tell us what things are like
Well I'll try although Gains would do a better job methinks.
The best supported club in the league is definitely Melbourne Victory. Indeed when the A-League was launched the club played their home matches at Olympic Park but after moving to the much larger Telstra Dome for a match against Sydney FC, the attendances were bolstered still further so they've moved there permanently.
You've heard talk about the second Melbourne franchise, haven't you?
As for actual attendances, well, looking at this Wiki link it states that in 2006 the average Victory attendance was 27,000. Now,
it has shrunk to around the early 20,000s or so. I hope there will be so much new interest with the injection of a local rivalry.
Crowds have been falling. It was similar when the J-League was introduced, wasn't it; that initial spark, everyone comes to check out the new thing, then you see those that remain. The calm, the settle.
My memory isn't the best but clubs would more often pull above 10,000 or even around 15,000, like Sydney and Adelaide, but that seems harder now. Also thinking of Perth, they did better than other clubs in certain aspects [such as attendances] but in the A-League, despite being overall an improvement, Perth Glory have disappointed on and off the pitch [if I'm not wrong].
I don't want to sound too downbeat though. This sport is nowhere near dominant in the minds of our sporting consciousness. While plenty of room for improvement, still strides have been made.
attention to the local league
There's a network in this country called Channel 7. You should see their news bulletins. Well actually you shouldn't. In the sports section, Aussie Rules dominates their focus while they might give seven seconds to the EPL.
Recently they dedicated a larger chunk of their bulletin to something football-related, but that which depicted the fans of two A-League clubs [Melbourne and Adelaide] in a negative light. It was a bad occurance indeed but typical of Channel 7 to scream out in protest.
Going further back. This network, alas, had the rights to the old NSL, for many years, and in those years abused the viewership with their woeful programming scheduling - such as shafting the highlights package to midnight.
All their ads of 'we just love the footy.' :rollani: God I hate these bastards. 'It's so nice to see our matches played in grounds where the fans needn't be separated by tall fences, like with soccer in Europe...' :rollani:
Originally Posted by AusFootballFan
Channel 7 even admitted they only bought the TV rights to the NSL with the intention of never televising it. The average Australian is shocked when you tell them you don't like Aussie Rules (ALF or gAyFL are two other names popular for it in WA). I'm born and bred in Australia and I despise AFL - when I tell people that their heads get into a spin because they can't understand how someone can't like the sport. But really, it's easy.
Things are different now with the A-League as all matches are broadcasted live. True that you must subscribe to pay television, but FOXTEL has really caught on and been a success in this country. I walk outside and I'm literally surrounded by satellite dishes.
Often people bring it up in conversation, it's a part of their vocabulary.
The NSL and the A-League, something very important I should bring up is that for example the NSL club the Melbourne Knights was founded by Australian Croats, Croatian migrants, and this comprised a large core of their supporter base. But now with the A-League this isn't the case, I guess there's a more open feeling to the clubs so people feel more willing to show their support.
Some players you will know. Jason Culina signed for Gold Coast United which was a surprise for people, thought he would have continued in Europe. I just read that he wanted to promote a higher standard of football in Australia, and also some time ago I swear I read his wife missed their homeland.
Dwight Yorke another marquee, this time for Sydney. Did well and won the Golden Toilet Seat.
Mario Jardel. Didn't do well.
Romario. Alas the same.
Robbie Fowler is playing this season and doing really well. The team he's playing in, North Queensland, I haven't seen much of them but at the start of the season I think many people didn't know much about them - except Fowler.
Speaking of competitions, well, aside from A-League of course there's ACL. Attendances really vary. A group stage match against some no name Vietnamese team - Gach Dong Tam Long An? It doesn't make the average fan salivate. And often the clubs don't promote these matches! Or hardly at all. Not even when Melbourne met Gamba in the group stage.
It was different when Adelaide ran to the ACL final, though. Their achievements itself were something to cheer and shout about.
There was a book written in this country called "Sheilas, wogs [foreigners], and poofters," by Johnny Warren. Football had [and still has, in sections of this country] a very negative image and so idiots bandied about this image that it was some ***** sport fit only for women, foreigners and gays. lol Ridiculous but there you go. Aussie Rules, cricket - these sports are entrenched in our culture, so there's this "us against them" thing going on with some simpletons. You see it with Channel 7.
Australia desires to host the World Cup but there have been arguments because it's been said that if it goes ahead, the AFL season will have to come to a standstill. Imagine that! All the people, full of fury against the World Game!
It's curious they're so threatened. AFL has captured this country far more than soccer has.
I see some similarities between Korea and Australia, because of course Hiddink did well with both teams in '02 and '06. Then they walked further on the Dutch path with the same man, Pim Verbeek! At least to my eyes I don't think Pim is rated all that highly by many Australian supporters. His brand of football gets results but is not the most eye-catching, and some performances were unconvincing, the result fortunate.
Well they haven't all been Dutch. During the last Asian Cup Hiddink's assistant Graham Arnold took over the reigns and failed. The group stages - a loss, a draw and a victory to narrowly escape only to taste penalty kick disappointment against the Japanese. "So, Dutch is the Australian way to go!"
Korea seem to have settled with Huh Jung-Moo, though.