Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Finals shminals

The trouble for the FFA is that they are still negotiating with Hyundai for the next head lease sponsorship deal. The major final they needed to push Hyundai over the line was Sydney v Roar - 30,000 plus both home and away plus a massive foxtel TV audience in both states. And then a Grand final in Sydney with 40,000 to 60,000 or Lang Park (my guess is that you would get 52,000 for that) and again record breaking numbers of Foxtel subscriptions likely to switch on in both states.

With CCM and Newcastle in the major semi, maximum crowds will be 29,000 and 20,000 and a much smaller Foxtel TV viewer base. Expect less if if rains - Sydney and Roar fans love rain we don't care if we get wet! As O'Neil writes in his book (It's only a game) CCM weren't part of the original A-League plan because of the size of the Gosford community. And Newcastle is only marginally bigger.

So the trick will be convincing Sydney and Roar fans that despite the fact that one team's season is about to end, they should come out on mass. I haven't seen the media event to support this yet - maybe it is happening in Sydney? The Socceroo event - again FFA will be praying they win here - means it is two weeks between the legs, again a difficult marketing hurdle.

Worst case is that the results see us with CCM and Newcastle back in the Grand Final. To cover this the FFA CEO Ben Buckley has already stated that the final could be, probably will be, we'll confirm soon that it will be... in Sydney. This will happen not just to maximise the gate crowd, but also to ensure that they can promote interest for Foxtel viewers in Sydney - Foxtel's key market. And encourage Hyundia to get back on-board with the dollars to bankroll the FFA expansion plan (young player and womens league). - by the way I think all A-League teams should have 2 women players who must play the equivalent of two to four games per year (more on that story later).

So if you believe the Southerns are biased against the Roar or Queensland - no way it is in their interest for us to be there they need our fans - that is why they need to improve the refing in games up here and get a home ground advantage.

(but the decision making does seem narrow minded to some sought of football purest judgement).

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