If I have to listen to Craig Foster tell me about the beauty of the 'Mariners' system for engaging the local populace, I think, no I will, shoot him. But seriously, how can he be pious in his scathing of the Sydney FC operations for failing to recognise the fans when both SBS and the FFA fail to acknowledge the fans as the true source for many of 'their' ideas.
In an email sent to both the FFA and SBS in February, yours truly put forth the idea for creating a domestic cup competition similar to that of the English FA Cup. In March of the same year FoxSports released an article detailing how Ben Buckley had come up with this masterful stroke of genius (see above link). Furthermore it was I who suggested to SBS the idea of an evening football show to compete with the likes of the AFL and NRL footy shows on channel nine. Miraculously, a new entrant on the Thursday night football arena was created.
Now I'm not solely here to blow my own trumpet, but I question how many of the new initiatives to be employed in next years A-league competition were sourced from fans with no credit given. I can not imagine it was the fools at the FFA who came up with the great idea to hold the final on a Saturday night. A move that will hopefully also urge NRL to drop their ridiculous Sunday night grand final.
I'm however glad to see that a cautious approach has been taken by the FFA with regards to the two front running entrants from Queensland, the Gold Coast and Townsville, with the door held very much ajar for second teams from Melbourne and Sydney. It baffles me to think that the Victory is the only team from Victoria while NSW has three teams. After accounting for the new teams to join the competition, Victoria will still have only 2 teams as apposed to 4 from NSW and 3 from Queensland. I'm just going to throw this out there, but a team from Singapore would have to be in the sights of an expanding A-league.
The new announcement to create a marquee youth player at each club valued at $150,000 is one that leaves a bad taste in my mouth and surely straight from the FFA desk. Veerbeek got plenty of media when giving the truth about the state of competition in the A League, and now the FFA are trying to say that this will stop the 'player drain' and improve the League - bullocks. $150,000 AUD is nothing compared to the Pounds/Euros on offer overseas. Furthermore, should we really be trying to hold back tomorrows stars from gaining experience and even more importantly coaching, that they just can't get in the A-league. Obviously there is concern that the A-League will evolve into nothing more than a playground for retiring former greats, a short stepping stone for talented youth and the pinnacle for many below average midle-age Australian players. Well, what did you expect? The A-league should be striving to become an elite breeding ground for future overseas based stars, Australian or otherwise. The A-league can't compete with the EPL or the likes and it shouldn't. Policies surrounding youth marquee players need to be binned, and policies that eliminate the below average middle-age players of the game need to be adopted. Put the $150,000 per club into expanding the quality of the coaching, furthering player development and better scouting for YOUNG international players. Don't hold back talented youth - breed more, and give them a competition to show off their skills before making us proud OS.
Its great to see the FFA adopt policies inspired by the fans - just give us the damn credit. At the same time it pains me to see the FFA try and come up with its own policies (such as the youth marquee) that will hurt Australian football. To be sure the lesser of the two evils is for the FFA to just use the Fans' ideas and for the love of the game stop trying to come up with their own.