As a proud Everton supporter, the words “Everton, that” come with a particular sense of dread and worry.
Perth Glory were the leaders of the 2018/19 A-League season, but we saw Sydney beat them in the grand final on penalties with Glory’s near-perfect season coming unstuck.
Alex Brosque hit the nail on the head for most football fans in this country when he suggested scrapping the finals series and simply awarding the title to whoever finishes on top of the table, just like how the European Leagues decide their champions.
The FFA will definitely look into this issue, especially with Western United about to begin next season and Macarthur coming in the season after, expanding the competition to 12 teams.
In theory, we should extend the season out even more, but the grand final was in May this year, which was in the heart of the NRL and AFL seasons.
What should we do moving forward?
We should continue to keep the season the way it is for now in the short term, but the FFA should definitely look at bringing in at least four more teams over the next five seasons. This is when we can begin to look at scrapping the finals series altogether and look at the Premier League mould.
Another thing the FFA should look at doing is forging a partnership with the English Premier League or the Bundesliga, two of the biggest football competitions in Europe.
Look at how refreshed the NBL has looked over the last four years through the tutelage of Jeremy Loeliger and now the NBL have forged a successful partnership with the NBA, the premier basketball competition in the world. Of late, Basketball Australia has helped grow and promote grassroots basketball in this country.
The FFA could do this as well – establishing partnerships with the different football governing bodies around the world. Begin talking with the Premier League or Bundesliga, then enjoy a great partnership that can help promote the sport even more at the grassroots level.
This potentially will save and reinvigorate the league, look at expansions and mould the A-League into a premier division around the world, utilising the European model of how they do the season.
Promotion and relegation, though, is another thing for another article down the line.
But for now, the FFA need to invest in the future of football in this country. Scrap the finals system eventually and create baby steps that will continue to keep the sport thriving long after the current board moves on.