Category Archive: Australia A League

Australia A League Football News

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

May 14

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

Kicking off a special series on the state of the game in Australia, Paul Connolly investigates whether, after a season that struggled to deliver on its early promise, football can still aspire to be the No1 sport in Australia

Back in early October, when the world hung on two momentous decisions – the one soon to face American voters, the other tormenting a 10-year-old Sydney schoolboy named Yoshi – the 2016-17 A-League season bolted from the gates as if slapped on the rump.

Boosted by an A-League record crowd of 61,880 at the Sydney derby, round one saw the highest single-round attendance (106,365) in A-League history and David Gallop was understandably delighted. Knowing a spruiking opportunity when he sees one, Football Federation Australia’s CEO predicted the momentum would continue into round two with Tim Cahill’s long-awaited, much-discussed A-League debut for City in the Melbourne derby.

Related: Sydney FC breathe sigh of relief as season of domination is justly rewarded | Sam Perry

Football has cause to be ambitious and optimistic about its future

I think that we’ve got many positives, many things to be happy about

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/15/football-in-australia-as-big-as-its-going-to-get

May 10

David Squires on … Melbourne Victory’s innovative grand final plan to stifle Sydney FC

Our resident cartoonist signs off for the season with a look back at an eventful and at times combustible A-League grand final

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2017/may/10/david-squires-on-melbourne-victorys-innovative-grand-final-plan-to-stifle-sydney-fc

May 10

George Calombaris charged with assault after A-League grand final incident

The MasterChef judge was on the field after the match and became embroiled in an argument with fans, which allegedly ended with him shoving one man MasterChef judge George Calombaris has been charged with assault after he allegedly shoved a young man a…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/10/george-calombaris-charged-assault-a-league-grand-final

May 08

Newcastle Jets turn to experienced Ernie Merrick to fill vacant coach post

  • Merrick takes over at club following sacking of Mark Jones last month
  • Hugely experienced coach has 241 A-League games under his belt

Ernie Merrick has been confirmed as coach of the Newcastle Jets for the next two A-League seasons. The Scot had been a frontrunner for the Jets role since Mark Jones was sacked last month, one year into a two-year deal.

The 64-year-old will join the Jets as one of the A-League’s most experienced and decorated coaches. During 241 A-League games, Merrick won the 2007 and 2009 titles with A-League heavyweights Melbourne Victory.

Related: Sydney FC breathe sigh of relief as season of domination is justly rewarded | Sam Perry

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/09/newcastle-jets-turn-to-experienced-ernie-merrick-to-fill-vacant-coach-post

May 08

Celebrity chef George Calombaris shoves fan after A-League grand final – video

MasterChef judge and celebrity chef George Calombaris was involved in an altercation with a fan at the A-League grand final. Calombaris, a Melbourne Victory fan, was on the pitch at the conclusion of the match. A spectator can be heard shouting, “Pay your staff, you dodgy bastard”, a reference to reports that Calomobaris’s restaurant group had underpaid more than 160 people by $2.6m over six years. It was unclear whether the man Calomobaris pushed in the video was the man who delivered the jibe over unpaid wages

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/video/2017/may/08/celebrity-chef-george-calombaris-shoves-fan-after-a-league-grand-final-video

May 08

George Calombaris apologises after A-League grand final fracas

MasterChef judge, who pushed a man, says he ‘was genuinely shocked when post-match football banter turned into personal abuse about my family’

Celebrity chef George Calombaris has apologised for shoving a football fan in the stands at Allianz Stadium following Sunday’s A-League grand final.

Calombaris, the MasterChef judge and avid Melbourne Victory fan, was on the pitch at the conclusion of the match – which Victory lost to Sydney FC in a penalty shootout – when he reacted to something said in the crowd.

Related: George Calombaris’s restaurant empire hands staff $2.6m in unpaid overtime

Masterchef madness as Victory fan Calombaris boils over | : The World Game https://t.co/DvZkElPZOt

Penalties on a Sunday never his thing. https://t.co/0LPGXenShZ

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/08/george-calombaris-apologises-after-a-league-grand-final-fracas

May 07

Sydney FC breathe sigh of relief as season of domination is justly rewarded | Sam Perry

Following their grand final win, there can be no argument about the identity of the A-League’s best team, though there probably should not have been anyway

It is now incontestable. After an A-League grand final played at an unmatched intensity, Sydney FC emerged limping victors. In doing so, they applied the arguable but evidently necessary sheen to crown themselves undisputed champions, and can now safely enter the realms of A-League legend. After a bruising encounter that won’t be soon forgotten, the operative word in Sydney is surely, “phew”.

Related: Sydney FC crowned A-League champions after grand final shootout against Melbourne Victory

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/08/sydney-fc-breathe-sigh-of-relief-as-season-of-domination-is-justly-rewarded

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