Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The week that MLS comes to the A-League

Fox Sports FC recon that Fred is the first of several MSL stars to head to Australia to top-up their centrally controlled, salary capped incomes. I have loosely followed the MSL for a few seasons. My main interest is that the A-League business model appears to be a hybrid of the J-League and MSL (with MSL as the major inspiration). Will the Roar pick up a new centre forward - Reinaldo being on the injured list for the rest of the season could facilitate another foreign player, or the guest rule could be used.


On the subject of business models, France has used its turn as its leader being President of Europe to support an Italian move to wipe out the dominance of the EPL. The plan is to have the FA accountable to a European football body. It would then restrict club debt levels and limit the number of players foreign players on a team at any time to 5. In one stroke this would collapse the value of non-English players as streams of foreign players would be forced out of the EPL, force massive promotion of English citizen players from lower leagues, and damage the international franchise of the likes of Man U, Arsenal, Liverpool... (See Kevin Eason 'England to fight Sarkozy takeover' in The Australian 26/11/8 page 19). What would this mean for the world game?

In a perverse way it may help England to its second world cup as the massive club infrastructure would, for the first time in a generation, be focused on the development of local talent.

Wither also up-and-coming players from third world countries whose shot at fame and fortune would be blocked.


Sydney FC and Newcastle appear to be quite a bit of bother.

Up until now Sydney has been the club that Australian players want to join. However, suddenly it appears that 5 of their squad are off at the end of the season - the latest being Ian Fyfe who is off to Adelaide.

And Newcastle, now equal last, lost key players last year and look set to loose more next year. Both Milligan and Joel Griffiths are out for 2 weeks, and coach Van Egmont has 2 more to sit on the sidelines. The will to spend to keep up with the A-League arms race just isn't there.

I agree with Robbie Slater that all this moving around of players is anti-fan and the entry of new clubs could have been better managed. And Frank Farina in that now coaches are under much more pressure than players - even poor performers will be needed next year to make up the numbers - while coaches will cop the blame.

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