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asanchez

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Joined February 2011

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Can’t wait for the season to start. I think the football will go to another level this year.
Here’s my 2 cents on each side;

Adelaide United
– has lost too many good players, but has just recruited a few good ones in Henrique, Guardiola and Holland. They should have a good defence, and a lot will depend on how quickly their new signings adapt and perform. They should make the top 6 comfortably. But will be a stretch to win back-to-back titles, not likely.
Brisbane Roar
– ownership issues again threaten to ruin their campaign, but if they can remain focused, Aloisi has actually kept most of the squad from last season, which performed really well, and they’ve added Brett Holman. Semi finals might beckon again for the Roar.
Central Coast Mariners
– after a terrible few seasons on the trot, the only is up for the Mariners. With new coach Paul Okon now at the helm, and some decent signings to bolster their defence and goalkeeping positions, I think they’ll be more than competitive this season, and should be better to watch. Powell should help with goals, and they should be in the running for a top 6 place.
Melbourne City
– 11 new signings and a whole new feel at City. Cahill will bring in the crowds, but it’s a results orientated industry. Huge pressure will be on JVS to deliver. A new Danish CB has just signed, which is exactly what they needed, as their defence was their weak link. This City team will no doubt entertain, but can they win? Scoring won’t be an issue, but the question marks will come at the other end. I think they might get off to a slow start but will end up challenging for the title, due to their squad depth and overall quality.
Melbourne Victory
– the most balanced team IMO this season. With added strength in all areas with Donachie, Baro, Troisi, Rojas and possibly even Essien, adding to FBK, Valeri and Berisha and co, they’re the team to beat. The pressure will be on Muscat to deliver with this team.
Newcastle Jets
– the biggest unknown this season, but have made some astute signings with Hoole, Brown and Clut. But will losing their coach so close to the beginning of the A-league, and in such bad circumstances derail their season? Nordstrand up front needs to score 15 goals for them. However, regardless of the coaching situation, IMO I don’t think they have enough overall quality to make the top 6.
Perth Glory
– the biggest movers along with City in the transfer market. Once they click as a team, they’ll surely be up there and challenging for the title. Their CEO is a great football person who could run the A-league some day. After a long and very lean spell, the great times look to be back in the west. The Shed will be a great place to be this season. A serious contender. My only question mark is that without Diego Castro they look a much lesser side. He needs to stay on the park for them.
Sydney FC
– Arnie has gone away and corrected their faults and predictable flaws from last season, and he’s bolstered in all areas. With Zullo and Wilkinson at the back, Brillante in the middle, and Bobo and Bernie Ibini up front, they’ll be hard to beat. For me they’re up there with Victory as one of the most well balanced squads going around and with good depth. A definite contender.
Wellington Phoenix
– they’ve recruited well in the front third with Finkler and Barbarouses, plus and Italian defender. They may be the surprise packets this season, if Ernie can manage his squad, particularly during those dreadful FIFA international windows. Their future is now secured and both the owners and their fans can now invest dollars and belief in their team once again. A semi final spot is a realistic goal.
Western Sydney Wanderers
– the unknown quantities of the competition this season for me, I’m just not quite sure what they will dish up. Moving to Spotless Stadium due to the construction of the new Parra stadium, anticipation will be high from their many and colourful fans. Poppa has once again rebuilt his squad, with many new faces. Kerem Bulut should add plenty in the goals department, but I’m unsure about the rest of the newbies. Their defence is usually a strong point and they’ll need to be again. A semi final spot is probably their best outcome this coming season.

Bring on season 12! Can’t wait for Round 1, with probably 70k showing up at ANZ for the Sydney derby…

City and Victory have the edge ahead of A-League season

The FFA has just done a deal with Optus to show the rest of the Futsalroos games at the Futsal World Cup in Colombia live, along with the semi finals and the final. SBS had just televised the first game this morning, where the Aussies won 3-2!
And they’ll also be showing the Young Socceroos live later this month at the ASEAN U19 Championships.
A sign of things to come with Optus perhaps…
I don’t care anymore, I’ll follow the game wherever it goes. As long as they get the money they need to grow.

The FFA's next TV deal must share us the money

Guys, thanks for your all your comments.
It’s made for a very interesting discussion.
Cheers

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

I’ve read this article, some very interesting points made by a very high profile NPL level coach, and many that have been heavily discussed on this website before. And that’s another reason why I’ve always said that the salary cap doesn’t need drastic increases, as you’re only wasting money of average A-league players, who are already on $120k average salaries. Any more coming into the game is much better spent on many other areas a 2nd Division, women’s football, football infrastructure etc.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Good list RBB,
You’ve changed my mind. I’d actually spend $10m on a 2nd Division (10 teams – $1m each) instead of infrastructure. Having said that though, we also need to invest in community facilities etc. You can see what a tough job the FFA has, there’s so many mouths to feed, they really need to prioritise and get best bang for buck and a return on every single dollar that they invest. They cop a lot of flack, but I don’t envy their job.

The FFA's next TV deal must share us the money

Nemesis,
Refreshing article, good to look at things from a different angle.
However IMO, I’d say no to increasing the salary cap to $3.9m, as this would reward your run of the mill A-league players, who are on average $120k. By giving these players more money, doesn’t mean you improve the overall product, so in essence what that does is throw money down the drain, which could be much better spent for the code in many other ways.
I’d raise the salary cap minimally, to say $2.75m, but I’d raise the yearly subsidy to each club to $3m per year. And if the sport was to get $80m per year, I’d bring in 2 new teams within 2 years, so that’s a $36m expenditure in TV money for the clubs. IMO the salary cap only needs to increase by $50k-$100k per year.
There’s already the $10m marquee fund, which I’m yet to see it being fully utilised, but we’re already up to $46m.
W-league is certainly worth investing money into, I agree with you that the ladies should be on $40k as a minimum to keep the best possible players in our sport. A longer season in Oz is also a must. I’d also invest some money, let’s say $3m-$4m to attract 2 quality teams to Australia every year for matches against the Matildas, which can be highly advertised, TV rights sold for and heavily showcased, that could be against the USA and Germany in the first year. Brazil, Sweden, Canada and more could be down the track.
So that brings us to about $60m. Another $10m I’d spend strategically on infrastructure, patterning alongside state and local governments, to co-invest with them in grassroots funding into community football facilities. Say invest $2m into 1 club/ground per state, lets call it $2m into Perry Park for the Brisbane Strikers, $2m into Somers Street for the Melbourne Knights, and so on for SA, WA and NSW. The following year you’d do it with another 5 clubs nationally. The other codes do this well with government, nothing is stopping us from doing the same. Normally governments are more than willing to invest if they see private money being invested. The rest of the money is needed for wages at the FFA and marketing and advertising spend for the A-league.

The FFA's next TV deal must share us the money

jb,
What we do know is that most A-League clubs are able to attract between $2-$3m in sponsorships every year. As you’ve worked out, we know what the total revenue from selling tickets. They important bit we don’t know is their costs, like stadium, training site costs, staff wages etc, that part we’ll probably never know.
I agree with RBB, as the clubs shouldn’t have to spend 90% of the cap, the minimum should be 80%. If the next TV rights deal is greater than the last one, which I’m sure it will be, than that means a little bit more money for all 10 clubs, but depending on how much more that is, that shouldn’t automatically mean that both the salary cap and the average A-league wage should increase. That needs to be discussed between the PFA and the FFA.
FFA needs to grow the entire sport, not just A-league players pockets.
The other thing that I’m not 100% sure on, but I’m pretty confident that is happening, and it’s probably been happening for 11 seasons, is the fiscal mismanagement at certain clubs. Some people/clubs just aren’t good with their money, and a bigger handout from the FFA probably isn’t going to fix that.
From my reading of the tea leafs from last season, there was a few clubs that made a profit, the Victory, the Wanderers and Adelaide United. There may have been another one, but that escapes me now.
With a little more support from FFA HQ, and more flex on certain rules, I’m sure the clubs can become more sustainable. They then need to employ the right people in the right roles to make that happen.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Mid,
Your points are all well made, but I wrote this article on the basis that we get no communication from the FFA. I’m sure they’re working frantically behind the scenes, and all my points may well happen down the track, as they’re probably putting all the building blocks in place for that to happen.
I understand that they may not want to share their plans as this would alert their competitors, but that’s the part I don’t agree with. By not communicating with your customers, it leaves people wondering, speculation and innuendo festers, hell I wrote this piece because I don’t know what’s going on. And at this stage, with a huge 5 month off season, which is a terribly long period of hibernation, I’m not happy with that and I think things can be done better, which is why I wrote this piece.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Mid,
I have to agree with Stevo here. I initially thought the same thing, till I saw those same figures below a while back.
We have to be starting earlier, its really the only option. As I said in the opening paragraphs of the article, we need to stop waiting for this ‘clean air’ to come, as it never really will. Football has always been underrepresented in the media, and it probably always will be, we need to accept that and move forward. The media will always run their own agenda, or spruik the hell out of the sports that they either have current huge contra deals with, or they want to get into business with in future. Football has battled, has copped ridiculous, sensationalist reporting since the 60’s and still grown as a sport in spite of all this, particularly in the last 11 years.
Besides, what happens if both the AFL & NRL decide to lengthen their seasons by 4 or 8 weeks one day? The AFL has already added another week by adding in a new bye just before the Finals, and the NRL could soon have season breaks for their SOO.
My point is that Football needs to stop worrying about the other codes’ start and end dates, and do whats best for itself, its fans and its players. It needs to start running with its own agenda and driving the sport forward. The participation base is huge and growing every year, and its from there that the support for the A-league really needs to grow. This should be priority number 1 for the FFA.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

lol, the cheque’s in the mail pal…

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Squizz,
A 8 month football season which breaks for 4 weeks due to FIFA dates is still a longer season than a 7 month season with no FIFA breaks. Because it extends the domestic football calendar by an entire month, its in the media, it gets people talking etc. It means that we have a 4 month off season as opposed to 5 months. And even from a business sense it means that the FFA can talk to their customers 8 months of the year as opposed to 7 months.
There is a big difference.
Rest assured that this piece is my own, I’ve actually had it half written for 3 months. Sure I might have a similar chain of thought to something else that you’ve read somewhere else, but whether you like them or not, these are my ideas.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

AZ,
1. Either or…
If the A-league is currently worth $36m annually to Fox Sports why couldn’t a National 2nd Div be worth $3.6-$5m?? By keeping the division semi-pro you wouldn’t necessarily increase any costs, they’re all semi-pro leagues now. Travel and accommodation costs would have to be looked after by TV money and leaguewide sponsorship, much like the FFA Cup is now. An online service could also be setup, but I think you’d get more $$$ from TV. This would all be ready for Promotion and Relegation in future. When that happens, then the 2nd Div would become even more important for TV, to build the story of going down or staying up, or vice versa.

2. Not sure where the teams would come from, they could be existing or new entities. They’d have to apply to FFA for a spot, taking into consideration many factors, like for example financial stability, level of sponsorship, crowds and support, home ground condition etc. How much did South Melbourne, the Knights, Sydney United etc care about the state leagues when they were in the old NSL?? It was fine then, it’d be fine now. There are many good local football clubs around that would love to take their place. This is not an issue for mine.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Waz,
An independent A-league is a hot topic for discussion, it probably deserves its own article down the track to be fair.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Nemesis,
1. At least respect the FIFA windows for now, which would lengthen the upcoming season by at least 4 weeks. Its done in every other part of the world. After expansion, logically the season is extended.

2. At the moment, the FFA Cup draw is rigged to guarantee 1 all-NPL quarter final match up, which then guarantees 1 NPL club or state league club into the Semi Final every season. I can understand bringing something like this in at the start of the competition to garner interest from the NPL clubs, I think now that’s in its 3rd season, it is passed that. That part of the draw is compromised and needs to be axed. A cup draw should be random and not doctored.

3. FifPro has been talking about this type of stuff for ages. I dont think they’ll get it through the EU, and if they do it wont be overnight. I still think a transfer system in the A-league would be mostly beneficial for the clubs.

4. Lets hope this happens, the sooner the better.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Squizz,
HAL players need to follow suit and play for as long as possible each and every year, just like every other professional football player on the planet. Football should be a 9-10 month a year sport, as it in all other countries. Anything less than that brings with it many negatives; as you mentioned national team players aren’t match fit for a World Cup or a Confederations Cup, players stunt their personal growth and development, and fall backwards in that department as opposed to their international counterparts who play 10 months a year. A 7 month per year football competition isn’t able to attract the best possible players, because of a 5 month off season etc etc. Football players want to play. If that means that in the short term just by taking a break for all FIFA windows I’m all for it. If that means playing FFA Cup games on those weekends, showcasing W-League games or Matildas internationals so be it. There are plenty of reasons to start our season earlier IMO.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Lionheart,
A system where transfer fees are involved also brings other things into play, like longer term contracts for players at current clubs to keep them, or maybe to cash in on them down the track. So it could also lead to greater stability and not have players move around the league like guns for hire, and always for free, which happens too often today. This brings down the overall credibility of the league.
In a sport which is incredibly bottom heavy, as opposed to other sports like AFL and NRL, it would make sense to build it and grow it from the ground up, because if you can get the foundations right, the stronger you will be especially in the long run.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

I think it’s a question of timing. If the league keeps growing the way it has been from 11 years ago till today, then we may not need much or any foreign ownership in say 10 years from now. If things are done right, the TV rights money alone by that stage could be huge, and underwrite many of the costs not only for the FFA but for the clubs as well.
But as we know football competes in a world market, and as seen in the Premier League in England, a well run competition is also highly attractive to prospective overseas buyers.
The current City partnership deal is a good one for City and the league, as the old Heart probably would’ve folded by now, and badly needed the investment and the know how. As long as the FFA don’t keep bending the rules to let them do whatever they want, and maintain the competition’s integrity, which is something that doesn’t always happen right now, as seen by the ridiculous buy up of players by the City group (Brattan, Caceres) and then loaning them back to Melbourne. This is s pure accounting exercise that allows them by get around the salary cap restrictions and gives them an unfair advantage. Hopefully the FFA stays on top of it.
Being a Roar, you’d know what it’s like having terrible foreign ownership, so it can easily go both ways. Let’s just hope that situation gets sorted out quickly, and the fans can move on, and just continue to support their team, not their owner.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Spot on RBB.
Exactly my thinking when I write this piece!
At the moment the league goes into hibernation for 5 months per year, and that’s just not football.
Opening up the market, means big deals could be done between A-league clubs, and the offseason speculation and rumours would not only keep the game in the press offseason, but it would get people talking, and build excitement and hype for the season ahead, just like it does in every other country.
This notion of keeping all clubs on an even keel is hogwash, the big clubs shouldn’t be hamstrung, and as they grow, it’ll give the smaller clubs a bar to lift to. I could go on and on, but there’s just so many benefits, it deserves its own article.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Fadida,
I said this could only happen if a number of things were done right. Let me elaborate, it only happens with money coming in from TV rights and sponsorship to help underwrite travel and accomodation costs, and being a semi-pro league at the start to help keep the costs down.
I know for a fact the bigger clubs in NPL Victoria are currently able to raise around $500k in sponsorship every year, that’s serious money, let alone if they ever got back onto the national stage again, I’m sure that would easily increase.
And you ask any current NPL player out there baring very few, and most would be very happy to play for $30/$40/$50k a year training 3 nights a week and playing on weekends, while still being able to keep their day jobs. With careful planning and keeping to budgets it could be done.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Onside,
I’d love it if this was the FFA’s Wishlist, but I’m not sure if that’s the case, as there’s absolutely no communication.
On the financial stability of clubs, we were always gonna get to a stage where the TV rights money would hold everything together, and even paper over the financial cracks of some clubs. I think we’re just about at that point now with the upcoming TV rights. It’s just a shame the game has lost many football people and good people along the way who could no longer put their hand in their pocket.
Hopefully after this upcoming deal the search for foreign ownership becomes the exception and not the rule.

Five simple tweaks to grow football in Australia

Good read Mid,
The COE is coming up a treat, and it needs to do so, to bring much some needed and consistent cash into the Mariners. I disagree on the title of the article, as I think that all 10 clubs are just as important as each other to grow the A-league overall. But obviously I know the Mariners have the toughest task of them all, in terms of survival. However, if you look at the pure numbers of members and crowds they pull in year on year, the Mariners deliver consistently, even in their lean years on the field, they still do ok considering their population base up there. I wish them the best this season, I actually think the squad that Walmsley put together before he got the flick, is one of the better teams they’ve had in a while. Let’s see how Paul Okon goes up there. Good luck Mid, it promises to be a great season.

The Mariners are the A-League's most important club

Mid,
I’m a general sports nut, and there’s not many sports that I dislike. I enjoy American sports, dont mind the odd NRL game and was an AFL club member for a number of years. I can talk footy with the best of em, and still have a passing interest in the sport. But I no longer watch full games or spend entire weekends watching AFL games. Unlike many people, I believe that you can actually watch and enjoy multiple sports!
But Football is in the blood, I used to attend NSL games back in the day, as that was the highest level of Football in Australia at the time. But as soon as the A-league started, I got behind it 100% and I’m a foundation member, not only because I love the sport, but I knew it’d be very tough to startup a new league in the Australian sporting market, and for it to survive.
And while there’s still many issues within the sport and its definitely not all roses, I can see how much its already grown and also the huge growth that its still has in front of it if it can get things right internally. It has absolutely nothing to do with the other codes, either positively or negatively speaking. Our sport plays in a worldwide market in every sense, not just for players but coaches, potential investors and owners, TV audience and TV rights etc. The sky is the limit.

Hope for new A-League TV deal before kickoff

Mate,
Even with all our internal issues and politics to date, we’ve become what we’ve become in the last 12 years. Even blind Freddy of the business world can see that if we can keep growing the game, and minimize our internal issues, the game’s potential is truly massive in Oz. I know its always been called the ‘Sleeping Giant of Australian sport’ but the last 12 years is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to where this sport can get to. It just needs investment and the right people to steer the ship.

Hope for new A-League TV deal before kickoff

Rick,
You grow the league to a point where you’re recruiting a high number of quality imports, pay them well, and keep improving the local Australian players and the overall standard lifts dramatically. When this happens across the competition, (yes it could take another decade at least) but why couldn’t you have all 5 or more games on FTA??

The EPL in the UK is a bad analogy in this case, as they dominate everything including life itself in the UK. They’re not on FTA TV, because they simply don’t have to be. They can basically do what they like over there, and a lot people will pay whatever it takes to watch the matches. A similar thing over here is the biggest sport, the AFL. Yes they have all games live on Fox and have their own channel, but they still have many games every week on FTA.
I think if they went only onto Fox, they would lose some customers, as there’d be some sort of backlash, but they’d also have many more fans follow the sport and sign up to Fox or wherever they went. But also, being in one of the most competitive sports market on the planet pretty much rules that out from ever happening, as the AFL probably wouldn’t be that stupid, as they would potentially lose customers and market share to the other codes if that ever happened.

Hope for new A-League TV deal before kickoff

I hope you’re right Rick.
I definitely think the FFA is in a decent position, compared with the many doom and nay sayers out there.
At the end of the day, DG and the FFA have a product that has a huge growth potential in Australia, and has already done very well with an extremely limited budget. Sure, there are many issues within the sport that need to be fixed, that’s for sure, but so have all the other sports. What the A-league has become over 12 years, without much money or love from most of the TV networks is incredible. FTA is where its at, you get a product on that train, and the product explodes. Is the A-league ready to be a FTA 5 game per week product? No, not yet, but its not that far away. Most of it comes down to resources and know how.
If they can manage to get more cash from this coming TV deal, then you increase the distribution to each of the clubs, which minimises their losses and gives other clubs more cash which can be used to invest in either people or infrastructure. The standard of players coming in lifts, as does the coaching, and the overall on field product improves, which is great for the league and the sport. Of course more money doesn’t automatically guarantee that each club starts making profits or that no club will go bankrupt in the future. Some people will still struggle to balance budgets, and of course sometimes people make mistakes or they’re just simply not good enough for certain roles, and they’ll get found out. But what it does is it entices more investors into the clubs/sport, either right away or in the future, if they can see that they’re being looked after by FFA HQ and not hung out to dry. The overall business model becomes a lot more attractive to prospective buyers/investors.
I’ve said all along that I think they’ll get a good deal, not sure what that looks in money terms, but they’ll improve on what they get right now. And also the exposure needs to improve. Being stuck on Fox and SBS2 no longer cuts it, especially for the Socceroos. Personally, I’ve signed onto Optus for this season specifically for the Premier League. I, like probably many others didn’t want to do it, but I made the sacrifice like many other mates I know, to be able to watch the games live. I now have Foxtel purely & solely for the A-league, and I’m eagerly waiting to see what happens with the next TV rights.
If Fox loses the A-league for next season, which I really cant see happening, but if it happens they will lose me and many people I know that are in the same boat as customers. From a business point of view, I don’t think Fox would lose their biggest and longest summer sport, a sport they’ve actually bankrolled and allowed to grow to what it is today, unless there was a very good reason for it, namely a competitor smashing their financial offer out of the park, or a strategic change, where they ditch Football and go hard at another sport at that time of the year, of which there aren’t many all. Lets see what happens. I hope DG is ready for it!

Hope for new A-League TV deal before kickoff