Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Expanding on Topical Tweets

I've been pretty prolific on Twitter recently, and thought I'd expand on a few of my posts on some of the hot topics of the week.

Government grants intended for grassroots football get diverted to establish the Western Sydney Wanderers A-League franchise, which is later sold. From what I have seen the FFA does not seem to have been made very accountable in putting any of the proceeds from that sale back into the original purpose of those government grants. Pretty scandalous if you ask me. The Wanderers players threaten to boycott the Club World Championships after the club only offers them 10% of the tournament prize-money as a bonus on top of the contracts they are already having met and a bonus for having won the Asian Champions League. If the football internet is to be believed, this is almost on par with how Margaret Thatcher dealt with coal-miners.
The Professional Footballers Association, so quick to aid their A-League members, not in sight when NPL players are getting short changed. Just goes to show that those in power in Australian football focus 95% of their attention to the top level and don't give a rats what happens below it. Which won't bode well for the future...
Now a lot of people pushing for the reform that saw the introduction of the NPL liked to label VPL players "mercenaries". Mercenaries needed to be eliminated from the second tier to give youngsters more opportunities (in Victoria this seems to mean opportunities to youngsters from Queensland). The fact that by removing older, experienced and better players from the competition they would be limiting the development of those youngsters is generally overlooked. Strangely, A-League players on far bigger wages holding a club to ransom do not seem to be labelled "mercenaries". Even when a lot of them are on their third or fourth A-League club. There's no standard like a double standard.

Those stridently against VPL/NPL mercenaries would like to see them paid less with the money put into youth development and facilities instead. Yet when the FFA gets Federal funding for youth development and facilities, it diverts the money elsewhere without a peep of protest from those critics. Again, A-League clubs get all the favours from the FFA and those below them must fend for themselves, no assistance offered. A situation not likely to improve given the FFA's latest intentions....

The other big talking point was the Melbourne leg of the FFA's Whole of Football Plan public forums. Paul Mavroudis attended it and you can read his version of events here. I didn't because I don't intend to be involved at club level anymore and didn't think it would be anything other than a sham. This is how the FFA reported it

Ex-Football Victoria chairman and former FFA director Jack Reilly said successful long-term planning for the game had to start with governance reform. "Until you have a national governing body that has a strong and clear mandate, the game will struggle to achieve its potential," said Reilly. "The current structure of national, state and regional administration leads to overlap, waste in resources and no real alignment. We need to change that first so there's one national body with a clear mandate from top to bottom." 

So the most important topic of the night in their eyes was not what the regular punters on the floor discussed, but what one of their men said to set their next agenda in motion. Football New South Wales must be sitting on some valuable assets for talk of FFA eliminating the State Federations to start up again. To give it more traction, the story on Four Four Two Australia included quotes from the FFA's go to back up man, Roy Hay.

Now I'm hardly the FFV's biggest fan, but to see them replaced to give the FFA more power would be a great worry given some of the governance concerns I've outlined above. Given their lack of focus on the grassroots and over the top concentration on the elite levels, it's easy to see who would be the loser in that outcome.


  1. Top summation of it all, Mark. Shame there are far too many who think "old sokkah" was a problem, when "new football" lacks tranparency and good governance.

    1. And to think there are those who once demanded more transparency, now demanding less. Those who wanted the game to be accountable for everyone, now accountable to no one. Those who wanted to move the game out of the backrooms of Sydney and Melbourne how happy to have everything done out of a Sydney loft.

    2. You're talking about Kyle Patterson aren't you?

      The one who agrees that the FFA resembles a mini-FIFA?

    3. Yes Kyle, the bloke who would once thrown his papers up in the air in disgust during On The Ball. But not just him - so many others who are willing to look the other way now because they've either got their own head in the trough, or because they perceive that the ends justify the means.

    4. By mini-FIFA I mean the corrupt sporting organisation not the EA Sports series of games.

  2. I would highly doubt that the FFA's report about the Forum wasn't already saved as a draft prior to the night.

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