May 5, 2015 – 1:11AM
Return to the Gold Coast? The A-League may look at the area for any possible future expansion. Photo: Getty Images
Any possibility of the A-League moving to a promotion and relegation system in the future has effectively been scrapped by Football Federation Australia as a franchise-style system is set to remain for at least the next two decades.
On Tuesday, the FFA will unveil the blueprint of the game’s growth for the next 20 years and among various strategies is a clear line through moving towards a traditional professional football format.
The financial risks of placing uncertainty around existing clubs has ruled out the A-League adopting the required format of the Asian Football Confederation and for that matter, most of the world in moving towards a promotion and relegation structure.
A more fluid structure involving two national tiers of football has long been the hope of most rusted-on fans in Australia, but the commercial realities of football have essentially scrapped that possibility.
The semi-unification of the state federations to create the National Premier League and the establishment of the FFA Cup were seen by some as the first steps in creating a national second tier to the A-League and while that might be the case, there will be pathways between the two in the next 20 years.
There is a fear that the financial viability of the A-League could be compromised if the top tier of Australian football is composed of teams with little strategic placement and on football merit alone, with little reflection on market forces.
However, that’s not to say that there is no value placed on the NPL and other semi-professional clubs. The FFA has indicated in its long-term plan the importance of any current and potential new entrant in the A-League must develop a strong relationship with existing clubs and communities.
Current NPL clubs will not have the chance to progress to the A-League through promotion though the FFA will consider their application for licences. Existing clubs will be able to submit bids to enter the A-League alongside potential consortiums.
Raising the standard of the A-League is identified as one of the major tasks for the future of the game as it will attract more fans, more money which could lead to more of a “top down” approach taken by organisations like the AFL and NRL and subsequently a reduction of amateur registration fees. Currently, 22 per cent of junior participants actively support A-League clubs and raising that percentage by four-fold is the FFA’s target.
Expansion remains a main item on the agenda for the FFA, with a significant hint of a plan to urbanise the competition. The governing body will determine that; “every major Australian region with a population over 500,000 has the market size to host an A-League club”, yet another sign that growing regions within major cities could be a target.
Already, southern Sydney, south-west Sydney and Brisbane are earmarked as the next in line to receive A-League clubs when the competition expands to a 12-team league no sooner than 2017.
Depending on the FFA’s definition of regions, such a statement may bode well for potential bids from the Greater Illawarra and Canberra-Queanbeyan in future years as well as a possible return to the Gold Coast.
Greater Canberra, as well as Wollongong and its surrounding regions, are expected to have populations in excess of the FFA’s minimum requirements which may also cast some doubt on the long-term viability of Central Coast Mariners and Wellington Phoenix.
In other areas, the Whole Of Football Plan has also indicated a clear target of establishing a permanent and exclusive training base for Australia’s national football teams such as the Socceroos, Matildas and youth teams.
Much like St Georges Park for England or Italy’s Coverciano training base, Australia’s national teams will have a home and won’t have to rely on finding short-term ground availability for training camps and match preparation. The venue for such a base is yet to be determined and is part of the many criterias for improving development in the game.
Alongside streamlining and homogonesing elite youth development – the NPL 1 and NPL 2 clubs, all A-League clubs will have elite youth teams down to under 12s while basic facilities for amateur football has been set for improvement. The growing urbanisation of Australian culture will soon lead to more futsal courts, small-sided fields and indoor centres.
Whole Of Football 10 key points:
– Registered football participation rates to rise from 600,000 to 2 million;
– Football “community” to double to 4 million;
– Streamlined approach to administration from local clubs up to FFA, including possible abolition of state federations;
– National teams to have permanent and exclusive training base;
– Goal of 75 per cent of junior participants to actively support A-League clubs, four times the current rate;
– Youth development divided into three categories all linked with clear pathways to elite levels;
– Australia to bid for the women’s World Cup as early as the 2023 tournament;
– More infrastructure for amateur football and more Futsal courts in urban centres;
– Improving the number of recognised coaches across all levels from 24,000 to 100,000.
with Joe Gorman
The Canberra Times
O lateral-direito Samuel Xavier é mais um jogador do atual elenco do Ceará a deixar Porangabuçu. Depois de Magno Alves, que foi para o Fluminense, o camisa 2 alvinegro acertou sua transferência para o Sport, nesta segunda-feira, 04.
Samuel tinha contrato com o Ceará até o fim deste ano e por isso, a equipe pernambucana precisou pagar a multa rescisória. O valor é de R$ 400 mil.
A saída de Samuel Xavier, que chegou no início de 2014 e foi campeão cearense e neste ano levantou o título da Copa do Nordeste, coincide com a chegada do novo atleta para a posição. O também lateral-direito Roniery, ex-Botafogo/SP, deve ser anunciado em breve.
A diretoria do Ceará, contudo, marcou uma entrevista coletiva para a esta terça-feira, 05, com o objetivo de falar sobre a saída dos jogadores e a chegada de novos reforços.
O time alvinegro volta a campo na próxima sexta-feira, 8. O Vovô estreia na Série B do Brasileiro diante do Paraná, às 21h, em Curitiba.
Diário do Nordeste – 04/05/2015