Expansion Proposals for a Truly National AFL

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madmug

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I'm watching the 'Sunderland till I die' documentary on Netflix.

Crowds of over 30,000 people are known to watch Div3 games, when supporter expectations are high. This is for clubs based in cities with populations of less than 300k.

Just saying.

They are.

The only side to average that (33k)was Sunderland (an old EPL, Div1 team)who have just been promoted to the Championship (old div2), Only 3 clubs in League1,(old div 3), average over 20k. But the League average is 10k. Thus many average much less.

I note that the English Championship (Div2) is the most attended 2nd tier of any sport in the world, at around 17500.

English population 57mil (UK 68mil)

Spanish La Liga ave 23k Spanish pop.47mil

Italian Serie A ave 18300 Italian Pop, 59mil

French Ligue 1 ave 20,900 French pop, 65mil

Its clearly TV revenues & sponsorships which keeps most clubs afloat in Europe. The 2nd, 3rd tier soccer in places the game dominates tend to live much more hand to mouth, hoping to fluke a promotion. History is littered with clubs who tried to buy success to get to the top money division, failed & went bust.

Not sure how divisions here would survive the realities we see overseas.
 

Underarm

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Please detail how North Melbourne did so well during this period?

Also, what would happen if say Clive Palmer bankrolled lets say, Cairns, and if Hydro Tasmania bankrolled North Tasmania?
Would that make them powerclubs aswell? Or if Ziggy Forrester bankrolled Darwin etc etc.

Why is the big private money refined to ONLY the clubs you mentioned, and what makes you think the members of those big clubs would allow their clubs to be privatized. You may actually have a situation where Cairns and Darwin have access to more financial resources than Essendon, Carlton, Collingwood combined.

Im trying to understand your logic.
North melbourne teams from the 70s and 80s were full of players they poached from SA and WA. Barry Cable, Malcolm blight, Ross Glendenning, the Krakouers.

With no cap and draft clubs would be forced to privatise and the ones who do so will be the most successful. But it's easier to convince Billionaires to invest in clubs that already provide a healthy supporter base and income, rather than a new team in Cairns or Launceston.
 

ExpatAussie

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North melbourne teams from the 70s and 80s were full of players they poached from SA and WA. Barry Cable, Malcolm blight, Ross Glendenning, the Krakouers.

With no cap and draft clubs would be forced to privatise and the ones who do so will be the most successful. But it's easier to convince Billionaires to invest in clubs that already provide a healthy supporter base and income, rather than a new team in Cairns or Launceston.
It is an interesting topic, that is, whether the big strong clubs would transition from member ownership to private ownership. I'd say, it would only happen if the club went bust, or was struggling to compete. IMO, the 'mega clubs' would continue as member owned clubs for the next few decades at least, and this would create an opportunity in the near term, for new privately owned clubs to get a foothold in the competition, backed by either wealthy businessmen or corporations, who have the ability and resources to execute a plan for long term profitability.

The more I think about this, it seems the future expansion of Australian Footy will rely on
a. Private Ownership
or
b. Member Driven Funding of City based Clubs.
 

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madmug

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It is an interesting topic, that is, whether the big strong clubs would transition from member ownership to private ownership. I'd say, it would only happen if the club went bust, or was struggling to compete. IMO, the 'mega clubs' would continue as member owned clubs for the next few decades at least, and this would create an opportunity in the near term, for new privately owned clubs to get a foothold in the competition, backed by either wealthy businessmen or corporations, who have the ability and resources to execute a plan for long term profitability.

The more I think about this, it seems the future expansion of Australian Footy will rely on
a. Private Ownership
or
b. Member Driven Funding of City based Clubs.

It'll rely on Media rights, like every other professional sport does.
 

Cubs2Lions

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They are.

The only side to average that (33k)was Sunderland (an old EPL, Div1 team)who have just been promoted to the Championship (old div2), Only 3 clubs in League1,(old div 3), average over 20k. But the League average is 10k. Thus many average much less.

I note that the English Championship (Div2) is the most attended 2nd tier of any sport in the world, at around 17500.

English population 57mil (UK 68mil)

Spanish La Liga ave 23k Spanish pop.47mil

Italian Serie A ave 18300 Italian Pop, 59mil

French Ligue 1 ave 20,900 French pop, 65mil

Its clearly TV revenues & sponsorships which keeps most clubs afloat in Europe. The 2nd, 3rd tier soccer in places the game dominates tend to live much more hand to mouth, hoping to fluke a promotion. History is littered with clubs who tried to buy success to get to the top money division, failed & went bust.

Not sure how divisions here would survive the realities we see overseas.
Divisions would have worked today in Australian Rules Football IF the general idea was centred around all the different clubs in the semi-professional leagues at the time (VFL/SANFL/WAFL/etc) and the concept was first implemented 30-40 years ago before the VFL started to become more professional than the other state leagues and started poaching/drafting players from other clubs around the country.

Now though, there is 0% chance of that ever happening in our lifetimes unless the AFL expands past 30 teams, which is extremely unlikely given the very high financial revenue needed to sustain AFL clubs yearly from going bankrupt and that the fact that we don’t have the population around the country needed to expand to 20 clubs now (let alone 32 clubs) compared to other countries around the world.
 
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The_Wookie

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Divisions would have worked today in Australian Rules Football IF the general idea was centred around all the different clubs in the semi-professional leagues at the time (VFL/SANFL/WAFL/etc) and the concept was first implemented 30-40 years ago before the VFL started to become more professional than the other state leagues and started poaching/drafting players from other clubs around the country.

Now though, there is 0% chance of that ever happening in our lifetimes unless the AFL expands past 30 teams, which is extremely unlikely given the very high financial revenue needed to sustain AFL clubs yearly from going bankrupt and that the fact that we don’t have the population around the country needed to expand to 20 clubs now (let alone 32 clubs) compared to other countries around the world.

Yeah if this was going to happen it had to be done prior to the VFL decision to go t alone at a national level. However, neither the WAFL or SANFL were keen on having their clubs join national comps either, which is why they proposed the Eagles/Crows type set ups instead.

There was never any chance of divisions getting up.
 

RedV3x

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Some thought provoking discussion and positive moves forward on this quirky thread.
As a footy fan I feel the game would prosper under SOME of the proposals by OP.
A truly national competition with 4 or more divisions would be a real positive in my eyes. The proposed structure is more exciting than the current bland system we are running with. It also would make for closer and more passionate football.

Spread the clubs, open the market and enjoy our game at it’s very best without the puppetmasters pulling the strings each week.

Great Rhetoric but do you really think Man U would play second division?
Why would anyone expect an AFL club to play second division.
I don't know why you would say that the AFL is bland - I would put other adjectives first.
 

madmug

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Divisions would have worked today in Australian Rules Football IF the general idea was centred around all the different clubs in the semi-professional leagues at the time (VFL/SANFL/WAFL/etc) and the concept was first implemented 30-40 years ago before the VFL started to become more professional than the other state leagues and started poaching/drafting players from other clubs around the country.

Now though, there is 0% chance of that ever happening in our lifetimes unless the AFL expands past 30 teams, which is extremely unlikely given the very high financial revenue needed to sustain AFL clubs yearly from going bankrupt and that the fact that we don’t have the population around the country needed to expand to 20 clubs now (let alone 32 clubs) compared to other countries around the world.

Even if we could start again about 40 or so years ago, I don't think the economics of divisions would stack up.

I don't think we have the population & Media/sponsorship capacity to run a real divisional structure.

The AFL stopped flying reserves all over country due to cost. The original NEAFL cost too much as well.

The AFL/VFL current structure is really only possible because of the draft, Salary cap, & equalisation tax on football departments.
 

ExpatAussie

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A national game without clubs from 3 of the 7 states/territories, does not espouse the virtues of equal opportunity.

The AFL should open up the league to expansion and Free enterprise, as the the most efficient mode of growth.

IF the market does not have the appetite or will to drive expansion into new territories ( which I doubt), then the AFL can revert back to its mode of engineered expansion.

Generally, When there is an opportunity in market for profit, there will usually be many suitors to fill the void. Private equity is attracted to unregulated environments that does not restrict and stifle investment. That means, restrictions on personnel movement and renumeration is counter productive to private investment.

At the core of this, it seems the AFL are simply scared of loosing their control over the game.
 
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Coolangatta

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A national game without clubs from 3 of the 7 states/territories, does not espouse the virtues of equal opportunity.

All the AFL has to do, is open up the league to expansion and private ownership. Free enterprise will do the rest. The game does not need to be engineered.
I don't know how deep your pockets would have to be for it, but I'd be jumping up and down to start a Tassie team and an NT team if private ownership became a thing. Would it be profitable? Probably not, at least not initially. Would I care? No. Because if I were rich enough to do that, I'd have plenty of other safer assets that my wealth would be tied to. I'd like to see an ACT team as well, but taking on three teams would probably be a bit too much for anyone.

edit: Don't want the AFL turning into the premier league, though, I'd rather if I had mega bucks try to pay off the AFL debts and build Tassie and NT stadiums and academies in exchange for them getting licenses. Footy altruism and charity.
 
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ExpatAussie

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edit: Don't want the AFL turning into the premier league, though, I'd rather if I had mega bucks try to pay off the AFL debts and build Tassie and NT stadiums and academies in exchange for them getting licenses. Footy altruism and charity.
What if Junior Clubs acted as the academies?
Why not just leave the stadiums as is, and let them develop over time based on success of the club?
 
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madmug

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A national game without clubs from 3 of the 7 states/territories, does not espouse the virtues of equal opportunity.

The AFL should open up the league to expansion and Free enterprise, as the the most efficient mode of growth.

IF the market does not have the appetite or will to drive expansion into new territories ( which I doubt), then the AFL can revert back to its mode of engineered expansion.

Generally, When there is an opportunity in market for profit, there will usually be many suitors to fill the void. Private equity is attracted to unregulated environments that does not restrict and stifle investment. That means, restrictions on personnel movement and renumeration is counter productive to private investment.

At the core of this, it seems the AFL are simply scared of loosing their control over the game.

Sounds good, but their is a reason Government have been involved in most major infrastructure developments in Australia. ie the Electricity system, roads, bridges, airports, communication, stadium construction, schools.

That is, we don't have enough local capital to leave things to 'the market'. Mining is one partial exception. Even then we have to have Government involved in construction of most suitable Port facilities.

Given that history I can't see entrepreneurs riskingmoney, nor the AFL giving up power & control.
 

RedV3x

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Even if we could start again about 40 or so years ago, I don't think the economics of divisions would stack up.

The economics would stack up because that is virtually what we had originally -new clubs were created and some would fold.
But, and it's a huge but, the economics would be totally different, the model would be totally different and the politics would be totally different.
Every AFC would need a decent home ground -probably a single story stand all around as they are cheapest.
Look at the powerful AFL clubs - some historical VFL clubs and interstate city clubs.
In a divisional structure, regional centres with large populations would be powerful (if they had a single team)
more than suburban teams that wouldn't be able to to expand outside of their zones.
Cricket would hold power as they would have the biggest ground suitable for finals etc
Money would be distributed across the leagues and not concentrated like it is today
and that would mean no team strong enough to big a huge stadium.
 

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madmug

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The economics would stack up because that is virtually what we had originally -new clubs were created and some would fold.
But, and it's a huge but, the economics would be totally different, the model would be totally different and the politics would be totally different.
Every AFC would need a decent home ground -probably a single story stand all around as they are cheapest.
Look at the powerful AFL clubs - some historical VFL clubs and interstate city clubs.
In a divisional structure, regional centres with large populations would be powerful (if they had a single team)
more than suburban teams that wouldn't be able to to expand outside of their zones.
Cricket would hold power as they would have the biggest ground suitable for finals etc
Money would be distributed across the leagues and not concentrated like it is today
and that would mean no team strong enough to big a huge stadium.

The economics 'may' stack up.

An Egalitarian Football Free Market sounds very much like an Oxymoron to me.

Anyway way, where in the world do we see such a system as you imagine?

I note the top teams in the EPL seem to always be the top teams in such a Free Market arrangement. Even with some of the rules they have in place.
 

RedV3x

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The economics 'may' stack up.

That was the situation existing with the state leagues before the AFL.

An Egalitarian Football Free Market sounds very much like an Oxymoron to me.

Me too.

Anyway way, where in the world do we see such a system as you imagine?

I am NOT proposing this just pointing out that a divisional structure would be different
and would need a huge amount of control to make it work.

I note the top teams in the EPL seem to always be the top teams in such a Free Market arrangement. Even with some of the rules they have in place.

Yes, because in any free market any stake holder is potentially able to take control with MONEY or with better management.
A free market never remains 'free' as someone always wins.
 

sherb

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Please detail how North Melbourne did so well during this period?

Also, what would happen if say Clive Palmer bankrolled lets say, Cairns, and if Hydro Tasmania bankrolled North Tasmania?
Would that make them powerclubs aswell? Or if Ziggy Forrester bankrolled Darwin etc etc.

Why is the big private money refined to ONLY the clubs you mentioned, and what makes you think the members of those big clubs would allow their clubs to be privatized. You may actually have a situation where Cairns and Darwin have access to more financial resources than Essendon, Carlton, Collingwood combined.

Im trying to understand your logic.
North finished rock bottom in 72.

In 73, the VFL introduced the 10 year rule. It mean that any player with 10 years' service to a club basically had free agency to move to another club. North picked up three players - Davis (Essendon), Rantall (South) and Wade (Geelong). In addition, they signed up Barassi as the coach.

In 1973 they finished just out of the (then) final 5.

In 74, they picked up Cable and Crosswell. In 1975 they picked up Blight. All this experience and talent from outside the club added to the local talent they had recruited and developed in recent years - players like Greig, Schimmelbusch, Briedis, Cowton, etc.

So, on the back of this, they went from bottom in 72, to nearly making the finals in 73, to losing the Grand Final in 74 to winning the flag for the first time in 75.

Money played a big part in their success in this period. Once successful, they were able to use that success as a recruiting incentive.

Even if you want to argue that money wasn't a part of this success, North won only two of the 23 flags from 67-89. Essendon won two also. That means that three clubs - Carlton, Richmond & Hawthorn won 19 flags between them in this period - power, success breeding success, money and strong zones all played a part (to varying degrees) in each of these three clubs.
 

madmug

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That was the situation existing with the state leagues before the AFL.

I know things always seemed better in our salad days.

However, the State leagues were not in good financial health. Most VFL clubs were in big debt trying to beat each other to sign anyone with 2 legs. The other leagues were spending to recruit & retain as well.

Anyway, this is all moot as the AFL won't let go their current power & control for any reason, good or otherwise.
 

Coolangatta

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What if Junior Clubs acted as the academies?
Why not just leave the stadiums as is, and let them develop over time based on success of the club?
It’s to dangle a carrot in front of the AFL and take the cost burden off local governments. State of the art academies will help with player retention and good quality stadiums in the NT and Tassie can mitigate their weather extremes.
 

ExpatAussie

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Money played a big part in their success in this period. Once successful, they were able to use that success as a recruiting incentive.

Even if you want to argue that money wasn't a part of this success, North won only two of the 23 flags from 67-89. Essendon won two also. That means that three clubs - Carlton, Richmond & Hawthorn won 19 flags between them in this period - power, success breeding success, money and strong zones all played a part (to varying degrees) in each of these three clubs.
Dont get me wrong. I never argued that money wasnt apart of success. Im saying the AFL should embrace the rich and powerful into the fold, not just as sponsors, but drivers of expansion.

The only way that can be done, is to open up the league to new teams, where private equity can bank roll development.
 

Coolangatta

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Dont get me wrong. I never argued that money wasnt apart of success. Im saying the AFL should embrace the rich and powerful into the fold, not just as sponsors, but drivers of expansion.

The only way that can be done, is to open up the league to new teams, where private equity can bank roll development.
I don't get it when people act as if it means the end of the salary cap or the draft. It doesn't mean the richest clubs can buy the best players, but they can help the club considerably be successful off-field, so even if they struggle on the field, they're not going to be a financial blackhole on the AFL.
 

RedV3x

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However, the State leagues were not in good financial health. Most VFL clubs were in big debt trying to beat each other to sign anyone with 2 legs. The other leagues were spending to recruit & retain as well.

Yes, there was a free market and unfortunately people tried to buy success.
If Victorian clubs hadn't entered into the player grab price spiral things would have been different.
Indeed the national league might have been delayed and different to today's setup.
For perfect free market operation you need....controls....to prevent the clever ones beating the weaker ones into submission.
The "free market" is purely a theoretically concept that we try to achieve .......via controls.
 
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ExpatAussie

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I don't get it when people act as if it means the end of the salary cap or the draft. It doesn't mean the richest clubs can buy the best players, but they can help the club considerably be successful off-field, so even if they struggle on the field, they're not going to be a financial blackhole on the AFL.
The draft is probably the biggest cancer on our league and culture that one could imagine.
Imagine being told who to love, where to live, and who you must work for and at what price? And if you try to speak your mind, you'll be punished.
I believe this kind of thinking was prevalent in Eastern Europe in the 1940's.
 

RedV3x

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Imagine being told who to love, where to live, and who you must work for and at what price?

Terrible.
Luckily in Australia you can live, work and play where you want.
You can even, imagine it if you will, being offered a large amount of money to play Australian Football in a great city.
The lure of money and fame draws most professional athletes away from there domicile.
 

Underarm

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The draft is probably the biggest cancer on our league and culture that one could imagine.
Imagine being told who to love, where to live, and who you must work for and at what price? And if you try to speak your mind, you'll be punished.
I believe this kind of thinking was prevalent in Eastern Europe in the 1940's.
 

ExpatAussie

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Terrible.
Luckily in Australia you can live, work and play where you want.
You can even, imagine it if you will, being offered a large amount of money to play Australian Football in a great city.
The lure of money and fame draws most professional athletes away from there domicile.
Actually you cant. You have to be injected with an experimental substance to play our great game at the highest level, thanks to Gill. Talk about terrible!!!!!
But lets save that for another thread.
 
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