The Roar
The Roar


Roar Rookie

Joined April 2019







Canberra-based Football fan



I’ve had similar thoughts. Previous administrations have failed to see clubs as assets to be allowed to grow and prospeer, and instead see them as inconveniences to be micro-managed. When the NSL was canned there were still a number of clubs pushed into state leagues that had important capabilities that should have been maximised (Wollongong, South Melbourne, Melbourne Knights and others). Economists call them “stranded assets”.

I understand why FFA wanted to give the A-League and the new clubs clear air to become the national league in the public imagination, but a lot of valuable clubs were allowed to whither away when they should have been given opportunity to survive at a higher level. At about the 5 year mark post-NSL the FFA should have come up with a UCL model or a NSD as part of their thinking about how football as a whole can prosper

Australian football's long-term future is looking a lot brighter

Interesting – which association is this?

Central Coast Football [Association] deregistered by Football Australia

True. The reality is the “official participation numbers” are only the numbers of players affiliated to Football Australia. There’s loads of football played independently of the FA system. Maybe as much as 20% above what the FA publicly claims.

If they were a lot more supportive and nurturing to grassroots they could make their official stats look even bigger by persuading all sorts of comps to come in from the cold and affiliate

Central Coast Football [Association] deregistered by Football Australia

This story got a bit of traction on Twitter last week and the reaction from #sokkahtwitter was a kind of muted “seems about right”

Central Coast Football [Association] deregistered by Football Australia

This should be a harsh lesson for both FNSW and FA. They don’t own football. They have no legal authority to compel clubs and players to affiliate with them. It’s all done through persuasion and value adding. It has to be worthwhile for the clubs and players to do so. Otherwise, why bother? You’re getting taxed for no benefit.

CCF isn’t the only unaffiliated league in the country.

– The Armidale clubs broke away from Northern Inland Football and Northern NSW Football a couple of years ago. Got their own league run out of UNE now and seem happy.
– The Christian Football Federation of Australia runs club football in parallel to the FA system. It’s a micro version of FA and the state feds, but independent and takes care of its own business.
– Most futsal clubs and centres in NSW are affiliated to a rival association to Football NSW.
– Hardly indoor soccer centres bother to affiliate to FNSW. I did a desktop search for indoor football in Sydney and found about 70 centres that were independent of FNSW. That’s a lot of football that flies under their radar.

Lesson is, look after your grassroots. Don’t neglect it. Don’t tax it without adding significant value to their administration and game experience. Otherwise they’ll vote with their feet and disaffiliate.

Central Coast Football [Association] deregistered by Football Australia

Yeah, game time evidence is in the Performance Gap report I linked in the article. It’s a critical read for every football fan in this country.

We solve that problem, so much good news flows from that. WC performances improve. ACL campaigns become competitive instead of embarrassing. Clubs win more prize money. Players get sold for more cash. With more confidence and money in the sport, we can start solving all the other issues we want taken care of but never had the money for.

And the more we examine the root causes for our performance gap, we see that clubs like CCM and Adelaide are doing great things. But there’s other clubs that aren’t. And there’s a layer of politics at the federation level that screws us over from time to time as well.

I remain hopeful because some good things are coming down the pipeline. And we no longer have a regime in the national head office that fights to hold onto power without ever doing anything productive with that power.

Australian football's long-term future is looking a lot brighter

these guys?

I like that they have futsal integrated into the curriculum. Do the students play for the school, as well as CCM Academy?

Australian football's long-term future is looking a lot brighter

Totally agree. When was the last time an A-League club played against an MLS club? Off the top of my head it’s LA Galaxy’s Beckham-mania tour.

Our clubs need to get out and about and see how good they are against comps they don’t play against regularly

Australian football's long-term future is looking a lot brighter

man, what a tease

Australian football's long-term future is looking a lot brighter

also a good point. That would depend on the contractual status of the player in question. Peter Filopoulos from FV pointed out today on twitter that transfer fees don’t apply to amateur players (because they don’t have playing contracts). So young kids at community clubs or playing under-age at NPL clubs won’t be affected. (I suppose that’s why the FA instituted the $3k gratuity payments to grassroots clubs so they get at least something?)

For players with NPL playing contracts, it would be up to the clubs and player to agree a transfer that works, probably with a low up-front payment, but with sell-ons.

Makes me wonder what happened with Alou Kuol when he went from Goulburn Valley Suns to CCM and then to Stuttgart – what benefit did GVS get from either of those transfers?

Australian football's long-term future is looking a lot brighter

CCM would be in the exact same position as every other “selling” club in the world.
The Mariners will never be in a position to bring in multiple $1m players in the hope of selling them on for $5m. They will need to bring in players in the $50k or less bracket. Which is pretty much how they already operate. They have their own Academy and they supplement with NPL players like Kuol or free transfers from within the A-League or internationally.

That’s how they already operate. And they can continue doing that in the future.

But the big difference will be being compensated for losing contracted players to other AL clubs, which they miss out on.

The system we have now gives a big advantage to clubs with deeper pockets, like SFC and MCFC, and really disadvantages clubs like Adelaide and CCM that do more for player development

Australian football's long-term future is looking a lot brighter

We really need our club administrators to wise up to all the potential they are wasting. Vince Rugari’s article in the fairfax press today is spot on. Sounds like the AL clubs are running themselves like a small business that expects to fall over by the end of the year

Australian football's long-term future is looking a lot brighter

City have recently picked up a number of Adelaide United players for bugger all compensation to AUFC or to the NPL SA clubs they started out with. There’s no transfer cash going to any of those clubs.

No direct connection to Mooy. It’s just about money. Whether earnt from transfers to Europe and Asia, or CFG cheques, or gate money in Melbourne, MCFC don’t need to share any money with other A-League clubs when they take some of their most valuable assets

Visualise how money flows around a football ecosystem in an ideal world. The money mostly flows between clubs with player movement. Not just up and down levels, but between clubs at the same level.

But we don’t get that in Australia and so we have a very weak football economy. We’re just reliant on money coming from the top via TV deals and small amounts trickling down

Australian football's long-term future is looking a lot brighter

Can’t say I’m a fan of the Champions League style model JJ has been pushing the last 12 months. It’s barely different to the post-season national NPL play-off which no-one is interested in.

JJ needs to go back to first principles and remember that “the customer is always right”. The origin of that expression is that customers, en masse, will determine what works and what doesn’t. In football, if you create a competition that people don’t want, you’re wasting your money and reputation. The National Rugby Championship and AFLX are prime examples of embarrassing failure caused by administrators pushing something on the fans that the fans were never interested in.

Ask the fans what they want from a Second Division. They will tell you what they will support, and therefore what will succeed.

Australian football's long-term future is looking a lot brighter

I have to agree with JJ on this one.

He’s viewing transfer fees through the lens of economic management, while whichever stakeholders are balking at it only see costs.

The economic approach is the right one. You need money flowing between people, otherwise there is no economy. The more money flowing, the bigger the economy. The less flow, the smaller the economy.

Let’s take the $18m transfer fee that MC got for Aaron Mooy as an example. If we had domestic TFs, City would have had to pay money to Adelaide for the young players they’ve poached. Giving AUFC good extra income. Which they in turn can use to compensate local NPL clubs for other players (which they barely need to compensate at the moment). AUFC could also use its TF income to buy other A-League players, strengthen their squad. The AL clubs AUFC did business with then have money in THEIR pockets too. So we can see the money from one transaction flowing out across the league and into the NPL too

City still would have leftover Mooy Bucks to use on their training facility, coach education etc etc.
And that would happen after every transfer -> greater economic activity.

What we have instead is the worst approach. Stagnation, austerity. MCFC don’t need to spend any of the Mooy Bucks on domestic TFs and spread their wealth around. They just hoard the cash, hothouse players developed by other clubs and just generally get wealthier but in a way that no-one else can benefit from

Australian football's long-term future is looking a lot brighter

Good article Andy.

What do you think of Tom Byer’s “football starts at home” philosophy? His view is that parents are the key as they’re the ones who can teach fundamental ball control skills when kids are in their greatest learning window: before 5 years old.

Football skills, like languages, can be picked up super easily at young ages.

And for football, the best individual skills to master as early as possible are ball control, rather than passing, scoring, and others

What can Australian football learn from Europe's best academy?

Agree with your comment on England entirely

But we shouldn’t look to the AFL for guidance. The AFL system does not translate to football. They have a closed shop; not competing with foreign leagues for talent. Nor do they need to worry about international teams flogging them on the pitch and showing up the inadequacies of their talent development systems.

International experience shows that academies run by professional clubs are the best refining mechanism for talent. Especially with as close to full-time attendance by the young players as possible.

AFL mostly relies on schools and the NAB League clubs to refine talent. The Northern clubs are allowed academies but they don’t bring the same intensity of training or game time as A-League academies. Swans for example use a 1x training session per week for 40 weeks per year, with no games played at state league level until u17s. Compared to Sydney FC who are 4 x training sessions for 40 weeks + a full season of games at NPL level starting at u13s.

That’s not to say the AFL system is bad. It works for them. But it’s all they need. We need so much more than them just to try and compete with the rest of the world

Cristian Volpato and Josh Nisbet: Does Australian football even know what talent is?

Not blowing smoke up your you-know-where but I really enjoy reading your scouting insights Andy 👍

Cristian Volpato and Josh Nisbet: Does Australian football even know what talent is?

What level of football is your son involved at? (no judgment, just learning where the problems are)

Cristian Volpato and Josh Nisbet: Does Australian football even know what talent is?

What would the Matildas crowd looked like without the COVID hangover?

Way more than 36k I’d bet

A flying Newcastle Jets are the best thing about the new A-Leagues season

Too true.

In fact I reckon you can predict the outcome of the league each season by just looking at who has the best coaches and the most stable playing squad

A flying Newcastle Jets are the best thing about the new A-Leagues season

Everyone who watched that match to Arthur Papas

'No ceiling to what they can do' says Papas after Jets grab first win

Thanks Chris,

This article came about from some of the #sokkahtwitter discussion I was engaged in on Saturday night while the games were on. Lots of people were scratching their heads about the arrangements and possible alternatives. I tagged Danny Townsend into one comment, which in retrospect had quite a rude tweet from someone else. I think APL is aware of what might be done. They’ve got more and better thinkers and doers in place now compared to the tiny, overworked team in the FFA that had the same responsibilities in the before times.

There’s room for some more sophisticated thinking around the programming, and the ratio of FTA:paywall games. Mature sports aim for at least 50% on FTA. An exception is football in the UK which is mostly behind the paywall but the sport is so dominant already they don’t need to worry about maximising their exposure.

For its own sake, Channel Ten should do a lot more with the A-Leagues

TBH the principle I would apply is use the slots that best suit the hosting club’s ability to pull a crowd.

Sunday night games wouldn’t start any later than 6, 6.30 in my world. Later than that and the impact on the crowd is too big a financial risk

For its own sake, Channel Ten should do a lot more with the A-Leagues

Yeah they made sure there were FTA NSW and Qld games on Friday nights. One after the other though to account for the wider national audience. Point is, both major markets were looked after with the scheduling

For its own sake, Channel Ten should do a lot more with the A-Leagues