Wednesday, December 27, 2006
AFC Champions League - Some Questions
Incidentally, while we are entitled to expect our national team to reach the latter stages of the Asian Cup, Sydney FC and Adelaide United will be underdogs in the AFC Champions’ League. No other Asian nation has as many top players in Europe as does Australia, and consequently the best club teams on the Asian mainland, as opposed to the A-League clubs, contain plenty of players of genuine international calibre.
But that is surely the least of the worries afflicting George Perry and Michael Petrillo (not to mention Matt Carroll) at the moment.
Aaron Timms of the Sydney Morning Herald outlined some of the problems facing the two Australian representatives in this piece, and next to nothing has been clarified since then.
So, a couple of questions, from a relatively uninformed fan:
1. Will Sydney and Adelaide be obliged to submit an initial list of thirty players, as the rules specify?
Even with the expanded roster allowed next season, A-League teams will only be allowed a maximum of 23 players. Yet the Champions’ League rules are quite clear.
Has there been a dispensation from the AFC? I’ve seen nothing to suggest this.
Are all thirty players required to be contracted to the club, or is it merely a list of names? There seems to be no reason to assume the former, so perhaps this will make Sydney’s and Adelaide’s job easier. The only stated requirement is that none of the initial list of thirty should represent another team in the group stage of the competition.
Would it be possible, for instance, to nominate a “targeted” list of state league players, who could be signed on loan to replace injured players in case of necessity?
Sydney FC in particular face a torrid time straightening out their squad, with plenty of players off-contract at the end of the 2006/07 season. But that’s another issue.
2. What happens to the TV revenue?
We’ve heard that any prizemoney gained through the competition will be distributed evenly among the eight A-League clubs. But the prizemoney on offer is fairly paltry, unless a club reaches the final (and, with all respect to Sydney and Adelaide, I don’t believe either is likely to do so).
But will revenue accrued from AFC TV deals trickle down to the national associations, or to the individual clubs? Of what order is it likely to be?
The fact that several clubs have more then three foreigners on their books is an indication of how much thinking has gone into this whole process. I'd like to think that getting that information to my club early has helped to put us in a good spot to build a team to win at home and on the continent.
But the FFA really needs to pull it's finger out and make a decleration about this NOW.
Adelaide and Sydney need to make roster deciions NOW.
I hear what you are saying but the A-League's experience of Asian players of 'international calibre' has hardly been game changing. They seem slow by our game's standards.
Not internationals at the peak of their powers.
The players have too much ambition for that.