Thursday, 4 October 2012

Football delivers in Australia - let the games begin

Great players, great adverts, ABC Radio to cover football, higher memberships and a huge pre-season buzz about the A-League.

We're a proud lot we football fans, and none more so than this season.

Now we've really got something to crow about. You can feel it can't you?

And before we get on with the football a moment to reflect on why our growth stalled.

In Australia John O'Neill and Frank Lowy raced us to the top - Asia, World Cups and the A-League.

Success came thick and fast. TV deal, record crowds for domestic games and even 70,000 to watch the Socceroos take on China in a meaningless World Cup Qualifier.

Was it Frank Lowy's vision that did us in? Or John O'Neill seeing what he'd achieved jumping ship to help his first love, Rugby Union.

Whatever it was it seems that Ben Buckley was told to get the World Cup Bid up and running and over the line and clearly for fledgling code it was too much too soon.

A-League funds MUST have been diverted to the World Cup bid. Advertising plummeted, Newspaper coverage disappeared and teams went belly-up. ( and how much money did we waste helping the likes of NQ Fury before they died - the interesting thing was we had the money to waste!)

The AFL - maybe they did us a favour?

Killing the World Cup bid has meant we have once more, one focus. Our domestic league.

After all it is this league that provides the employment, the constant connection in a way the 5 or 10 intermittent Socceroos games per year never can.

The buzz of the pre-season - huge isn't it - but now you feel the FFA knows what they have to do.

Ben Buckley is still there - maybe Ben too is now focused and has some money, time and vision for the A-League. Frank's focus must have returned as well.

The snipers will be out - cue Wilson, Fitzsimon (just a bit of fun Pete) and the rest of the aging dinosaurs and woebetide any football fan who steps out of line this season.

And with plenty of football media now evidence across many platforms - the dark side can remain dark - and it will have little impact.

We know the football will be good, we saw it last year and this year watch the atmosphere go off in Melbourne pre-game on Friday night.

We're going to get a real boost this year and perhaps this is the year, with the TV deal to come, that we'll have enough money to build on the hype year on year.

Imagine that impact.

And Investors will be back when they see the swagger and interest around the league.

The ABC getting on board is a major signing. Fox Sports and SBS both seemed certain to be in the next TV deal, so you'd expect both to grow the game this year.

We have great media coverage for football now and in the near future.Both pay and fta.

It's never felt so good for football has it?

I think we're finally at the starting post - finally.

1 comment:

Scott Robarge said...

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Scott Robarge