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The A-League ban cycle

Hot on the heels of Rebecca Wilson’s article in The Daily Telegraph, publishing the names and faces of many people on the FFA’s banned list, fans have voiced their discontent not just towards sections of the Australian media but equally toward the FFA.

Optus Sport picking up Simon Hill is a real sign of where things are going

Can a cut-price A-League offer more chances to local youngsters?

Yeah I’m really hoping Optus Sport will pick up HAL to go along with JAL and KAL. At the very least the ACL

It depends on how much they can and are willing to hold. Eg for Fox Sports the HAL timeframe flowed well into EPL and so they probably viewed the two as a bundle

I had no issue with Fox Sports holding A-League, what I really wanted to see was FFA Cup or ACL on FTA which could have acted as a form of broad reaching promotion of the local teams

Especially around the first half of 2010’s when there was a fair bit of energy around WSW and the derbies and crowds were decent

Can a cut-price A-League offer more chances to local youngsters?

Not surprised, reckon it will be tricky to get a new owner in the current climate

Mariners owner to sell Central Coast club

I reckon the proposed Western United stadium may be put on ice too

In fact I can see the competition somewhat needing to contract

Could even end up with 8-9 teams again

Can a cut-price A-League offer more chances to local youngsters?

Pretty much the case of scaling things back

To be fair I think this will be a worldwide phenomenon

Putting COVID-19 aside, it has been a while in coming given Cable is on the decline the face of internet streaming and this was going to spillover into sports broadcasting

The A League has a strange advantage in that they have “less far to fall” compared to AFL and NRL, and footballers can still have a decent career by travelling to play in Asia and Europe still

This is where connectivity with the fanbase to maintain crowds plus the sport building our own infrastructure so we aren’t mired in high leasing costs was important but that wasn’t done

Can a cut-price A-League offer more chances to local youngsters?

Yeah that’s about the time I pin this on,

The thing is the RBB and NT were bringing energy to the stands, WSW did very well out of it and the FFA either failed to grasp of were such sycophants they ignored the fact these hit-pieces were designed to undermine the A-League and they played into their hands with bs policies

Sure there’s some edge and people get overexcited with throwing bottles but it’s manageable as an issue and the key metric they had to look at was crowd numbers which were remaining strong and even going up so word-of-mouth more than outmatches bad media

The other side is poaching Ange from Victory, if we had Ange at Victory and Graham Arnold at Sydney in the middle of the decade there could have lifted the rivalry right up a notch but instead they used them as cheap Aussie options for Socceroos coach instead of getting a L/T overseas coach

Socceroos have their own issues, the whole Dutch obsesssion has not been all that great in the attacking third and we are struggling to score goals at World Cups now

Hard to see how 3 Melbourne and Sydney teams are viable with the loss of TV Broadcast revenue. Might have to go Semi-Pro at this rate but on the plus side we have less to fall than AFL and NRL and football generally can promise a good career path through the O/S option, eg Asia plays high wages so players don’t need to be EPL level superstars now

Simon Hill's departure from Fox Sports leaves a gaping hole

Good read

The writing was on the Wall the moment Fox Sports lost the EPL

They seemed to consider HAL and EPL as a form of bundle

The nail was put in the coffin the moment Bein Sports lost UCL and Europe League to Optus Sports, so there is less demand to get Fox Sports package for HAL

This is why they looked to re-negotiate after the lockdown, seems Fox Sports are looking to divest themselves and the signs are there they are looking to make HAL coverage a more budget operation, eg no studio discussion on matches atm

As for Hill, I’m kinda hoping Optus Sport get HAL and at the very least the ACL

Hill is of the calibre who would do well at Optus Sport in conjunction with Aussie EPL players like Schwarzer etc who act as pundits

Could be a case of Optus get ACL to go with J League and K-League. I’ve always felt that rather than have FFA Cup on Cable it would have been good on FTA or even FFA website as a form of promo comp to get people into HAL more broadly

Simon Hill's departure from Fox Sports leaves a gaping hole

We can have NPL clubs competitive in the Round of 32 when they are in the midst of their own season and A-League clubs are deep in pre-season

Outside of that they are not

It’s great though when they are able to generate a fair bit of money from these games that go a long way

Which is why I believe NPL clubs should be able to negotiate transfer fees rather than the $3000 they get when HAL teams acquire one of their players

No more 'old soccer' and 'new football'. The FFA Cup proves there is only football

Don’t agree with this at all

Western Melbourne essentially cannibalises from the two pre-existing Melbourne teams

South West Sydney basically cannibalises from Western Sydney

Would have liked to have seen two of Canberra. Wollongong and South Melbourne get in personally

Probably Canberra and Wollongon most of all, fills the gap between Sydney and Melbourne

More A-League teams for Sydney and Melbourne: Did the FFA get their A-League expansion decision right?

Yeah there is an attitude issue. Part of it is perhaps it is deep pre-season?

A good way IMO is to that out of the 2.5 ACL spots, we give one to the FptP Premiers, one to the GF Champs and give the half spot to the FFA Cup which will help a little bit

I’ve wondered if a Group stage may help too, back end of NPL season + pre-season of HAL, a way to shorten the off-season. And of course some Prize Money

Our next iteration of football needs to be much more inclusive

Nice article

FFA should have brought the FFA Cup in 5 years into the A-League around 2010, they had done their “New Football Old Soccer” thing as a way to distinguish the HAL from the old NSL era but then they needed to soothe any ruffled feathers by bringing the “Old Soccer” back into the fold

I recall as an MV fan enthusiasm around the time or just before it was that pre-season friendlies would get a fair few people to them, eg 2000 at Richmond and even about 7000 against SMFC.

On top of that they should have allowed transfer fees. Both of these combined would have meant good $ filtering through each level of the game and made the fraternity more robust while preventing Old Soccer politics from having too much influence

Instead they focused on wining and dining FIFA Execs while having nowhere near the Networking ability developed having been in “Backwater Oceania” and in the AFC since only 2006.

Starting with the Asian Cup is the way to go, focus on youth and women tournaments and build up nice record

And that’s without going into the fact they over-corrected, from going from Football people with no Sports Business savvy but then swinging the pendulum too far and then having too many Sports Business career types with no passion or understanding of football

More recently, I thought they had a nice proposal before the FFA scuppered it, shows they are just interesting in power and nepotism

Our next iteration of football needs to be much more inclusive

Wouldn’t be surprised

It’s farcical on so many levels

Even if people believed the AC Stadium fairytales

Having lots of tourists for a Sport with a notorious drinking culture at WC’s in a deeply Conservative country = recipe for PR disaster, and that’s putting it in the milder time of year. Mid-year as envisioned would have seen lots of people getting severely unwell due to heat conditions outdoors

Then there’s the fact it’s a City-state. Any viable Mid-East bid would have had to have been a joint Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait bid etc

The smear campaign allegations could end up being the smoking gun needed to strip Qatar of the World Cup

Would say it’s more of a case of having transformed the vibe

Croatia are in their Golden Generation though so nice story there too

Football Coming Home was a Euro ’96 song when England where hosting the Euros. People everywhere have probably kicked some rolling object around for thousands of years but theGame/Sport that we all know and love codified there but I think it was the French? creating FIFA that helped it go global in the way it did rather than just be a Commonwealth sport ala Cricket and the Rugbies.

Which probably works out well

An excellent World Cup in Russia it has to be said. Let’s hope the Final lives up to the rep. I rekcon France will win though

The homecoming cancelled as Croatia beat England 2-1 in extra time

Good game, England stronger in the opening but Croatia finished more strongly

England had good opportunities to go 2-0 up didn’t take them, well done to Croatia for taking advantage and getting back in the game’

Nice open game with good opportunities at both ends. Sense it could have gone either way

Ultimately I would say Croatia having players in the prime playing for mega clubs showed, while England did look like the younger team with a bit still to learn. Sets things up nicely for Euro 2020 and WC 2022

Some suggestions Kane was carrying an injury, needed to really score though, hit the post which VAR would have called onside and missed his header in 93rd minute

The homecoming cancelled as Croatia beat England 2-1 in extra time

In terms of the HAL, I recall stadium leasing was a big issue.

As for Socceroos, spending well does help give the edge in big games.

My question now is whether that they get money given I think the AFC has the broadcast rights?

There is probably waste, but what money we do get is spread a fair bit thin I’d imagine

Grassroots is a fairly big football economy, relatively speaking. I would say though that the questions relate to the State Federations as much as the FFA though

Generally though, a big mistake has been made over and over again where good crowds and a good core community around HAL teams was forming, but then in order to satiate the generalist sports fan who doesen’t turn up or the casual fan who turns up a handful of times, they come out with the zero tolerance angle in response to media hyperbole. Crowds are down and subsequently revenue at HAL level is down

It will be interesting if the A-League does become independent or autonomous, much of the broadcast revenue relates to HAL

As for the FFA, questions need to be raised on how much they are spending at youth level, on these great Dutch programs that create functional, organised teams that can’t create Strikers or anyone who can finish in open play at World Cups…

Where does all the money football generates actually go?

Good win,

A team needs to develop the capacity for the professional win

Kane didn’t seem to have his usual sense of positioning but can’t be in the zone every game and good that on the days you aren’t other players step up

Sweden should have brought Ibrahimovich IMO

Well done to Pickford, some good smart saves

Sterling did well to get into good positions but should have squared to Kane at the end of the first half

England beat Sweden to make first World Cup semi since 1990

Should have won that in normal time, defender steps back into the goal but if he had stayed forward on the line probably would have just got to the ball to deflect it away instead of into the roof of the net

That said, the preceding shot was absurdly incredible, and the save from Pickford just as absurdly incredible too

Wasn’t chuffed at the time but Foster raised a good point in the sense the Penalty Kick cloud won’t hang over Englands head going forward from this point for the rest of the Tournament at least

Is football coming home to England? Don't bet against it

They have to be careful in taking their focus off in the 3rd game, as it can be tricky to then just flick the switch in Ro16 and the attitude carries over

That said, I do expect Kane, De Bruyne etc to come off at half-time, given a half to keep sharp but then they’ll be protected from needless injury and an opportunity for squad players to fine-tune themselves will be utilised

Germany's exit - and Mexico's near-miss - has cracked the World Cup wide open

Yeah the mind boggles at how it wsn’t Timmy who came on for Nabbout

We were getting some great balls on but the Strikers positioning and assertiveness just wasn’t there

2 games and no goals from open play as yet

Arzani should have come on in the 60th minute

Feels like 2 points lost

Did Bert van Marwijk's tactics cost the Socceroos a win against Denmark?

This is all a bit of a shame, because there was a time where Kruse seemed like one of our best prospectsnd he wsdoing quite well

Some of the criticism descending into abuse is OTT

That said he does seem out of form obviously, it seems injury hasn’t helped, eg the 2015 Asian Cup Final

Would like to see Arzani start next match, and Timmy come on in the 2nd half

An exhaustive search to discover the point of Robbie Kruse

Yeah generally it is going to be a mess, plus it undermines the emotions, eg just then the elation of enjoying Lukaku’s goal was undermined by whether they will “allow it” or not

Plus it can enrage a stadium not aware of what is going on, eg in the MVFC vs AUFC Semi we were all wondering why Besh wasn’t taking his penalty and then after 5 mins Barbarouses is Red Carded

Take the World Cup, are they going to send that Serbian guy off or not, all this stoppage during Injury time too

Goal-Line technology is a great addition, VAR is not

In the past we could get irritated about the ref and move on, now countries/Managers/Players are going to go on about a systematic conspiracy by the VAR – whatever way it goes, eg some in our position would complain the decision was elicited to help the more fancied team get through. Imagine the 3rd Group games or the knockout games. Other side is the infamous 2002 “ball is still in” decision in favour of South Korea gets overturned

In our case, sure the Linesman missed a closish offside, it happens but all of a sudden people try to put a cloud over the result even though Thomas kept out a Newcastle surge and then Muscat put in place good tactics

VAR is a mess that undermines the emotional intensity and creates as many issues as it solves

This isn’t what we signed up for

Reckon we need Jedinak in the midfield

Play Arzani from the bench against France as an impact player

Consider starting him for second two matches depending on how things go

Kruse should have done better with some chances

Mooy is doing OK

What we learned from Socceroos vs Hungary

lol at the time wasting

I remember a Newcastle player taking ages to tie his boots before taking a Free Kick

Not to mention the injury time between head clashes and Karate kicks was actually quite justified in the end

How Melbourne won the grand final, and how the Jets lost it

Well done to Muscat

Has won the Championship with a team that lost Milligan in midfield/defence and was well short of the 2015 side

Normally I wouldn’t have considered us as Championship material at the start but this is a good example of how Muscat has managed to get his teams (our team lol) to punch above their weight when it matters

The first past the post debate aside, in a Playoffs/Grand Final system it is good to time the team to peak into form at the end of the season, and Melbourne did this

And to be fair if looked over the entire Finals series, while the GF might have been “ugly” it is an excellent story of perseverance and psychological perseverance

Eg we came from behind in the AUFC and SFC games, managed to pick ourselves up after the Antonis OG, managed to get through the GF without two assistants and with Theoharis injured on top of Rhys Williams so having to really delve into the squad with no options on the bench

So while it may not be a testament to Jogo bonito ala Anges Brisbane sides, this Championship win is a testament to the virtues of running a Professional outfit from the top-down but also the virtues of man management side of coaching

Very much a template of how to win a Championship from 4th

A bit similar to how WSW managed to win the ACL too and punch above their weight with A-League Premierships with a cobbled together side, eg in the ACL a matter of keeping it tight and compact, and nick the required result through 1-0 wins

How Melbourne won the grand final, and how the Jets lost it

As for that “antagonistic” expansion article, I can actually see the clubs side of it, FFA only got 1 expansion team right (WSW) and that was only when they really had to go the community route and do it properly when forced to after Clive Palmer and GCUtd

Outside of that there is a chance that as part of a power grab they want to bring in a few Club Yes Men with which to undermine existing club owners

FFA have really alienated every stakeholder with their silly power politics

Ticket scalping is a symbol of everything that's wrong with our society