No A-League Team for Canberra

glenroiheights 16 September 2009 24

Fairfax is reporting that the 12th A -League license is on its way to Western Sydney. A quote:

“The second Sydney team will be run by Ian Rowden, a former Australian youth international who was involved in the failed bid of colourful businessman Joe Meissner. At this stage it’s unclear who will be bankrolling the team, which will cost about $8 million a season to run, but it’s believed Meissner is no longer involved. Sydney’s second team is expected to be officially unveiled by the end of this week.”

Looks like that’s that then. A shame for the 1000s of locals who *promised* to show up every week and support whatever team ran around in our name. Though the likelihood of Canberra actually supporting a Canberra team always seemed tenuous, I for one was genuinely excited by the prospect of A League action on our doorstop. As with the rather weak AFL representation, 2 Central Coast games a season doesn’t quite cut it….


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24 Responses to No A-League Team for Canberra
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Swaggie Swaggie 2:42 pm 19 Sep 09

Well in summary it appears you still don’t understand what you are talking about ND so I’ll answer your points and leave you to have the last word if you care to.

a. Yes people with a passion for the game generally only do go see sides that they support. They may watch the game at the highest level on TV as in Football’s World Cup but given a choice of which team to barrack for they will choose one particular team so I’d go to every Canberra Home A League match but I wouldn’t bother going to Adelaide v Perth Glory on a regular basis.

b. Any teams playing in Canberra have a whole heap of spare time, if you know anything about the subject you would know how much or how little is devoted to training prior to the game. Teams based here permanently routinely do media spots and out reach programmes to the local community during the week to promote their code or have you never seen a Raiders player or Brumbies player or Coach interviewed during the week? If you had any kids have they never come home to tell you who was at their school today from the AFL etc – mine have.

c. So Ivan had research done that indicated 15000 and my own feeling is that 10,000 would attend. So where is the problem? I have good solid reasons for saying that number just as you would have reasons for giving any guesstimate you came up with. One of the reasons I have IS the standard of the A league. It doesn’t rank with the European leagues yet as you say but so far it is head and shoulders above what we had before in the old NSL where the old Cosmos could still get 2000 per game. Another point to consider is that this is now a League with none of the Central European idiotic Racial garbage that blighted the game in Australia for so long and alienated so many people from developing an interest in the NSL. Bear in mind that we also have a successful National Team – The World Cup in Sth Africa next year will pull national TV audience to rival any of the other codes and possibly surpass them despite the time zone problems, this will again raise awareness of the game. I could go on but I’ll rest my case there and let you have the last word as promised.

astrojax astrojax 2:35 pm 19 Sep 09

re a), nambucco, people with a passion for a sport may also indulge that passion through support of a particular team and this may conversely manifest itself as disinterest (or worse, of course) for opposing sides…

there can also be further mitigating circumstances, such as my own, where i’d long ago arranged to be away that weekend and, while i may be a passionate football supporter, i wasn’t going to change my life’s plans for it… doesn’t mean i wouldn’t have gone if i’d be about.

and re b), no, of course not. but if the ffa had been genuinely serious about getting a team here and helping the franchise bolster support – because it is of course in their own interests to do so if they’d wanted a team here – there would have been some reasonable media coverage.

and if the a-league is such ‘poor quality competition’, why on earth would jason culina choose to come and play while he is still a socceroo? [there is obvioulsy a technical difference between the a-league and the erdivise, from which he came, and of whence he spoke…] why would fox bother to show the competition in ghana, etc? why would adelaide make the asian champions league final? why would robbie fowler, dwight yorke, charlie miller, etc choose to come and play here when they could presumably have made more money in bahrain or somewhere else? etc…

Nambucco Deliria Nambucco Deliria 11:58 am 19 Sep 09

So, in summary:

(a)People with a passion for the game only go and see sides they support.
(b) in future any team, in any code, must stop training for the week leading up to a Canberra fixture and engage in ‘promotional activities’ so that those passionate sports fans might be persuaded to attend.
(c) it’s all someone else’s fault.

As with most of the people who argue in favour of a Canberra side in the A-League, Swaggie, you base your argument around fatuous number talk. ‘10,000 would be there’…. doesn’t actually mean anything in real terms. I seem to remember a piece by John Thistleton in the Canberra Times quoting Ivan Slavich saying Canberra would get crowds of 15,000, and this quote was ‘backed by Market Research’. Where have Ivan’s extra five thousand gone?

The A-League is a poor quality competition (even the league’s poster boy, Jason Culina, said the technical standard wasn’t up to much) – what makes you think that people will turn up to the tune of fifteen (sorry, ten) thousand a week to watch third rate product?

Swaggie Swaggie 7:14 pm 18 Sep 09

Sheesh Nambuc, Its got everything to do with the FFA, its their bloody competition and asking why the teams didnt come down early is downright stupid. Next time there is a Rugby union match played at Canberra Stadium between 2 teams for whom “its just another game” take note of the promotional activities they get involved in during the days leading up to the game. The bid 4 canberra team got the word out to the extent that 5000 people turned up and the greater football community knew all about it. I knew several people who didnt go who all have a passion for the game but for a match between 2 very ordinary teams who we dont follow or support 5000 was a bloody good number. Give us a Canberra team and 10,000 would be there. If you’re going to pass comment, do it from a position of some knowledge of what you’re talking about please.

Nambucco Deliria Nambucco Deliria 11:09 am 18 Sep 09

It’s got nothing to do with the FFA. Why should the teams come down to Canberra early? It’s just another game for them. Drumming up support for the game was down to the individuals in charge of the ‘bid4Canberra’. And they did nothing to spread the word to the greater football community in the City.

Swaggie Swaggie 10:04 am 18 Sep 09

This was an argument we had in the lead up to to the match – the fact that the FFA did NOTHING to help promote the game – no sending the teams down to Canberra early, no players visiting the community to encourage support, no publicity to speak of from the FFA themselves then they turn round and say 5150 wasn’t enough.. As had been proved here it’s fair to assume that if the bid organisers who all have day jobs can get 5150 along through their own efforts what could have happened if FFA had raised a finger and done something to help us? 10,000 would have been there but then of course the attendance would have had no part to play in Canberras bid…….

Anna Key Anna Key 10:58 pm 17 Sep 09

It’s true that football does itself no favours. As post #11 said, why isn’t it promoted thought the schools and clubs, give free tickets for the kids and tell the two teams to make it entertaining. Unfortunately the cost of tickets plus the usual overpriced food and drinks inside the ground aren’t going to encourage those that may be havering about going.

ozmackem ozmackem 8:43 pm 17 Sep 09

Why on earth should the amount of people who turned up for a match involving two out of town teams be an indicator of how well a Canberra team would be supported.
Perth Glory have an average attendance of 7,500 for their home matches, who knows how many would go to see a match involving out of towners there.
We have a NRL top heavy with Sydney teams, now the A-League seems to be starting on the same path.

Personally, I didn’t bother going to see the CCM at Bruce, but would be buying a season ticket if Canberra got into the comp.

Pandanus Pandanus 2:23 pm 17 Sep 09

There are loca government areas in Sydney and Melbourne that have higher populations and greater industry representation than Canberra does and they do not have a team in each major sporting code so why should Canberra. If the money is better elsewhere then that is where the codes will put their franchises.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 1:22 pm 17 Sep 09

Never mind, if we all chip in we can join one of the world’s most prestigious and influential sporting organisations, the baseball league, instead.

grump grump 10:44 am 17 Sep 09

justbands said :

> the Canberra Kookaburras (rugby)

Errrr…whilst I agree with your post in general (how can they expect an A-League team if nobody turns up), you’re wrong about the Kookaburras/Vikings. They actually had higher crowd averages than the Sydney teams….& when they had the ARC a couple of seasons back, they were the only team not to make a massive loss.

The Kookas & Vikings after them were kicked out of the Sydney comp for one reason & one reason alone….they kept beating the Sydney teams…ditto for Eddies & Marist from the Waratah Shield.

too true!!

justbands justbands 9:29 am 17 Sep 09

> the Canberra Kookaburras (rugby)

Errrr…whilst I agree with your post in general (how can they expect an A-League team if nobody turns up), you’re wrong about the Kookaburras/Vikings. They actually had higher crowd averages than the Sydney teams….& when they had the ARC a couple of seasons back, they were the only team not to make a massive loss. The Kookas & Vikings after them were kicked out of the Sydney comp for one reason & one reason alone….they kept beating the Sydney teams…ditto for Eddies & Marist from the Waratah Shield.

Nambucco Deliria Nambucco Deliria 9:04 am 17 Sep 09

If the low crowd at the Central Coast game was a contributing factor (and it wasn’t ‘essentially a trial game’, sb14, it was essentially a ‘proper’ A-League match)in this decision,then the team behind the Canberra bid have to shoulder some of the blame. My son plays first grade football for Marist, yet at his game the day after the match, some of the parents had no idea a game (an A-League game) had even been played in Canberra. Why were the bid team not visiting schools and Football clubs in the fortnight leading up to the game handing out free tickets for the players and their parents?
Running a top flight football team is a big, big job. Maybe the people in charge of the Canberra bid, whilst keen to read about themselves and see their pictures in the paper, aren’t interested in the sheer hard yakka such an undertaking demands. So perhaps its best the bid has failed at this stage – if indeed it has. The FFA are still this morning denying a decision has been made, so… However I think they will note that as there seems to be no appetite in Canberra for the more mundane aspects of the competition (you can’t play Sydney or Melbourne every week, even in the artificial, made-for-TV, entertainment-driven world of the A-League)the twelfth license will be awarded elsewhere.

ramblingted ramblingted 6:37 am 17 Sep 09

I understand the attendance at a A league match the week after the game in canberra was only a thousand more, despite one of the teams being at home. But agree, Western Sydney was always going to win..

Oh, and just for the record, it wasn’t lack of support that killed off the Kookaburras, it was that they were too successful for the parochial State competitions they played in to stomach!

vg vg 11:33 pm 16 Sep 09

Anna Key said :

Why is 5,000 turning up for a game with limited supporter attachment held against us? Ditto the poor attendance at the recent AFL game. Less than twice that turn up for a Raiders game who supposedly have strong local support and receive plenty of media coverage.

But people are living in a dream world if they think an A league team would be a long term proposition in Canberra, as much as I would love to see it.

Raiders v St. George…..nigh on 20,000. Raiders get 10,000 on a bad day. Raiders also have a small company supporting them names News Corp. You may have heard of them. Some guy named Rupert owned or used to own it

And Canberra Kookaburras? What a ridiculous example. We chose to no longer play in Sydney after making the GF in the 1st year

bd84 bd84 9:46 pm 16 Sep 09

Gungahlin Al said :

What Swaggie said. Stupid comment by TS. I wouldn’t bother going to a league game between 2 Sydney teams either – same thing.

That said, I think soccer badly needs a bit of the one-day-cricket treatment. Make the goal mouth wider and reduce the team size. Get some scoring happening. A whole game with no score?…yawn.

Agreed there.

Also, why would the A league want a team destined to fail? Canberrans don’t turn out and support any team that is not succeed, and generally most (male) teams based here don’t. The Raiders get a couple of people, which these days is fewer than a decent AFL game at Manuka. Though having a team in a competition that is run mostly in the warmer months may have helped the soccer team, Canberrans also don’t show up if it’s freezing cold and wet, as the AFL game between Sydney and Melbourne found out a couple of months back.

They simply realised that any soccer team based here would be the Cosmos MkII.

sb14 sb14 9:31 pm 16 Sep 09

I hope the crowd attendance at that game had no baring on the decision. If it did, it was completely hypocritical by the A-League.

The owner of the new Gold Coast team wants to cap attendance at 5000 to limit losses. So an established team in a parochial area can have 5000 attending, but the same attendance at a game featuring no local team, in what is essentially a trial match is a poor showing?

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 8:25 pm 16 Sep 09

What Swaggie said. Stupid comment by TS. I wouldn’t bother going to a league game between 2 Sydney teams either – same thing.

That said, I think soccer badly needs a bit of the one-day-cricket treatment. Make the goal mouth wider and reduce the team size. Get some scoring happening. A whole game with no score?…yawn.

Swaggie Swaggie 7:38 pm 16 Sep 09

Trunk mate, it was more than 5000 for a match between 2 teams we have no interest in. Try putting on Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar in West Sydney and see how many people rock up for that one. At no time did FFA say that the attendance for the match the other week was a test of Canberra support except after the event. They did say this was the case for the Socceroos match v Kuwait and consequently 20,000 people turned out. You are unbelievably naive if you think the attendance for Central Coast v Perth had any bearing on this decision.

Anna Key Anna Key 6:40 pm 16 Sep 09

Why is 5,000 turning up for a game with limited supporter attachment held against us? Ditto the poor attendance at the recent AFL game. Less than twice that turn up for a Raiders game who supposedly have strong local support and receive plenty of media coverage.

But people are living in a dream world if they think an A league team would be a long term proposition in Canberra, as much as I would love to see it.

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