The Roar
The Roar


Roar Rookie

Joined December 2018









I suspect the reason that the broadcast agreement with FoxSport and the 2020/21 A-League season both run until 30 June 2021 is more to do with the both or one of the parties wanting to spend the 2020/21 financial year realigning and restructuring their organisations. Neither were, I suspect, prepared to commit beyond the next financial year until they see how the new FFA A-league competition will proceed, the clubs available and the tier structure. Also, the organisation of the independent A-League, and its governance as well as the FFA’s own organisational structure including its relationship with the various state federations needs to be sorted. There is a lot to be done, and I would be surprised if FoxSport or any other broadcaster for that matter, would be prepared to invest heavily in a sport beyond the next financial year when so much restructuring needs to be completed, despite the fact that there are potentially big upsides to getting the restructure right. Vested interests may still work against footballs best solutions, which I agree include the realignment of the league to winter, finals in November (which should become “football’s month”), a new player transfer system, expansion of the A-League to 14 and later 16 teams, and the introduction of a second division with promotion and relegation between the first, second and NPL divisions to commence within a reasonable time between.
For FoxSport, they will want to see how the new league will look and how it plays out over the winter months in the 2020/21 season, as well as how their business unfolds over the next financial year before committing further to football, and I would think any other interested broadcaster would be thinking the same, given the FFA’s and A-League’s recent history.

New broadcast deal seals A-League’s switch to winter

I have the Optus app and an Optus mobile phone account. Optus are marketing themselves as the home of football, and logic would indicate that for that to truely resonate with football fans in Australia, they must gain the rights to the A-League and any additional football (soccer) rights In Australia. Foxtel has had its chance and it’s time for the FFA, to move on.

How much would you pay to watch the A-League on an app?

Actually, I think it really does matter a lot for rugby in Australia what a team is called. Unlike NZ where the game is more established, in Oz rugby struggles to get engagement with media and anyone other than the few dedicated rugby fans in the so called heartland states, let alone outside those states. It’s been well reported and argued that the lack of clarity as to what region clubs represent is one of the main reasons Super Rugby has failed to attract or engage with sports fans. A State v State competition is something other football codes do not offer and is an opportunity for RA to set up a six State competition that could in time be a significant annual competition sitting between the Wallabies and State competitions ( eg Shute Shield, Dewar Shield etc). But it’s the State v State aspect that represents the opportunity, being the chance to both provide a strong national competition as well as using interstate traditional rivalries (rugby and otherwise based) to fuel the tribal support necessary to draw fans to the State teams and the game.

July start for an Australian domestic comp, and it can’t come a moment too soon

I’m a Rebels fan, and would love the new five State format. Not sure we need the Sunwolves in it though, I think an Australian only domestic comp is what people are looking for. Bringing in international teams that have no local fan base is what was so wrong with the SANZAAR Super model. Also, in line with the State based model, can we change the Melbourne Rebels to the Victoria Rebels, just to emphasise the State v State basis of the competition, which provides a great platform for a future competition. RA, if it gets its act together, could then put in place a 10-15 year plan to grow rugby in SA and through the rest of the country to a point where there are enough players to support a sixth team based in SA. I.e. actually focus on growing the sport in Australia from the grass roots up.

July start for an Australian domestic comp, and it can’t come a moment too soon

Latrell Mitchell and Josh Ado Carr. Proof positive that no brains or societal standards are required to be a rugby league player. Proof positive rugby league as a sport in Australia does not have the human capability to continuously meet whatever health and safety guidelines are put into place to enable a restart of the NRL season. All talk by an administration that is financially strapped, but without the capability to execute a plan because the players have no self control or ethics. If the NRL is to restart, they should first confirm that these two player and any others found to breach health regulations will be stood down without pay for the whole season.

NRL players to undergo environment checks

I see where this is heading, said Phil. I can tell what they are thinking. Nine should build their own stadium at the Nine studios in Sydney and all games should be played there on after the other, which would save Nine from moving their old team of has beens around the country. And since Nine would own the competition, it would become the NineRL and the clubs would be the Canterbury Nine Bulldogs, Wests Nine Tigers etc. And there will only be nine players per team and the number of teams in the NineRL will be reduced to nine.
If News Ltd want to enter their Brisbane News Broncos in NineRL, they will have to pay NineRL $9m per season, which they will reject, and run off the Brisbane to start the News Super League at their own stadium, poaching the 7 clubs not forming part of the NineRL and adding another club in Los Angeles, so Lachlan can have his own team.
Oh well, we always knew that professional sport is just entertainment….

Time to let Channel Nine run rugby league

Channel Ten, now owned by US broadcaster Viacom/CBS, should tap into CBS’s long and well packaged US sport, particularly NFL, capabilities. I’m sure CBS could bring a lot to the table for TEN and the NRL.

Does the next NRL broadcast deal spell curtains for Nine and Fox?

Hope it works for you Apaway!

How the 1970s made me a football tragic

I have the Match of the Day theme as my ring tone……the 70’s were the best era of all sport (and music)! After that things just became too commercial and lost a bit of their soul and inherent beauty as sport and music became manufactured products and brands. But I’d still rather have them than not.

How the 1970s made me a football tragic

Optus have lifted their game significantly since the World Cup failure. I watch the EPL on Optus Sport through Fetch TV mini box ($50 a couple of years ago) and the football shows are outstanding. Optus Sport app is available to anyone, not just Optus phone customers, and is just as accessible as Kayo. If Optus is willing to pay more for Rugby than Foxtel, I see no reason to not go with it.

Trial by media: Australian rugby’s broadcast future to play out in public

Here’s why the Great Britain team is all wrong: they don’t know what Great Britain is. Great Britain is the island of Britain which includes only England, Scotland and Wales. It does not include Ireland or Northern Ireland. If Northern Ireland is to be included, that should be referred to as the United Kingdom or the British and Irish Lions if Ireland is include. It’s why in the rugby union Lions are called the British and Irish Lions. But In the end I don’t think anyone actually noticed….or cared.

Why rugby league has got the Great Britain Lions all wrong

There is only one key issue that Rugby Australia should be focusing on for the immediate future…….bring more money into Australian rugby to ensure we retain and even acquire the best talent available at all levels (coaches, players and administrators), to feed and grow grassroots rugby, and to embed and expand the NRC as a competitive and recognised top level rugby competition leading to improved Super Rugby and Wallaby performance.
Without money, the struggle will continue. We should be searching out benefactors, sponsors and funding at home and abroad and from all levels of community and government in a concerted effort to build a “bank” to fund the growth of rugby. Broadcasting rights are what they are at present, and therefore the focus must be on other forms of revenue that can be developed beyond traditional channels.
Thinking needs to be beyond the next World Cup four year cycle, and a plan that is aimed at having rugby in Australia back as a leading sport in Australia within the next 10 years should be developed.
Funding from inside or outside Australia in the form of loans (interest rates are at historic lows) should be considered in the mix as part of the plan. Like any business, capital sometimes has to be raised to grow, and rugby in Australia should have through its national and global networks access to funding and the ability to establish a program to finance debt for a period of time, that will see some momentum put back into the game.

Where is rugby heading in Australia and NZ?

A thought from left field……I certainly feel that the Wallabies should be coached by an Australian, rather than by a hired gun from another country, if at all possible. A non-Australian hired gun can never have the passion for Australia that an Australian coach can have. However, if we are prepared to look overseas for our national coach, would we also be prepared to consider a top level coach from our sister rugby code. Could a Craig Bellamy, Wayne Bennett or Trent Robinson be a solution? Granted they may not be as close to the game as a current rugby coach, but I am sure they understand the game, it’s rules and tactics given their professionalism and skills set. They also appear to have high skills in man-management. In addition, they might bring some additional experiences, tactics and strategies that lift the Wallabies to a different and more competitive brand of rugby, beyond that which we currently see. Just thought I’d throw this out there for discussion…….

VOTE: Who should be the next Wallabies coach?

Ahh, if you read the article and many of the comments you should understand the proposal is that any merger results in the game being played under Union rules and that the merged game capitalises from Union’s international presence and League’s domestic presence. The article only refers to Rugby in Australia and has no impact on Union overseas (other than making the Wallabies stronger). So no threat of laughter from overseas….only concern that Australia is finally getting its Rugby act together!

It is time for the rugby codes to reunite

Waxhead, many thanks for the questions, which are well put and acknowledged. Can I propose the following in response, with the caveat that in writing this article i was thinking about the longer term, rather than the immediate future in terms of when the opportunities for integration of the codes might become more apparent. Hence the need to start thinking about the benefits and need in advance of the need becoming more critical. Planning is the basis for success. So in answer to your questions, some thoughts are as follows:
(a) Why does League need Union in Australia? This is the critical issue as you rightly point out, There is no urgency to this right now, other than the question is either code now maximising its opportunity to be a dominant sport in Australia? I would argue no, given the strengths and weaknesses I highlighted in the article. Also, I think Sheek in his comment above hit the nail on the head with his comment that if Union and/or League can see a greater financial benefit from integration, then money will drive it rather than anything else. If integration and adoption of Union rules is a way for the NRL clubs and their players to earn more and to secure a stronger financial future for the clubs and player, as well as the possibility to play more international games at higher levels, perhaps League will take the view that adoption of Union rules might be the way forward, even though they are currently comfortable with their place in the world.
(b) Given big changes to player physiques over past 10 yrs in the 2 codes how could Leaque provide world class players to Union. Agree, but in a staged transition from League to Union, there would still be Union sized players available from the current Union player pool, plus, League forwards would become Union sized in time. Remember, there is no suggestion that this transition would occur overnight or even in one season. Players would become “right sized” over time, in same way League and Union players have evolved to the current point in time.
(c) Why would Australian Rugby League be interested with a merger that ends their profitable little game in our Aussie backwater? Can I refer back to my response in (a) above, plus suggest that being strong in Australia (or just NSW and Qld) in the future might not be enough to continue to attract the best quality athletes to the game when sports with international exposure, bigger money and more fame will be competing for the same talent pool from earlier ages. I note your comment that NRL doesn’t need international exposure and has SOO and is doing nicely. As I said in the article, any organisation that stand still is in danger of dying from its own complacency. All organisation should be looking at “what next” to change and evolve into their next iteration to not just keep pace with competitors, but to set the pace and stay ahead of the pack.
(d) Leaque players have more in common physically with Football players now. Possibly, but again, can i refer to my earlier response in (b). I think player shape would need to change, but time and a stage evolution would take care of that. Also, it would not take long for some NRL players to change shape, given the professionalism and training of current athletes.
Waxhead, again thanks for the questions, they are all relevant and require answers. I hope my responses might provide some further insight into how i think this unification of the codes could be achieved if there was sufficient thought and a genuine willingness from the codes leaders to put aside biases and consider the possibilities of a new way forward that might provide a stronger domestic and international sport for Australia.

It is time for the rugby codes to reunite

Perhaps the A-League should consider playing 33 rounds next year and once we reach 14 or 16 teams adjust it accordingly. If Foxtel don’t want to broadcast games from all rounds, then surely others can then be allowed to step in as games become available, or simply play some games or rounds without TV coverage, which might actually assist in increasing ground attendance.

Hey A-League, wake me up when September ends

BD, I doubt any clubs admitted to the NRL div 1 or 2 would be feeder clubs of another admitted club, so this would not be an issue.

The five Sydney teams that could relocate to Queensland

The solution is simple, if only people are prepared to give it a go. At 2023 when the new TV right come into effect, reduce the NRL to the top twelve (12) teams as they finished in season 2022. The bottom four teams are relegated to a second division and joined by six to eight new or existing clubs.
From that point on the bottom 1st division club is relegated and the top second division club is promoted. The second last first division and the second best division two team plays off for promotion/ relegation.
The top four (one third of the first division) qualify for the finals series.
1. No current club dies or needs to be relocated. And, all clubs remain/ are part of the NRL , which is composed of two divisions and those in the second division can play their way into the first division.
2. The competition throughout the year is more exciting given battles for the premiership finals, promotion and relegation positions.
3. Potential to expand and add revenue is improved.
4. Increased player development opportunities will ultimately raise depth of talent across the NRL.
5. A 12 team competition provide 22 rounds of 11 home and 11 away games for each club, with all clubs paying each other at home and away. The fairest competition.
1. Will rusted on supporters stick with their team if relegated and will new supporters be attracted to second division clubs. I believe the competing for promotion and with the right promotion of the league, support will actually grow.
2. Funding for the second division. With the right TV / broadcasting strategy focused on the race for promotion, funding the competition will be available.

The five Sydney teams that could relocate to Queensland

Would it be time that FFA and the new A-League commission bite the bullet and pay or subsidise football reporters at the Courier Mail and other newspapers in the same way that the AFL and NRL do, so that football gets a fair share in the media. It might be one of a few key “investments” FFA needs to make to raise football’s profile and just as important as getting games on free to air TV.

Are Sydney FC just trying to annoy their A-League opposition?

I’ve been to plenty of football matches of all codes around the world. The AFL grand final is nothing special and I’ve experienced plenty of better atmosphere and excitement levels that easily compare or exceed that of an AFL. Sometimes I think AFL and its commentators live in a bubble. One day I hope Melbourne joins the rest of the sports world, particularly its sports media.

Why the grand final must always be held at the MCG

A complete and total waste of time, money and Australian sports talent, GWS can’t attract a crowd in Australia, let alone overseas. After years of living in the USA, I can tell you the game of Australian Rules football is viewed as some kind of weird, little game that is a bit of a dogs breakfast in appearance and a source of amusement to Americans. It has zero chance of evolving into anything outside of Australia and even struggles to exist in NSW and Qld. American football has more chance of growing in Australia than AFL has of taking a foothold in the USA – money speaks.
AFL has reached its zenith and should focus on consolidating its position in the states in which it is historically strong, because future funds and broadcasting will be focused on global sports, not small time local boutique sports.

GWS plans for US game moving forward

Totally agree, Reuster, and I’m a Victory fan too, since their inception. But like you, I’m loosing faith in what they actually represent other than their own organisation ownership and administration. AAMI should be our home for all home games; Marvel is not a good ground for football – too big for our attendance, too far from the pitch and the playing surface is poor.
Also, the sooner we dump the final system the better the standard of play during the season proper will be, but this may need to wait until p/r is introduced to put pressure on both ends of the table. The top end races for the champions tag and three or four Asian Championship places, while the bottom end competes to avoid relegation. No need for a finals system, which distorts who the best team was during the season.

The A-League is done, so will anyone come back next season?

Pity you choose to start your comment with an insult. It would be better received if you made your argument in a respectful way.
Second divisions work all over the world in various football codes, including in countries with smaller populations than Australia, and sponsors regularly stick with clubs relegated or playing in second divisions. Commercial arrangements can and are made to take into account the possibility of relegation. It’s not hard and I’ve been part of completing these myself, which incidentally means I’m not “another amateur trying to promote a bad idea” . In fact I have seen it work.
As for value for money, a second division that is wholly or partially televised and the interest in the race for promotion can provide sponsors with as good exposure as teams languishing at the foot of a sixteen (or more) team competition for half a season with nothing to play for and no reason to try.

Think relocation is a terrible idea? Let's do what we do with other terrible ideas: Try it out

Relocation is not necessary at all. The league should rely on the forces of competition, player and administrative talent, and fan support. There are too many teams trying to play in the top level of rugby league at present, resulting in an uneven fixture list each year and no competitive tension for failing in the league. This will, if it hasn’t already, result in playing and admistrative standards and interest in the league to plateau.
The best solution, which some will ridicule as not workable in Australian sport, is for a second division with promotion and relegation to be introduced. Cut the current NRL to 12 teams and place the other four existing clubs into a second division along with additional teams from those currently seeking admission to the NRL. That way, expansion can be managed through the second division and the best teams play at the highest level. Part of the next TV deal should include a requirement to telecast s cond division games, and with a 24/7 NRL channel, Foxsport will have plenty of content. Some midweek second division games might provide good tv ratings.
This strategy avoids losing clubs altogether while offering opportunity to those good enough to grow and succeed in playing and financial terms.
True fans who are rusted onto a club should stick with their club even if relegated to the second division. Part of the fabric of a club’s fan base and culture is defined by how the club and its fans deal with relegation and playing in a competitive second division. The struggle for promotion build character and strength.
So, no need to relocate clubs. We just need to ditch some long held myths about a second division and promotion and relegation to offer clubs a chance to renew, rebuild and still play in a Narai on competition with a chance to return to the top if they are good enough.

Think relocation is a terrible idea? Let's do what we do with other terrible ideas: Try it out