Posts tagged ‘Perth SC’
Finals are part of Australian sporting culture, that is clear and understood. However one has to be concerned when finals start to reward mediocrity.
No doubt the observations we are about to make will see us accused of being negative towards the A-League but you cannot deny the facts. Despite all the hyperbole that the A-League has improved, one has to say that the gulf between those at the top and those at the bottom is widening. Two teams stand head and shoulders above the rest, Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Last season we pointed out that out of the six teams that made the finals only two teams, Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers won fifty percent of their 27 games. Third placed Melbourne Victory won 13 and fourth placed Adelaide United 12. Perth Glory who claimed the final place in sixth won just nine, a third of the games they played. At the time we raised the issue as to whether teams should have to win a required amount of games to make the finals series, so that teams played attacking football to be sure to make the end of season race for the Championship.
At the end of the round robin phase of the A-League in 2013/14 only one team won more than fifty percent of their games, the deserved Premiers Brisbane Roar! That is a terrible statistic. Even the second best team Western Sydney Wanderers only won 11; just over a third of games played. Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC both won 12 each but did not manage as many draws as Wanderers.
Some will say that this a sign of a good league because it is so close, but such an argument again accepts mediocrity rather than strives for excellence. Surely the whole idea of a league competition is to strive for excellence that is why the team that wins the most games finishes top; they receive the rewards because they were the best.
In the UK the play offs are the closest they come to a finals series, and last year in the Championship Watford who came third won fifty percent of their games, 23 of 46 played. The next three teams on the ladder all won 19 games which is still a better return than a third coming in at 41%. Move down to League one, and one team won 19 of 46 games while the other three teams in the play offs, Brentford, Yeovil Town and Swindon Town all won 20 games or more. Again all over 40% on wins alone.
In the Championship the top two teams won Cardiff City and Hull City who were promoted won 25 and 24 games respectively. In League one it was the same with Doncaster Rovers and Bournemouth winning 25 and 24 games of their 46 games.
If we go down to the next level, in the state league or NPL as it is now, it has long been realised in Western Australia that if a team loses four games or more in what is a 22 game season their chances of lifting the title are slim. If one goes back to 2001 only two teams have won the league losing five games, Perth SC in 2003 and the Western Knights in 2010. That is the sign of a good competition, teams going through a league season not dropping games, rather than teams only winning a third of the games that they play.
Even if we look at the English Premier League only two teams in the top five have lost more than five games, Arsenal and Manchester City. If a competition is indeed to be a quality one it comes down to the top teams winning the lion’s share of their games. The top two teams in the A-League both lost seven game each out of 27 games.
These statistics surely prove that the A-League is unlike any other league.
The court of arbitration in Europe has publicly stated this week that it is bracing itself for a flurry of cases related to UEFA rules that aim to curb debt in Europe’s football leagues. Matthieu Reeb the secretary general of the Court of Arbitration explained that expert arbitrators would have their work cut out handling what have the potential to be highly complex disputes over club finances.
“These cases are more economic than legal, and we need certain experts from the financial world, the economic world. Its a new challenge for us. We can expect trucks full of folders and paper,” Reeb is quoted as saying.
Financial Fair Play was introduced by UEFA in agreement with the clubs themselves and after extensive consultation lasting over a year. It is designed to rein in excessive spending on players and reduce massive debt currently held by many clubs as they strive to compete at the highest level. Failure to comply could result in a series of sanctions, including at worst expulsion from European competition.
Malaga are the first club to suffer such sanctions. They were banned from entering the European Champions League or Europa Cup for one season from this year due to outstanding debts. They appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for sport in June, and lost.
UEFA have stated that the new rules have already driven down clubs payment areas by 40 per cent between 2011 and 2012.
No doubt the FFA and their state bodies are watching this with great interest and looking to adopt a similar approach to all of the clubs participating in the NPL. The threat however is expulsion from the NPL, rather than the FFA cup; if and when it really does begin. We have had two false starts already with this competition, and will also have to wait and see if the draw for this much heralded competition will be geographically based just as the NPL’s inaugural finals series was this year.
One key question that arises is does the games governing body actually have the manpower to police these financial requirements? How many state league clubs this season actually had Football West’s CEO Peter Hugg or Keith Wood the General Manager Competitions & Operations come out and check that they were adhering to the imposed salary cap? These were the two men given the responsibility by the board to police this. (Please comment and let us know)
The trouble facing the policing of the salary cap and other financial issues is that like UEFA, the FFA and state bodies will face having to defend their punishments should they issue them, and this is something they cannot afford to do. Earlier this season Football West understandably lost an appeal where a fine they imposed on Bayswater City and Perth SC for an alleged altercation between players from each club away from the game and in a public place, was overturned. Their defence of their punishment on this occasion alone saw them as an organisation shell out in the region of $6000 on legal fees. Money the game can ill afford to squander on legal advice.
If UEFA and the Court of Arbitration in Sport are facing massive challenges then those looking to impose a ‘big brother’ approach in the NPL will also face an uphill battle. They will also have to be careful how hard they push as the clubs, as they may turn around and question the payments due to them for player development and transfers that are held up by the FFA itself.
In a smaller market such as Australia a big stick approach is doomed to fail and inflict a great deal of pain on the game. A more co-operative approach is likely to reap more beneficial outcomes for all concerned; but that would result in conceding some ground by the powers that be, and it is unclear at this point in time if they are prepared to do that.
Back in July of this year we posted a piece on how the local football administrators and the FFA – if they were truly involved – were in breach of FIFA regulations allowing a full time professional player, something that does not exist, dual registration. (No Two Ways About It). It would appear that once again in Western Australia they have failed to understand the rules that govern the game.
According to the FIFA Regulations on the status and Transfer of players:
“A player must be registered at an association to play for a club as either a professional or an amateur in accordance with the provisions of article 2. Only registered players are eligible to participate in organised football. By the act of registering, a player agrees to abide by the statutes and regulations of FIFA, the confederations and the associations.”
The key issue is that this covers professional or amateur players. The regulations go on to state:
“Players may be registered with a maximum of three clubs during one season. During this period, the player is only eligible to play official matches for two clubs. As an exception to this rule, a player moving between two clubs belonging to associations with overlapping seasons (i.e. start of the season in summer/autumn as opposed to winter/spring) may be eligible to play in official matches for a third club during the relevant season, provided he has fully complied with his contractual obligations towards his previous clubs.”
That being the case David Onoforo’s recent appearances for Perth are in breach of the FIFA Regulations as he started the home and away season with Cockburn before moving to Bayswater City where he played a game for their reserves in June before returning to the club he served so well for many years, Perth SC.
Questions have also been asked about Adrian Caceres who is now playing for Bayswater City. He started the season playing in the Night Series for Perth and played against Subiaco, before joining Floreat Athena. He then left Floreat after the transfer deadline after being given special dispensation, to join Bayswater. However, Not The Footy Show believes that like many players who represent teams in the Night Series, Caceres was not in fact registered by Perth, so has not in fact officially played with three clubs.
This issue popped up in the Hyundai A League in 2006 when Damien Mori found himself playing for Perth Glory, Central Coast Mariners and the then Queensland Roar before it was pointed out that this was not actually allowed. One has to therefore wonder how a similar mistake can be made again and how the competitions manager is not aware of such regulations. Surely as happened with Ndumba Makeche playing for the NTC the governing body will not once again ignore FIFA rules?
One would think that legally any club who has played Perth since Onoforo’s return has grounds to lodge a complaint, as his playing is clearly in breach of FIFA regulations. Which could make the end of season rather interesting. The key point is that these sort of things should not be happening, and that is why FIFA have such rules and regulations in place.
Congratulations to both Sorrento and Balcatta for showcasing State League football in an epic State League Cup Final; Unfortunately we were unable to attend but have watched the highlights and it looked to be an absolute cracker of a game.
Both teams went out looking to play attacking football, and despite going 2-0 down Balcatta roared back and managed to pull level and force extra time at 3-3. Darryl Platton popped up with the winner from a Stuart Montgomery corner, meaning Sorrento had defended the trophy they won last year for the first time. Balcatta were that very sad thing in sport, gallant losers.
The Reserves Cup final which surprising went ahead with both sides wearing white shorts and white socks, saw first division Cockburn City beat Perth SC 2-1, proving that in cup finals there is no such ting as home-ground advantage; The finals all being played at Perth’s BGC stadium.
In the Under 18′s Floreat Athena made it a miserable day for Balcatta, Tommy Bramley’s goal being the one that took the cup to Litis Stadium.
Congratulation to all the winners and also those teams who made the final and made a game of it.
Congratulations to Perth Soccer Club for what was one of the most emphatic wins in Grand Final history, 7-0 over Sorrento. One had to feel for Sorrento who were caught napping early on and then suffered as they chased the game; being caught on the break on more than one occasion. However they should be proud of their achievement of reaching the Grand Final.
What was commendable after the game was seeing some of the Perth coaching staff, committee, and players go up to sacked coach Ronnie Campbell and acknowledge the part that he played in the team reaching the finals. Robbie Puca who was one of the players who allegedly fell out with Campbell and who has since announced his retirement being one of those players. Congratulations to him for being man enough to do so, and put past differences aside.
The All Flags State Premier League Final between Sorrento and Perth could also decide the fate of this year’s Coach of the Year award.
We have questioned for a number of years the criteria for Football West Coach of the Year award. To win the accolade the coaches are awarded points for where they finish in the league, the trophies that they win, and the finals that they make. A system that we believe does not reflect some excellent coaching achievements.
Who can forget two years ago Mike Lyons sitting bottom of the All Flags State Premier League at the half way point in the season when coach of Stirling Lions, but managing to turn the season around and actually making the finals. He did not even come close to picking up the coach of the year award despite a fantastic turnaround.
This season many tipped newly promoted Bayswater City to be a relegation favourite, yet coach Mauro Marchione defied the odds and had he not suffered injuries to key players could well have steered the club to the Finals in their first season back in the Premier League. Yet his outstanding season will again not see him close to being announced as coach of the year.
The interesting thing this season will be should Perth win the Grand Final who the award will go to, as it was in fact Ronnie Campbell who was subsequently dumped as coach, who steered them to the Donate Blood cup final, not his replacement, Gianfranco Circati. So the the question is should the latter gain the points for this achievement even though he was in charge on the day?
It certainly raises a few questions.
To our mind however the achievements of Paul Price at Sorrento in his first year in charge at the club should guarantee him the accolade. Many would say he was unfortunate in recent seasons having won the league with the Western Knights and also contested the Grand final and Night Series finals, despite losing these games.
It would appear that it will be between Price and possibly a Perth SC coach if the panel looks at the club’s achievements rather than the individual; hopefully the right decision will be announced on the night.
Looking to the future it would be good to see the points system abandoned and a panel of possibly ex Internationals appointed as judges, maybe Shaun Murphy, Stan Lazarides, Robbie Zabica, Scott Miller, Bobby Despotovski, Matt Horsley, Francis Burns, Ray Illot, Jason or Michael Petkovic or Peter Withe. All ex internationals living here in Perth, who have a great knowledge and whose involvement would do the game and the league credit.
What do Perth SC and Chelsea have in common? Apart from both playing in blue, it would appear that both clubs have expectations that seem a little unrealistic.
News that the club parted company with coach Ronnie Campbell today has stunned many in local football circles. The team is due to play Sorrento in the Cup Final next weekend – a trophy they have not won since 2005 – and are sitting second in the league at the moment and almost definitely assured of a finals berth. The chance to win two trophies is just around the corner.
Many believed whoever took over from Graham Normanton would be grasping a poisoned chalice and it would appear that they could have been right.
Campbell, was hampered in trying to stamp his own mark on a team, as most of the ageing squad had already been committed to contracts for this season. In fact he was only able to bring in three new faces. Jason dos Santos was just finding the back of the net and looking an inspired signing when he injured his knee and then Dean Applegren was injured as well. Adam Bachiller has been outstanding, and young players like Vlad Naumovski were beginning to show their potential.
The club has suffered a great deal of injury woes this season with nine first teamers missing at the current time, and Campbell was forced to blood some youngsters who at the present time are not quite ready mentally for first team football.
What was sad and foolhardy, and hindsight is as they say perfect vision, was the fact that the club would not allow Ronnie to appoint his own assistant coach. Ronnie Campbell and Willie Kelly are what Brian Clough and Peter Taylor were at Nottingham Forest and Derby County, and to dredge up an alleged incident that supposedly occurred thirty years ago was both short sighted and detrimental.
Ronnie Campbell has always been a gentleman, and a man with high morals; he refused to talk to several State League clubs about coaching positions while they still had a coach in their employ. He did not deserve to suffer the fate he has today, he deserved to be allowed to see out the season and possibly win the success hungry club two trophies.
Ronnie we wish you luck in the future and hope to see you on the touchlines again very soon.
For some people knowing when to hang up the boots is very hard to see. For others they walk away too soon. It is a fine line between walking away while at the top and walking wheneveryone starts asking when you are going to leave.
One of the saddest things in football was seeing Brian Clough still at the helm at Nottingham Forest as the club fell from the greatness he had been such a crucial part of. Sir Matt Busby, Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly all went while at the top, although Shankly looked back with hindsight and felt he stepped aside too early.
It would appear that former Perth coach Graham Normanton has also had second thoughts about stepping down from the role of coach of Perth SC last season after twelve fantastically successful years at the club.
What is sad is that unlike Shankly and Busby who stepped back into the shadows, he is still turning up to training and watching the new coach take his former team through their paces. It is sad as his former players are beginning to question his presence, and the respect he garnered is being eroded. It is also sad as it shows a lack of respect for his successor. Hopefully someone will have a quiet word in his ear, to ensure that he keeps the respect he worked so hard to earn.
The Football West Gold Medal Awards were again a closely contested affair, and one had to sympathise with the two players who missed out on the prestigious prize by just one point in the last round of votes, Adam Hayton from Sorrento and Branmir Mikulic from Floreat Athena. Marc Anthony from Cockburn was the eventual winner and a very popular one.
Football West have over the past four years tried to lift the standard of the awards night in line with what it should be when a car valued at $16,000 is up for grabs as well as the nine carat gold medal which is also worth several thousand dollars courtesy of McInerney Ford. The enforcing of the dress code was to be commended although sadly there were still some who felt above it. The staff concerned are to be commended for their efforts, however once again it lies with those in attendance to remember that there are the key sponsors and government officials attending the dinner and the behaviour of all is a reflection on the game.
It is a given at such events that some part of the evening will be boring if your club is not involved, but surely common courtesy of remaining quiet for short periods of time is not too much to ask?
There were however two incidents during the evening that were most disappointing, embarrassing to the game, and should result in the guilty parties being fined and warned.
Armadale’s James Robinson when being interviewed after Round 20 and sitting top of the leader board swearing in front all in attendance. Then came Champion Coach Graham Normanton’s lack of graciousness when receiving the All Flags Champions Trophy. Normanton deciding to dredge up an issue for which he was warned last year, in relation to League Premiers and League Champions. It was unnecessary and inappropriate; especially when Perth had been announced as Champions! What made it even sadder was the fact that one of the state’s most successful coaches of all time was booed off the stage by at least half of the room. This was not a reaction his achievements warranted, but sadly his comments and the response they brought will be a lasting memory for many.
Not only did they embarrass themselves, but they embarrassed the clubs they were representing, and more importantly the game as a whole.
Last year we stoked the fires of those people who love to debate who are the champions at the end of a league season, the team that finishes top of the League or those who win the finals series.
In the Football West State Premier league this year the Western Knights won the League title and Perth won the finals series. Both sides deserving to win their respective titles. Although the finals format used this year probably needs reviewing with one less game being played as it seems strange that the top team plays two games and if they lose one they fails to be Champion, while the teams that finish second and third get an extra chance to take the title.
As we said a year ago it may be semantics, but surely if you finish the League season top of the log you deserve more recognition than a term such as “Minor Premiers.” Why not call them League Premiers, especially as there is no team currently called “Premiers” at the end of the season. The team winning the finals series currently being crowned the “Champions.”
Please don’t give us comments such as this is the way it’s done in other codes reasoning. Does that mean its right?
Ask people you know who play sport how often they have won a league title over a whole season, it is a rare feat, and does not warrant being belittled by having the word ‘Minor’ preface that achievement.