Phil Rothchild has/is up there with one of the least professional sports journalists in Australia - lots of biased assessments of football over the years so nearly fell out of my chair at this one.
Thing is many of these so-called journo's could have talked positively about football down the years, him, FitzSimons, Birmingham, Bolt, Wilson and the rest but for some reason they choose not to - small minds I guess - but here is our Phil doing his bit to spruik the game when clearly there is no need to.
What is he up to?
Proof soccer does rate
THE A-League is enjoying all-time high TV ratings, with the No. 1 program on Pay TV last week, five of the top 10 sports programs for the week and average viewership up 76 per cent on last season. It's a great time for FFA boss Ben Buckley to be spruiking a new TV rights deal. The current Fox Sports deal ends in June 2013, but we hear Buckley is keen to strike while the iron is hot.
There was more good news for soccer when Richard Freudenstein was unveiled as the new CEO of Foxtel - he's a known fan of the game as a former BSkyB senior exec in London heavily involved in the massive EPL rights deals. The only hassle for FFA is the impasse over the NRL rights, which will distract Fox Sports, free-to-air networks and the big telcos seeking digital rights. It's an open secret that Lachlan Murdoch's Ten Network will chase the NRL's Monday Night Footy, but failing that we hear Ten will make a big play for at least one A-League match.
Whatever the outcome, the story is that A-League is back in the race as a serious challenger to the AFL and NRL after a dip in fortunes last season.