The A-League, Football in Australia and the CoronaVirus Crisis Thread

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Andonis1997

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A-League Hub/Finals Series in New Zealand, anyone?

Pls happen said:
Crowded House: Sky Stadium offers to host A-League final when gates open to spectators

Crowds and the many millions in their pockets could be set to flood back into Wellington's Sky Stadium and region as management eyes the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and the return of major events.
The stadium's future was bleak just a few weeks ago, with chief executive Shane Harmon predicting no events or crowds for the next 6-12 months.
Now, as the country prepares to potentially drop to level 1 next week, he is tipping the return of the Hurricanes in little more than a fortnight, and the prospect of other big events.
He's even looking to add an A-League football grand final and Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia.

That would be a major fillip for Wellington. An All Blacks test match is worth about $8 million to the regional economy.
Harmon is hopeful Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will announce a move to alert level 1 next week, giving the green light for spectators to return to the stadium by the time Super Rugby Aotearoa kicks off.

Ardern signalled earlier this week that there will be no restrictions on crowd sizes in level 1.
“Obviously New Zealand has done a magnificent job of managing and reducing Covid and it’s in a unique position almost globally where hopefully we’re going to be able to open our doors as soon as next week to potentially full houses. It’s a fantastic position to be in.”."

Last month, Shane Harmon predicted the stadium would miss out on “several million dollars” if it was unable to host events again in 2020. The venue has already lost an All Blacks test versus Wales, two Phoenix regular season games and an NRL match involving the Warriors.
Non-sporting events like Armageddon, The Home and Garden Show, The Food Show and Beervana have been pushed back until later in the year.
But to make up the financial shortfall after almost three months of inactivity, Harmon has been busy pitching a potentially Covid-free New Zealand to event promoters across the globe.
He is also keen to host any A-League final matches involving the Phoenix, particularly if Australia is still restricting mass gatherings and is unable to open its gates to spectators.
Although Harmon said it was unrealistic to consider hosting the entire A-League, which is destined to continue behind closed doors in a centralised hub in Australia pending sign off from broadcaster Fox Sports, there was real interest in staging any one-off playoff matches the Phoenix qualified for.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/authors/phillip-rollo
The team sits third on the A-League ladder, four points behind runners-up Melbourne City but with three games in hand. The Phoenix last hosted a finals match in 2015.
“If there was a trans-Tasman bubble by the beginning of August, I would see no reason why the final could not be played in Wellington,” he said.
“The FFA, they retain the revenue from the gate, so if we had a situation where we potentially could have a full crowd in New Zealand and it was limited or no capacity in Australia then it would make absolute financial sense for everyone involved.

“It's probably less likely if the Phoenix are not involved but I've reached out to other sports and other codes around the world, just flagging New Zealand's situation that we are open for business, and while some of this is a long shot you cannot get a yes without asking.”
 

acm21

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A-League Hub/Finals Series in New Zealand, anyone?

Unfortunately atm I think its all or none. It would be good to have the games but any team who travels there would still need the 2 week quarantine until the trans tasman hub is in place ( which won't be in place imo until there are no active cases as is with the case with nz)
 

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giggler99

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What is our game worth? The bitter stand-off between Foxtel and FFA heats up
Updated 8 hours ago
The offer put forward by Foxtel is alleged to be to the tune of $11 million per year which would also include production costs and is a substantial reduction from the previous $57 million a year arrangement in place until 2023.

FFA did not respond at the time of publication when asked for comment. It is Foxtel's policy not to comment on matters to do with commercial relationships.

It is however understood that those involved in the discussions are privately remaining cautiously optimistic a resolution will be reached, there is still a chance it could all blow-up in the coming weeks.

If accurate, it’s a hugely insulting offer, when you consider that Rugby League recently struck a deal with Channel Nine and Fox Sports worth a reported $2 billion.

Worse still, a struggling Rugby Australia also confirmed this month that they had reached a broadcast agreement with Fox Sports for a “revamped domestic competition”.

“Broadcast dollars will begin flowing again as of early July, which is a welcome relief for Super Rugby franchises struggling financially,” reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

“RA would not divulge the value of the revised broadcast deal with Fox but it is understood to be a commercially viable competition.”

It is understood that Foxtel are well within their rights to walk away from the existing deal because the broadcaster has not been provided with content for over 20 days which has allegedly triggered a clause in the contract.

To make matters worse, a source confirmed that FFA cannot approach other broadcasters during this period of uncertainty because they would be in breach of contract and could be liable for damages.

In spite of this escalating saga, I am told that Head of Leagues Greg O’Rourke has been working tirelessly to get the competition back up and running by the agreed resumption date of 16 July and is effectively “ready to go” but is waiting on “the deal to be done”.

A-League players are due in training next week and have already begun swab testing for COVID-19 with the Melbourne City cohort returning negative results and Melbourne Victory players due to be tested in the coming days.

Further still, stadiums and hotels have reportedly been booked, all 11 clubs have received their schedules and FFA confirmed that they have spoken to Australian Border Force and received exemptions while the quarantine hub is close to being finalised.

It’s also believed that player contract renegotiations for the period of June are on the cusp of being completed with Professional Footballers Australia and FFA reaching an agreement.

However, rumours continue to swirl that there are a handful of clubs that don’t want the competition to resume in a bid to stem the financial bloodletting, adding further fuel to the fire.

Whatever the case, FFA are preparing as though the competition will return with the hope that an acceptable deal will be struck in the meantime.

It doesn’t exactly instill the football community at large with the greatest of confidences given that it appears Foxtel are largely in the driver’s seat.

Since the A-League was postponed indefinitely, I have defended Fox Sports and applauded their investment in a competition that has been woefully mismanaged in recent years but this alleged offer of $11 million a season is simply one the sport cannot afford to accept.

The message it sends to the remaining broadcasters once Fox Sports eventually do walk away is a dangerous one and could catapult football back into the dark ages.

Time and time again we have said that FFA CEO James Johnson is in an unenviable position after inheriting crimes that the previous regime are guilty of committing.

But for now, he is staring down the barrel of a legitimate crisis that both he and the board are responsible for and the biggest question they must face is: what is our game worth to them?

 

gaskin

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The FFA really needs to look at alternative ways to broadcast the game. It is obvious Fox wants it gone and there is no way they are going to pay anywhere near what the FFA will want and what they probably deserve. A $46m a year decrease is insulting and quite frankly piss poor form from Fox if they have any intention of a fair negotiation.
 

giggler99

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A-League aiming for July 16 restart, but Foxtel stand-off continues

A-League players will undergo COVID-19 testing on Monday, as clubs plan to return to training this week in preparation for a July 16 restart.
Key points:
  • The FFA hopes the current A-League season can be completed by the end of August when contracts run out
  • A deal is yet to be done with broadcast partner Foxtel, which is seeking a reduction on the $57 million it pays annually
  • The league has drawn up two return-to-play plans, both of which involve some form of east-coast hub scenario
While the FFA is still deep in talks with broadcast partner Fox Sports over a revised rights deal, most clubs are expected to be back in training on Tuesday or Wednesday.
FFA head of leagues Greg O'Rourke said with proposed extensions to player contracts only running until the end of August, the need to get the resumption process started was pressing.
"The schedule that we've shared with the clubs … is to start the first game on Thursday the 16th of July and finish that a month later and then one week for finals," O'Rourke said.
"If the negotiation took longer than that, then we'd have to rethink the contract term, but at the moment the contract term is for three months and that's our intention."
Despite a report the players' union had made an 11th-hour demand to alter previously agreed player entitlements, O'Rourke expects the FFA and the PFA to finalise their negotiations early this week.
The situation with Fox is more complex.
The host broadcaster currently pays $57 million annually to the FFA for the A-League rights as well as broadcasting of Socceroos and Matildas matches.
It is understood the pay TV company is seeking a significant reduction on that amount, and Perth Glory owner Tony Sage hinted last week the 2019-20 season should just be abandoned if a deal cannot be reached.

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage has suggested abandoning the season if a deal cannot be done with Foxtel.(AAP: Tony McDonough)
O'Rourke said the season's future was not completely dependent on reaching a deal with Fox, but it was still the FFA's intention to find a resolution.
"I wouldn't say wholly [dependent], but I would say that it is more than likely that the best solution for us would be to go forward with Fox," he said.
"If we were to find an alternate provider it would probably take some time, but our intent is to work with our current broadcaster and our current contract and get them to broadcast the rest of the season."
Currently, league organisers have two versions of the schedule for the remainder of the season, dependent on the state of border restrictions when the competition does resume.
The first model will have all 11 clubs based in a NSW hub, playing games in Sydney and Newcastle.

The current hope is the A-League season will be completed in August.(AAP: Michael Dodge)
The second model would allow Victorian clubs to play in their home state while Adelaide and Brisbane could also play at home.
Under both models Wellington Phoenix and the Glory would be based in NSW.
O'Rourke said a proposal had been made with NSW health authorities to create a COVID-19 quarantine facility for the Phoenix at the Football NSW headquarters in Sydney.
The arrangement would be similar to that used by the NRL for the Warriors in Tamworth and would allow the Phoenix to train during their 14-day quarantine period following their travel from New Zealand.
The Glory will be based in NSW purely due to logistical demands with the league planning to play 32 games in just 36 days.

 

JezzasOnTheAsphalt

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A-League website also confirming there's a deal in place to finish the season by August. Makes no mention of anything Fox related.
Plenty of fans in this country have long memories. No doubt many aren't going to be forgetting about this treatment from Foxtel as we start heading forward with the game.
 

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acm21

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Seems very unfair.
It isn’t an easy situation, especially with a requirement for a quarantine period. But I wouldn’t think the deal would have come through until over the weekend. The argument could be made that since the plan for the return to training was preplanned for this week so the arrangements could have been started once that decision had been made. But imo this sort of thing comes with the territory and is just something that happens with being an international based side within a league.


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giggler99

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Hyundai A-League to resume on July 16 in Melbourne


The Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season is set to resume on Thursday, 16 July 2020 with Melbourne Victory taking on Western United at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

The match between the Victorian rivals will kick-start an unprecedented run of Hyundai A-League match play, with the remaining 27 games of the regular season to be held over an action-packed 28-day period before the end of season Finals Series.

On Monday, FFA, together with the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (APFCA) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), finalised an agreement to extend the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season through to, at latest, Monday, 31 August 2020.

With that agreement now in place, FFA confirmed that it has several draw options ready to be actioned, however all options commence with Grant Brebner’s bow as Melbourne Victory Head Coach up against Mark Rudan’s Western United in the middle of next month.

“We have developed multiple draw options for the completion of the regular season,” FFA’s Head of Leagues, Greg O’Rourke, explained. “All options commence with Victory taking on Western United at AAMI Park followed by a game between the table topping Sydney FC against third-placed Wellington Phoenix at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium the following day.”

“The reason for having multiple draw options – which our clubs are across – is due to the fact that over the next few weeks there may be additional relaxations in border restrictions and travel movements in Australia, which may enable our clubs from Victoria, Queensland and South Australia to remain and play in their home cities, rather than relocating to New South Wales to complete the season.

“Regardless of which option we ultimately take, Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory FC understand that they will complete the remainder of their regular season matches in New South Wales, with games to be played at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah, and McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle.

“We are confident that we will be able to release the revised draw for the completion of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season soon,” he said.

Hyundai A-League clubs will be free to return to training from tomorrow onwards subsequent to the successful completion of COVID-19 medical screenings and the implementation of operational plans to minimise the risk of infection at their training sites and club facilities.

With key milestones being met, FFA will continue to work collaboratively with the competition’s long-term partner and host broadcaster, Fox Sports, regarding the broadcast arrangements to complete the season.

Positively, O’Rourke explained that changes to the Federal Government’s rules for crowds in Stadiums, which will come into effect from Wednesday, 1 July 2020, would likely enable the season to be completed with fans in the stands.

“Last Friday our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced that Stadiums with capacities of 40,000 people or fewer could be permitted to host up to 10,000 people,” he added.

“We will continue to work closely with the Federal and State Governments, as well as our venues, to consider how we can accommodate as many club members and fans as possible at matches when the competition resumes.

“With our Finals Series still the best part of two months away, we are keen to keep our options and thinking open regarding how and where that may be held.

“Leading our decision-making in August be how we may be able to maximise the experience for members, fans, and commercial and broadcast partners, and rewarding the club that wins the right to host the Grand Final, subject to travel restrictions at the time,” he said.


About bloody time!!!
 

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Hyundai A-League to resume on July 16 in Melbourne


The Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season is set to resume on Thursday, 16 July 2020 with Melbourne Victory taking on Western United at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

The match between the Victorian rivals will kick-start an unprecedented run of Hyundai A-League match play, with the remaining 27 games of the regular season to be held over an action-packed 28-day period before the end of season Finals Series.

On Monday, FFA, together with the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (APFCA) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), finalised an agreement to extend the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season through to, at latest, Monday, 31 August 2020.

With that agreement now in place, FFA confirmed that it has several draw options ready to be actioned, however all options commence with Grant Brebner’s bow as Melbourne Victory Head Coach up against Mark Rudan’s Western United in the middle of next month.

“We have developed multiple draw options for the completion of the regular season,” FFA’s Head of Leagues, Greg O’Rourke, explained. “All options commence with Victory taking on Western United at AAMI Park followed by a game between the table topping Sydney FC against third-placed Wellington Phoenix at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium the following day.”

“The reason for having multiple draw options – which our clubs are across – is due to the fact that over the next few weeks there may be additional relaxations in border restrictions and travel movements in Australia, which may enable our clubs from Victoria, Queensland and South Australia to remain and play in their home cities, rather than relocating to New South Wales to complete the season.

“Regardless of which option we ultimately take, Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory FC understand that they will complete the remainder of their regular season matches in New South Wales, with games to be played at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah, and McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle.

“We are confident that we will be able to release the revised draw for the completion of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season soon,” he said.

Hyundai A-League clubs will be free to return to training from tomorrow onwards subsequent to the successful completion of COVID-19 medical screenings and the implementation of operational plans to minimise the risk of infection at their training sites and club facilities.

With key milestones being met, FFA will continue to work collaboratively with the competition’s long-term partner and host broadcaster, Fox Sports, regarding the broadcast arrangements to complete the season.

Positively, O’Rourke explained that changes to the Federal Government’s rules for crowds in Stadiums, which will come into effect from Wednesday, 1 July 2020, would likely enable the season to be completed with fans in the stands.

“Last Friday our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced that Stadiums with capacities of 40,000 people or fewer could be permitted to host up to 10,000 people,” he added.

“We will continue to work closely with the Federal and State Governments, as well as our venues, to consider how we can accommodate as many club members and fans as possible at matches when the competition resumes.

“With our Finals Series still the best part of two months away, we are keen to keep our options and thinking open regarding how and where that may be held.

“Leading our decision-making in August be how we may be able to maximise the experience for members, fans, and commercial and broadcast partners, and rewarding the club that wins the right to host the Grand Final, subject to travel restrictions at the time,” he said.


About bloody time!!!
Yeah!!

Time to go back to back toilet seats.
 

giggler99

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It's not all smooth sailing when it comes to FOX!


Fox Sports remove Australian football content amid FFA negotiations | The World Game

On Wednesday evening all of Fox Sports' Australian football content, including highlights and full match replays, was no longer available on their platforms Foxtel Go, Kayo Sports, and the on-demand section of Foxtel IQ, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Fox are currently negotiating with FFA over the broadcast of the remaining 2019-20 A-League season, which they have not yet committed to.
The season will resume 16 July after the COVID-19 hiatus with a jam-packed scheduled, as confirmed on Tuesday.
Sources closely linked to the negotiations confirmed Fox are also seeking a significant reduction to their existing deal, worth a reported $57 million a season, to an alleged $11 million per year for the remaining three campaigns they are contracted to show.

"We've got no live football at the moment and we're currently reviewing all our football offerings, and that's the reason why it's not there at the moment," Peter Campbell, head of Fox Sports, said to the Herald on Thursday.
"We're having a good look at it. There's still plenty of content on there from the beIN [beIN SPORTS] properties, some La Liga and stuff like that from memory."
A Kayo customer support worker, meanwhile, said the platform was "currently reviewing our Australian football offering".
The A-League resumption will reportedly go ahead with or without Fox Sports broadcasting them.
Fox have also tried to renegotiate broadcast deals with other sports bodies including NRL and AFL.

FFA's head of leagues Greg O'Rourke played down perceived tensions with Fox on Tuesday, saying: “It is our intent to have it [the remaining A-League season] broadcast and to complete it. It is also our intent to have it broadcast by Fox.
"We’re not really working on a Plan B, even though we have a few thoughts around that, our intent is to work with our current contractual partners.”
“I don’t think there is any deadline from either party at the moment that is making it too difficult or less difficult. Both parties have agreed to negotiate in good faith for the future.
“From what I understand, D-Day is next Tuesday. I understand NRL and AFL make a far bigger contribution to the bottom line of Fox, but we haven’t had an offer the FFA are happy with yet to resume football,"


 

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giggler99

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Sources close to FFA are adamant the season will be completed even if Fox does not agree to show the matches. Indeed, FFA is believed to be putting contingencies in place to self-broadcast the rest of the A-League campaign through YouTube or social media platforms.

Well fox is gone. Will be cancelling it in the morning.
R.I.P A-League

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