Merrick will instruct the jets to play with some force in attack, which is basically how the jets beat Sydney… throw caution to the wind

    • Roar Guru

      April 24th 2018 @ 2:24pm
      Griffo said | April 24th 2018 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

      Boogaard is likely to start given the reports coming out, but for how long? It’s a huge risk that an awkward landing from a defensive header could re-damage what would be an injury not 100% healed.

      Georgevski on Arzani could be a go, but so too does both Fornaroli and Vidosic need minding. A nice tactical puzzle for Merrick.

      I’m not real sure how Vargas will go. His decisive, quick passing forward as at the start of the season is needed – he’s at times slowed the pace of the game down a bit, understandably but not what the team had been setup for. He is also shifting Petratos out wide which isn’t where his best work has stemmed from.

      And where does Hoffman go if not on the right flank, or possibly the other defensive mid in place of Kantarovski, with Brown training but ruled out.

      I don’t think they’ll open the Upper Eastern tier but the game is going to be packed even more than *that* game at home to Sydney.

      Can’t wait.

      • April 24th 2018 @ 3:27pm
        Kangajets said | April 24th 2018 @ 3:27pm | ! Report


        The jets don’t have the strength in defence to hold city out for 90 minutes… so I expect Ernie to let them loose in attack.
        The jets will need 3 goals ,, I expect an absolute onslaught from the beginning from Newcastle

  • April 24th 2018 @ 6:48am
    chris said | April 24th 2018 @ 6:48am | ! Report

    “(let’s face it, not even Sydney want to watch SFC”
    With a season average of just under 15k they are doing ok.
    And win lose or draw on Saturday night, no one can take away what Sydney have already won, and that is the main prize.

    • Roar Rookie

      April 24th 2018 @ 7:08am
      Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 7:08am | ! Report

      Agreed, the Plate’s yours and you’re odds-on favourites to become champions for the second season running.

      I think in time the club will regret being unable to grow crowds over the past two seasons though; a new coach, a few years on the road and a new cashed up southern rival will present significant challenges.

      On-field success may well continue but if it doesn’t maintaining a 14.5k average and non-Derby average of 11.5k may prove very challenging as WSW have found.

      If only the other 9 clubs could figure out Victory’s formula???

      • April 24th 2018 @ 7:27am
        punter said | April 24th 2018 @ 7:27am | ! Report

        I have always wondered when we get a 2nd Brisbane team whether our friends from the sunshine state will have 2 averages figures for BR, one for normal average & the other for non derby average.
        I have never heard anyone discuss this with Victory a normal average & a non derby average.
        Sydney are unfortunately a non sporting capital, look the central coast got 15K to a Rugby League game where neither teams had any associations with the Central Coast, the 15K is bigger then most Rugby League games in Sydney.

        • April 24th 2018 @ 7:45am
          chris said | April 24th 2018 @ 7:45am | ! Report

          Punter I also can’t understand the average “with or without derbies” figures mentality that some people have. In the NRL, if Melbourne or Gold Coast came to town you would be lucky to get 10k on a good day against a local Sydney team.
          Derbies are part of the fixtures so whats the problem?

          • April 24th 2018 @ 8:06am
            Kangajets said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

            When Melbourne storm or Gold Coast come to Newcastle Knights they would get 20000

            Imo Sydney has way too many sporting teams and I’m sure Sydney FC have lots of support across the city , but fans only have so much money for tickets and transport.

            Oversaturation in the sporting market and a multitude of options outside of sport and terrible transport systems

            But hey Gallop , thinks we should have another Sydney team .. geez

          • April 24th 2018 @ 8:21am
            j binnie said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:21am | ! Report

            Punter and Chris. you are both reading something into a part of statistical analysis that is simply not there.
            It is a part of analysis to calculate what size of crowd can be expected to be attracted to any particular game and “derby” games directly affect the end figure usually arrived at ,so a statistician will attempt to take out “unusual occurrences”. ie derby games , from such calculations.
            Melbourne City this season have enjoyed a 14 home game average crowd of 9,750.
            If the two derby crowds are dropped from that calculation their 12 home game average crowd drops to 7955.
            To anyone wanting to calculate what City will draw to a home game against any other A League team that becomes the guiding figure.
            If a 2 game derby average is required that figure will increase to 20,400.
            Who requires such analysis?.Crowd controllers,food suppliers, police etc etc. Nothing hidden from the public eye, not to forget the marketing and cash flow people at City who are trying desperately to attract people to their games.
            Exactly the same situation exists between Sydney FC and WSW. Cheers jb.

            • April 24th 2018 @ 10:11am
              punter said | April 24th 2018 @ 10:11am | ! Report

              JB, do they do this in Glasgow, in Rome or even Athens where they measure both attendances with & without derbies?


            • Roar Rookie

              April 24th 2018 @ 10:22am
              Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

              If there’s a significant difference yes, of course they do. In the same way any business would know the peaks and troughs of its demand cycle.

              SFC’s Non derby crowds are averaging 11.5k, it’s merely a statistic what it means is open to interpretation.

            • April 24th 2018 @ 11:19am
              Kangajets said | April 24th 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

              Both Victory and the jets have not beaten their opponents in the 3 games this season .

            • April 24th 2018 @ 11:22am
              Kangajets said | April 24th 2018 @ 11:22am | ! Report


              I think you find Motherwell in Glasgow crowds are better against rangers and Celtic too.

              I think Celtic sell out every home game .

            • April 24th 2018 @ 11:06am
              lesterlike said | April 24th 2018 @ 11:06am | ! Report

              Glasgow, Rome and Athens don’t open the gates to opposition fans. They have a allocated away sections and do not allow away fans into regular seating. The situation is not comparable.

            • April 24th 2018 @ 11:25am
              chris said | April 24th 2018 @ 11:25am | ! Report

              Totals are more important than averages. We all know the Xmas sales are the boon time for retailers as is the derby for football games.

            • April 24th 2018 @ 12:03pm
              punter said | April 24th 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

              Waz, I’m sick of defending Sydney crowds, they are event goers, no doubt about it. Like I said above, even RL crowds are poor considering the huge following in Sydney.

              This is all about
              1. the lack of interest in the A-League due to the issues with FFA
              2. the apathy of crowds in Sydney, they need the bling, no such bling in the A-league this season.

              This is not about what Realfootball was going on about
              1. Sydney playing a poor brand of football.

            • Roar Rookie

              April 24th 2018 @ 12:12pm
              Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

              Supporters of 9/10 clubs can’t be too pleased with their crowds Punter, even the Jets are nothing to write home about.

              My original point was not to have a dig at SFC crowds just, like Roar in their 4 seasons of success, Sydney may regret not building crowds while the sun shone – not to say success is over yet – and I suspect it’s part of the reason you have a new CEO.

            • Roar Guru

              April 24th 2018 @ 12:21pm
              Ben of Phnom Penh said | April 24th 2018 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

              The discussion on how to calculate average crowds is interesting, however it depends on what you want the information for.

              If it is a measure of interest in the game, then derby crowds need to be included as interested parties include people who are only able to make one or two games per year (due to other commitments, distance etc) & are more likely to attend a big match as well as travelling fans. Hence the desire of the FFA to have a second Brisbane team and another in Sydney, as derby crowds count when you are talking with commercial partners.

              When assessing cost structures then the non-derby averages are more important as you want the correct level of security, merchandise, catering etc for the expected crowd for any single event.

              What is being discussed in this thread is interest a team generates. Hence derby crowds need to be included as it is a measure of interest in Sydney’s games. Whether an attendee is interested in seeing Sydney win or lose is irrelevant to the overall competition.

            • Roar Rookie

              April 24th 2018 @ 12:36pm
              Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

              Interest in the game is best indicated by derby crowds, i.e. there’s 36,000 people willing to go to Allianz for a game.

              Interest in SFC is better indicated by non-Derby attendances, there the average is 11,500 ish.

              Statistics don’t lie, ever, it’s only peoples interpretations that lie and you can’t pick one number here – either the higher or lower number – and draw a conclusion, both tell you something so we can’t ignore the one we don’t like lol

              Ask the question – are SFC management happy with the size of non-derby crowds? I bet the answer is “no”.

            • April 24th 2018 @ 1:32pm
              j binnie said | April 24th 2018 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

              punter – Rome and Glasgow ,or even Athens have a completely different geographical situation and can count on many supporters making a trip when their team is playing “away” from home.
              After all Glasgow to Edinburgh can be reached in 45 minutes while Sheffield Wed, would attract a huge number from the Kop, if they were to draw Liverpool in the Cup. Cheers jb.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 24th 2018 @ 8:16am
          Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:16am | ! Report


          When Brisbane get a second team yes, you will see two numbers talked about, those with a derby match (or two) and the average without a derby match. That’s sensible as each tell a different story.

          There is a logic to this, non-derby games are indicative of one level of support and derby games another. Why do SFC get 36k to a derby and 11.5k to non-derby games is a relevant analysis?

          In business this would be equivalent to separating out seasonal trends or special events from business activity. Business does it all the time, football should (and does) too

          The same applies for City and Victory, and it’s clear the Vucks non-derby game attendance has historically been good in comparison.

          • April 24th 2018 @ 8:41pm
            TK said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

            When brisbane get two a league teams the owners will make a small fortune….but only if they start with a large one.

        • April 24th 2018 @ 8:25am
          lesterlike said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:25am | ! Report

          That’s because the vast majority of Victory home derbies are home supporters and not anywhere close to a split that would distort the figures.

      • April 24th 2018 @ 7:38am
        chris said | April 24th 2018 @ 7:38am | ! Report

        Waz not sure where you are getting your info in regards to the club not being able to grow crowds.
        SFC membership has just hit 15k for the first time and when the new stadium is built expect that to grow.
        Obviously, they would like that to be 20k+.
        SFC represent a part of Sydney that WSW and Southern Expansion don’t cover and so the market will always be there. There is also a lot of competition for football in Sydney, with NPL clubs such as Sydney Utd, Olympic etc pulling in at least 3-4k+ average crowds per week.
        Anyway, looking forward to a great game on Saturday night : )

        • Roar Rookie

          April 24th 2018 @ 8:20am
          Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:20am | ! Report

          Membership does not equal crowds though.

          Membership is made up of full season members, part-season members, stadium members, corporate members, pet and baby members, and a few other spurious categories.

          15k is good but it needs to translate into revenue and attendance, which it isn’t.

          So membership is a different debate to attendance although another reasonable analysis would be average attendance to membership ratio.

          • April 24th 2018 @ 8:28am
            chris said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:28am | ! Report

            15k is not revenue? I got an email from Sydney FC saying that they have hit 15k full members.
            Are you saying they are giving out freebies? I dont think so.

            • Roar Rookie

              April 24th 2018 @ 9:01am
              Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 9:01am | ! Report

              I just don’t believe they got 15k full members, it doesn’t make sense?

              SFC also sell limited game memberships which count in the overall membership total – are SFC saying they sold 15k full memberships and zero three and five game memberships lol

              Even if they did, it’s still not the same as crowds.

            • April 24th 2018 @ 9:12am
              chris said | April 24th 2018 @ 9:12am | ! Report

              Well Sydney FC average just on 15k so that all adds up to me.

            • Roar Rookie

              April 24th 2018 @ 9:48am
              Waz said | April 24th 2018 @ 9:48am | ! Report

              Good for you, it’s the same 15k turning up every week right 👍

              But joking aside, assuming there’s no funny business going on (Roars record is something like 12.5k but they included stadium members to get that number lol) that’s a good, healthy number to build on.

            • April 24th 2018 @ 1:24pm
              j binnie said | April 24th 2018 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

              For those interested in such figures here is a “league table’ based on last season’s average figure and this year’s average figure.(Derby crowds are included).

              Club 16/17 17/18 Reduction/Gain
              Victory 21,332 17,631 -17%
              Sydney 16,003 14,592 – 10%
              WSW 17,746 11,924 -33%
              Jets 8,652 10,887 +25%***
              Adelaide 9,543 9,830 +3%
              Melb C 10,593 9,743 -7%
              Roar 13,892 9206 -32%***
              Perth 10,406 9,136 -12%
              CCM 7,409 7,166 -3%
              Wellngton 6,224 5,694 – 9%

              As can be seen from these figures there is a huge differential in attendances around the country and the only positive that can be taken out of them is the huge increase in Jet’s figures,***,quite obviously underwritten by a much improved performance on field.
              At the other end of the scale is Roar’s figures*** which tend to follow the team’s abysmal season on and off the field.
              WSW can claim there is an going problem with lack of a true “home” stadium, and that would be a reasonable explanation for some of their decline in crowd numbers. Cheers jb.

    • April 24th 2018 @ 11:54am
      realfootball said | April 24th 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

      And so we lock horns again. This 15000 average you reference is an illusion. Take out the derbies, and that is the real figure.

      SFC’s average is much worse, in reality, than you are plugging here. I don’t know what it is, but I would guess somewhere around 11,000.

      Does anyone have a figure with the derbies taken out?

      SFC are most certainly not “doing ok” for a team with a record like theirs. The important question is why not. The generally held assumption, pre Arnold, was that success was the only thing missing for SFC. This is clearly not the case.

      • April 24th 2018 @ 12:06pm
        Kangajets said | April 24th 2018 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        Real football

        There are too many sporting teams in Sydney

        There is only one team in Sydney that get a 30000 crowd every fortnight the swans

        When you measure Sydney football crowds , you have sfc wsw Blacktown Olympic Marconi United Rockdale etc etc

        • April 24th 2018 @ 12:58pm
          realfootball said | April 24th 2018 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

          Good points, K.

          Which raises a second question – are they doing well enough in this market context?

          I don’t know that answer to that one. How good is good enough for SFC?

        • April 24th 2018 @ 1:04pm
          chris said | April 24th 2018 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

          I raised the same points yesterday. Its pointless comparing to the “one Sydney team getting 30k” to their games when its the only game in town. Total up NRL and football crowds and that’s the more accurate indicator of what type of city Sydney is.
          But yes, Sydney FC would indeed like more people to attend and get the average up to around 20k.

          • April 24th 2018 @ 1:43pm
            realfootball said | April 24th 2018 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

            Chris, I honestly believe we are seeing a rationalisation of the sporting market across the board, and with changes in the tv landscape, there is going to be a major correction to inflated tv rights figures in the next 5-10 years.

            It may be that we have all been expected too much for SFC’s attendances. It will, however, be very interesting to see what will happen when SFC play in smaller stadiums, because my view is that Allianz and its rows of empty seats have been the club’s worst enemy in the same way (though not nearly as bad) that Suncorp has been for Brisbane.

            Shortage of supply drives demand, and, in the case of sports teams, smaller venues drive atmosphere, which in turn accelerates demand. Being in Olympic Park with its sell outs and packed crowd atmosphere was a huge boon for Victory. One can only wonder what SFC’s crowds would be like now that they been in a similar situation instead of being planted in a stadium that was always going to be far too big for the club.

            One of the great disappointments of the A League has been the failure of Sydney’s owners to move on the home ground issue. By staying at unloved Allianz, they have cut the legs from under their own club.

            • April 24th 2018 @ 1:49pm
              chris said | April 24th 2018 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

              I think you are being a little harsh on SFC. The roosters, bunnies, dragons etc etc all get around the same average crowds and their exposure is much greater than SFC. So its not just a Sydney FC thing. And yes, there are more NRL clubs, but then there are just as many football clubs not playing in the A-League that attract decent numbers as well.

      • April 24th 2018 @ 3:50pm
        Nick Symonds said | April 24th 2018 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

        “The generally held assumption, pre Arnold, was that success was the only thing missing for SFC. This is clearly not the case.”

        People also say that success is the only thing that Melbourne City need as well.

        But look at Newcastle’s attendance this season and Central Coast’s turnout as a percentage of population. I think that people in the major cities just have to many other things to choose from.

        Oddly enough the ideal number of options in a store for things like bread or milk is 5-8. Once you get beyond this number people stop buying as many products. It’s the same with sport.

        Sydney is overcrowded and no other city has as many professional sporting teams per head of population as Melbourne. So when the A-League comes along it has a bit of a struggle to establish itself.

        Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers, St. George Illawarra Dragons, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Sydney Roosters, Wests Tigers, New South Wales Waratahs, Sydney Kings, Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder, Sydney Swans, Greater Western Sydney Giants, New South Wales Swifts (netball).

        Carlton Blues, Collingwood Magpies, Essendon Bombers, Hawthorn Hawks, Melbourne Demons, North Melbourne Kangaroos, Richmond Tigers, St. Kilda Saints, Western Bulldogs, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Melbourne United, Melbourne Storm, Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne Vixens (netball).

        • April 24th 2018 @ 8:56pm
          TK said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

          It is also a bloody expensive city to exist in so is it any surprise ppl are spending discetionary dollars on regular A league games?

  • April 24th 2018 @ 7:36am
    Buddy said | April 24th 2018 @ 7:36am | ! Report

    Complacency and lack of motivation shape up to be the biggest enemies of SFC if the rest of the season is anything to go by. With GA moving on after the world cup, that should be the galvanizing event that provides enough motivation for the team to finish the job and send him out a total winner.

  • Roar Guru

    April 24th 2018 @ 8:10am
    Grobbelaar said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:10am | ! Report

    The Headline should be referring either to the reigning champs or to the Premiers.

    • April 24th 2018 @ 8:43am
      punter said | April 24th 2018 @ 8:43am | ! Report

      Hence the word champs, they are the champions until disposed.

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