The A-League needs to be completely slashed

Tom English Roar Guru

By Tom English, Tom English is a Roar Guru


153 Have your say

    The A-League needs to be shortened to just nine rounds. I mean what’s the point of the Wanderers playing the Phoenix three times in a season, let alone in seven weeks?

    This comp is great and the level of football is right up there, but do we need 27 rounds of home and away while the national side’s do-or-die games are pushed to a weeknight?

    We were generously given two weekends of competition to digest the fact that Sydney FC had wrapped up the Premier’s Plate for a second year in a row – these were rounds that we could have done without.

    The National Basketball League, with eight francises, conveniently finished their regular season on February 18, meaning the finals clashed with other competitions, but regular season didn’t.

    The A-League really might as well concede defeat. They simply won’t get a fair share of media attention during the winter, and BBL is king between mid-December and February.

    The small window between early October and November is when the sport in its current form excels.

    The Sixers versus Stars WBBL game in December had 469,000 viewers at its peak – more than eight times what the Sydney Derby brought in on free-to-air.

    One could argue that football was always going to lose that particular race, given it was on a secondary channel, but the stats don’t lie, putting the WBBL on the main was clearly the right call.

    Cutting the comp down to a round-robin nine rounds is the way to go. This way, it can all be over in late November, so no derbies are restricted to an eighth of the ratings of women’s cricket.

    A round robin – maybe even a tenth round for a derby rematch – would keep audiences at a high, with no meaningless mid-season games, and a finals series that only the top four qualify for.

    The best thing is: every round is either the opening of the season, or a race to the finals.

    Yes, broadcasters want content, but from this year Fox have the BBL, and just like Channel Ten have done so well, will want it as the product to watch, with no A-League deviation.

    As cricket demonstrated with the Big Bash, picking a short timeslot and dominating it is how a sport can be successful.

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    The Crowd Says (153)

    • May 9th 2018 @ 6:59am
      Onside said | May 9th 2018 @ 6:59am | ! Report

      Way to go Thomas, and then if we cut out those pesky outliers,Wellington , Adelaide and Perth
      the season could be further reduced even further.

      Come to think of it the weathers so hot in Brisbane for football it’s now a health and safety issue.

      There you go mate, scrub Brisbane , problem solved , the HAL is now reduced to six teams.

      • May 9th 2018 @ 9:03am
        c said | May 9th 2018 @ 9:03am | ! Report


    • May 9th 2018 @ 7:12am
      Neil said | May 9th 2018 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      Rediculously stupid article.

    • May 9th 2018 @ 7:32am
      Football is Life said | May 9th 2018 @ 7:32am | ! Report

      Where did this plonker come from? A supporter of another sport trying to uselessly veil his dislike for the world game

      • May 9th 2018 @ 12:39pm
        i miss the force said | May 9th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

        football is life, you better believe it oh chosen one

    • Roar Guru

      May 9th 2018 @ 7:48am
      Grobbelaar said | May 9th 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      A welcome addition to the debate.

      It’s certainly true that currently, Oct-Nov is the very best window for the A-League. That has been proven during the past decade consistently in terms of attendances and ratings.

      Other sports are waking up to this, so even that Oct-Nov window will gradually tighten.

      All that aside, I believe 9 weeks is far too short to run a football competition, and with aspirations to increase the size of the league to 16 clubs, it must have a minimum of 15 rounds, but preferably 30 rounds.

      • May 9th 2018 @ 8:11am
        Fadida said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        No one is welcoming this rubbish to the debate. Anyone who knows anything about football would see this as absurd. 9 rounds may work for joke sports likes the BBL, but not for football

        • Roar Guru

          May 9th 2018 @ 9:57am
          Grobbelaar said | May 9th 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

          Obviously it’s absurd, so why get uptight about something so patently absurd?

          • May 9th 2018 @ 10:02am
            Fadida said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

            Why say it’s a welcome addition? Clearly it’s not

            • Roar Guru

              May 9th 2018 @ 10:09am
              Grobbelaar said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

              A debate has two sides, he has given his side, admittedly it’s pretty weak, and now you get to give your side, which should be a lot stronger (although by attacking the author and the Roar, it hardly strengthens your side of the argument).

              And most probably he has written this tongue in cheek, and perhaps my opening line is in-kind.

              And perhaps he dislikes football, but so what.

              I once met an Argentinian lady who disliked football.

              It does happen.

              • May 9th 2018 @ 10:14am
                Fadida said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

                I’m sure the fictitious Argentine lady wouldn’t then go on a football site to tell them how to improve the game.

              • Roar Guru

                May 9th 2018 @ 10:18am
                Grobbelaar said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:18am | ! Report

                She probably didn’t like any sport – do you doubt there might exist one Argentinian out there who dislikes football?

                I can’t attest to her propensity to initiate online discussions on sports forums.

              • May 9th 2018 @ 10:24am
                Fadida said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

                I doubt she existed. I’m not sure much of what you say can be believed.

              • May 9th 2018 @ 10:38am
                Redondo said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:38am | ! Report

                Grobbelaar is noticeably more acerbic this morning. He sounds annoyed. Perhaps readers aren’t flocking to part 2 of his 15-part opus on ancient World Cup tournaments.

              • May 9th 2018 @ 10:46am
                kangajets said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

                The ratings are bad on the opus of the World Cup

              • Roar Guru

                May 9th 2018 @ 3:32pm
                Grobbelaar said | May 9th 2018 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

                kanga and redondo

                just as we should not mark the A-League on the TV ratings, or lack thereof, we should not judge the quality of La Coupe du monde series on the fact that nobody is reading it.

              • May 9th 2018 @ 3:36pm
                Kangajets said | May 9th 2018 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

                “ we should not mark the A league on the TV ratings “
                Fair enough grobelaar 😃

              • May 9th 2018 @ 4:05pm
                Redondo said | May 9th 2018 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

                Grobbelaar, I said nothing about the quality of your articles. Although I do wonder what your articles provide that isn’t already there in the equivalent Wikipedia articles.

        • May 9th 2018 @ 1:00pm
          Tom English said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

          Ok then, maybe the demand is there for “joke sports” if they’re going to bring in more than eight times what “serious sports” do in terms of viewership. Well, I dunno.

          Obviously it’s an absurd idea. More than half of the ideas expressed on this site- regarding soccer, rugby, league, whatever, are absurd and will never take place. Only people like the BCCI can actually pull something like it off.

          The headline isn’t mine, but it makes it pretty obvious what the article was about. I don’t know whether you read the article, just to frustrate yourself, or whether you just skipped to the comments section.

          • May 9th 2018 @ 1:11pm
            kangajets said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

            Nine rounds is 23 to short

            But compact the season with midweek games and finish by March

            I know this goes against what some experts on hear want to hear .. but whose going to fund this competition you want to run unitil may ??

            I love some reasoned debate on this ??

            Over to the you guys ?

            • May 10th 2018 @ 11:12pm
              Leonard said | May 10th 2018 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

              Doesn’t FIFA dictate a minimum 27 rounds? This is just one week over six months in a round per weekend arrangement without a finals set of games, so isn’t this reasonable if the standard of play is top class and entertaining? But – if it is not . . . it degenerates into an ‘Are we there yet?’ borefest.

              But, if 27 is the Big Boss mandated number, and seeing that soccer is a bruise-free sport, couldn’t there be some mid-week rounds to shorten the calendar length of the season?

          • May 9th 2018 @ 1:29pm
            chris said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

            Huh? Your explanation of why you wrote the article makes no sense.
            Should it have had the “HA!” next to it? Is that what you’re trying to say?

          • May 9th 2018 @ 1:49pm
            Kangajets said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:49pm | ! Report


            It’s good to bring ideas to this site because I do feel it’s a closed circle at times ,
            but how do propose your 9 round competition will bring in the big dollars?

          • May 10th 2018 @ 8:49am
            Post_hoc said | May 10th 2018 @ 8:49am | ! Report

            Married at First site, pulls in more viewers than pretty much any sport short of a grand final, doesn’t mean that show isn’t a joke and a abomination of what society sees as entertainment, but hey keep believing ratings are king

      • Roar Rookie

        May 9th 2018 @ 8:11am
        Waz said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        Because football is a proper sport and not entertainment filler content for national television the season must run for a significant length of time – there are even minimum requirements set down by the AFC which, had the author been serious about writing this article, he would have known.

        Such commitment to the playing of football means we will always overlap and/or compete with other codes. Football says that is okay, and if that means some people delight in Pepper Pig out-rating the sok-ha, or other codes having bigger attendances then so-be-it.

        We will just continue to play our game, and compete the best we can in world cups, Asian cups, olympics, Asian club championships, domestic league and cup competitions, and even host international visiting clubs mid-AFL/NRL season …. because we can, and we must.

        This has to be the lamest article yet; when Mike Tuckerman writes a “click bait” code-war article the AFL suspects are all over it. Let’s see if they appear today, I suspect not.

        The constant code war mentality practiced by the AFL supporters is not being reigned in by the moderators. If they don’t listen to complaint maybe they’ll listen to a boycott, and a boycott of their advertisers (the few they have anyway). What’s it going to take?

        • May 9th 2018 @ 8:14am
          chris said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:14am | ! Report

          Waz I’m with you. If they don’t stop these ridiculous useless articles then I’ll stop coming on here.
          Then the sokkah haters can chuckle amongst themselves and write articles like this. They’ll soon tire of it and then the Roar will be left with nothing.

          • Roar Guru

            May 9th 2018 @ 8:42am
            Griffo said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:42am | ! Report

            I suspect they’ll be dancing in the street and creating a whole new sub Reddit over it…

          • May 9th 2018 @ 12:02pm
            tommo said | May 9th 2018 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

            “If they don’t stop these ridiculous useless articles then I’ll stop coming on here.”


          • May 9th 2018 @ 12:40pm
            i miss the force said | May 9th 2018 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

            who is “they”? its one guy with a silly idea but you love to think they are against you

            • May 9th 2018 @ 12:42pm
              chris said | May 9th 2018 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

              they is people like you

        • Roar Guru

          May 9th 2018 @ 9:56am
          Grobbelaar said | May 9th 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

          That’s tellin’ ’em Waz.

          I think back to the Twisted Sister classic: We’re not gonna take it!!

          We’re not gonna take it….anymooore!!

          • Roar Rookie

            May 9th 2018 @ 10:44am
            Waz said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:44am | ! Report

            Now you’re talking sense 😉

    • May 9th 2018 @ 8:12am
      Fadida said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      Another pathetic football article on the Roar. Is there no quality control?
      I see the writer is a cricket fan. He should stick to watching BBL with KFC bucket on his head and leave mature sports to the grown ups.

      Man City won the EPL by Christmas. Perhaps the EPL should only run for a month?

      Please Roar editors, no more crap articles like this, from people who aren’t even fans of the game

      • May 9th 2018 @ 9:06am
        c said | May 9th 2018 @ 9:06am | ! Report

        HA HA KFC bucket on his head

    • Roar Rookie

      May 9th 2018 @ 8:22am
      Stevo said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Dear Guru English, you have failed your English assignment, please go to the back of the class 😂