Sunday, 8 April 2012

FFA: Show me the grassroots plan? When Ben Buckley and I chatted in 2007 he said...

When Ben Buckley and I chatted briefly at the Asia Cup in Bangkok in 2007, okay I don't do brief, he responded to my question, what is the greatest challenge football faces in Australia? thus:

Grassroots - the greatest challenge and ultimate success of the game will depend on connecting and getting the grassroots on side.

So five years on with much water under the bridge how have we done?

Database connection - plus, big plus and slowly building and possibly will be the saviour of the game in years to come as revenues can be linked to the broader football fan who plays the game and loves it - just doesn't go to or watch the A-League just yet.

We're not going away!

TV - stronger than we've ever had, great coverage and more revenue - but of course no kid without Fox has seen any of the classic A-League or Socceroos games. History?

And we continue to promote to a maximum base on Fox. How to increase viewers, grassroots vieweres and increase revenues. Do we have to stay on Fox and Fox only?

Expansion - a dead set disaster. Spurned the grassroots/community in Canberra with over 2,000 people paying $200 each - didn't even consider this of any value. Grassroots linkages - no business could do worse. Business rule number 1: Customer is always right!

Want the Asia Cup in Canberra in 2015 - but no plan to grow the professional game, set community and professional benchmarks in this region to assist the growth of the game.

Expansion 2 - Gold Coast, Townsville, Auckland and Canberra four regions totally disconnected from the FFA and their professional game. The only code in Australia who have entered and run away with their tail between their legs. Does nothing for Grassroots connection and growth - indeed the opposite.

Ben Buckley's reign will be measured it seems by the size of the TV deal. And we're clearly starting to spend some of the money on a West Sydney club prior to the deal.

Presumably the FFA has been told, ten teams means more dollars.

The grassroots is the issue Ben, FTA another, and stability of all our clubs and a real plan for teams/clubs/regions another.

You have a clear stated goal in 2007 - I'd suggest you've got nowhere near it!

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