Posts tagged ‘Football West’
Perth Glory fans attended last night’s FFA Fan Forum in Perth but many will have gone home as frustrated as when they entered Perth Soccer Club who were hosting teh event.
One valid question that was raised was the kick off times of Perth Glory games on a Friday evening on the East coast. Some games are being played at 7.30pm on the East coast which makes it hard for fans to either get home or to a pub to watch the game as with daylight saving it means kick off is 4.30pm in the West. Head of the Hyundai A League Damien de Bohun, simply stated “There is not a lot we can do about it.”
As for all games in the final round being played at the same time and ensuring that no fixtures in that final round is deemed ‘dead’ due to an earlier result. Mr de Bohun, did not see any merit in this and stated that not every league in the world follows this format so it was not something that the FFA would be looking at in the near future.
Another suggestion from the floor was that the first round of the finals games be played over two legs, home and away ensuring that all teams in the finals receive a home final. Mr de Bohun said that discussions on the finals format had taken place at length, but that this format would not be seen in 2013/14 as the fixtures have been locked in and will be revealed this week.
When it came to the finals Glory fans asked why a finals game would be scheduled for a Friday night as was the case with the Glory’s game against Melbourne Victory. They stated that this gave fans extremely short notice to get across to the East coast to support their team, and affected the amount of fans who could go, as they would have to take time off work, again at short notice. The questioner never really received a definitive answer on this issue. The one thing that became increasingly clear is that Fox Sports scheduling dictates the fixture times far more than the game’s governing body.
It was also asked whether Perth Glory home games could be shown as a delayed telecast in Western Australia as a tool to encouraging fans to attend the games. The response to this question was that ‘with teams from different time zones this is very difficult, as people want to watch live action.’
One thing that was positive for Glory fans was the chance of seeing either Youth League or the W-League teams playing as curtain raisers to the main team next season look a real possibility. It was also good to hear from Peter Hugg CEO of Football West who run the W-League side, that Glory members can use their membership to attend W-League games free of charge. This was something that many fans were unaware of, and will hopefully grow the W-League crowds.
Head of the FFA David Gallop stated the he had met with the Western Australian Minister for sport and stated that he felt the opening game at the new stadium in 2018 should be a Socceroos game. The last time that WA hosted a Socceroos game was in 2004. Although he also stated that to host a Socceroos game the FFA required government support, which seemed a strange situation. It was made clear that with this being the case the everyday fans need to lobby the government and make them aware that they want such a game to happen, and that they would support it. The fans will do this because they want to see our national teams playing, but this seems a strange approach by a governing body which has so many participants and followers, and surely it should be a case of asking them to lend their support to the FFAs approaches.
When it came to the running of the Youth and the W-League teams – which must survive – Tony Sage stated that these two teams cost him in the region of $600,000 per year and that was why he had withdrawn from supporting the W-League side. A question was raised as to whether it was appropriate that the state bodies should have to take on this financial burden, Football West CEO Peter Hugg stated that ‘fans do not need to know who is paying the cheques.’ If these teams are to be run by the State bodies around the country then surely money should be coming from the top to support the league rather than the state bodies having to find the money to do so? If the money is not available to filter down to the top level of Women’s football in the country what hope is there of money coming down to the NPL?
There were some excellent questions raised but unfortunately many of the answers simply raised more questions.
There are plenty of people in Western Australia who will stand at the bar and tell you what is wrong with football in this state, many will tell you that no one wants to listen. It would appear that this is no longer the case with the Football Federation of Australia finally bringing their Fans Forum to Western Australia.
The event is to be held on Monday 20th of May at the Perth Soccer Club.
The choice of venue will not please many and shows a naivety on the part of those organising the event. Despite Perth having the best facilities this event should have been held at a neutral venue as it opens up Perth to the possibility of unfair criticism and accusations of favouritism.
On the panel will be CEO of the FFA David Gallop, Head of Hyundai A-League Damien de Bohun, Chairman of Perth Glory, Coach of Perth Glory Alistair Edwards and CEO of Football West Peter Hugg. It has not been revealed who will chair the meeting.
According to the FFA press release on the agenda are the following topics the Qantas Socceroos, Westfield Matildas, National Premier Leagues, FFA Cup, grassroots football and the Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and National Youth League competitions.
Not The Footy Show can’t help but question the timing of this Forum. First of all the announcement a week ago by Football West that they will push ahead with the National Premier League despite most clubs having grave concerns over the structure and who is going to finance it. Maybe this meeting has been timed to coincide with this move and therefore expect a great deal of ‘spin’ to support this decision. One question that may be worth tabling is what would happen if no clubs in Western Australia submitted for the NPL? Which when one considers how little information has been given on this radical new league would be a sensible development, yet sadly clubs currently feel they are being pressured to sign up in order to survive. Some we have been advised even being encouraged to submit an application!
As well as coming to support the NPL, don’t be surprised if with David Gallop in town an announcement is not made on Football being granted money by the Government for a new home. Something that the game has been crying out for ever since all segments united and they moved out of the old Perry Lakes offices, something that cost the game greatly; as had we stayed like basketball and Rugby we may well have already had a new home.
Quite what the Head of the Hyundai A League will have to share with those who attend is questionable, apart from crowds being up and viewing on Fox being up. Maybe he can explain why the W-League side which no longer receives any funding from the A league side should still have to operate under the same name?
It could be an interesting evening if similar events in other states are anything to go by. It will also be interesting to see what the main topics of conversation prove to be. One can’t help feeling that the NPL and youth development will in fact take priority over some of those topics listed.
Another that probably needs to be raised is where will funding come from should the Socceroos fail to qualify for the World Cup next year?
If you want to air your views on the game and the direction it is heading make sure you attend this meeting. Football needs your voice.
Football West has very wisely opted to sit back and watch how the National Premier League structure of the game is implemented in other states around the country, before committing to it 100 percent. This is a very wise move and one that should be applauded, as they will have the benefit of seeing how things pan out in the other leagues and adapting to prevent the same problems arising in Western Australia.
However they are still pushing ahead with making the state league clubs comply with the requirements to be a part of the National Premier League. Which will benefit the game whether they proceed or not.
Clubs in Western Australia however would be wise to cast an eye across the country before accepting such a reform to the State League competition. The current league may not be fantastic and has stagnated in recent years, but it does have history and has managed to survive upheaval in the past. Sometimes it is better the devil you know.
Queensland’s National Premier League is a good example to keep an eye on. In the current league there are only three sides who were in the Hyundai Queensland Premier League of 2012 in the same incarnation.
New sides are in the league this year and according to many already the league has become a three horse race, after just seven rounds. One person involved in Queensland football scene who requested to remain anonymous told “Not The Footy Show” ‘it’s a complete farce and we are only seven games in. With any luck they will scrap it next year and go back to how it was.’ Players from the established clubs stayed with their old clubs and opted to play with them in a lower division, and the sides elected into the top league are simply not strong enough. CQFC have conceded 42 goals in their seven games! Western Pride have conceded 20, while FNQFC have conceded 22.
The model has been to place clubs who meet the criteria on peripheral issues and not the football played on the park in the National Premier League. This has given the state body the chance to put clubs in key development areas. This has a great deal of merit, but in sport you should always have to earn the right to play at the highest level, it should not be given to you because you have clean toilets, spacious changing rooms and a decent car park.
Clubs in Western Australia would also be wise to remember why the National Premier League model, is trying to be rushed through by the FFA. The powers that be promised the AFC when they joined that they would have a second tier competition below the A-League and that there would be promotion and relegation. The deadline for that promise has passed, and the AFC want to know what is being done.
Even if this model does get approved in the West, will we see an NPL club promoted to the A-League, should they win the proposed Champion’s play offs? Could many State League clubs afford to make such a leap? How would an A-League license holder feel to see his club no longer playing in the top league?
Rest assured clubs will again have to meet a new criteria to be promoted, and that will be the protection clause for the current A-League clubs. The one good thing is no club could be precluded because of their ground, as after all no A-League club with the exception of the Newcastle Jets, owns the ground that they play at.
It was amusing to read the ‘exclusive’ on the SBS website stating that Tony Sage may have to hand back his A League licence due to health issues. Whereas we would never wish the Perth Glory chairman ill health, it is far more likely that his business pressures are the reason for his withdrawal than any health issues. Then there is the possibility of a court case as a result of the raids made on his other businesses which are not related to the football club, by the Federal Police, the Australian Tax Office and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. (A New Year, A New Owner?)
As stated previously there have been questions raised for the past two to three months as to who is in fact running Perth Glory, and it appeared that it was not Tony Sage. The appointment of Alistair Edwards as coach for three years, the giving away of 10,000 free tickets among many other things caused raised eyebrows. Word from inside the Glory offices was Mr Sage returned from overseas and knew nothing about the ticket giveaway.
The most likely people running the club at the moment are the FFA, The Football Federation of Australia. They have stepped in and helped clubs in the past and did step in for a year and run Perth Glory when Nick Tana stepped aside, but now that they are the owners and the administrators of Western Sydney Wanderers they face a real dilemma. Under FIFA regulations no one owner is allowed to own two football clubs; especially not two competing in the same competition.
It would appear that behind the scenes as more and more Perth Glory staff leave, and we are not talking just about players, that the FFA may well be looking to have their state body run the club. Not The Footy Show hears that discussions are already in place about the two sharing certain roles, for example the youth development. It doesn’t benefit either party to be running programs in opposition. Now we hear that the media and marketing may well see staff shared.
This makes sense, but sadly there are a great deal of issues that are likely to be ice bergs in the waters ahead should this move really gain headway. These are two separate organisations with very different agendas, and there will be many occasions where there will be a conflict of interest working for both and staff will be forced to opt for one organisation over the other in terms of what action to take.
Football West is we believe currently a not for profit organisation, reliant on large sums of government funding. Surely if they move into administering a club such as Perth Glory they put both that funding and that status in jeopardy?
If the FFA through Football West are looking to set Perth Glory up as a community based club, one in which the community have some say as well as ownership and from which the football community will benefit from the club’s success and financial windfalls, then this is a model that would be worth exploring. Perth Glory need to re-engage the community, something they have failed to do during Mr Sage’s ownership.
What ever is going on behind the scenes let us hope that there is some transparency soon. The Perth Glory Fans, the games stakeholders, and everyone involved in the game deserve to know exactly who is pulling the strings and what is planned for the future. Hopefully that announcement will be made once the Grand Final is over, and the winning team has been able to steal as many headlines from the other codes as possible.
There was no doubt that something had to be done in order to stop state league football clubs from haemorrhaging financially, but was the salary cap really the best option? To be frank the clubs only have themselves to blame. They have continued to pay ludicrous sums of money to players who are of a lower standard than in previous years and who do little or no additional training beyond their clubs two or three sessions a week. What makes the whole situation even sadder is that some of these part timers believe they deserve to be playing in the Hyundai A League, without putting in the extra work and effort that would give them a better chance of achieving that goal.
The salary cap was an attempt to arrest the outgoings at State League clubs when crowds are dwindling and costs are rising. It was a noble move, but believe it or not just four games into the season clubs who took the cap at face value are bemoaning the fact that other clubs have found ways to manipulate it. Time will tell whether this will add an extra bit of spice to some games during the season.
It is sad to see that already clubs are turning in on each other, checking on their opposition and how they have managed to circumvent the rules rather than focus on their own club; but this was always due to happen.
One area that has had mixed results is making senior first team players become involved in coaching to top up their earnings. In some cases comments have been made that these young players have enhanced the experience of playing football for their young charges and have really bridged the gap superbly between the young aspiring players and the first team.
Yet on other occasions senior players have simply gone through the motions, turning up and supervising simply to ensure that they receive their money. Their lack of enthusiasm has had the opposite effect of their contemporaries, with children becoming less enthusiastic about playing. The trouble with this idea of topping up the players wages is that some players love the game more than others, some read its nuances more than others and some are better communicators than others.
It has also seen some enthusiastic and effective volunteer coaches pushed aside so that the first team players meant their obligations and satisfy the requirements of the salary cap.
This is where ideas such as making a player work behind the bar on a training night and earn three times more than he does for playing as a top up is less harmful. Then there are those clubs who have opted to pay rent, phone bills and the like, it is simply easier to do that than have a player who has no interest in coaching children turning up and going through the motions. Having players as personal trainers is another good option as monitoring when they are conducting sessions is even harder to monitor.
This season has barely started and already there is disharmony, which is incredibly sad, but then again the salary cap was always going to cause some heartache. The trouble is even if the game’s governing body Football West did manage to source more prize money for the clubs to compete for, it would, under the current system, often only reward those who have managed to work around the salary cap.
Only time will tell if the introduction of the salary cap has paid dividends, but one feels that before the competition reaches that stage there will be a lot more wailing and renting of clothes, as possibly more clubs begin to feel aggrieved and whether warranted or not start pointing fingers.
There is no doubt that Football West’s video clip pushing for a Home of Football has sparked conversation on not only a home for the game, but also the game as a whole. It has also, as one would expect, invoked a great deal of passion in many.
The one thing that it has brought to the fore is that how the game is perceived by many could well be what is holding it back, and may well be why Politicians to date have ignored the pleas to find Football a home in the West.
It was on John O’Connell’s International Football Show on 990am Information Radio soon after he became Chairman of Football West, that former Minister for Sport Bob Kucera declared that during his time in Politics there was no intention to give financial support to the game when it was so fractured. In those days each segment was run independently, Juniors, Amateurs, Women’s leagues and the State League. Which with hindsight, the position taken by the Government then makes sense.
In 2004 Football West was founded and all of the different areas of the game were brought under one roof. Interestingly at the time most welcomed the move, although as time has passed, as is to be expected some feel that their section of the game is not getting enough attention. This was inevitable, and any CEO taking on the task of running the game must be aware that they are never going to be able to keep everybody happy at the same time.
What many other sports administrators and politicians fail to realise is Football gives its players and support staff more opportunities to play internationally and represent their state or country than any other sport in Australia. Apart from the senior representative sides football has women’s sides through all age groups, teams for those with disabilities, if you are blind or deaf, whether you want to play on the beach or indoors (Futsal). Each of these formats of the game gives people the chance to represent Australia and Western Australia. No other sport offers such opportunities. So understandably administering so many areas and keeping everyone happy is no easy task.
So with so much opportunity in the game, why does it still fail to receive the acknowledgement that it deserves? Could it be petty jealousy? That because it offers so many opportunities other sports are envious?
Mr Kucera’s comments are probably closest to giving lovers of the game an insight. For many years football was run, kept alive, and at times held back by the fact that the game was built on immigrants moving to the country and the clubs based on these migrants’ ethnicity. These clubs still exist but they have evolved any who are hoping to survive purely based on their ethnic past, simply will not survive. Times have changed, yet many outside of the game fail to accept this.
Football sadly since the dawn of the FFA, at a time when it should be driving forward in leaps and bounds still manages to shoot itself in the foot. It is under the spotlight more than many other game because other codes are envious of its appeal and its participation rates, and that is why the game has to make sure when it makes decisions it makes the right ones.
Football rightly or wrongly is judged by the game at the elite level, how the Socceroos are performing, how the A-League is going and in Perth how Perth Glory is perceived and doing in the national competition.
The fact that the Hyundai A League, created in 2005, has seen three teams fold in eight seasons is not good for the game; Especially compared to other codes. The way in which some of these clubs have finished their time in the A-League, has definitely not been good for the game. The constant speculation over ownership of clubs and the fact that the game’s governing body has had to step in and help run five clubs does not help the image of the game. The fact that the game’s governing body is actually paying or contributing to the wages of some players at privately run clubs does not help the game’s image.
Closer to home the decline of Perth Glory has undoubtedly rocked Football West’s push for a home for football. What was once the hottest ticket in town is now in a position where it is often hard to give tickets away. The negative publicity that the club has attracted through some of the actions of its owner Tony Sage, will have definitely harmed the image of the game and the willingness of Politicians to be seen to be giving the game money, especially if the A League club is to benefit from such funding by having offices in the new Home of Football.
Here again Football West is in an unenviable position, they are trying to create pathways for their players to win contracts at the highest level in Western Australia with Perth Glory, yet under the current regime their relationship with the A League club could well be something that is holding them back in terms of receiving funding. How best do they serve the game? Creating the pathways for future players, or pulling back in their relationship to gain funding for a Home of Football?
One thing however is obvious, Football has to somehow change the perception people outside of the game have of it. If that goal cannot be achieved then it will be continually having to fight for what by rights it deserves. Sadly slogans such as ‘the Football Family’ are not enough, the game has to educate politicians, and key decision makers that it is bigger and offers more employment worldwide and more international opportunities than any other sport, and make them reach a position where to not back the game would be downright foolish.
It is not going to be easy, as there are some narrow-minded, stubborn and self-serving people out there who are going to be extremely hard to bring around to this way of thinking. However if that can be achieved, and the image and perception of the game changed, then the dream will be realised one day.
Today this writer was asked if he supported Football West’s campaign for a Home of Football. The short answer is a resounding “yes.”
However the timing of this push and the direction it has taken is hard to support. If the games governing body in the West wished to influence Government why wait until the election campaign to do it? I love football, but seriously is it more important than Hospitals, education and other sectors that affect the day to day running of this state? By trying to make football a part of the political debate appears totally misguided and ill timed. It is also just as likely to get politicians off side with the game, because it appears the game feels that it is a Political issue that warrants discussion.
The sad thing is most parties have already put in place their proposed budgetary spends should they win office, so lobbying should have been done months ago prior to the election date being announced.
Then there are a number of questions that no one seems to want to ask. In November 2012 Football West was in the papers saying that a Home of Football would cost $10-15 million, now just three months later they are saying it will cost $20million. Which is it? Can the price really have gone up that much in three months?
Where is the Home of Football to be based? That too is yet to be determined. Several of the councils at the end of last year took it off their agenda when they were given a deadline by Football West CEO Peter Hugg for Expressions of Interest, the two councils being the City of Bayswater and the City of Stirling. Surely the game has a better chance of receiving funding if it has a location on which the home is to be built? Which then raises the question as to what the former Chairman of Football West has been doing during his time on the board. Bob Kucera was appointed to the Board in 2009 with the main purpose of finding a location that Football could call home. Four years later the game is still looking.
The other concern in relation to the games governing body requesting funding is that there has been no plan released in relation to a funding model and how those funds will be spent. If such a model exists then only a very select few are privy to it. If one does not exist then this campaign is doomed from the get go.
Finally, there is the video clip that was produced to stir the emotions and get people to sign up to the petition. A great concept and well put together but all that good work was pretty much undone by headlining it “For F%&*#$ sake !” This has now been changed after understandably many people took offence.
Yesterday Football West CEO Peter Hugg was forced to come out and state that ‘F%&*#$’ was supposed to mean “Football.” Something that most people knew, but to have the opening voice in the clip, that of Glory Legend Bobby Despotovski bleeped out as if he was swearing rather than saying “Football” did not help matters. It was a good idea in principal but back fired terribly. I for one cringed the minute I saw it. It was a very risky approach to take, and when children and their parents make up such a huge percentage of your stakeholders it was foolish.
Football West’s intentions are honorable, they are for the good of the game in the long term, but one cannot help feeling at this point in time that this push for funding was not thought through thoroughly in terms of the creative clip and its promotion and it is also ill timed, with far more pressing issues on the political agenda. Find a location and build a budgetary plan around your design and then you will find more Politicians will listen as it will be crystal clear what is being achieved for their investment.
Today the FFA unveiled the Harmony through Football program, a new initiative to celebrate football’s diversity and inclusivity. A great ‘initiative’ which hopefully will be followed through on, but one has to say it is a concern that it has taken them so long to become involved in such a program.
State body Football West has been running some programs which celebrate Football’s diversity for five years so why has the national body taken so long?
The FFA press release states ‘In 2013, FFA has a strategic plan to engage with multicultural communities, with a focus on Harmony Day, the official national celebration of cultural diversity.” Implying that previous to 2013 they had no such plan, which is quite worrying as this is the future of Australian football as new CEO David Gallop quite rightly went on to say.
“Football is the face of Australia and is a sport that truly reflects the cultural diversity of our nation, with 1.7 million participants, football is Australia’s most inclusive and accessible sport, one that bridges gender, age, linguistic, ethnic and religious divides. In 2012 the FFA undertook a cultural audit of the A-League which showed that 87% of players have an overseas ancestry and 68% have one or more parent born overseas, both well above the national average. Football’s broad fan base similarly reflects this diversity and our is aim to help foster this diversity through Harmony through Football program.”
State administrator in Western Australia, Football West, frequently cops criticism for some of the things that it does but when it comes to these types of program they have done an excellent job. Gordon Duus the man driving the programs has a passion for what he does and that is reflected in their success and how the culturally diverse communities embrace these programs. The Perth African Nations Cup has been around since 2008 but Football West became involved and helped lift its profile in 2010. Football with the Fuzz which is a joint venture between Football West and the WA Police has been in place since 2008. They also have the United Maylands Junior Football Club this is a program for young children aged between 5-18 from emerging communities to get them involved and playing football. The Africa Down Under Tournament which will be a Futsal competition is currently being planned.
We should be extremely proud of the work being done in this area by Football West and that they are several steps ahead of the national body in welcoming newcomers to this country through something they all know and understand, the world game of Football.
Finally, one has to hope that this is not just FFA rhetoric as we have witnessed in the past a commitment to develop the game in Indigenous communities for ten years abandoned after one year; many believe as a result of the World Cup bid failing. It was only the work and pressure applied by John Moriarty and Warren Mundine that saw this re-instated last year, but only after they went and secured sponsorship themselves. Time will tell how serious the FFA are about this ‘initiative,’ hopefully they will find someone with a real passion and desire to welcome all of these diverse people to our world of football, because if they do it may grow into a success similar story similar to the one at Football West.
The Westfield W-League gets under way this weekend and it would be great to see Perth fans come out and make a statement, as Perth Glory Women take on Melbourne Victory at Intiga Stadium, the home of Inglewood United.
At the end of last season Perth Glory owner Tony Sage stated that he was no longer going to give the women’s team financial support. Their future looked to be on very shaky ground, and many of the players wondered if they would have to head East to fulfil their ambitions.
Football West CEO Peter Hugg however managed to save the day and found funding to keep the Perth Glory Women’s team alive. Not only that but QBE came to the party sponsoring the team on the front of their shirts and making a significant contribution to keeping the team alive.
The team has several current Matildas, Kate Gill back froma knee injury, Aivi Luik who has joined from Brisbane Roar, and the returning Collette McCallum who will captain the side after taking a year off last year. In addition Not The Footy Show hears that Lisa de Vanna will be added to the squad after the third round.
As well as these current Matildas there are Ella Mastrantonio and Marianna Tabain who are looking to re-establish themselves in the Matildas set up. The club has also managed to attract three imports from overseas, England and Chelsea Goalkeeper Carly Telford, Canada defender Sasha Andrews and New Zealand international Liz Milne who can play anywhere in defence.
The team looks to be the best yet for Perth Glory and one that could challenge come finals time, but a good start to the season is vital. It would be great if the public turned out in numbers on Sunday to not only show their support for the team, but to acknowledge those who have worked so hard to keep a W-League team in Perth
There have been many phone calls and emails in the past 24 hours as fans of the local game in WA have tried to find out what is going on in relation to the rumoured game this weekend between the Champions of South Australia, Metro Stars and the Champions of Western Australia, Sorrento. Finding information on the game is very hard. This is a great initiative and will give fans in WA the chance to see how good their top team stacks up against their counterparts from South Australia. It will hopefully be an annual event and a rivalry will build between the two states. Congratulations to whoever came up with the idea and for making this happen.
Why is it that Football continually comes up with a good idea but fails to execute that idea properly?
One does worry that once again a great idea has not been thought through properly and all parties to make it a success consulted. The lack of promotion would tend to indicate this is the case.
There is also the simple matter of the clubs being aware of the game. Sorrento were only advised at the eleventh hour. On top of that there is the issue of payment for their players. The season is officially over, yet the players are being asked to play one more game, the club is unlikely to have budgeted for an extra game, as they did not know about it. So will Football West pick up the wage bill on behalf of the club?
Another thing that is slightly baffling is why such a game would not be played at the Champions home ground. Surely they deserve that privilege and the chance to make some money over the bar, via the gate or through the canteen? For some reason the game will be played at Perth’s home ground BGC stadium.
It is great that such a fixture has been arranged, but once again it would appear that all of the supporting issues have not been thought through properly. The argument may well be ‘this is the first game there were bound to be teething problems,’ but why? Why is it things cannot be done properly the first time. Football let’s itself down on occasions such as this because it frequently has not thought through all of the issues through properly.
Let us hope that on the day that is all irrelevant and Sorrento do WA proud.