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Summer of Discontent

Halfway through yet another summer romance with the marketing gimmick that is T20 cricket and you can’t help but feel drawn to the most entertaining sport over the Christmas period.  Big Bash now in its seventh year has captured the nation’s heart and more importantly sporting market over the busy holiday period.

T20 has all the ingredients for a successful sporting recipe, fast paced, family friendly, unrestricted access, and affordable prices.  One can sit on the couch with a bucket of KFC, followed by a Zooper Dooper for dessert and feast upon six weeks of pure entertainment.  T20 has been a blessing for Network ten as they have managed to compose an outstanding coverage including access to some of the biggest players in the tournament.

The secret with the Big Bash is you really don’t have to choose a team to become involved with the competition.  Exciting finishes, promising youngsters, classy veterans, big hits, loud music and fireworks are the secret to this competition.  Once you choose a team you will more than likely lose interest in other games and become emotionally invested in what really is a Mickey Mouse sporting contest.

Whilst T20 cricket is big business you can’t take this form of the game too seriously; once you do it only devalues the product.

Big Bash is kicking goals (or clearing boundaries) and winning fans for fun its summer sporting rival is limping through 2017/18 badly bruised and beaten.  The Football Federation of Australia has clearly taken their eyes off the winding road and is only surviving because their product is switched to auto pilot.

Season 2017/18 of the A-League has been listless and has fallen at nearly every individual hurdle.  If it wasn’t for a dominant Sydney FC team and a re-born Newcastle the season could be placed straight in the sea.

Even with the momentum of a fourth consecutive World Cup appearance this June football finds itself at an all too familiar rung on the Australian sporting market.  We have lost our biggest name in Socceroos hero Tim Cahill through self interest to pursue his individual World Cup dream to score in four consecutive World Cups.  The marketing strategy of our domestic league is nonexistent whilst the current board ensure they selfishly keep a seat at the table for the foreseeable future whilst being largely ineffective (or at least their consultants are).

Much needs to be done for our game to progress forward and we understand this cannot be achieved overnight.  In its current state our league has become stagnant and disinteresting and the issue of expansion must be addressed in the very near future.  Twelve teams must be the first step, followed closely by fourteen with a view to promotion and relegation.  The current ten team system has outstayed its welcome and the league is haemorrhaging due to lack of interest.

The cost of attending a game needs to be reviewed with some clubs expecting away fans to pay obscene amounts after forking out for flights and accommodation.  There is no incentive for non members to attend games at the current prices when there are so many other attractive entertainment options.  If we were playing in packed out stadiums you could justify hefty prices but when you are playing to stadiums that are at less than half capacity you have to continually ask why the game is turning away potential fans.

There is no denying Network ten treats the game like the bastard child it is but when the FFA entered the meagre free to air contract they knew what they were getting themselves in for.  Fox Sports have poured countless amounts of money into the game and the harsh reality is if you want to watch the A-League you have to become a subscriber.  I learnt that the hard way last season.

There is plenty to love about our sport but when the administration treats the game so poorly you can only hold on for so long.  We know how passionate football fans are but you need to keep feeding their hunger and not continually mistreat the driving force of our game.

Most of us love our football and will continue to do so but we also hope this summer of discontent ends very shortly so we can begin to remind others just how great the world game can be.

About David Hards (495 Articles)
The Founder of FTSAUS. A foundation Melbourne City man who is more than willing to voice his opinion, no matter how wrong it could be. An average goalkeeper or makeshift right back who had more bad days than good on the pitch, but still loved every minute of it. Follow on Twitter: @Hardsy05
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