Worst moments of the 2021/22 A-League Men season

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The curtain has now officially been drawn on the 2021/22 A-League Men season, so let’s take a look back at the troubles of this campaign.

Disruptions

In a year in which everyone thought COVID-19 would be a thing of the past, the virus still ran rampant in the A-Leagues.

With multiple outbreaks in all teams across the men’s and women’s competitions, postponements and the cancellation of games were frequent.

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COVID-19 wasn’t the only phenomenon that disrupted the season. Floods similar to those in 2011 across Queensland repeated itself during this year’s A-League campaign.

With thousands of homes, roads, and businesses underwater, Brisbane games were postponed.

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Short turnarounds

The disruptions had a domino effect on the league, as postponements and cancellation of games threw the match scheduling into chaos.

Those postponed games seemed like they were scheduled without any sort of thought and in turn led to multiple teams having to play several games within a couple of weeks.

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Coupled with the fact that players, coaches, and staff also had to travel to their away games with almost no time to prepare for the game, it took a toll on all who were involved.

Coaches continuously complained about the lack of recovery time the league provided teams after a game.

With some sides having to travel to their away game venue straight after their previous match, coaches were rightfully concerned about the physical and mental state of their players.

Low fan attendance

The A-League Men has experienced a gradual decrease in popularity over the years, and this season might’ve been its worst.

All-time low fan attendances were recorded across multiple games this season, and the numbers were constantly disappointing throughout the campaign.

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Round one saw less than 7,000 people attend Central Coast Mariners against Newcastle Jets, and less than 1,000 people attended the Macarthur vs Melbourne Victory match-up in the same round.

Throughout the season, pictures of more and more empty seats deflated pundits, analysts, and football fans, ultimately begging the question, ‘What is wrong with the A-League?’

Paramount+ and free-to-air TV disaster

New A-Leagues streaming platform Paramount Plus, which was predicted to attract fans back to the league and ultimately increase the competition’s popularity, had an adverse impact.

With fans having to sign up for another subscription-based streaming service, viewers were already sceptical about the platform.

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It only became worse when some games weren’t being broadcasted live, games would cut-off midstream, and glitches or error messages would pop up every so often.

Free-to-air TV ratings were also at an all-time-low, making it a disaster of a season for A-League Men coverage.

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Min-Gyu Shim
Bachelor of Journalism student at UQ, and a full time football fanatic. Covering Brisbane Roar for the 2020/21 season.

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