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Roberto Bettega

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Joined February 2011

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Just reading this bit:
“Rules allow players in Queensland teams when they haven’t played a Sydney team in the last 14 days to dine at cafes and restaurants, but not attend pubs. ”

Nowhere am I reading that there is an actual breach of the rules as they are currently written.

I don’t have a problem with these grey areas being highlighted, professional sport is in a difficult bind, so everyone has to expect scrutiny. but in this case, I’m not sure there has been an actual breach.

Up to ten Broncos players involved in potential COVID protocol breach

An important point, all sports with an international footprint need to think about it.
Next year might be pretty much like this year, with minimal to no international travel.
That being the case, RA must plan for a domestic club comp, but not just one that is going to last 18 months, this time, it has to be one with legs.

Let’s be realistic about Rugby Australia’s new broadcast offering

Rodger
The new CEO has already stated that he is not concerned about the NRL and AFL, does not care what they do, and we don’t need to worry about them.

That being the case, let’s set up a proper football structure now.

Save the Mariners or it just ain't the A-League

I think we want to see the NPL and A-League bridged.
We want something which sits between the two and which will allow P&R, not in 20 years, but next year.

Save the Mariners or it just ain't the A-League

Rodger
Everyone appears to be in furious agreement about boutique stadiums, with capacities of 10k to 15k.
Grand finals only happen once a year, and you’ll get plenty of debate about whether that is the best way to determine the Championship.
Also worth remembering that even in the NSL era they had some very big grand final crowds.
To be honest, I don’t see how the license fee determines whether we get good football or not.
One thing for sure, big license fees mean P&R will never be introduced.

Save the Mariners or it just ain't the A-League

Yes, I believe it was that sort of thinking.
Sort of goes hand in glove with the salary cap, it’s about saving clubs from themselves, making sure they don’t spend what they don’t have, etc.
Of course, they then introduce a relatively high salary floor, which defeats that particular purpose of the cap.
The other purpose is equalisation, but not sure that is really being achieved either.

Save the Mariners or it just ain't the A-League

If the A-League is about to have its finances halved, that might be the perfect time to introduce an NSD.
A-League salary spending will plummet to $1.6 million, and you might have a case where an NSD club can get away with spending $500k to $800k on player salaries.
All of a sudden, it’s affordable, and the jump from one to the other is not so great.
Now is actually the perfect time to do it, not some idealised time later on this century.

Save the Mariners or it just ain't the A-League

The more we continue with license fees, the further out into the future P&R gets pushed (which the current owners love).
This might be the circuit breaker we’re looking for.
If no one wants to buy that license, that might be a godsend, we want those licenses to be worth zero dollars, we want existing clubs to have the opportunity to be promoted into the A-League, even if that consigns the Mariners to the history books.
Worthless licenses means it’s time to start promoting clubs on merit and we can forget about license fees forthwith.

Save the Mariners or it just ain't the A-League

Once again, why is the solution to sell the license?
That is precisely the point I am highlighting.
Let’s try and push a club up from the tier below – without the payment of a license fee!
Let’s have the best NPL clubs play off for that one spot.
Now that’s football!

Save the Mariners or it just ain't the A-League

And that game got four times the ratings the A-League is currently getting.

Who should replace the Mariners?

The Mariners don’t need to be saved – they need to be relegated.

One of the problems we have in Australian Football is this idea that we need to save clubs, as if they’ve been around for 100 years.

Well, in the case of the A-League, they haven’t been around for 100 years. A club like the Mariners is barely 15 years old, and it only exists because of a quirk of history, because Australia’s richest man was given government money to close down an old national league and start up a new one, and he had carte blanche to pick and choose which teams entered the new comp.

Seven of the original eight exist to this day.

Apart from that quirk of history, why does a club like the Mariners deserve to stay in the top flight despite years of finishing bottom?

It doesn’t deserve it. It’s only happening because of a quirk of history, because we don’t have a proper football structure in place.

The very, very best thing for Australian Football is not to save the Mariners, it’s to make them the first cab off the rank for the introduction of P&R.

Save the Mariners or it just ain't the A-League

“I want each of the 32 teams to connect to local park teams and or regional associations …”

If there is direct P&R, that effectively means a club is getting promoted from a lower tier.

Is that enough of a “connection”?

The following season, another team from that lower tier is going to be gunning for their spot.

And another club below that is gunning for their spot, etc.

That’s real football.

Sparkling Diamanti reminds us the A-League can still shine

Two classy goals, wonderful to watch, can watch a few replays of it as well…but…my main thought is: wouldn’t it be horrible if WU won the Championship in their very first season?

Sparkling Diamanti reminds us the A-League can still shine

Does rugby league need to have big participants in Victoria for the Storm to be viewed as a successful venture for the NRL?
I wouldn’t have thought so.
Rugby League will always have smaller participant numbers because it’s such a physically demanding game, even in its heartland, let alone in AFL territory (where football is also quite big).
I liken it to the NFL, the biggest professional sporting comp in the US, perhaps the world. Does it every worry about smallish participant numbers?
No.
All that matters is that enough are coming through the pipeline to fill rosters.

Are the Storm in decline and does the game want them dead?

David
It does sound a wee bit ambitious, especially that number having to pay $240 per annum.

For example, last night, WU vs Wanderers got an audience of 14k on Fox, and Wanderers are considered as one of the biggest clubs in Australia.

It's time for football's leap of faith into streaming

This podcast is worth listening to:

Nick is the Chairman of the AAFC, in this interview he discusses the AAFC’s view on the NSD.
He makes the point that it’s not about being in competition with the A-League, it’s about providing an avenue to allow clubs which aspire to grow, to have the opportunity to grow.

He makes the point that an A-League club being relegated to the NSD should not be viewed as the death of that club. A team like the Mariners, as an obvious example, might enjoy the opportunity to drop down a tier, regroup, catch their breath, grow again and thrive on the challenge of winning promotion back to the A-League.

And if they can’t get back in, well, that’s just too bad.

That’s football.

Who should replace the Mariners?

The Victory don’t just get respectable crowds, they get excellent crowds.
A respectable crowd for the A-League is around 9k.
10k is good, anything above 12k is very good.
That’s good enough for the A-League, as long as they are playing out of appropriate stadiums.

Who should replace the Mariners?

One of the most telling moments in that “TPO Vision” when he gives the example of Japan, a country of over 100 million (and no competition from any other form of football) which went from 10 professional clubs in 1993 to 50 professional clubs in 2018.

What are the chances that we can do the same in Australia over the next 25 years?

Next to zero I’d say.

But this is what we can do, accept that some clubs in the NSD will be semi-pro, relying on a lot of youth contracts to get by, and surviving on the smell of an oily rag.

Forget about A3, that’s definitely pie in the sky (NPL will comprise that tier, and will all be semi-pro).

Who should replace the Mariners?

The club?
There is no club.
There is a license owner, he he also owns the property assets under a separate corporate entity.
He was quoted in the SMH as saying he is selling the two separately.
A single buyer might end up buying both, but there is no guarantee.

Who should replace the Mariners?

Once again, the problem is the governing body looking for winners (and selling licenses), rather than the real winners, those who win the tier below, winning promotion to the top tier.
That’s where the focus should be, rewarding the real winners, not choosing winners, and creating franchises in the hope that it will attract customers.

Who should replace the Mariners?

In the NSL era, if a team finished bottom 2 or 3 times in rapid succession, they were gone.

Who should replace the Mariners?

The only way this works is if the content is being sold to someone like Optus.
If it’s not getting on-sold, then having to rely solely on people spending $240 per annum to subscribe to FFATV seems a long shot to me.

It's time for football's leap of faith into streaming

These sorts of discussions are a reminder of everything wrong with the franchise system.

Quite simply, the Mariners should have been relegated long ago, and a real football club should have won promotion to the A-League.

Who should replace the Mariners?

South Melbourne is definitely a real club, members owned, it has a long-term lease on Lakeside, probably a better arrangement than pretty much every A-League club (sorry, I mean every A-League franchise).
As we see in the Mariners example, it’s the owner who owns the real estate, he can just sell the license to play in the A-League and continue ownership of the property assets, in part, that’s because the Mariners are represented by a license and nothing else.
They don’t actually exist as such. The license can be sold off, whoever owns the license can locate a team wherever they want.
South Melbourne is a members owned entity, it has a real existence, it’s only the FFA’s policies which has stopped it claiming its rightful place in the top tier of Australian football.
If we had a proper football set-up in Australia, the Mariners would have been relegated long ago, and a club like South Melbourne (or the Melbourne Knights for that matter) may have got an opportunity to move up.
That’s real football.

Mariners owner to sell Central Coast club

That article answers a lot of questions.
The real estate is actually owned by Charlesworth, the Mariners have zero ownership interest.
We should not be surprised by that.
The Mariners are just a franchise. The only thing they have of value is a license to compete in a closed league (actually take that back, Charlesworth owns that too).
There is no actual club, in fact, there is nothing.
This is very similar to the WU model. WU will NOT own the land and stadium. The property developers who own the WU license will be the ones who own that bit of real estate.
It sort of underscores everything wrong with the franchise/licensing system and why we need to open up the competition to real clubs like South Melbourne.

Mariners owner to sell Central Coast club