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Giving up on the A-League

By johnboy - 3 March 2012 24

The Road have a informative piece on why we’re not going to see an A-League football team in Canberra anytime soon:

Bid leader and TransACT boss Ivan Slavich’s three-year battle to get a team up in the nation’s capital was revived briefly when the FFA this week revoked Gold Coast United’s licence and announced it was keen to maintain a 10-side competition.

But the FFA has since confirmed its preference to start a franchise in western Sydney rather than consider Canberra’s long-standing $4 million bid.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” Slavich told AAP on Friday.

“It is frustrating because we do have money behind it and a lot of capability and it seems western Sydney doesn’t have any capability, yet the FFA is prepared to completely fund it.

“We would have had a great team.

“The FFA’s thumbing their nose to the actual football supporters in Canberra – that’s the disappointing thing.”

Maybe he should give Clive Palmer a call about getting into the rebel league?

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
Giving up on the A-League
Battlecat 10:22 am 05 Mar 12

p1 said :

Has it occurred to anyone that the Soccer isn’t doing so good, either in Canberra or Australia generally, because I lot less people care about it then do plenty of other sports?

I normally wouldn’t reply to trolls like this, but someone might actually get confused and think that you’re right. From where have you come up with the conclusion that football (it’s actually official and legal name) isn’t doing so good in Australia? We have a fledgling national league, we’re the top ranked country in Asia and we’ve been to the past two World Cups. Attendance is up, tv ratings are up and participation is bursting at the seams. I can probably forgive this misconception considering the recent tantrum of Palmer, but your other point…

The thought that football in Canberra is not doing so good is so uninformed as to be laughable. Local sport is all about participation, it’s not on TV etc. So on that basis, add up all the people that play all the other codes of football (yes we know they exist) and double it, and you might almost get close to the number of people that play football. That goes for adults as well as juniors. If football in Canberra isn’t going so good then I feel sorry for the other sports!

And yes a Canberra A-League is in my dreams, every night. Getting to the World Cup used to be, now it’s in my photo album.

SnapperJack 5:44 pm 04 Mar 12

p1 said :

Has it occurred to anyone that the Soccer isn’t doing so good, either in Canberra or Australia generally, because I lot less people care about it then do plenty of other sports?

… and the fact that they keep arrogantly calling their sport football as if there are no other footy codes in existence? That sort of thing might go down well in Europe where soccer is the only code, but in Australia where we have four codes of football (five if you count gridiron) it doesn’t go down well at all.

p1 4:07 pm 04 Mar 12

Has it occurred to anyone that the Soccer isn’t doing so good, either in Canberra or Australia generally, because I lot less people care about it then do plenty of other sports?

dungfungus 2:50 pm 04 Mar 12

Battlecat said :

The FFA want Western Sydney in the league, and will keep giving them a free spot until one day they get their stuff together and start up. I don’t argue with them wanting western Sydney in, it makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is giving a team to Gold Coast and North QLD first.

Canberra definitely needs a team. It’s a massive barrier to young players having to move their whole life to another city to take a chance of maybe making it as a footballer. If we get a team they only have to travel down the road. The increased numbers of players giving this a go will absolutely pay off.

The FFA have treated us poorly, but at least this time they are being upfront, and not leading us on, only to deny us on the basis of not having enough money to then give the chance to another bid that doesn’t have ANY money and falls apart before it even starts.

Keep slogging away Canberra football fans, our day will come. The local league, the MASSIVE participation and the well supported W-League will all help.

In your dreams Battlecat

Battlecat 2:39 pm 04 Mar 12

The FFA want Western Sydney in the league, and will keep giving them a free spot until one day they get their stuff together and start up. I don’t argue with them wanting western Sydney in, it makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is giving a team to Gold Coast and North QLD first.

Canberra definitely needs a team. It’s a massive barrier to young players having to move their whole life to another city to take a chance of maybe making it as a footballer. If we get a team they only have to travel down the road. The increased numbers of players giving this a go will absolutely pay off.

The FFA have treated us poorly, but at least this time they are being upfront, and not leading us on, only to deny us on the basis of not having enough money to then give the chance to another bid that doesn’t have ANY money and falls apart before it even starts.

Keep slogging away Canberra football fans, our day will come. The local league, the MASSIVE participation and the well supported W-League will all help.

Duffbowl 2:05 pm 04 Mar 12

Is Clive still pushing the rebel league, or just the “oversight” line? Thing is, any player that goes down that path will not be selected for the Socceroos any time soon. Until the AFC or FIFA pull support for FFA, there will only be one recognised national league in Australia. Even in the land where money talks loudest, a rebel league failed to attract players willing to give up representing their country.

While the women may be as talented as the men, they are not pulling numbers. Canberrans are notoriously fickle about supporting teams. We struggle to support teams through lean times. This is one of the reasons why Canberra isn’t represented in the NBL, ANZ Championship, A-League, et al.

Think it is really viable? Consider the crowds at the home games of Canberra United:
Best regular season attendance – 1,637 – Canberra United vs Central Coast Mariners (W-League – 2008) Venue: Belconnen Soccer Centre
Best finals attendance (not including Grand Final) – 1,750 – Canberra United vs Melbourne Victory (W-League Semi Final – 2012) Venue: Belconnen Soccer Centre
Best grand final attendance – 2,512 – Canberra United vs Brisbane Roar (W-League Grand Final – 2012) Venue: Belconnen Soccer Centre
(figures sourced through the Capital Punishment supporters group website)

I’ve tried to find official attendance figures, but they are either not available or I’m too thick to work out where they are. Same with the Capitals. This has left me to fall back on the Brumbies and Raiders.

Brumbies – First home game season 2012 – 14,211
First home game season 2011 – 13,227
Largest crowd 2011 – 18,011
Smallest crowd 2011 – 10,122
(figures sourced through Foxsports)

Raiders – First home game season 2012 – 7,862
First home game season 2011 – 13,450
Largest crowd 2011 – 16,146
Smallest crowd 2011 – 10,085
(figures sourced through Rugby League Project)

DISCLAIMER: While I’m a fan of the Brumbies, and have lived in Canberra for 17 of the last 20 years, I’m a Reds fan. Pip pip old chap 🙂

DanielK 11:38 am 04 Mar 12

Thanks vg. great to go to the Brumbies’ games, if only once or twice year.Last championship in 2004, though.

Capitals are our only national basketball team and are well supported. Why not United on the soccer field?? At least while we’re waiting the 5 years until the men’s team commences, perhaps. All the other W-league teams are affiliated with the men’s club for that city.

It may even be a more strategic path for the men’s A-League team to get in, if the women’s team consistently wins their competition and Canberra United becomes more widely known – who knows?

vg 7:19 am 04 Mar 12

caf said :

DanielK said :

Aren’t United the only Canberra team to have won aA national comp in the last 5-10 years?

No, the Capitals have won 3 WNBL championships in the last 5 years, and 6 in the last 10 years.

Might have heard of the Brumbies. Won some international titles.

The W League fill McKellar oval once a year. Nothing to lose your lunch over. Raiders had more in the main grandstand in the pouring rain yesterday

damien haas 3:47 am 04 Mar 12

If there are 6 or 7 other largeish cities, why dont they form their own soccer league ? I understand Clive Palmer could be of some assistance.

dungfungus 11:35 pm 03 Mar 12

caf said :

DanielK said :

Aren’t United the only Canberra team to have won aA national comp in the last 5-10 years?

No, the Capitals have won 3 WNBL championships in the last 5 years, and 6 in the last 10 years.

That would be the TransACT Capitals then? Hey, isn’t that where Mr Slavich works and aren’t they commited to sponsoring the world’s best player for hundreds of thousands of dollars for the next four years? They would get better value for money supporting Canberra United in the women’s A league.
Women play soccer a lot better than the men.

Jammer1 10:44 pm 03 Mar 12

With the greatest respect for our W-League champs – A-League is a completely different kettle of fish. I am one of the thousands who put up $200 each and now realise that it is time to refund our dough. The FFA don’t want us and without their backing it’s a pointless exercise.

Although I wouldn’t mind if our money was put towards a joint bid with Western Sydney and we got a share of games in Canberra,along with subsidised buses to games in W/Sydney and vice versa. Won’t happen though (sigh).

DanielK 10:26 pm 03 Mar 12

Thanks Caf,

I remembered that right after I posted the comment,having only been thinking about ACT men’s teams. the Capitals and the WNBL get good media coverage and sponsorship, from transact too.

Surely the W-league deserves similar status…..

caf 10:09 pm 03 Mar 12

DanielK said :

Aren’t United the only Canberra team to have won aA national comp in the last 5-10 years?

No, the Capitals have won 3 WNBL championships in the last 5 years, and 6 in the last 10 years.

Fender 5:37 pm 03 Mar 12

DK that is a very good call re the W team. They have a very big following with a good culture and image that represents that. I’ve had enough of watching overpaid, under-talented boodheads get drunk, get involved in domestic violence and get on tele every Friday night.
Also, nobody really gives stuff about the A or J league or whatever it is. The quality is not there and never will be.

DanielK 4:20 pm 03 Mar 12

saw Slavich’s first piece on Wednesday and nowhere in the lengthy interview was there any reference to supporting Canberra United in the women’s league! Nor in the Canberra Times rant today, although a short letter to the editor made it Thursday, I think.

Obviously some big problems with Lowy, Buckley and the FFA. Do we want to get into that?

Why nOt use some spare funds, sponsorship and media space to support the women’s team and beef up the W-League in general? Aren’t United the only Canberra team to have won aA national comp in the last5-10 years?

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