Category Archive: Australia A League

Australia A League Football News

Jul 26

A-League expansion further delayed as FFA focus on operating model

  • A-League not at decision-making stage, says Greg O’Rourke
  • Earliest and most likely entry date for two new clubs is 2019-20 season

A-League hopefuls, including South Melbourne, could be waiting until 2018 to learn of FFA’s criteria to enter the competition. A-League chief Greg O’Rourke, who visited the ex-NSL powerhouse on Wednesday ahead of their FFA Cup tie, confirmed the sport’s governing body was prioritising talks on the league’s operating model with current clubs.

Related: David Squires on … the possibility of A-League expansion

Related: Canberra City: a blueprint for current A-League expansion hopefuls | Joe Gorman

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jul/26/a-league-expansion-further-delayed-as-ffa-focus-on-operating-model

Jul 19

David Squires on … Arsenal’s pre-season trip to Sydney

Our resident cartoonist looks at the fallout from the Premier League club’s tour to Australia where they faced Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/ng-interactive/2017/jul/20/david-squires-on-arsenals-pre-season-trip-to-sydney

Jul 12

Red and Black Bloc threatened with closure as Wanderers run out of patience

  • Open letter issues stern warning to ‘rogue element’ of supporter group
  • Club asks true fans to step up and lead group into future

Western Sydney Wanderers have threatened to disband their active supporter group, the Red and Black Bloc, if a “rogue element” among its membership step out of line once more. In an open letter to fans, Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas said the RBB was on borrowed time and called for new leaders to step up within the group amid concerns over the suitability of those currently in charge.

“As a club we are looking to bring forward a new era in active support,” Tsatsimas said in the letter. “This has come about due to the number of incidents in our short history which have compromised our club, our values and our culture.

Related: Banned Western Sydney fans are ‘juvenile idiots’, says Ange Postecoglou

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jul/12/red-and-black-bloc-threatened-with-closure-as-wanderers-run-out-of-patience

Jun 28

FFA opts against delaying start of A-League season for Fifa window

  • Next season’s opening round may clash with possible Socceroos’ play-off
  • Sydney FC kick off with grand final replay against Melbourne Victory

Football Federation Australia has decided not to push round one of the upcoming A-League season back to cater for potential Socceroos’ World Cup qualifying play-offs and New Zealand internationals.

Should Australia finish third in their qualifying group, Ange Postecoglou’s national team will face arduous play-off rounds starting with home and away games against another Asian nation on 5 and 10 October.

Related: Aaron Mooy’s likely Manchester City exit raises questions in Australia

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jun/28/ffa-opts-against-delaying-start-of-a-league-season-for-fifa-window

Jun 18

Big-money Aaron Mooy move sets alarm bells ringing in A-League | Jonathan Howcroft

Manchester City will bank what is set to be an Australian record transfer fee as pure profit after they signed the midfielder for nothing from Melbourne City

The City Football Academy in Melbourne’s north is one of the most impressive sporting amenities in Australia. Architecturally, the complex funnels the attention of staff towards the training ground, as a permanent reminder of the site’s purpose. Those pitches use state of the art hybrid grass technology and their most recent occupants included Lionel Messi, with Argentina using the centre as a training base for the recent SuperClàsico. The facility cost its owners, the City Football Group (CFG), $15m. For context, they acquired City’s A-League licence for $11.25m.

On a tour of the centre shortly after it opened I was taken from the reception atrium into the inner sanctum. One of the first things to emerge behind the security doors was the communal lounge where staff and players ate lunch and played video games. In the corner of the room a noisy table tennis contest was taking place. Among the participants was Aaron Mooy.

Related: ‘We want to win it, mate’: Postecoglou aims high at Confederations Cup

Related: David Squires on … a busy week for Australian football and aeronautics enthusiasts

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jun/19/likely-big-money-aaron-mooy-move-sets-alarm-bells-ringing-in-a-league

Jun 14

David Squires on … a busy week for Australian football and aeronautics enthusiasts

Our cartoonist analyses a week during which crowds flocked to watch big names in action, got bored by half-time and turned to making paper aeroplanes

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2017/jun/14/david-squires-on-a-busy-week-for-australian-football-and-aeronautics-enthusiasts

May 31

Brisbane Roar to appeal AFC fine over lack of ‘international buffet’ for officials

  • Roar claim fine issued for not providing officials with lobster twice a day
  • AFC refutes those claims and accuses club of lacking respect for rules

Brisbane Roar will appeal a hefty fine from the Asian Football Confederation for not providing “international buffet style” meals for a group of travelling Champions League match officials.

But the AFC has refuted claims from Roar managing director Mark Kingsman that they were sanctioned because the six-man delegation, headed by match referee Wang Di, was unable to eat lobster twice a day, accusing the club of a lack of respect for the competition’s strict regulations.

Related: ABC defends Sydney FC v Liverpool coverage described by host as ‘train wreck’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/31/brisbane-roar-to-appeal-afc-fine-over-lack-of-international-buffet-for-officials

May 26

ABC defends Sydney FC v Liverpool coverage described by host as ‘train wreck’

Jules Schiller says technical issues partly to blame after Football Federation Australia expresses ‘disappointment’

The ABC has defended its decision to use Sydney FC’s friendly with Liverpool to broadcast “a different offering” to football fans after its coverage of the match was roundly criticised by fans and fellow broadcasters.

The show on ABC2 on Wednesday night was described by some viewers as cringeworthy and embarrassing on social media, and even as “a train wreck” by one of its hosts, Jules Schiller.

Pre-game, half-time & post-game coverage wasn’t to standard expected by @FFA & football fans. We’ve made that point to ABC management. (2/2)

Who thought this was a good idea at FFA!This is is unforgivable and I and every supporter of our game would like an answer ! #LIVSYD

How does ABC get coverage for Sydney Fc vs Liverpool and have hosts who don’t even know anything about football!?!? #livsyd #RedsInSydney

Love my Reds but this Liverpool v Sydney FC pregame show on the ABC is an absolute shocker. #lfc #sfc

Related: Liverpool make light work of Sydney FC on whistle-stop trip to Australia

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/26/abc-defends-sydney-fc-v-liverpool-coverage-described-by-host-as-train-wreck

May 24

Liverpool make light work of Sydney FC on whistle-stop trip to Australia

  • Sydney FC 0-3 Liverpool, ANZ Stadium
  • Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher wheeled out to delight of fans

For Liverpool it was meant to be a celebration of the season just finished; for Sydney FC, a club also with good cause for celebration after their title-winning campaign, it was a chance to prove themselves against a grand old European club – albeit one that was tired, jet-lagged and understrength.

At the end of a predictably pedestrian close-season match in the harbour city, it was the visitors who most fulfilled their pre-match aspirations in a comfortable 3-0 win, much to the delight of the heavily pro-Liverpool crowd, after goals by Daniel Sturridge, Alberto Moreno and Roberto Firmino set up the mother of all smash and grabs.

Related: Jürgen Klopp demands consistent Champions League spot for Liverpool

Related: Can the A-League learn anything from the US experience with the MLS?

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/24/liverpool-make-light-work-of-sydney-fc-on-whistle-stop-trip-to-australia

May 19

Can the A-League learn anything from the US experience with the MLS?

Despite some market similarities and familiar challenges there are stark differences in experience and strategy

Australian football has long been fascinated by Major League Soccer. A 2003 report by the National Soccer League Task Force – an “Australian Soccer Association” brains trust charged with figuring out just what the future A-League should be – featured several pages on the American version of club football.

Around the same time, player-turned-pundit Andy Harper was sent to the US by Football Federation Australia to discover what the Americans were up to first hand. In 2008, another FFA delegation flew across the Pacific to learn more about MLS while, more recently, Mark Falvo – FFA’s head of international affairs and government relations – spoke to the league’s New York City headquarters about how to approach proposed expansion.

Related: Asian benefits yet to transpire as Australian football struggles to cash in | Mike Ticher

Related: A decade on, did David Beckham’s move to MLS make a difference?

Having our own stadium is fundamental and a key component that our research has taken away from MLS.

Related: Why even $346m is not enough to prevent civil war in Australian football | Shaun Mooney

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/19/can-the-a-league-learn-anything-from-the-us-experience-with-mls

May 19

Wanderers not doing enough to fight homophobia, Matildas striker says

Michelle Heyman says the continued online display of the fan group’s offensive banner ‘kind of breaks my heart’

The failure of Western Sydney Wanderers to tackle online homophobic material among fans is “a joke”, Matildas striker Michelle Heyman has said, as images of an offensive banner continue to be shared from the club’s supporters’ social media accounts.

The banner’s resurgence online “kind of breaks my heart”, Heyman said.

Their action has to be swift and I don’t believe that to have been the case

Related: Western Sydney escape with $20,000 FFA fine for fans’ homophobic banner

Related: FFA condemn homophobic Wanderers fans’ banner in Sydney derby

Related: Fourteen Wanderers fans banned by club over roles in display of banner

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/19/wanderers-club-not-doing-enough-to-fight-homophobia-matildas-striker-says

May 18

Asian benefits yet to transpire as Australian football struggles to cash in | Mike Ticher

Continuing our series on the challenges football in Australia is facing, Mike Ticher takes a look at Asia’s impact on the A-League and a vexed relationship that is largely yet to bear fruit

It wasn’t meant to be like this. In November 2006, when Sydney FC and Adelaide were confirmed as the first Australian clubs to take part in the Asian Champions League, Sydney’s then chief executive, George Perry, was enthusiastic about the opportunity to represent Australia on the international stage and to improve the club’s finances.

Related: Where are all the great players? Australia paying price for ignoring development | John Davidson

I think everyone can see the opportunity that lies ahead in the ACL … just a little bit of patience is required

Related: Promotion, relegation and expansion: football waits for the big step up | Joe Gorman

Related: Why even $346m is not enough to prevent civil war in Australian football | Shaun Mooney

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/19/asian-benefits-yet-to-transpire-as-australian-football-struggles-to-cash-in

May 17

Where are all the great players? Australia paying price for ignoring development | John Davidson

In the fourth part of Guardian Australia’s post-season series, John Davidson finds that with the passing of the ‘golden generation’ Australian football’s production line is struggling to keep pace with the success of the past

Football is, according to the old commentator’s cliché, a game of two halves. Considering the state of football in Australia at the moment, this seems particularly apt: on the one hand, the game appears to be flying – the Socceroos are reigning Asian champions, more people are playing the sport than ever before at grassroots level and the A-League’s future is assured thanks to a new TV deal – but scratch beneath the surface, and it’s clear Football Federation Australia faces myriad problems.

One of those, a deep issue underpinning many others, is the question of where all the great players have gone. Where will the next Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka come from? Australia’s pipeline of quality football talent has begun to dry up.

Times have changed, the program is not what it used to be.

Related: Football in Australia: as big as it’s going to get? | Paul Connolly

Related: Why even $346m is not enough to prevent civil war in Australian football | Shaun Mooney

I think it can become dangerous when you produce a player that’s not free-thinking.

Related: Promotion, relegation and expansion: football waits for the big step up | Joe Gorman

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/18/where-are-all-the-great-players-australia-paying-price-for-ignoring-development

May 17

A-League footballer Mitch Nichols charged over drug possession

Midfielder allegedly caught with 1.1 grams of white powder in nightclubNichols is looking for a new club after being released by WanderersMitch Nichols, who will leave Western Sydney Wanderers at the end of the month, has been charged after allegedly b…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/17/a-league-footballer-mitch-nichols-charged-over-drug-possession

May 16

Promotion, relegation and expansion: football waits for the big step up | Joe Gorman

In the latest part of Guardian Australia’s series analysing the current state of the game, Joe Gorman looks at an idea that’s easy to like but much more difficult to implement – and the battle raging between expansionists and traditionalists

This was the A-League season when Tim Cahill came home, when video technology was introduced for referees, and when Sydney FC smashed several records to win the premiership and the championship. It was also the season in which the gulf between big cities, small cities and regional areas was most pronounced, in which A-League owners and National Premier League clubs grew increasingly impatient with Football Federation Australia, and interest in the A-League flatlined across the country.

The 2016-17 grand final was a fitting metaphor for the competition as a whole: a willing spectacle played on a shaky, uncertain surface.

Everyone thinks that Australia is a unique football environment. It is not

Related: Football in Australia: as big as it’s going to get? | Paul Connolly

The step up from second division to first division, it’s a whole different ball game

Related: Why even $346m is not enough to prevent civil war in Australian football | Shaun Mooney

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/17/promotion-relegation-and-expansion-football-waits-for-the-big-step-up

May 15

Why even $346m is not enough to prevent civil war in Australian football | Shaun Mooney

As expansion plans wither and the administrators dither, the clubs are aiming to wrest control of the A-League in a battle for the game’s soul

Despite a dream grand final that delivered drama aplenty, the A-League is about to enter into another tumultuous off-season as club owners fight to wrest control of the competition away from Football Federation Australia. With FFA so far failing to reach its broadcast deal target by over $20m a year, and the expansion of the A-League coming to a grinding halt, the owners have lost faith in an administration that is slow to make decisions and hides behind consultants’ reports.

For more than two years, FFA has been building towards the next phase of growth by focusing its efforts on increasing revenue via its broadcast deals and sponsorship. Plans were written, it launched a marketing campaign aimed at converting participants into fans of the A-League and arguably the greatest player in Socceroos history, Tim Cahill, was brought home on a multi-million dollar deal to bring much needed buzz to a competition many felt had become stale.

Related: Football in Australia: as big as it’s going to get? | Paul Connolly

While the clubs called for ​more votes on FFA’s congress, what they really wanted was full control of the A-League

Related: The year of the Cahill: love him or loathe him, 2016 has been Tim’s year

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/16/why-even-346m-is-not-enough-to-prevent-civil-war-in-australian-football

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