A-League & Football Australia - General Chat Thread

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nobbyiscool

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 11, 2006
14,140
15,875
Democratic People's Republic of Victoria
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West Coast
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Raiders/TasTigers/MV/Iggles
Suggest you realise I'm talking about Victory compared to other clubs this season who are also experiencing COVID.
Yeah, which is why it's such a ******* stupid argument.

You guys were at close to 100% crowd capacity when the season started. As recently as 3 weeks ago, we were still at 50% capacity with no active support allowed. No one in Australia was impacted by COVID more than Melbourne residents; no sporting teams were affected like Melbourne sporting teams - don't pretend it's the same thing, you look foolish.
 

SM

Bigfooty Legend
Aug 3, 2008
104,124
65,238
North Shore
AFL Club
Sydney
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Hull City, Adelaide United, EH
Yeah, which is why it's such a ******* stupid argument.

You guys were at close to 100% crowd capacity when the season started. As recently as 3 weeks ago, we were still at 50% capacity with no active support allowed. No one in Australia was impacted by COVID more than Melbourne residents; no sporting teams were affected like Melbourne sporting teams - don't pretend it's the same thing, you look foolish.
So in the last 3 weeks how've Victory crowds gone? Sprung back up to 20k have they? The point is clearly that the Victory supporters have dropped off - just like any club's would when they're that sh*t - but don't go nobly declaring that Melbourne is some sort of special arena in which teams are supported to the hilt. Look at City and WUN, neither have huge supporter bases, while WSW as a second Sydney team arguably have an even stronger supporter base than SFC do.
 

acm21

Club Legend
May 7, 2019
1,573
779
AFL Club
Essendon
So in the last 3 weeks how've Victory crowds gone? Sprung back up to 20k have they? The point is clearly that the Victory supporters have dropped off - just like any club's would when they're that sh*t - but don't go nobly declaring that Melbourne is some sort of special arena in which teams are supported to the hilt. Look at City and WUN, neither have huge supporter bases, while WSW as a second Sydney team arguably have an even stronger supporter base than SFC do.
How often do victory (when they are actually Played well) get 20k in? I know they get good mbership numbers but they are luckey to get 10k most weeks.
 

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giggler99

Moderator
Jul 5, 2011
10,437
11,167
Melbourne
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Geelong
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Victory,Napoli,Liverpool,Penguins
How often do victory (when they are actually Played well) get 20k in? I know they get good mbership numbers but they are luckey to get 10k most weeks.
We where averaging 15k-20k before Covid hit even during a crap season with three managers.

Not only is Victory’s mismanagement effecting crowds but people are underestimating how walk ups are effecting crowd numbers in Melbourne across all sports. No longer can you just decide to just rock up to a match and buy a ticket at the gate, even as a member you cant even scan in with your own membership card or even sit in your own reserved seat! You need a seated ticket that tickettek / ticketmaster allocates you. (and as a Victory member you still need to pay for you ticket) Yeah I get it thats its not hard to just login to ticketek and buy your ticket but its also inconvenient and will take time for the cultural change, especially when it effects your reserve seat. Not sure in other states but people are just not used to it here in pre buying tickets.
 

nobbyiscool

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 11, 2006
14,140
15,875
Democratic People's Republic of Victoria
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Raiders/TasTigers/MV/Iggles
So in the last 3 weeks how've Victory crowds gone? Sprung back up to 20k have they? The point is clearly that the Victory supporters have dropped off - just like any club's would when they're that sh*t - but don't go nobly declaring that Melbourne is some sort of special arena in which teams are supported to the hilt. Look at City and WUN, neither have huge supporter bases, while WSW as a second Sydney team arguably have an even stronger supporter base than SFC do.
1. It's been years since we averaged 20k
2. Once again, if you'd done even a modicum of research you'd already know that crowds across the league drop off in March and April when the AFL and NRL start - yep, happens in Sydney and Brisbane too. (Which is why despite talking about it for 15 years, it took a global pandemic for us to dip our toe into winter.)

Next stupid argument, thanks.
 

SM

Bigfooty Legend
Aug 3, 2008
104,124
65,238
North Shore
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Sydney
Other Teams
Hull City, Adelaide United, EH
1. It's been years since we averaged 20k
2. Once again, if you'd done even a modicum of research you'd already know that crowds across the league drop off in March and April when the AFL and NRL start - yep, happens in Sydney and Brisbane too. (Which is why despite talking about it for 15 years, it took a global pandemic for us to dip our toe into winter.)

Next stupid argument, thanks.
1. No it hasn't. In 2018/19 - the last unaffected season - you averaged over 20k.
2. See point 1, which takes that drop off into account.

What a strange melt.
 

nobbyiscool

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 11, 2006
14,140
15,875
Democratic People's Republic of Victoria
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So you agree with me that City have an awful support level? What are you arguing again?
This bit sunshine, the bit where you specifically said you're talking about Victory

Suggest you realise I'm talking about Victory compared to other clubs this season who are also experiencing COVID.
 

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jd2010

There used to be a football club over there
Feb 1, 2010
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Huh? Yes all clubs' attendances are down because of COVID.. including City.. but their attendances pre-COVID were worse than WSW. Are you ok "sunshine"?
City/Heart and even WU were terrible franchise choices that were destined to fail with attendances. Harsh to give the city as a whole a reputation for not going to watch "their side" when they're both sides nobody really wanted/needed
 

Shade

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Jul 14, 2011
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Dont follow A League at all but why do they play during the week now so much? feel like i go to check a game or something and its the most random night.

cant compete on the weekend anymore?
 

gaskin

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 19, 2009
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Dont follow A League at all but why do they play during the week now so much? feel like i go to check a game or something and its the most random night.

cant compete on the weekend anymore?
Some teams are playing catch-up so some matches have been re-scheduled to the middle of the week. They are also trying to shorten the season to give the players a decent off-season before the start of the next season.
 

SM

Bigfooty Legend
Aug 3, 2008
104,124
65,238
North Shore
AFL Club
Sydney
Other Teams
Hull City, Adelaide United, EH
City/Heart and even WU were terrible franchise choices that were destined to fail with attendances. Harsh to give the city as a whole a reputation for not going to watch "their side" when they're both sides nobody really wanted/needed
How are WUN so different to WSW?
 

acm21

Club Legend
May 7, 2019
1,573
779
AFL Club
Essendon
End of an era at SBS

"The SBS Sport website will be the home of all our sports coverage, and the current websites for The World Game and Cycling Central will not be continuing."
The article goes on to say that they are improving the sport streaming service and that sbs will be "the exclusive Australian rights holder to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and will continue broadcasting a number of international football events."
 

billyboutsis

Team Captain
Sep 23, 2009
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Yawn. Sporting capital of the world. How are Melbourne City going compared to WSW?

The current fanbase who completely deserted the side when they were sh*t? Don't pretend that Central Coast supporters aren't any less fairweather. Speaking of, how are Melbourne Victory crowds going?

Dwindling? Have you even watched this season at all?
Bahaha, yes mate, the franchise in the box football team which got bought out by Man City with a smallish existing local supporter base was/is a key cog of why Melb has been labelled with that moniker.
 

SM

Bigfooty Legend
Aug 3, 2008
104,124
65,238
North Shore
AFL Club
Sydney
Other Teams
Hull City, Adelaide United, EH
Bahaha, yes mate, the franchise in the box football team which got bought out by Man City with a smallish existing local supporter base was/is a key cog of why Melb has been labelled with that moniker.
Did I say it was a key cog? This is an A-League thread, no? Discussing the Melbourne A-League teams seems rather relevant to the discussion.
 

giggler99

Moderator
Jul 5, 2011
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Great article by Simon Hill on the demise of theworldgame.com What it meant for so long to people and what is left of the football media in Australia


DEMISE OF ‘THE WORLD GAME’ A BITTER BLOW FOR FOOTBALL


This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.
A favourite saying of the late Les Murray during my time at SBS used to be: “It’s not a job – it’s a mission.”

One wonders what Les (and Johnny Warren) would make of the news then, that their baby – “The World Game” – is to join them in the great football pitch in the sky?

The revelation that SBS is retiring “The World Game” has come as a bitter blow to many football fans around Australia. As someone who worked on the show (and the website) it feels like a personal loss, even though I haven’t been at the network for the last decade-and-a-half. A bit like the BBC ditching “Match of the Day”. Make no mistake, it was that iconic in this part of the world.

When I arrived in Sydney back in 2003, I was a bit unsure of what to make of TWG. Its six-hour Sunday format seemed clunky, and a little over-indulgent, particularly as I knew “soccer” wasn’t really the main game Down Under.

In those early days, I remember being somewhat bewildered at the lengthy panel chats that seemed to focus more on off-field politics than on-game action. They were akin to cabinet meetings, led by the game’s own Prime Minister (Les), with Johnny the Speaker of the House.

During the week it was no different. SBS ran almost nightly football pieces in the (now long-gone) “Toyota World Sport”, where reporters regularly mixed opinion with news when it came to the global game.

For a “newbie”, it was baffling stuff – coming (as I did) from a BBC background, where editorial impartiality was everything.

But as I grew into my role (and my life in Australia), the penny gradually dropped. Football was largely ignored by the major networks & newspapers – if it got covered at all, it was normally something to do with flares or ethnicity, and normally both. Where else were fans of the game to get not just their information, but their views, their ideas?

Les and Johnny had come from a similar media school. Their era was of the (also now long-gone) football newspaper, such as “Soccer World”, edited by Andrew Dettre, the godfather of football journalism in Australia. Indeed, Dettre’s former protégé, Lou Gautier, worked at SBS as a sub-editor for years – he was still there when I worked at their Artarmon offices in the early 2000s.


Dettre was an ideas man. An innovator. He worked under Gough Whitlam and was a key supporter for the creation of the Australian Institute of Sport. He was the first advocate of summer football, and as long ago as 1977, wrote that the NSL should be rebuilt with “super teams” in the major cities, backed by private business and corporate sponsors. Sound familiar?

SBS grasped that pioneering mindset and translated it into television. They brought the game of football to the masses via the small screen, treating it with the sort of love and care that it needed in such a hostile environment. They discussed ideas, debated change. Sometimes there were full-blown arguments, other times it was as dry as a camel’s armpit. But who else was doing it on behalf of the game? No-one.

The extended world game format was a natural progression from its predecessor “On the Ball” for a network that simply lived and breathed football.

The biggest compliment I can pay SBS is that when I first set foot in the newsroom after arriving from England in 2003, the only difference was that the Sydney office was, if anything, even more rabid in its love of the game than the ones I’d left in London. I felt at home immediately.

Sunday afternoons were a joy. I’d host panel chats on the make-up of the Soccer Australia board, then switch instantly into covering the English Premier League.

During the week, I’d voice Serie A round-up packages (normally getting a telling-off from Tony Palumbo for my pronunciation), or help Damien Lovelock put together his “Fans Corner” segment, all the while debating and/or arguing about every facet of the game with Les, Johnny, Fozzie, Andrew Orsatti or Franny Awaritefe. Those who’d come before, like Andy Paschalidis, Kyle Patterson and Mike Tomalaris, were of the same ilk. Football men to their marrow.

It was heaven – and the only people I felt sorry for were the (small) minority of the SBS team who weren’t really passionate about the game. If it was heaven for us, our daily diatribes must have been hell for them.

That passion didn’t always work to the game’s advantage (or the network’s) it must be said. Towards the end of my time at SBS, I felt we were in danger of loving the game just a bit too much.

We seemed hell-bent on controlling the sport rather than just covering it, and when TWG heavily promoted a coaching course involving Aime Jacquet in 2006, while simultaneously criticising FFA’s coaching curriculum, I felt a line had been crossed. The tension between the network and the governing body was – at times – palpable.

Yet the passion the people that worked there had for the game was never in doubt. Whatever differences there were between colleagues (and I had plenty during my time with Les and Craig Foster, Johnny’s successor), there was never any attempt to shut down football conversation, although I know others claim a different experience.

Arguably the high point of football’s media coverage in Australia came in the late 2000s & early 2010s, when Fox Sports (the successor in coverage terms) and SBS both had strong on-air teams and programming to match. Sometimes we fell out with each other – but never the game. Is it any coincidence that period also represented the high-water mark of the A-League’s popularity?

Today it’s very different. I don’t know the current landscape at SBS, but I do know the prevailing mood when it comes to the media and football in Australia in 2021. Les, Johnny – and Andrew Dettre & Lou Gautier – would be horrified. Horrified, but not surprised.

Although the “Sheilas, Wogs & Poofters” era has largely passed (with some exceptions), we are now in a period that is arguably even worse. That of supreme indifference.

Football conversation has all but disappeared from the newspapers, from radio, and from television. True, a new digital landscape offers new and different avenues for those debates. You’re reading this article on one of them.

But so far as the “mainstream” is concerned, it is back to the sort of levels that made Les and Johnny despair back in the 80s and 90s – and inspired them and SBS to create “The World Game” in the first place.

There are many reasons for this – most of them self-inflicted. Among them, a three-year governance war which crippled the A-League (and progress of the W-League), the failure to build on the aftermath of the Asian Cup success in 2015, and to understand the game’s fan culture in the aftermath of the boycott wars of the same year. The grassroots also remain fractured from the elite level.


In “The World Game’s” heyday, all those issues would have been tackled resolutely and with relish, and the game’s powerbrokers held robustly to account. That they were able to do so was because their employers trusted in their football knowledge, in their implicit understanding of what their audience, their community felt.

In the modern era, it has not been so easy.

Some of us – myself included – have tried, but resistance has been fierce. Not just from the powerbrokers themselves, but even from the networks, some of which don’t have that instinctive understanding of football and its culture. They view passionate debate as unnecessary, or as a “sabotaging of the brand” – well, at least when it comes to football, anyway.

The likes of Les and Johnny would no doubt today be labelled activists – as I have been – just for trying to cover the issues that matter in the game of football. Back in 2003, I might even have agreed with that term myself.

But then, football in Australia is a little bit different. It has obstacles that simply aren’t there in other parts of the world. It has to fight prejudice, antipathy and apathy in equal measure. TWG did that, virtually alone in a media sense, for many years.

To cover football properly in Australia requires a very thick skin. To accept the responsibility requires real passion for the game, and a belief in “the mission” – for it is exactly that. You have to know you might not come out the other end with your job – or your sanity – intact, and for all the hostility outside the game, there’s just as much inside.

For years, “The World Game” was the vehicle for that mission, and my thoughts today go to Lucy Zelic and Nick Stoll, modern-day flyers of that iconic flag.

But, faced with a changing world, declining audiences and a landscape that has returned to the view that football is merely a peripheral player (which is where many would prefer that it remain), TWG at least, ultimately found Les’ vision to be mission impossible.

As of today, “The World Game” is no more. And the world game in Australia is a much poorer place for it. But the mission? The mission goes on.

 

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