Sunday, May 11, 2008
The idea, of course, is enormously tempting. Many fans of the old NSL like nothing better than to belittle the standard of the A-League, contemptuously dismissing even the better sides as by no means comparable with the great NSL sides of the mid-nineties. And even now, there are those who will claim that the more decorated state league sides - even in their current, emaciated incarnations - would knock off the "plastic" A-League teams, given half a chance.
Bring it on, then? Well...there are a few problems.
Firstly and most obviously, the A-League and state league seasons do not align, as I've pointed out on this blog many times before (strangely enough, it's a point that people still wantonly ignore). Organising a cup competition around existing competitions would be an absolute logistical minefield.
Secondly, a truly national cup competition (as opposed to, say, the Tiger Turf Cup in NSW) would involve considerable expense in terms of travel and accommodation. We've already seen how this factor has served to delay the introduction of a youth league; as with the youth league, these expenses would scarcely be covered by gate takings (let alone TV revenue, were a deal to be struck).
But the most nagging concern is that some of the bitterness felt by the "excluded" state league clubs might spill over onto a more public stage. The South Melbourne v. Melbourne Victory friendly last year provided enough of a PR embarrassment; an escalation of the hostilities in the case of a genuinely competitive game is not hard to envisage.
As for Lynch's idea of the winners being allotted a spot in the Asian Champions League...frankly, it's farcical. Somehow I think the AFC might have a problem with Kashima Antlers or Gamba Osaka playing at Jensen Park.
In the long term, a cup competition would be great. But not just yet, thank you very much.
An Asian EUFA cup is another matter but with money only slowly coming into to the ACL let us make it a decent competition which means Aussie teams playing competition when it is on!!!
As for using the ill-fated South Melbourne vs Victory match as an example I would like to point out that previous to that match there were a number of Victory vs VPL club matches that went off without a hitch or incident.
Widely regarded by whom? From my understanding the VPL and the NSWPL are on par. SFCU has an interesting discussion on this.
I can't make a definitive comment about the VPL/NSWPL issue, because I haven't ever seen a VPL game. He may be right, I don't know.
Unfortunately, one incident at such a match, if it's televised, is enough to give the anti-football media a massive free kick. SFC played plenty of perfectly amicable friendlies before their ACL campaign as well, but they avoided playing the clubs where they thought there might be "an issue" or two.
But some (and i mean some) of the state league teams actually have football pitches, i dont like in the A-league how we sacrifice a quality surface where we can actually play football for more crowds....
we should utilize these grounds, if there too small do something and extend them... partnerships PEOPLE.. football infrastructure is a huge problem in this country (i guess it wouldnt be if there wernt so many codes to compete with)
Frankly the state of the A-League pitches this season just gone, ground-sharing and all, was much, much better than the average NSWPL pitch...with the obvious exception of Seymour Shaw.
The surface at Lambert Park, for instance, is a laugh. Not sure if things are any different in Victoria.
A silly article all round I must admit. I like it how he starts to carry on about how he would nominate which state gets how many clubs into the competition.
And he goes on to say that the FFA should make it a priority. ROFL !