Professional football is not popular in Australia...why?


Professional football is not popular in Australia...why?

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Why does football (the world’s most popular sport) fail to measure up in Australia. Is it because of poor administration or is it simply the fact that we only like winners. We have won the Cricket World Cup, the Rugby World Cup, even the Netball World Cup. Does Australia’s insularity condemn football to always be inferior. Maybe we have to win the Football World Cup before we can be considered a legitimate contender.
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Australian Rules and Thugby to blame... 
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Professional Football is widely popular in Australia, the A-League however is not and having a league that is structured wildly different from the leagues people are actually watching doesn't help.


Viennese Vuck

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You can't keep starting up new leagues and hope that a professional game will miraculously take off.
The A-League is currently just one heart beat away from where the NSL was 16 years ago (but luckily for the A-League, the PM hasn't roped in the richest man in Australia to finish it off).
Personally, I don't think it's got anything to do with good or bad administration or who is in charge.  We finally have a football person in charge, very experienced too mind you, but he is not going to make a dot of difference to the professional game in Australia.
We have the hand we have been dealt, and that's all you get.

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melbourne_terrace - 28 Sep 2020 7:26 PM
Professional Football is widely popular in Australia, the A-League however is not and having a league that is structured wildly different from the leagues people are actually watching doesn't help.

But the A-League is Professional Football in this country, everything else is either semi-professional or amateur.
Football doesn’t seem to be able to gain traction at any level, be it government level, media level, it just isn’t part of the national psyche.
I just don’t understand why a sport as widely popular as football fails to register as worthy at a national level.
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Its simple while more people play our great game in this country then any other sport people get bored. HAL started with a bang but 15 years later its the same shit. Unless we have something to get excited about something to fear something for the players to play for fan will keep dropping off. Bring in PR asap and watch the game change in all aspects. 
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i havev said it before &i will say it it  again,our muchLoved game NEEDS  a Secand division A N D promoting &relagation NOW the question is why are TheFFA not doing anything  about it? 
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melbourne_terrace - 28 Sep 2020 7:26 PM
Professional Football is widely popular in Australia, the A-League however is not and having a league that is structured wildly different from the leagues people are actually watching doesn't help.

+1000

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Unlike the AFL and NRL, the A-League is no where near a top product of their respective sports.

The vast majority of football fans in this country prefer to follow an EPL, Serie A or a La Liga team as that’s where the top players are. Many countries face the same issues, but luckily for them, football is still seen as the top sport in many of those countries. 

The A-League has lost its way considerably, and it’s hard to see what will turn it around quickly. P&R isn’t even close to coming into play anytime soon, but getting a NSD up and running will at least generate something added interest from those that follow their clubs but Haven’t connected with the national tier for many years or ever for younger supporters. 

What we need though is some positivity in this game to at least create some bright spots in our lives. Waking up each day to read football forums is a recipe for depression in most cases.

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libelous - 28 Sep 2020 7:08 PM
Why does football (the world’s most popular sport) fail to measure up in Australia. Is it because of poor administration or is it simply the fact that we only like winners. We have won the Cricket World Cup, the Rugby World Cup, even the Netball World Cup. Does Australia’s insularity condemn football to always be inferior. Maybe we have to win the Football World Cup before we can be considered a legitimate contender.

What you smoking it is incredibly  popular - the Socceroos when they were good where the number 1 sporting brand in the country by a mile 

the problem is the AL is unpopular becuz like ive said on other forums it is a terribly structured competition and the 1st 4-5 years the AL was sub-par 

If anything the PL, World cup, Euros, Champions league are all incredibility popular people wake up at 3am to watch matches but dont want to watch SFC v WSW at 7:30pm on Saturday becuz the competition is f**ken a mile off what a football competition is meant to be 




these Kangaroos can play football - 
Ange P. (Intercontinental WC Play-offs 2017) 

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melbourne_terrace - 28 Sep 2020 7:26 PM
Professional Football is widely popular in Australia, the A-League however is not and having a league that is structured wildly different from the leagues people are actually watching doesn't help.

this.

these Kangaroos can play football - 
Ange P. (Intercontinental WC Play-offs 2017) 

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The ALeague is a story of 2 missed opportunities. 
The first 2 seasons of the A-league combined with the 2006 WC success was the first squandered opportunity. Instead of building on this success immediately, the decision was made to do nothing to expand the game. Bugger all investment in the following seasons and the game went nowhere.
The next big opportunity was the season when Wanderers joined and we had Ono, ADP and Heskey in the league. Genuine football fans were again enthused, but the FFA decided to go to war with the active fans because they thought that attracting Big Bash and AFL followers was more important.
Since then it’s just gradually fizzled.
The ongoing determination to keep the Efniks out has ensured that the football community has never been allowed to unite.

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clockwork orange - 28 Sep 2020 10:06 PM
The ALeague is a story of 2 missed opportunities. 
The first 2 seasons of the A-league combined with the 2006 WC success was the first squandered opportunity. Instead of building on this success immediately, the decision was made to do nothing to expand the game. Bugger all investment in the following seasons and the game went nowhere.
The next big opportunity was the season when Wanderers joined and we had Ono, ADP and Heskey in the league. Genuine football fans were again enthused, but the FFA decided to go to war with the active fans because they thought that attracting Big Bash and AFL followers was more important.
Since then it’s just gradually fizzled.
The ongoing determination to keep the Efniks out has ensured that the football community has never been allowed to unite.

Also this +1. 

these Kangaroos can play football - 
Ange P. (Intercontinental WC Play-offs 2017) 

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clockwork orange - 28 Sep 2020 10:06 PM
The ALeague is a story of 2 missed opportunities. 
The first 2 seasons of the A-league combined with the 2006 WC success was the first squandered opportunity. Instead of building on this success immediately, the decision was made to do nothing to expand the game. Bugger all investment in the following seasons and the game went nowhere.
The next big opportunity was the season when Wanderers joined and we had Ono, ADP and Heskey in the league. Genuine football fans were again enthused, but the FFA decided to go to war with the active fans because they thought that attracting Big Bash and AFL followers was more important.
Since then it’s just gradually fizzled.
The ongoing determination to keep the Efniks out has ensured that the football community has never been allowed to unite.

Hammer + nail.
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As I mentioned in the other thread yesterday the game has been too fractured for too long, someone has got beef over something or someone in the game and often than not the game gets nowhere.

Hate ethnic clubs or hate plastic franchises, its the same poor attitude.

Sport especially in our game is all about emotional connection, the league had two chances to get it right.

The 1st was the inception 1 team per city model 'build it and hope they come as Lowy mentioned at the start',but was ruined by the World Cup bid and lack of planning for the growth of the league after that.
The 2nd was the wave with ADP, WSW inception the league finally had real colour especially in the peak around 2014/2015.

Both moments blown as the game took its eye off the ball and the game hasnt recovered since.

Emotion connection is not being force fed into something you should like, or where they want take advantage of you for marketing purposes like those active supports but to also turn their back on them, emotional connection is something you feel about that product or experience where you will spend more time and money it as its part of your life and thats what sport is all about.

Another word is Passion, remember the 'passion is not a crime' line?

And this is something the game has never embraced whether its been in the NSL or aleague club, the suits have never embraced the passion with it means to support a team like in our sport just so they appease the small element of people that dont understand our game. (Cheers David Gallop!)
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clockwork orange - 28 Sep 2020 10:06 PM
The ALeague is a story of 2 missed opportunities. 
The first 2 seasons of the A-league combined with the 2006 WC success was the first squandered opportunity. Instead of building on this success immediately, the decision was made to do nothing to expand the game. Bugger all investment in the following seasons and the game went nowhere.
The next big opportunity was the season when Wanderers joined and we had Ono, ADP and Heskey in the league. Genuine football fans were again enthused, but the FFA decided to go to war with the active fans because they thought that attracting Big Bash and AFL followers was more important.
Since then it’s just gradually fizzled.
The ongoing determination to keep the Efniks out has ensured that the football community has never been allowed to unite.

Bang on the money mate.
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Professional football is popular in Australia.

We’ve just made some poor assumptions and decisions over the last 50 years.

Over the last 15 years we thought a professional league based on Australian sporting culture would do it.
In fact we promised the owners riches beyond compare, setting a policy course that doesn’t meet our expectations nor the expectations of those who invested in the League.

We thought marquees would be a game changer.

We thought if only there was less or no ethnic clubs then the Australian masses would see less of an impediment to crossing over to the beautiful game.

They thought getting rid of  active support, seen as rowdy and symbolic of the ethnic Football days as the way to attract the threatre goer.

We thought World Cup qualification would be the game changer and everyone would just hop over to the true football.

We think winning a World Cup will do the trick without any thought or consideration in what is needed to achieve that.

The owners brought over Scudamore to tell them how to make the game more popular, but didn’t like what they were told.

The journey to what we want for the game here is a long one. And we’ve lost a lot of time, sidetracked by distractions of grandeur.

We have to be more Club focused, Clubs are the engine of the game the World over, they are the marquee. Great players have come and gone through Real Madrid, but people support Real Madrid not the galaxy of stars that have passed through.

To win a World Cup our players need to be playing and dominating in the top 5 leagues of Europe. With the top 5 clubs in those leagues.

To get those players to those clubs and leagues we have to have a vibrant and competitive league here, that includes transfer fees, promotion Relegation, a connected pyramid, diverse and innovative player development especially at the youngest ages (I’m talking ages 4 to 12), parental education on how they can best help the kids get the skills they need just to enjoy the game. We have to come to the realization that not every kid is elite, but if they stay in the game taught to love it they will be the next administrator or sponser or coach etc.
we have to stop saying, AL you are the professional clubs, NPL you are the development clubs, Community you are for the masses. Telling Clubs this is your territory, and the people in this territory belong to you. Clubs siloed into a specific roles is like creating an East German sports model without the drugs. Even those  clamoring for age restrictions on clubs In competition don’t get it, just playing youth in the AL NPL or wherever isn’t the game changer people think if the kids aren’t good enough they’re not good enough.

And we can’t have arbitrary player payments regulations, Licensing conditions etc etc that don’t reflect the financial capacity and level of the game. We have to have more of an organic approach and that takes time. Like the Japanese who have a 100 year plan.

So my point we need to accept we are in the long game, there is no silver bullet, there is not one thing we can do that will change our circumstances, but there are many small things we can do and build on. In particular we need to equal regulations for all Clubs within a free market framework.
Could write a lot more on this but I think I’ve put my view across.
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Arthur - 28 Sep 2020 11:08 PM
Professional football is popular in Australia.

We’ve just made some poor assumptions and decisions over the last 50 years.

Over the last 15 years we thought a professional league based on Australian sporting culture would do it.
In fact we promised the owners riches beyond compare, setting a policy course that doesn’t meet our expectations nor the expectations of those who invested in the League.

We thought marquees would be a game changer.

We thought if only there was less or no ethnic clubs then the Australian masses would see less of an impediment to crossing over to the beautiful game.

They thought getting rid of  active support, seen as rowdy and symbolic of the ethnic Football days as the way to attract the threatre goer.

We thought World Cup qualification would be the game changer and everyone would just hop over to the true football.

We think winning a World Cup will do the trick without any thought or consideration in what is needed to achieve that.

The owners brought over Scudamore to tell them how to make the game more popular, but didn’t like what they were told.

The journey to what we want for the game here is a long one. And we’ve lost a lot of time, sidetracked by distractions of grandeur.

We have to be more Club focused, Clubs are the engine of the game the World over, they are the marquee. Great players have come and gone through Real Madrid, but people support Real Madrid not the galaxy of stars that have passed through.

To win a World Cup our players need to be playing and dominating in the top 5 leagues of Europe. With the top 5 clubs in those leagues.

To get those players to those clubs and leagues we have to have a vibrant and competitive league here, that includes transfer fees, promotion Relegation, a connected pyramid, diverse and innovative player development especially at the youngest ages (I’m talking ages 4 to 12), parental education on how they can best help the kids get the skills they need just to enjoy the game. We have to come to the realization that not every kid is elite, but if they stay in the game taught to love it they will be the next administrator or sponser or coach etc.
we have to stop saying, AL you are the professional clubs, NPL you are the development clubs, Community you are for the masses. Telling Clubs this is your territory, and the people in this territory belong to you. Clubs siloed into a specific roles is like creating an East German sports model without the drugs. Even those  clamoring for age restrictions on clubs In competition don’t get it, just playing youth in the AL NPL or wherever isn’t the game changer people think if the kids aren’t good enough they’re not good enough.

And we can’t have arbitrary player payments regulations, Licensing conditions etc etc that don’t reflect the financial capacity and level of the game. We have to have more of an organic approach and that takes time. Like the Japanese who have a 100 year plan.

So my point we need to accept we are in the long game, there is no silver bullet, there is not one thing we can do that will change our circumstances, but there are many small things we can do and build on. In particular we need to equal regulations for all Clubs within a free market framework.
Could write a lot more on this but I think I’ve put my view across.

Very well said Arthur, that makes too much sense for the non believers. 
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clockwork orange - 28 Sep 2020 10:06 PM
The ALeague is a story of 2 missed opportunities. 
The first 2 seasons of the A-league combined with the 2006 WC success was the first squandered opportunity. Instead of building on this success immediately, the decision was made to do nothing to expand the game. Bugger all investment in the following seasons and the game went nowhere.
The next big opportunity was the season when Wanderers joined and we had Ono, ADP and Heskey in the league. Genuine football fans were again enthused, but the FFA decided to go to war with the active fans because they thought that attracting Big Bash and AFL followers was more important.
Since then it’s just gradually fizzled.
The ongoing determination to keep the Efniks out has ensured that the football community has never been allowed to unite.

I recall the time where active support was awesome across the league. That was at the time that the Marinators had already broken up but good performances and championships kept them coming. I recall Mariners games of 2008-2012 just being unimaginable now. 

Sydney derby was top. Melbourne had a very decent derby. Newcastle had travelling fans and Brisbane were playing beautifully. Such a disappointment it all crashed down. 
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clockwork orange - 28 Sep 2020 10:06 PM
The ALeague is a story of 2 missed opportunities. 
The first 2 seasons of the A-league combined with the 2006 WC success was the first squandered opportunity. Instead of building on this success immediately, the decision was made to do nothing to expand the game. Bugger all investment in the following seasons and the game went nowhere.
The next big opportunity was the season when Wanderers joined and we had Ono, ADP and Heskey in the league. Genuine football fans were again enthused, but the FFA decided to go to war with the active fans because they thought that attracting Big Bash and AFL followers was more important.
Since then it’s just gradually fizzled.
The ongoing determination to keep the Efniks out has ensured that the football community has never been allowed to unite.

astute observations and I 100% agree with what you say ... I would add a third to your list the gamble to go after the world cup and direct revenue and management time and political and media favours while ignoring the A-L... 

Having said that and I agree I think its deeper than just a couple of things..
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“I played for the biggest club [in the Netherlands], so you think clubs will see you easily. But my career went half good and half/half…

“People say New Zealand, Australia are not so good. But to be fair, it made me into the player I am today.

“In Holland, you learn to play with the ball and you have it a lot.

“But in Australia, you need to fight and become a man. My skills are there, but in Holland you lack the fighting part of the game.

“It helped me quite a lot.”

https://sport360.com/article/football/arabian-gulf-league/344707/if-you-saw-luis-suarez-in-training-he-wouldnt-do-a-lot-but-in-a-game-he-went-2000-per-cent

too macho for the refined Eurosnobs?


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clockwork orange - 28 Sep 2020 10:06 PM
The ALeague is a story of 2 missed opportunities. 
The first 2 seasons of the A-league combined with the 2006 WC success was the first squandered opportunity. Instead of building on this success immediately, the decision was made to do nothing to expand the game. Bugger all investment in the following seasons and the game went nowhere.
The next big opportunity was the season when Wanderers joined and we had Ono, ADP and Heskey in the league. Genuine football fans were again enthused, but the FFA decided to go to war with the active fans because they thought that attracting Big Bash and AFL followers was more important.
Since then it’s just gradually fizzled.
The ongoing determination to keep the Efniks out has ensured that the football community has never been allowed to unite.

Exactly cannot agree more.
Football has too many people with agendas & not always for the good of the game.
The misconception that football is NOT big in this country, we should have been appealing to football fans, the passion the football fans have was totally missed by the Suits.


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I love how people are turning this thread in to an “A-League is not popular” thread. 

The NSL was NOT popular! 

The A-League is 3-4x more popular than the NSL, but still dwarfed by the three major codes. 

So whether it’s NSL or HAL - professional football is not popular. Why? 



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one word... Eurosnobs. 
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Constructive observations, especially from clockwork orange. I agree, no silver bullet sadly. It’s a slow road back. Let’s get to 14 or maybe 16 teams quickly then put a five year plan in place for a second division pro/rel.  Aim for this to all be in place by 2030, with public commitments and milestones. I really want some old surviving NSL clubs back in the mix. What a club like South Melbourne would do, notwithstanding the counter arguments, would be awesome and very symbolic. A brilliant gesture to the old guard but also there are commercial opportunities to be exploited.  
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CanberraHarry - 29 Sep 2020 9:43 AM
Constructive observations, especially from clockwork orange. I agree, no silver bullet sadly. It’s a slow road back. Let’s get to 14 or maybe 16 teams quickly then put a five year plan in place for a second division pro/rel.  Aim for this to all be in place by 2030, with public commitments and milestones. I really want some old surviving NSL clubs back in the mix. What a club like South Melbourne would do, notwithstanding the counter arguments, would be awesome and very symbolic. A brilliant gesture to the old guard but also there are commercial opportunities to be exploited.  

South Melbourne has had three bites at it (entering the A-League), and at least for the 2nd and 3rd tries, missed out to inferior bids.
Damage done I'd say.

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Because its progress and development has constantly being restrained by self-serving, chip on the shoulder, utter fuckwits on every side of the fence. 
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Waz - 29 Sep 2020 6:52 AM
I love how people are turning this thread in to an “A-League is not popular” thread. 

The NSL was NOT popular! 

The A-League is 3-4x more popular than the NSL, but still dwarfed by the three major codes. 

So whether it’s NSL or HAL - professional football is not popular. Why? 


To answer that question it would require undertaking some actual analysis and critical thinking. And we all know there can't be any of that nonsense. We can't turn the microscope on ourselves. We can only look at external issues of which we have no control over.


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The irony of multiculturalism and diversity being seen as a positive in every aspect of Australian life except mens football is not lost on me.  In most other cultural and social areas ‘the ethnics’ are celebrated but in football we have actively shunned them. Bizarre and backward thinking. And out of step with modern Australia. But it’s not irretrievable.
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they spent more time and money on Cahill than promoting the league.

Kids need stars/idols to get behind... we have none.
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