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Munro Mike

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Joined September 2018

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#Punter

I’m actually trying to work out what Rellum’s scope is.

The assertion ” industries eat themselves alive till there is only one left”……is only so true. That’s the law of the jungle survival of the fittest……but a superficial take on it – – in that the natural world/the law of the jungle rarely sees one species decimate another (unless it’s by the hand of humankind).

So the human approach to sports? I figured Rellum was focussed on the Australian context to a fair degree via this statement:

“In time the only sports they will be high profile will be the NFL, Euro Top League(what ever that is) and the NBA. Maybe Cricket will stick around with the IPL and the NRL and AFL might maintain some presence but down the road the massive media pull of these few mega comps will destroy all the others, through fans and player talent.”

And so we came to my discussion from the Australian context of an industry eating itself.

The “soccer” industry in Australia seems to feast on itself. The A-League is the latest incarnation…..it feels like the local instance as with many nations is backwater stuff….the pointy end of the pyramid (of the world game) attracts all the money to a small number of leagues and in some respects a smallish number of mega clubs predominantly with-in those leagues. Which is where this notion of the “SuperLeague” feels like a natural evolution of an unregulated “industry eating itself”.

Btw – I fully understand the distinction between the AFL, THE AFL and Australian Football.

What I do wonder……this latest “SuperLeague” proposal…..getting shot down now…..but is it just the opening gambit. What’s the end game and when and what will the next move be? I’d be interested in what you feel is likely to happen? Is there a “revolution” to come??

How the European Super League can be good for football

It’s a nice story – – alas my North Melbourne side jsut couldn’t combat her influence – she was a major factor in Collingwood getting to the prelim – that’s for sure.

Thankfully the AFL have gone aggressively on establishing the AFLW – there were so many footy loving girls playing basketball or soccer because that’s all there was for them.

AFLW award vindicates sport switch for Brianna Davey

#Rellum

I’d argue however – – this is the dilemma for soccer.

The problem has ALWAYS been that the A-League is not just fighting the other 3 pro football codes in this country; and not just that over summer they suddenly found themselves up against and losing the broadcasting battle with the BBL cricket offering……no….the real issue for soccer in Australia is that the international market is saturated.

In basketball…..it’s really just the NBA……there’s other Euro leagues etc but in reality it’s the NBA or bust. The NBL can muddle along and has found a niche for young players seeking a pro-contract prior to NBA eligibility.

Soccer though……there’s the EPL, there’s the Bundeliga, Serie-A, Spanish, French……and then the UEFA Nations and Champions leagues…….and that’s just Europe.

I can see your concern specifically for the world of soccer…..but there’s more to the world than that.

And the internet??……the internet actually allows people to follow their team(s) better. Streaming Kayo…..as an example…..allows AFL followers to specifically follow their team irrespective of what Ch.7 has on. Very few people have so much spare time to fill with watching heaps and heaps of other sports………..there’s more to life.

How the European Super League can be good for football

Were that to happen then it already would have.

Australia is like a microcosm of the world. Austraila is arguably – per capita – the worlds most competitive domestic football market (4 pro leagues including one local code). But also up against so many other sport, Olympic and otherwise including cricket.

Back in the late ’80s/early ’90s I thought American sports were going to take over…..in particular basketball.

Why hasn’t it? Why hasn’t soccer taken over?

Using the Australian microcosm…….the biggest viewership and association with sports is the AFL. 100% local. Cricket……largely only take real close notice of the home series and less so the away series. Why?

Local is still prefered.

A Europ ‘mega league’…….will be big in Europe. For those who care. But unless there’s a game in town every week then it’s too distant to dominate and kill off all opposition.

We’ve seen that in the Australian microcosm. The code with the League with the best mainland cut through is the AFL; mainly because of a minimum 2 clubs/teams per mainland state……..there’s a local game every week. You need that local presence.

And why do the Matildas struggle for recognition in AFL states? Because the AFLW girls are more local; more available for media and promotion and more visible via the profile of the regular league matches.

So……..don’t worry……the sky won’t fall in on you anytime soon.

How the European Super League can be good for football

I do think there’s too many people with 19th century romantic associations to the game.

You’re absolutely right about the business side of it.

We need only look at how centralised the talent and money in the game becomes. Private ownership is part of but not the entire problem.

Looking around the top 20 leagues for average attendances and outside the top couple of leagues is astounding how quickly it falls away.

Largely because most leagues have one or two powerhouse clubs (where all the money is). Is there serious league competition? No. Are there equalisation measuures? No. The top clubs need to have free reign to compete in the champions leagues etc. So…..why is a huge club playing ‘local/park’ sport against some 2 bit club with a 2nd rate ground able to fit 5,000 standing? It makes no sense.

A super league is somewhat a logical progression.

The interesting question would be – – would such a league become too big; to powerful; to big a money spinner that international representation would take a serious hit? (even if no bans imposed). Ultimately it’s the club paying the bills…..not the national representation.

How the European Super League can be good for football

The irony of this situation is it illustrates how via private ownership that big soccer has sold its soul.

Seriously – when you go so far down the money line……..where does the train end up at??

Soccer already is awfully ‘biased’ (in the sense of a lawn bowl). A small number of big leagues and even in the leagues such as Italian and Spanish; there’s a peak couple of BIG teams and the rest are really just peripheral (get to bask in the glow of their mightier – better funded – opposition).

In too many cases the fans have long since gone from being fans to being ‘subscribers’.

The ‘Super League’ is everything that football isn’t

When you watch the initial long vision – – note the point at which Duncan leaps. About 48 metres?

Hall was kicking from about 53 metres?

Where did the contact happen? Around 50-51 metres. Duncan lept not just up but at Hall. That’s what should have seen him done for.

He’s smashed into Hall and landed behind Hall (such was his momentum).

Note that Duncan was still in the air as he hit Hall and Hall had only just landed on his feet after the act of kicking.

So……..anyone suggesting Duncan innocently jumped “up” trying to touch the ball is forgiving his recklessness just a smidge too easily.

Duncan provided the momentum (the force for the severity of what should be labelled “high impact”).
Duncan jumped and in doing so – that’s why it was “high contact”.
Was it careless? Damn right it was. He specifically launched himself with his moment straight at the kicker. And then turned his back as he realised how much he’s stuffed it up and was about to smash into him.

Should it have been cited…Damn right it should’ve.

Let Geelong appeal and go to the tribunal if need be.

There’s a reason we don’t see this happening every week……..because all the other players get it right the vast majority of the time. Duncan got it wrong…..the outcome is there to be seen……he has effectively run a red light and cleaned someone up. It’s not defence that he was going quicker than he realised and didn’t mean it and couldn’t stop!!

Should North Melbourne have received a free-kick after this collision?

……says he due to the absence of a meaningful life to distract from such banality.

Gambles backfire for Blues as Queensland take charge in Shield final

Well how about the “GOAT” worry about pitching the ball up a smidge more and threatening the stumps….that was over the top by a mile, and it’s kinda embarrassing (desperate) that he’s appealling so forcefully for that.

If I was umpiring that I’d suggest “Going over by a mile; no get on with it”.

The GOAT's perfect response to Marnus deciding to pad up

I’m trying to work out what this is hoping to achieve.

Let’s say a handful of UK based Fijians who have already “left home” return……to…..wait for it…..to Sydney.

It’s effectively a Fijian expats side. Isn’t it?

Gee….the AFL could do that…..they could have the 19th team from Tassie and the 20th team be a “world team”……which could fly into Fiji, or LA or London to play the odd game but be based in Melbourne.

You haven’t told me yet what the pay off is back in Fiji.

Two Pacific Island teams given green light to join Super Rugby in 2022

Well – NSW in big trouble on day 1 and Hughes gone for 19.

Roll on the 2nd innings…..

Daniel Hughes' Test hopes on line in Sheffield Shield final

I agree –

The first reading of this is that they are dressed up international sides geared predominantly towards expats in NZ (Auckland) and Australia (Sydney).

Just what benefit flows back to the Pacific island nations themselves would be interesting.

Would part of the set up require ‘development’ programs in the nations ostensibly represented by these sides?

Or would it be just a largely superficial gimmick to expand the competition without breaking down the current regional/state identities.

Just what is the benefit to Fiji if – for example – just a couple of token games are played locally (just not economically viable) and all the players/staff etc are based in Sydney or Auckland?? Would that just ensure that any aspirational Fijian talent will pack up and head to Australia (or NZ) asap and try to rise to prominance there?? I would doubt that ‘feeder’ sides were limited to local comps based in Fiji or whereever else.

Two Pacific Island teams given green light to join Super Rugby in 2022

An odd number of teams is largely pointless – – in that it doesn’t provide an extra game each round. It might stretch the season out??

And extra TWO teams provides an extra game each round and can even allow a shortening of the season (rounds) with extra games still factored in.

"Do it for the right reasons": Abdo says NRL won't force expansion

There’s also been an issue at many venues – – be it the AFL, even the NBL basketball (as wife/son noticed last night).

Members are excluded from their member reserved seats.

The 75% limits are still trying to disperse/separate people……..

……it’s probably no ones fault but it’s not ideal.

Despite its clear quality, the A-League is being swamped by revitalised winter codes

NSW squad: Sean Abbott, Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Jack Edwards, Matthew Gilkes, Josh Hazlewood, Lachlan Hearne, Baxter Holt, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Peter Nevill, Kurtis Patterson, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Mitchell Starc

Sooo……

What’s the best XI we can come up with out of that?

NSW should leave Mitchell Starc out of the side for the Shield final

The main problem with the ‘spirit’ of it all is that if you get tackled promptly (with effectively no prior)……you’re best off letting the ball be “knocked” clear rather than attempting disposal where you might end up throwing it (if the tackler locks an arm).

But that’s the art and skill of tackling……give the player with the ball “enough rope”.

My problem is the seemingly arbitrary holding the ball when a guy gets wrapped up, ball locked in – gone to ground with the tackler and perhaps a second tackler joins in…….and the umpire decides to call it holding the ball. The problem is with three umpires across the field that we can get glaring inconsistencies. Some umpires are more willing to call it a draw and throw it up. Others are the ‘hanging’ judges.

Remember when holding the ball made sense?

Chris Donlon is a very good umpire – – he got this right (really had no option).

Were the Pies dudded by this controversial deliberate behind call?

Well we know going back some of the secrets of success passed on by Imran Khan (including the judicious use of a bottle top).

Part of it back then was actually understanding what could be achieved and how to exploit it. But the tampering element was there to ensure you could do that; and to hasten the conditioning of the ball to do that.

It’s been happening for some time.

And in fairness to Starc – – that was his first ‘peak’ of getting his average below 27. The second peak of 26.75 was achieved in the 2nd test vs India last summer…..and his last 10 tests at that stage included cashing in against poor showings from Pak, NZ and SL sides that toured Australia. That was after Starc had tried to tweak his action.

Starc's Sheffield Shield flop puts Ashes spot at risk

At his peak – which was struck on that tour of Sth Africa – his 9/109 in the Durban test nailed it.

That was his 2nd best ever test numbers – – only bettered by 11/94 in Galle vs Sri Lanka in 2016 (ironically in a losing effort).

I’m not implying sand paper usage was prominent before Durban but there were suspicions re the Durban match.

As suggested by Geoff Lemon:
“The Cricket Australia version of events says the third day in Cape Town was the first time it had ever occurred to any Australian player to tamper with the ball. And that just doesn’t make any logical sense, that David Warner would show Cameron Bancroft how to sandpaper a cricket ball, having never sandpapered a cricket ball himself before in a match. It strains credibility.”

Starc's Sheffield Shield flop puts Ashes spot at risk

At his (first) peak…..they were getting away with sand paper???? It’s interesting – his career average ducked below 27 twice. First was after the Durban test in 2018 (got to 26.95). Then he had a horrible run – but lucked it in to play a third rate Sri Lanka in Canberra (10/100) and that drove him to his 2nd and best ‘peak’ which was 26.75 (having pulled it back from 29.11).

The irony is that if he’d returned to the Shield and performed…..no worries…..it would have simply proven what was obvious at the time (to all but the selectors) that he looked tired and was a dangerous pick for the back to back tests.

Granted – the selectors back him in on his great numbers — he’d cashed in against Pakistan and New Zealand the summer before.

As it is though – combining those last 2 tests (3/290) with the 4 shield games (6/449) gives 9/739 at 82.11. That’s horrid.

Starc's Sheffield Shield flop puts Ashes spot at risk

Starc had been trending horribly since South Africa and that game vs Sri Lanka where he had match figures of 10/100 was in essence the worst possible result for Australia.

It meant all was forgiven/forgotten. His ‘stats’ still looked fine.

And as you refer to – – the career stats vs recent stats.

Overall – his career best bowling average first was 26.95 (S/R 47.5) which was arrived at after the Durban test in 2018. Where Starc produced 9-109 match figures and was getting the ball to reverse alreaday around overs 28-30 (far sooner than might normally be expected).

In the test matches between that game and the Canberra game his career average went from 26.95 to 29.11. During that cluster of matches he took 22 wickets at 46.68 at S/R of 83.68.

That 10/100……was it a return to form? Was it a statistical outlier? He only played one Ashes test so the selectors weren’t convinced. The irony is that with the first two tests of the India series last summer – – he took 8 wickets for 158 (a tick under avg of 20). His career stats 26.75 at S/R 48. Fabulous.

He’d actually enjoyed his most fruitful period of test cricket – across 11 bowling innings in a row he had a “rolling 10 innings” bowling average of below 20. That kicked in once the 18/19 home series vs India drops out and the figures are dominated by the Canberra test and the home tests against a pretty disappointing Pakistan. Starc cashed in against New Zealand too.

However – – presently – his last 2 tests (Syd/Bris) produced 3/290 and add that to his shield output of 6/449 that gives 9/739 at 82.11.

So – as per my article today; I wouldn’t be picking him in the upcoming Shield final.

As for the Ashes…….I’d be trying to lure Sidds back!!!

Starc's Sheffield Shield flop puts Ashes spot at risk

Yeah – Hazlewood has pulled out of the IPL and is available for the final.

Add him to Copeland, Conway, Abbott and Lyon and perhaps Sangha as support and that’s not bad. Why would they pick a horribly out of form Starc??

NSW should leave Mitchell Starc out of the side for the Shield final

Josh Hazlewood has pulled out of the IPL. So there’s a started.

Copeland, Conway.

The NSW players in the IPL are Smith, Henriques, Cummins, and Warner. (add in covid+ Sams).

Sean Abbott – – signed by Surrey for their T20 blast – – I assume he’s available for the Shield Final still? Given it’s reported he joins them in late May.

So…..Hazlewood, Copeland, Conway, Abbott, Lyon.

That to me looks much better than having Starc in there.

NSW should leave Mitchell Starc out of the side for the Shield final

#Punter

The question is on what level are you trying to compete in global association football (soccer)?

It’s still a case that the vast majority of leagues are mickey mouse compared to the big few (Germany, Spain, England, France).

Top talent is still drawn there. So – – are you trying to wedge talent from Australia into there and call that success?

Are you only concerned about the Socceroos ‘succeeding’ in international tournaments? Is that success a function of wedging talent into the biggest leagues?

My assertion would be that if the global game is so great then the domination of those few Euro leagues needs to be broken down. The reality is – – lets look at Kewell who went to Galatasaray; the Turkish Super Lig averages around 13-14,000. That for a top league in a soccer nation??!?! That’s rubbish that is. So Kewell goes to the biggest team in that league which averages about 35,000. (which distorts upward the league average). One might argue that there’s precious little benefit on player development (that wasn’t his focus clearly…..just chasing cash) to go to the biggest club in a dodgy league.

Turkey is a country of 82,000 million. Why isn’t there Super Lig averaging 30,000 a match?? Where’s there investment into the game, into the stadiums?? Turkey is a sporting backwater. The World Game hasn’t helped it one bit – it should be a super power.

So…..I assert there’s a lot of “quantity” with soccer……and it gets by on that. The qualitative element can too easily rely on the weight of numbers and especially from sporting backwater nations where soccer has an effective monopoly.

The future of Australian football: How to rebuild interest in the beautiful game

Grem – see my comments a little further down.

That 2 million…….that’s total BS – – and how does one figure that? Simple. Look at the FFA’s own annual report/census which breaks it down and highlights how BS it is.

The future of Australian football: How to rebuild interest in the beautiful game