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Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Crumbs, Canberra has won?

So we didn't get the 12th licence purely it seems because we weren't called Western Sydney.

And the FFA has certainly angered many Canberrans with their process of selection. If indeed there was ever a process.

But when the dust settles many will agree, the Canberra Bid Committee although failing in their aim to get the 12th licence has moved Canberra back into the world of professional football...at least in intent.

And in time it will be this bid, this committee that will have done the ground work for a future professional team, one in my view that still needs a way better model if a team is ever to survive and flourish in Canberra...as I believe it can.

The momentum of the bid, resulted in 20,000 turning up to watch the Socceroos, the community actually realising what "the A-League" was, and perhaps the biggest achievement was to look to the future and away from the "we've failed with the Cosmos" era. No mean acheivements in Canberra!

Many have criticised the Committee, myself included, for failing to maintain the momentum of the Socceroos crowd, for failing to get the money needed, and for failing to attract the right people on to the committee in the first place, and maybe for not going hard enough to the FFA after that Socceroos game when we were at our strongest point, in terms of community and financial support.

Now is the time for Ivan Slavich to review those on the Committee and those who can or will take the bid forward. Will Ivan remain? He should. And in today's Canberra Times he says he will. A bid without Ivan would seem unlikely to succeed in my view.

I can attest to the hours upon hours he has put into to make this thing happen. Ivan's drive and energy has been an eye-opener although I had some disagreements along the way; that is normal I guess.

And if the FFA are to be believed, and I don't believe them, Canberra will be the 13th team in the league.

Hmmmm nice thought, but if we are to be that team, why not give us a date for entry no matter how far away.

The sop from the FFA that we are to get more A-League games and Internationals is just that a meaningless sop to a region the FFA has treated appallingly in my view. They certainly haven't assisted the game to grow in this region by their sham of a licence process.

Indeed right now the thought of more A-League games in Canberra seems like a waste of time. And the link with the Mariners seems to distract us from the main game: A team of our own and as a subsidiary a pathway for our young players.

Is it time for the Bid Committee to disband or do they have the ability to take and build on the momentum; a momentum which in most people's view has died. There is the answer for the Committee members I guess, although I'm in favour of new energy around Ivan should he remain.

The way ahead?

A Youth team in the A-League would be a better sop from the FFA. And the Canberra Times is reporting that the FFA want to go this way.

Well why would we believe the FFA, but to start with a Youth team next year would placate many of us and build some real momentum alongside Canberra United in my view.

It would enable us a pathway for our players so when our team comes in, if it ever does, we have a pool of players ready to go, an administration in place and a community able to get behind a team, a brand and keep some of the A-League4Canberra momentum.

Further the Youth Team, Boomerangs Futsal and Canberra United W-League should all be branded as one, formed into one club, to promote the elite football from the region not just Canberra.

The Bid Committee if they remain needs to reenergise and force some answers from the FFA. Are they up to the task? Were they ever able to galvanise the community?

When will the FFA give us our start date.
What will they do to assist us. A youth team is a bigger priority than more Mariners A-League games. We don't want A-League games and will not support them in the numbers required to build a successful brand in Canberra.

Any volunteer A-League committee do not have the energy to promote of finance A-League Mariner games. They are a distraction to the main cause of our own A-League team. Capital Football clearly dont have the communication abilities or resources to be throwing behind the Mariners games to ensure 10,000 people turn-up..so drop the games!

International games: We'll take them; if we get them because they FFA spend money to promote those.

And my final thought:
Who will the develop a business model that is really sustainable, reveal it to the community and take this Bid to a new level?

We have the time now, no pressure of Bid races etc, so let's go to stage two once the dust has settled and build on the Memberships, the 13400 pledges, the regional support, the 100 Ambassadors, the clubs of the ACT and the goodwill of many many volunteers who gave up their time to promote this thing.

We have a large database of emails, paid-up members, volunteers etc etc, there needs to be some thought given to how best to bring this community along and of course more importantly the business acumen and finances required for a team to succeed.

In the long-term view: Did the Canberra Committee succeed or fail?

1 comment:

Roy Law said...

As a Mariners fan I can tell you the last thing we want is a home game in Canberra. It stinks. It wasn't the ideas of FFA though, it came about because of supposed remedial work required on the surface at Bluetongue. I say supposed because prior to the Perth game the Mariners trained on the pitch and a couple of weeks later full Union and League local finals were played on it.Old Soccer is still alive in the era of New Football :)