“The Moot Point” with Joe Russo returns after 10 year hiatus

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I am so excited to be back writing The Moot Point after a decade’s absence – I suppose the old adage of absence makes the heart grow fonder really does reign true.

Yes, it’s an older heart but football still pumps through my veins, and that heart is ready to do to what needs to be done to watch our beautiful game.

Let’s start with the A-League Men. Channel 10 and Paramount+ will broadcast the competition with Channel 10 hosting one game on free-to-air; a match on Saturday night. So far so good and I’ll be subscribing to Paramount+ to get the other matches. It’s a tick for my ticker and a tick from me.

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What about the English Premier League? They are still at home on Optus Sport as per previous years, so the subscription there should be renewed. Tick.

The UEFA Champions League? They have moved their home ground from Optus Sport to Stan Sport, the Channel 9 affiliated pay subscription service. Okay let’s fill out the forms and get that one done too. Tick.

Nearly there. The Italian Serie A? That would be beIN Sports and Foxtel so we’ll need to get that one completed as well. Tick.

So that’s the basic football landscape for Australian audiences in 2020/21. I suppose the best overall option is make to make sure that the NBN connection is working fine, but it does make me reminisce fondly about simpler times when SBS had most of these all in one place…and for free.

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Australia last week made football history with referee Jarred Gillett officiating in the English Premier League in the Watford – Newcastle encounter at Vicarage Road.

He is our very first whistle blower to ply his trade in the prestigious competition and we couldn’t be prouder of him especially since these days we have no Australian players in that competition.

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For years Gillett was the referee of choice in the A-League until he decided to try his luck in England two years ago. He had a superb game in the middle at Vicarage Road and will definitely be back handling more EPL matches shortly. We tip our hats to you Jarred and wish you all the best as Australia’s lone representative in the EPL.

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The passing this week of legendary journalist John Economos has saddened us all in the football community.

Since 1980 until its closure in 2010, he was the chief football writer for the Australian & British Soccer Weekly.

The Tuesday paper was an institution for anyone involved in the code and John Economos’ articles were always present. He knew everyone, and everyone knew him. But, more importantly, everyone loved him. The old National Soccer League media boxes was where he always held court.

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I was fortunate to share with him for 12 years some of the pages of ABSW and I thoroughly enjoyed his company.

For John, football was always soccer. Now that he has left us so much can, and in many ways should, be written about him but the piece published by Football NSW best summarised his life and the feelings the entire football community.

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His best friend Johnny Warren, whom he met in high school at Cleveland Street High, left him a vintage old Mercedes when he died. A few months ago when I last saw John at Lambert Park in Leichhardt during an NPL game I asked him if he still had the car. Of course he said, but in typical Economos fashion he laughed at how much it cost him to run. He looked in good health and told me that he had long quit smoking.

Inducted into Football Australia’s Hall of Fame in 2009, there was simply no one in the world quite like John Economos. We in the football community will miss you dearly. May you rest in heavenly peace.

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Joe Russo
Joe is a football supporter who accidentally fell into covering the great game. When he grew up it was called soccer but accepts the modern reality of football. After annoying editors, he was finally given the opportunity of contributing to the famous old paper Australian & British Soccer Weekly where he remained for 12 years. The rest as they say is history; Joe has featured on radio programs, websites, match day programs and Italian language publications covering the sport he loves. And, a quarter of a century later, he continues to chase the dream.

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