6.0 Things we want to see in the A-League v 6.0

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Introducing Scott Condon, the latest contributor to The Football Sack. Scott will be acting as the Fans voice on this site. As he is based in Melbourne, his articles may be slanted towards the South, but if you have anything you would like him (or anyone in the sack) to comment on, click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab and we’ll see to it. Enjoy!

1. Goals
This is pretty self explanatory. We the fans want to see goals. Whilst the true football supporter can accept a nil-nil draw away from home as a good result, the intermittent fans (the ones the A-League need to attract) want to see 4-3 thrillers. Which brings me to point 2.

2. Marquee Players
We want to see more of the Archie Thomson’s, Shane Smeltz’, Paul Ifil’s, Alex Brosque’s and especially more of the Robbie Fowler’s. How can the A-League help this? Easy. They can create a fund, or pool if you like, which allows teams to buy players; proper marquee players (no offence intended Mario Jardel). We understand that the league is never ever going to sign Torres, Rooney and the likes, but imagine the interest if, say, Brisbane Roar had trumped the New York Red Bulls for the signature of Thierry Henry. Or if Melbourne Victory had managed to offer Kanu a deal to cover the injured Thompson for 10 weeks.
Goals and big name players puts bums on seats. Which brings me to point 3.

3. Crowds
There is nothing more frustrating than turning on FoxSports on a Sunday afternoon and seeing an empty Skilled Park, Dairy Farmers Stadium or Energy Australia Stadium. It just doesn’t make the armchair fan get up and say “We should get along next week – that looks like it could be fun!”.
The A-league needs to fix this, perhaps by switching the camera view to ‘the other side’ because the majority of fans are sitting on the broadcast side as it is. By doing this it creates a ‘fuller’ looking stadium which entices people to get along and be part of it. There is no great science in this solution, the commentators and sound microphones don’t have to move. Just the cameras. Another way to get crowds is explained in point 4.

4. Ticket Prices
We all know that when the A-League started, one of the main criteria for the teams needed to be quality stadia. This meant that teams like Brisbane Roar were forced into signing horrible stadium deals, which still sees them lose money on home games. This needs to be changed. The clubs and league will say that the price to watch a game is very comparable to the other major codes in the country. The problem is that the other codes are all the best leagues in their particular code, the A-League isn’t. The fact is, ticket prices are keeping the fans away. The clubs and league need to slash ticket prices in all areas to make sure that parents can bring their kids, enjoy the game and the atmosphere, and thus walk away planning to come back again.

5. Information
As it is now, the advertising in all media is appalling, there is no advertising at all on free to air T.V. The A-League needs to get a hold of websites like this one and promote them. They should be knocking on the office door of SBS to bring back a show of Santo, Sam and Ed’s quality, which is pretty much a free half hour advertisement every week. Pick up any of the daily papers and you’ll have to flick about 4 pages into the back before you see anything football related. The Official Club websites are well put together, you can find pics from previous games and answer a poll question every week, but there is no real ‘oomph’ in any of them. I wouldn’t know if, for example, Lloyd Owusu is happy playing up front on his own or prefers to be partnered by an equally inept striker, which brings me to my final point.

6. Personalities
Let the players speak, let the coaches speak. The three most entertaining people in the A-League over the past five years have been Managers who have at some stage been fined or gagged. I speak of Miron Bleiberg, Branko Culina and John Kosmina. The whole Melbourne v Adelaide rivalry was ratified when Kosi grabbed Muscat by the throat! It’s attracted at least five thousand more supporters to the gates each time. We want to see and hear the passion! We want Archie Thompson predicting he’ll score three every time Melbourne play Adelaide and that Vidmar thinks Adelaide is a ‘piss-ant town’! I understand that we need balance. However, we want players, coaches and officials being upfront with the media. We don’t ever want to hear that player “X” is taking it one week at a time..

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