Expansion Too many teams - Risk of break away 'Super League' ?

oak79

Club Legend
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Posts
2,894
Likes
2,686
Location
Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Wildcats, Subiaco Lions, Bulls
Thread starter #1
With all this talk of expanding to 22 teams, is there a risk of a smaller 'Super League' being formed?

22 teams means
- a further dilution of the talent pool
- lower standard of games
- less chance of a premiership (average 1 every 22 years - if you miss your chances, a high % of supporters will never see their team win a premiership)

Surely someone with the means would set up a true national league with 8-12 teams, double the salary cap, full h/a fixture.
If the best players (and clubs?) were signed up, a rival network would pay big dollars for the TV rights.

Remember AFL don't own the sport - they just act like it - and they risk stretching the "VFL" too far.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Posts
10,506
Likes
8,285
AFL Club
GWS
#3
With all this talk of expanding to 22 teams, is there a risk of a smaller 'Super League' being formed?

22 teams means
- a further dilution of the talent pool
- lower standard of games
- less chance of a premiership (average 1 every 22 years - if you miss your chances, a high % of supporters will never see their team win a premiership)

Surely someone with the means would set up a true national league with 8-12 teams, double the salary cap, full h/a fixture.
If the best players (and clubs?) were signed up, a rival network would pay big dollars for the TV rights.

Remember AFL don't own the sport - they just act like it - and they risk stretching the "VFL" too far.
What talk of expanding to 22 teams was that again?
 

telsor

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Posts
30,231
Likes
26,791
Location
Here
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Habs
#4
With all this talk of expanding to 22 teams, is there a risk of a smaller 'Super League' being formed?

22 teams means
- a further dilution of the talent pool
- lower standard of games
- less chance of a premiership (average 1 every 22 years - if you miss your chances, a high % of supporters will never see their team win a premiership)

Surely someone with the means would set up a true national league with 8-12 teams, double the salary cap, full h/a fixture.
If the best players (and clubs?) were signed up, a rival network would pay big dollars for the TV rights.

Remember AFL don't own the sport - they just act like it - and they risk stretching the "VFL" too far.

Any new superleague would need to do without....

Any existing clubs (at least in a recognisable sense) because the AFL owns their names, colours, songs, etc.
Lack of players: It'd be years before players get released (existing contracts would need to run out, & AFLPA is heavily funded by the AFL)
Lack of grounds: AFL has contracts with all major existing grounds, which includes some limitations on other events.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Posts
53,727
Likes
68,727
Location
SE Oz
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
The Mighty Blacks
#5
With all this talk of expanding to 22 teams, is there a risk of a smaller 'Super League' being formed?

22 teams means
- a further dilution of the talent pool
- lower standard of games
- less chance of a premiership (average 1 every 22 years - if you miss your chances, a high % of supporters will never see their team win a premiership)

Surely someone with the means would set up a true national league with 8-12 teams, double the salary cap, full h/a fixture.
If the best players (and clubs?) were signed up, a rival network would pay big dollars for the TV rights.

Remember AFL don't own the sport - they just act like it - and they risk stretching the "VFL" too far.
Actually legally they do - from a legal rather than economic point of view. They are the custodians of the game - part of the WAFC and SANFL signing affiliation agreements after the SANFL put a team in the AFL and then between late 1990 and 1993 all custodial powers were transferred from the old Australian National Football Council to the AFL.

A break away league can not call itself Australian Football. Dont know if Footy or Australian Footy has been or can be trademarked now. The AFL own guernsey designs and logos. They own the rules.

If a break away was to happen, just like the rugby league Super League war, the new association would have to make massive changes to the look of the clubs involved.

It might be a good thing that they could get rid of some stupid rules. One way to get fans on board very early might be to ask them what rules they want scrapped, changed, introduced etc. Might actually fix up a lot of the current **** ups the AFL refuse to fix up.

Would be interesting to watch from the side line, like I did living in Sydney when Murdoch and Packer tore up Rugby League, but there would be a lot of pain for the game and fans of clubs. It would be a colossal failure!

News Corp thru News Limited lost something like $560m 1994-1998 $$$ out of the Super League war.

That only came out when News Corp moved HQ and stock exchange listing from Oz to USA as part of the prospectus documents around 2006 or 2007. As a result of this loss, News Corp had veto rights over the new peace declared NRL for 10 or 12 years. I think it was 10 years but News Corp didn't exit fully until 2010. And they also clawed lost monies back by NRL selling the rights, via their veto power, cheaply to Fox Sports who back then were owned 50/50 by Murdoch and Packer, and made a loss on AFL rights when Foxtel bought them and was made up of 50% Telstra, 25% Packer, 25% Murdoch.

Maximize the profit making game, minimise the loss making game, you are going to make short term losses, for longer term gains.

Which billionaire wants to piss at least $1+ billion up against the wall using 1994-1998 as a guide??

You either were too young to understand the Super League war when it happened and post study, or you were old enough, but lived in absolute bliss outside Qld and NSW.

Murdoch and Packer did it for future TV rights and internet rights - the internet had just become a thing and also Pay TV in Oz only was allowed in 1994 so controlling content would make you king.

The TV rights were cheap back then - 2 reasons 1) Winfield were paying a massive tobacco banned advertising premium because they were allowed to keep naming rights until the contract ran out, after Federal governemnt legislation banning all tobacco sponsorship of sport was passed around 1991, and they signed a deal before it passed, about $10-$12m back then. Packer was only paying $3-$5m for TV rights because he screwed the NSWRL and Arko and Qualey and they were to scared to resist him because of what happed with World Series Cricket..

When Arko and Quayley went and spoke to Ken Cowley at News Limited who also had a 50% share in Ansett at the time, so he was Oz CEO and Chairman of both companies, he said, I'm not paying a tobacco premium for naming rights and the TV rights are too cheap. They then started plotting how they could get a piece of the action because they understood the future of media rights and that Packer was making a killing.

TV and media Rights aren't cheap now like back then. There was the incentive Murdoch and Packer had to break up the game, just like Packer did when cricket TV rights were cheap in the late 70's, so Packer could afford the World Series Cricket revolution.

Have a look at what Andrew Forest is doing with Rugby after the Western Force were kicked out of the Super Rugby comp. That's the type of limited breakaway comp that might work but its driven by 1 or 2 teams being kicked out and coming up with an alternative comp, not splitting the league in 2.
 
Last edited:

Kwality

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Posts
16,865
Likes
5,419
Location
Tootgarook
AFL Club
West Coast
#6
Any new superleague would need to do without....

Any existing clubs (at least in a recognisable sense) because the AFL owns their names, colours, songs, etc.
Lack of players: It'd be years before players get released (existing contracts would need to run out, & AFLPA is heavily funded by the AFL)
Lack of grounds: AFL has contracts with all major existing grounds, which includes some limitations on other events.
All true, the horse has bolted ... what makes this worse is the downgrading of what was supposed to be an elite competition, its not that. Still we have people wanting more teams ONLY to protect the Melbourne market where supply of AFL footy exceeds demand. The solution is not palatable.

For a history lesson if needed:
http://www.footyindustry.com/?page_id=1469

As good a site as there is if you didnt live through the troubled birth of our national comp, given Packer had revolutionised cricket with World Series Cricket. Acknowledgement to The Wookie.

Footy will long regret the missed opportunity to establish an elite comp - the equivalent of State of Origin in its early days, the best of the best was what we were sold in WA at the time. As I said, the horse has bolted.
 
Last edited:

telsor

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Posts
30,231
Likes
26,791
Location
Here
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Habs
#9
All true, the horse has bolted ... what makes this worse is the downgrading of what was supposed to be an elite competition, its not that. Still we have people wanting more teams ONLY to protect the Melbourne market where supply of AFL footy exceeds demand. The solution is not palatable.

For a history lesson if needed:
http://www.footyindustry.com/?page_id=1469

As good a site as there is if you didnt live through the troubled birth of our national comp, given Packer had revolutionised cricket with World Series Cricket. Acknowledgement to The Wookie.

Footy will long regret the missed opportunity to establish an elite comp - the equivalent of State of Origin in its early days, the best of the best was what we were sold in WA at the time. As I said, the horse has bolted.
A missed opportunity perhaps, but realistically, it could never have happened any other way (and if it had, the game probably wouldn't be in NSW/QLD).
 

Jade

Smug lives here.
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Posts
33,051
Likes
48,602
AFL Club
Essendon
#10
With all this talk of expanding to 22 teams, is there a risk of a smaller 'Super League' being formed?

22 teams means
- a further dilution of the talent pool
- lower standard of games
- less chance of a premiership (average 1 every 22 years - if you miss your chances, a high % of supporters will never see their team win a premiership)

Surely someone with the means would set up a true national league with 8-12 teams, double the salary cap, full h/a fixture.
If the best players (and clubs?) were signed up, a rival network would pay big dollars for the TV rights.

Remember AFL don't own the sport - they just act like it - and they risk stretching the "VFL" too far.
I have no idea where the talk of 22 comes from, BUT, a 'Super League' type arrangement isn't going to happen.

The AFL might be corrupt, duplicitous pricks, but they know how to guard their own backyard.

They have:

- Near exclusive rights over the venues needed to play the game
- Total ownership of club names, logos, songs, branding
- Control of many of the second tier leagues (and further cascade control)
- Ironclad player contracts preventing any contracted player to any club going elsewehere
- Accreditation control over journalists, player agents

Remember AFL don't own the sport
Actually, they kind of do.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Posts
53,727
Likes
68,727
Location
SE Oz
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
The Mighty Blacks
#11
A missed opportunity perhaps, but realistically, it could never have happened any other way (and if it had, the game probably wouldn't be in NSW/QLD).
Yes it could have, but it would have meant a lot more goodwill, less fear, more brainpower and a long dialogue and set out the plans with clear criteria to enter a national league.

If by realistic, you mean it was - an industry full of frightened people - as Justin Madden said when he was president of the AFLPA around 1992 or 1993, and that's why what I wrote was never going to happen, then you are probably right.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

telsor

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Posts
30,231
Likes
26,791
Location
Here
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Habs
#12
I think the best chance of a 'solution' would be to make a genuine, serious second tier league (or perhaps more likely, second division), and drop some clubs back to that.

I can't really see that happening though due to the difficulties of funding and promotion/demotion (if that's even included).

Ideally, this should have happened before GWS/GC were added with those clubs (and others) added to the second tier, with a pathway for potential promotion.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Posts
53,727
Likes
68,727
Location
SE Oz
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
The Mighty Blacks
#13
I think the best chance of a 'solution' would be to make a genuine, serious second tier league (or perhaps more likely, second division), and drop some clubs back to that.

I can't really see that happening though due to the difficulties of funding and promotion/demotion (if that's even included).

Ideally, this should have happened before GWS/GC were added with those clubs (and others) added to the second tier, with a pathway for potential promotion.
Salary Cap is an issue.

Euro soccer no cap and have relegation and promotion. Most big leagues with a cap around the world, don't have promotion and relegation system.
 

telsor

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Posts
30,231
Likes
26,791
Location
Here
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Habs
#14
Yes it could have, but it would have meant a lot more goodwill, less fear, more brainpower and a long dialogue and set out the plans with clear criteria to enter a national league.

If by realistic, you mean it was - an industry full of frightened people - as Justin Madden said when he was president of the AFLPA around 1992 or 1993, and that's why what I wrote was never going to happen, then you are probably right.
That's pretty much I mean...Although I'd say more 'narrow self interest' than fear. Lot's of club officials looking after their clubs interests, rather than the game as a whole (and really, as corporate officers, that's what they should be doing...Their primary obligation was to their own club after all).
 

Kwality

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Posts
16,865
Likes
5,419
Location
Tootgarook
AFL Club
West Coast
#15
Ken Arthurson, Chairman of NSWRL/ARL and John Quayle CEO of NSWRL/ARL between about 1991 and 1997. Both were ex players, Arko was like the friendly uncle and Quayley was like hard nut bover boy type boss.
Yep, Ken Arthurson was a power way back in the early 70s when I happily sat on the bank at Brookvale, cheers
 

telsor

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Posts
30,231
Likes
26,791
Location
Here
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Habs
#16
Salary Cap is an issue.

Euro soccer no cap and have relegation and promotion. Most big leagues with a cap around the world, don't have promotion and relegation system.
Yeah, I know...As I said, I can't really see it happening.

It'd also probably require a major restructure of the AFL Commission (although, I'd say that should happen anyway).
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Posts
53,727
Likes
68,727
Location
SE Oz
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
The Mighty Blacks
#17
Yeah, I know...As I said, I can't really see it happening.

It'd also probably require a major restructure of the AFL Commission (although, I'd say that should happen anyway).
The AFL Commission for want of a better name should have;

* Custodial Commissioners ie people who understand the game, who look after game development, grass roots, minor leagues, amateur leagues, women's footy, indigenous and multicultural programs etc and

*Competition Commissioners ie the the business people and connected people who may know something or bugger all about the game and these guys worry about the AFL being the biggest professional comp in the land and signing the big TV and media deals, sponsorship and marketing, facilities deals etc, plus run AFLW.

And staff resources and financial resources are assigned to the 2 parts of the organisation.

That is the basic structure in the big Euro soccer leagues probably top 12-15 at least.

The Football Association have control of the national teams, raise revenue from selling TV and media rights to the national teams, have control of the rules being implemented, the game development stuff, promoting women's and multicultural kids etc. They have oversight, but not control of the premier league in their country. They also help run the amateur leagues

A company is formed and teams in the premier league have shares in this and its the executives employed by this organisation who do the deals to maximize revenue and work out the split up of the monies. Teams moving in and out of the premier league acquire and relinquish their share in the company. This structure is repeated down the professional leagues/divisions.
 
Last edited:

Kwality

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Posts
16,865
Likes
5,419
Location
Tootgarook
AFL Club
West Coast
#18
A missed opportunity perhaps, but realistically, it could never have happened any other way (and if it had, the game probably wouldn't be in NSW/QLD).
Looking at the timeline there were plenty of chances
1915 – Melbourne “merge with University
1951 – June 13. Bendigo proposes joining the VFL.
1952 – VFL plays promotional games in Brisbane, Sydney and Hobart under the auspices of the ANFC.
1954 – November 9. ANFC proposes VFL play promotional games in every state.
1977 – The VFL and HSV7 enter a 5 year agreement that prohibited the VFL from playing in a competition run by anyone else (The SA Football Story pg 115)
– December 23. Ron Barrassi presents a plan to the VFL for a team in Sydney with himself as the coach.
1978 – April 26. VFL board of Directors authorises the VFL to investigate the Sydney Cricket Ground hosting Sunday VFL matches.
1980 – July 29 – VFL approves South Melbourne plan to play 11 home games in Sydney from 1981.
1981 – January 28. VFL appoints Graham Huggins to do a study into launching a full time VFL side in Sydney. The study takes 5 months
– June 17. Huggins report is tabled to the VFL board recommneding immediate expansion. Under the Huggins report Sydney would be controlled by a VFL trust, and have a trial period of three years in the league before becoming a full member.
– June 11-17. VFL Directors decide that they would consider approaches from South Australia after a week of talks between senior VFL directors and the SANFL General Manager, Don roach.
– July 1. South Melbourne asks the VFL to fixture all home games in Sydney and all away games at VFL Park under lights
_ July 1. The WAFL board resolved to ask the VFL of their opinion of a WA team joining the VFL competition and for an iundication of
the VFLs intentions regarding the development of football in Australia.

Many footy fans & arguably all administrators knew the State Leagues were in trouble and that was 1981, but they went for the lifeboats rather than working together.
 

telsor

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Posts
30,231
Likes
26,791
Location
Here
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Habs
#19
The AFL Commission for want of a better name should have;

* Custodial Commissioners ie people who understand the game, who look after game development, grass roots, minor leagues, amateur leagues, women's footy, indigenous and multicultural programs etc and

*Competition Commissioners ie the the business people and connected people who may know something or bugger all about the game and these guys worry about the AFL being the biggest professional comp in the land and signing the big TV and media deals, sponsorship and marketing, facilities deals etc, plus run AFLW.

And staff resources and financial resources are assigned to the 2 parts of the organisation.
Yep.
On top, they have the board/commission.
Then a number of largely autonomous divisions (maybe just 2, but I can see arguments for more).

The commission has 4 jobs.
1) Distribution of funds between divisions.
2) Ensuring that cross division interactions meet the goals of both parties. (i.e. the AFL comp doesn't push everyone else around).
3) Integrity stuff (drugs, gambling, etc.)
4) The rules (all levels should be playing the same rules as far as possible, and any changes should be for the good of the game, not one competition's TV rights).
 

telsor

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Posts
30,231
Likes
26,791
Location
Here
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Habs
#20
Looking at the timeline there were plenty of chances
1915 – Melbourne “merge with University
1951 – June 13. Bendigo proposes joining the VFL.
1952 – VFL plays promotional games in Brisbane, Sydney and Hobart under the auspices of the ANFC.
1954 – November 9. ANFC proposes VFL play promotional games in every state.
1977 – The VFL and HSV7 enter a 5 year agreement that prohibited the VFL from playing in a competition run by anyone else (The SA Football Story pg 115)
– December 23. Ron Barrassi presents a plan to the VFL for a team in Sydney with himself as the coach.
1978 – April 26. VFL board of Directors authorises the VFL to investigate the Sydney Cricket Ground hosting Sunday VFL matches.
1980 – July 29 – VFL approves South Melbourne plan to play 11 home games in Sydney from 1981.
1981 – January 28. VFL appoints Graham Huggins to do a study into launching a full time VFL side in Sydney. The study takes 5 months
– June 17. Huggins report is tabled to the VFL board recommneding immediate expansion. Under the Huggins report Sydney would be controlled by a VFL trust, and have a trial period of three years in the league before becoming a full member.
– June 11-17. VFL Directors decide that they would consider approaches from South Australia after a week of talks between senior VFL directors and the SANFL General Manager, Don roach.
– July 1. South Melbourne asks the VFL to fixture all home games in Sydney and all away games at VFL Park under lights
_ July 1. The WAFL board resolved to ask the VFL of their opinion of a WA team joining the VFL competition and for an iundication of
the VFLs intentions regarding the development of football in Australia.

Many footy fans & arguably all administrators knew the State Leagues were in trouble and that was 1981, but they went for the lifeboats rather than working together.
Sure, there were opportunities, but as I alluded to in another post, the game was run by the clubs, and the club administrators always going to primarily were looking after the interests of their clubs. That doesn't leave a lot of room for mass sacrifice in order to potentially aid the big picture.
 

Rob

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Nov 8, 2000
Posts
27,318
Likes
12,870
Location
South of the river
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Peel Thunder
#22
Sure, there were opportunities, but as I alluded to in another post, the game was run by the clubs, and the club administrators always going to primarily were looking after the interests of their clubs. That doesn't leave a lot of room for mass sacrifice in order to potentially aid the big picture.
Yep - have a look at what's happening at Super rugby right now....it shows what happens when you let individual member interests control what happens. They all just vote to save themselves.
 

NoobPie

Premiership Player
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Posts
4,347
Likes
2,849
AFL Club
Collingwood
#23
The AFL Commission for want of a better name should have;

* Custodial Commissioners ie people who understand the game, who look after game development, grass roots, minor leagues, amateur leagues, women's footy, indigenous and multicultural programs etc and

*Competition Commissioners ie the the business people and connected people who may know something or bugger all about the game and these guys worry about the AFL being the biggest professional comp in the land and signing the big TV and media deals, sponsorship and marketing, facilities deals etc, plus run AFLW.

And staff resources and financial resources are assigned to the 2 parts of the organisation.

That is the basic structure in the big Euro soccer leagues probably top 12-15 at least.

The Football Association have control of the national teams, raise revenue from selling TV and media rights to the national teams, have control of the rules being implemented, the game development stuff, promoting women's and multicultural kids etc. They have oversight, but not control of the premier league in their country. They also help run the amateur leagues

A company is formed and teams in the premier league have shares in this and its the executives employed by this organisation who do the deals to maximize revenue and work out the split up of the monies. Teams moving in and out of the premier league acquire and relinquish their share in the company. This structure is repeated down the professional leagues/divisions.

I certainly think there is a case for demarcating the administration of the game between the development / grass roots and the professional tier.

I suspect it would best work under the one commission still though but that commission would direct and be briefed by two separate administrative bodies who are guided by two clear different sets of organisational objectives
 

Kwality

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Posts
16,865
Likes
5,419
Location
Tootgarook
AFL Club
West Coast
#24

telsor

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Posts
30,231
Likes
26,791
Location
Here
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Habs
#25
Yep - have a look at what's happening at Super rugby right now....it shows what happens when you let individual member interests control what happens. They all just vote to save themselves.
Super rugby is a good example...

It's format is pretty much what a lot of people here seem to say should have happened (fresh start, fixed number of teams per location), but the fact is it's never really gained a huge following and is struggling to survive.

Expanding/raising the existing no1 comp (VFL) and seems to have worked a hell of a lot better. (admittedly, that wasn't really an option for rugby)
 
Top Bottom