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Roberto Bettega

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Joined February 2011

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I know there are a variety of views and opinions on this subject.
As an occasional watcher of elite rugby, over the years, the stoppages have started to annoy me more and more. The AFL is in the same boat as well. They keep changing the rules to fix it, and it seems to be getting worse.
The rugby purist won’t find an issue with it, but I think it’s a real issue for the casual or non-aligned sports fan.
Having said that, it’s equally important that Rugby retains its point of difference to League, so there is a fine balance between reducing such stoppages and losing the character of Rugby.

Eddie Jones identifies the biggest issue facing rugby

This 50% discount figure is getting bandied around far too much to just be a made up number.
Bonita wrote in her most recent article that she has a source suggesting that Fox has only offered $10 million per annum to continue broadcasting.
That might only represent an opening ambit claim, but anything under $25 million will represent a disaster for the elite level of football in this country.
Also, if Fox is only offering $10 mill, there doesn’t appear to much incentive for Optus to offer more than $20 mill, and even then, Optus would be expecting the A-League to meet all production costs out of that $20 mill.

A-League plans to resume in July

God, it is stacks easier.
In all those cases you mention, the countries we met on each occasion was getting a 2nd, and in the case of Iran, a 3rd bite at the cherry.
You don’t reckon that’s a lot better than just getting the one chance? (and coming into that one chance stone cold).
In fact, even if Australia had remained in Oceania with one guaranteed spot, that would actually be tougher than what we have in Asia (because NZ would win that one spot about once every four times, on average).
In Asia, Australia is only going to encounter one good team in each group, but there are two spots qualifying from each group, and if Australia stuffs that up, it gets a 2nd bite at the cherry (and last time, it was against a team ranked around 100).
Every country in Europe would love to have as easy a qualifying campaign as Australia has, I know Italy would love it!

NSL dinosaurs need to ease off the contemporary Australian footballer

…and he wasn’t the only one.

Could Melbourne Victory bounce back next season?

That list looks terrible.
Just for starters, you have Leigh Broxham’s name appearing across the whole defensive line, and in each case, it’s not actually his best role. He is a fill in, and not really a very good one at that (in those positions).

Could Melbourne Victory bounce back next season?

Evan
The 1997 Iran example is a good one.
It’s not just about the opponent.
Many forget (or are too young to know) that for Iran, they were getting a third chance at direct qualification to the WC by playing Australia. Three chances are better than one, I’ll tell you that much.
This is exactly what I am referring to in terms of the qualification process
If anyone thinks there is not a huge advantage in that, well….
Australia now shares that advantage, and what’s more, the one time we got that second chance, we had to play a nation ranked around 100, and had qualification games under our belt (rather than having to do it stone cold).
So, yes, in comparison, Australian qualification these days is an absolute walk in the park (and about to get easier).

NSL dinosaurs need to ease off the contemporary Australian footballer

I wouldn’t necessarily call it an opportunity squandered, but they only had a handful of games left to complete the season.
The question has to be asked: why aren’t they in a position to do so?

A-League players demand contract solution

The quality of opponent is one thing, the manner in which qualification was set up is something else again. Completely stacked against Australia at the time.
But since we’ve been in Asia, an absolute walk in the park by comparison.

NSL dinosaurs need to ease off the contemporary Australian footballer

Yeh, but these days, qualifying for the world cup is a walk in the park compared to what the socceroos had to do in the past. That’s why the 2005 qualification was such a huge achievement.
The youth record from back in the day was pretty good.
At one point, both our U20s and U17s had the 4th best winning record across all the youth world cups.
That’s a pretty good achievement, unlikely to ever be repeated.

NSL dinosaurs need to ease off the contemporary Australian footballer

The Italian way back then, and for a long time afterwards, was to allow teams to come at them right up to their box.
You even noticed this in 2006 when Italy went down to 10 men, and to this day, many socceroo fans talk about how the socceroos “dominated” the second half (yeh….nah).
Of course, when you face a rampant Brazil…
Now that was a golden generation.

NSL dinosaurs need to ease off the contemporary Australian footballer

This should have been sorted out by now.

A-League players demand contract solution

This man can perform miracles.

V’landys wants NRL crowds back in July

“Even if Fox was to push for a reduced contract, FFA could in exchange seek more control over how it uses its rights and sell off matches, or other portions of content, to different providers to help make up the shortfall in revenue and set itself up for future growth. ”

This is a key point. To get a reduced broadcast deal from Fox in exchange for the loss of exclusivity, would mean that the A-League would be able make up the shortfall PLUS the cost of production by onselling rights to other broadcasters or trying to stream directly itself.

It comes with some risk, especially in the first 2 or 3 years of such a set up, but in future years, the A-League would definitely be able to make up the shortfall.

For example, let us assume Fox pays exactly half the cash they are currently paying (half of $48 million = $24 million per annum).

The A-League has to make up a $24 mill shortfall, plus cover the cost of production (let’s assume they can reduce the cost from the present $13.5 mill per annum to $8 mill per annum).

So the A-League now has to earn a further $32 mill to leave it in the same position it is today financially.

I could see Optus paying $20-$25 mill per annum for the product, which gets us quite close.

If the A-League wanted to go it alone with its own streaming app, it would have to sell 400,000 subscriptions at $80 per annum to break even (or 320,000 at $100 per annum).

If you assume earning some $8 mill in advertising revenue, you can reduce that to 300,000 subscriptions.

It sounds improbable, but not impossible.

A-League proposal prompts PFA fair go call

About half the players are out of contract on 31 May.

A-League proposal prompts PFA fair go call

Good article.
Tonali has done well for a player of such a young age, in what was a relatively poor side, that’s a pretty good sign.
If he can be a mix of both Gattuso and Pirlo, then he will be a player indeed.
Of the two, of course it was Gattuso who played more of a holding mid role, if Tonali can have those attributes, plus combine the guile, vision and creativity of a Pirlo, then he can become one of the very best.

Sandro Tonali: Heir to Pirlo's throne?

Micko
In the early years of moving to the AFC, there were noises from some West Asian nations questioning Australia being part of Asia, but I haven’t heard anything on that front for a good decade now.

BD
With 8 nations getting spots in the each WC, Australia’s spot is guaranteed in perpetuity. Once you get down to the 7th or 8th best Asian nation, you are talking about very weak footballing nations. If we can’t get past them, we should pack it in.

The A-League stadium situation: Part 1

It’s always a pleasure to hear what Bruce has to say, he’s speaks with great clarity and argues his points very well.
On more than one occasion I’ve heard him talking about needing to accept our place in the football world, and that is as a selling league (like 90% of all other leagues across the world, actually that percentage might be higher).

Once we accept that we are a selling league, the way forward becomes clear. We do not need to be a prosperous league with big player salaries, playing in big stadiums with big crowds. WE don’t need expensive marquees and big name recruits. We don’t need gimmicks.

We just need a proper football structure, a proper football pyramid, with lots of opportunities being provided to young players to prove their mettle at a quasi-professional standard, where opportunities to play in the top tier are won on footballing merit.

And when the younger players prove their mettle, clubs should be looking for opportunities to sell them to the highest bidder, and bring the next ones through.

That’s the kind of league we need to be.

Bruce Djite: "The immediate future of Australian football is precarious"

True, all deals are being, or have been, negotiated downwards.
Some sports won’t have a deal at all.
If the NRL discount ends up being at around 20%, I don’ think that’s a bad outcome.
It will be the same for the AFL (that’s an $85 mill per annum hair cut).
It will probably be more for the A-League.

NRL reportedly finalises broadcast deal with Fox and Nine

Steve
That might level the playing field!

SANZAAR fighting a losing Super Rugby battle on two fronts

Pre COVID and the prospect of a purely trans-Tasman comp seemed remote, but now, it makes more sense than ever, and indeed might save professional rugby in Australia.

I hope it gets up and becomes a permanent fixture.

As for everyone else outside of the ANZ bubble, just for once, don’t worry about it.

Let them do whatever the hell they want to do.

If Sth Africa wants to align with Europe, or go it itself, fine.

If the Japanese comp keeps getting stronger, great.

Argentina can immerse itself in the Americas.

Just this once, let’s worry more about Australian rugby, and focus on the survival of the professional game here.

SANZAAR fighting a losing Super Rugby battle on two fronts

I think we are in the box seat to host this.
It will be a good thing for Australian football.

If they're fair dinkum, FIFA will bring the Women's World Cup to Australia

Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that with the season almost completed, the FFA would choose to postpone that completion by 5 months.
With training re-starting in June, surely we could have had a return in July? (or even earlier)
By the time the A-League returns in August, after a 5 month break, no one is going to remember where we left things at.

A-League aims for June training return, August completion

Looking back to 2004, when Lowy considered the make up of a new professional football league, it’s important to understand the terms of reference at that point in time:
– no ethnic clubs
– the initial one city one club model was there to encourage private investment, so each prospective owner got exclusive access to any city/town for a minimum of five years
– sufficient start up capital to operated for 3 or 4 seasons.

Tenders were sought, and decisions were made on the basis of the tenders received.

So to then start re-imagining what clubs should have been there from the start is a bit of a nonsense.

An attendance average was achieved in its very first season of 10,900 (which remains the long term average to the present day).

From which ever perspective you wish to take, that first season was an outstanding success.

Lowy was able to negotiate a decent broadcast deal in only its second season, from a zero base. Once again, that was a massive achievement, and there is no evidence to suggest that a different mix of clubs would have achieved a better outcome (in fact, I can say unequivocally that having Tassie and Canberra in the league would have done nothing to attract a broadcast deal).

What is missing today, and has been missing for the best part of a decade, is direct P&R between the A-League and next tier of football in this country.

Forget creative musings about what clubs should be in, merely allow the best 2nd tier clubs to win advancement to the top tier (and demote the worst performed clubs). That is what is needed. That’s what has been needed for a while now.

How would the A-League look if we started again?

I agree with your point about not needing finals.
I guess it depends on what the broadcaster wants.

Should the A-League be worried considering its players can’t go anywhere?

Sounds like a lot of mucking around just to play games in an empty stadium in another state.
What’s the point?
Go find somewhere safe, like Broken Hill, and finish playing your games there.

AFL returning on June 11 with use of Gold Coast hub