W-League short-changed by nonchalant FFA

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The W-League should be thriving under the most successful era of women’s football ever seen in this country but administrative issues continue to prevent it from what it should be: the pinnacle of women’s sport in Australia.

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The recent growth and success of women’s football in Australia has been paraded as the crown jewel of the FFA.

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And so it should be.

The dizzying heights of the Matildas combined with this season’s landmark W-League collective bargaining agreement are fair rewards for the unrelenting efforts of coaches and players across the country.

But perhaps it is time for Australian football’s governing body to take a closer look at the game it dearly loves to show off, because it seems sheer negligence is slowing the seemingly exponential rise of women’s football down under.

Exorbitant ticket prices, obscure scheduling and questionable broadcast deals are just some of the issues that have plagued this season’s edition of the W-League.

The blanket ticket pricing seen in previous years was removed entering into this season, causing the cost of tickets to rise astronomically amongst some clubs.

Canberra United fans have been the worst affected, with adults forking out up to for a match.

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This is a far cry from the $10 adult tickets seen across the league last season, whilst concession tickets have more than doubled from their original price of $5.

The news is hardly better across other parts of the nation, with many patrons paying the price of a Matildas match – if not more – to watch their local team perform.

This is without even factoring in double-headers, where “WoSo” fans are often alienated by unreasonable prices and unusual kick-off times in order to prioritise the FFA’s commercial interests.

In fact many questionably scheduled matches have been purely to satisfy the wants of Fox Sports.

As one example of many, a standalone round two blockbuster between Sam Kerr’s Perth Glory and Adelaide on their home debut kicked off at 4:30pm due to interstate A-League matches later that night.

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Admittedly there have been 10 more matches broadcast nationally by the sports behemoth, but at what cost to the game itself?

It is as if the broadcaster has more control over the game than the body whose job it is to control it.

To put it simply: the FFA continues to gloss over the successes of its latest darling without taking responsibility for the sustained nurturing the code requires.

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And frustratingly for all involved the aforementioned issues are all navigable with a bit of effort and presence from the body above.

If women’s football in Australia was a child, the FFA would be its deadbeat sports dad; too busy riding the wins to care for the kid’s well-being.

 

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Benito Carbone
Benito Carbone
Adelaide-based writer, content creator and story-teller. Like one of those determined ants that require a second flick.

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