Clubs concerned A-League is still under-exposed

There is a belief among A-League club bosses that Australia's premier football competition is under-promoted and therefore under-exposed.

A-League Rd 22 - Perth v Newcastle

Source: Getty Images

But how quickly Football Federation Australia can generate new revenue streams or at least increased revenue from existing ones within the guidelines of its four-year strategic plan released this week remains to be seen.

Concerns in club-land about the quality of the marketing of the game and the need for increased sponsorship and television rights funds to provide ammunition to grow the game through wider promotion of the A-League are ongoing issues.

FFA chairman Steven Lowy, speaking at the launch of the four-year strategy on Tuesday, acknowledged there was a desire within the game to speed up necessary developments.

FFA promises hands on approach► Football Federation Australia is promising to take a more hands on approach in recruiting marquee players to the Hyundai A-League, as reported by SBS News.Click 'Learn More' for the full story on the FFA's four-year strategic vision for the A-League. Posted by SBS The World Game on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

"The four-year strategic plan represents a significant shift in emphasis towards our showcase competition, the Hyundai A-League," Lowy said.

"This is primarily about broadcast rights and commercial partnerships, which are the economic foundation of football around the world.

"There is impatience from all levels of the game to do more, and do it quickly. That’s good. It’s healthy. It shows our game is brimming with enthusiasm and that there’s a hunger for success."

But, Lowy added, an anticipated substantial increase in revenue from the next TV rights deal would be the key to many initiatives.

"The upcoming renegotiation of our broadcast arrangements will be critical to funding our four-year strategy, but some projects can’t wait until we wrap up that new deal," Lowy said.

The meeting of club chairmen and CEOs on Wednesday discussed issues related to strategies designed to increase revenue.

One club official subsequently told The World Game the general consensus among the clubs was that the marketing and promotion of the A-League "has got to improve".

The best footballers in the competition are known for their on-field ability, but there is a feeling they are under-utilised when it comes to off-field promotion of the game.

Also at the strategy launch, FFA CEO David Gallop outlined four initiatives.

:: A refresh of the A-League brand to connect more fans to the competition as viewers, members, ticket buyers and consumers of digital content.

:: New investment in digital platforms to improve the experience of the two million grassroots participants and connect more of them to the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League.

:: A centralised approach to marquee player recruitment to assist Hyundai A-League clubs in attracting top-class international players, including Caltex Socceroos returning home.

:: And incentives for football stakeholders at all levels to collaborate and align their programs to the game’s overall national objectives.

Clubs are edgy about any suggestion of expansion of the A-League, particularly with FFA still not having found a buyer for Newcastle Jets and with the memories of other clubs having gone under not completely faded.

But FFA, having recently given Wellington Phoenix a new licence to continue in the competition beyond this season, is not pushing for expansion ahead of the next TV deal being finalised at least.

The idea of the A-League becoming independent of FFA is one that is regularly mooted these days, but the possibility of it actually happening is no more than speculation at the moment.

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
3 min read
Published 12 March 2016 at 12:10am
By Greg Prichard
Source: SBS