Wednesday, October 04, 2006

 

Be My Guest, Part 1

A recent interview which deserved a wider audience was the grilling of the FFA’s Head of Operations, Matt Carroll, by Attila Mosonyi and prominent Covite Grant Muir. An mp3 of the interview is available here, in two parts.

Carroll, in my opinion, came out of the discussion fairly well, despite a few truculent moments.

Particularly interesting were his comments on guest players (about a minute and a half into Part 2, for the record). Perhaps now, with Benito Carbone in the A-League and Romario on his way, it’s time for a closer look at this particular concept.

Carroll seemed to be of the view that Sydney FC’s Kazuyoshi Miura experiment last season was an unqualified success. Certainly, for a time, there was a large presence from the Japanese media at Sydney FC games, and I’ll gladly accept Carroll’s statement that the matches were seen by millions in Japan.

But with all respect to him, I’m not sure that the effect was uniformly positive.

Firstly, the Japanese interest in Sydney FC was, in my opinion, fairly transitory. The attention of the Japanese media appeared to be very firmly on Kazu, rather than the club or the league, for the duration of his stay; after Kazu had gone, there were very few, if any, Japanese photographers to be found at Aussie Stadium.

Even the questions from Japanese journalists at Sydney FC press conferences just prior to Kazu’s arrival were breathtakingly parochial, basically implying that Kazu’s presence would lend the club instant credibility and respect.

Then, there was the aftermath of Kazu’s guest period.

A knowledgeable Covite of my acquaintance, who has some strong opinions on the matter of guest players, insists that the necessity of accommodating Kazu disrupted the balance of the team, and contributed substantially to Sydney’s poor form following the World Club Championship. And he certainly has a point.

I’m still undecided on Kazu. It was a brave move, and its benefits were always going to be largely intangible. But it’s misleading, in my opinion, to suggest that it was an unequivocal blessing for Sydney FC and the league. What is beyond doubt, however, is that Kazu's behaviour on and off the pitch was utterly professional and a credit to him.

In Part 2, a look at the cases of Carbone and Romario, and some possible guidelines for the choice of future A-League “guests”.


Comments:
I hope whoever this person is that did not want Kazu as a guest player is saying the same thing about Carbone.

Funnily enough I would say there are probably two reasons why having guest players are ok. One was in the case of Kazu and having him for the CWC in Japan. And the other having players on trial (but surely that should be done during the pre-season).
 
...I hope whoever this person is that did not want Kazu as a guest player is saying the same thing about Carbone....

I think you can guess who it is, can't you Wil? Think Arlington Oval... ;-)
 
I am ambivalent about guest players. While they certainly do attract interest, and some do contribute to the team (Carbone is an example) having aging stars coming to play here for a few weeks smacks that we are a second rate competition that needs that sort of gimmick to attract attention.

It can give the image that we cannot attract enough attention just on our own.
 
Is it true that the deal with Carbone goes above the salary cap, as John claimed over at FDO?

Can someone explain this please?
 
...Is it true that the deal with Carbone goes above the salary cap, as John claimed over at FDO?

Can someone explain this please?...

"Marquee" players don't fall under the salary cap.
 
"Marquee" players don't fall under the salary cap.

So what is the objective of the salary cap exactly?
 
..."Marquee" players don't fall under the salary cap.

So what is the objective of the salary cap exactly?...

Basically just to keep the clubs financially afloat while the league is still establishing its various revenue streams, and (as with any franchise competition) to ensure relative competitive equality.

But the cap's going to go up with the new Fox TV deal; I think Carroll mentioned in that interview that it would be going up by $100,000 next year, and the increases will be greater once the Fox money starts to come in.

The idea was that a marquee player would provide intangible benefits in marketing terms, so the clubs were given the freedom to negotiate a manageable salary with them.
 
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