Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Brisbane is the missing link

I believe that the FFA is frustrated with Brisbane.

Sydney's ability to pull only 25,000 in its biggest game demonstrates just what the FFA have lost in Brisbane no longer being viable. Brisbane in the same position has pulled 30,000 plus even in wet weather.

Sadly, the signs for next year are not bright. The signings and rumours from other clubs demonstrates what an uphill battle the Roar now has.

The mileage that the AFL Brisbane Lions has made out of bad boys demonstrates the lost opportunity from the Roar. All players who left voluntarily during the season went onto better clubs and those who remained in Australia, made the finals.

The prognosis for next season is not good. And yet the growth market for the A-League is Brisbane.

There is now a case - as was made for Melbourne Victory (Thompson, Muscat, Hernandes) - to re-write the rules to allow Brisbane to have an additional salary cap and extra foreign players.

Roll on new ownership.


Neil said...

How were the rules re-written for Melbourne in regards to Thompson, Muscat and Hernandez?
Thompson is our marquee and thus outside the salary cap, Hernandez is under the salary cap (his transfer was paid out of Melbourne's own money) and Muscat gets payment outside of the cap as do many other players are allowed to within the A-League. Sorry but I can't think of its proper name at the moment.
Why should Brisbane get any special treatment?
And what about the rumours of an Arab takeover?

john said...

Thanks Neil

I must admit I wrote this in exasperation. The Roar have a fundamental problem with the club making decisions in the sponsors interests rather than the fans.

While there is not transparency on the A-League's rules, it is my understanding that the Victory negotiated with the FFA to have 2 players outside the salary cap when Archie Thompson came back from Holland for season 2. I understand that Muscat was prepared to commit to coaching in the long term and that gave the FFA a way to give Victory 2 players that few other teams come follow. The FFA didn't want to create rich clubs and poor clubs. Also remember that Melbourne had been negotiating with FFA over their financial viability in season 1. (At one stage FFA were insisting on a Board seat if they provided financial support).

The transfer payment - initially $1m was asked - was a new idea for the A-League. At first it looked as if it may count against melbourne's salary cap. But mindful of the impact of losing Fred on the club, the FFA clarified that the transfer fee could be paid without impacting the cap.

Like Melbourne has, Brisbane now needs special treatment because it is no longer viable. It is also clear that Gold Coast will not attract enough fans to be viable either.

I would like the Arab takeover to be true. However, I am guessing that it is one of shareholder's responses to criticism from the FFA for not having a plan and pressure to sell. One of the shareholders has said they will not sell unless they retain a level of control (initially it was no one shareholder with a bigger stake than theirs). I think that perhaps they are trying to demonstrate they are active. perhaps even trying to smoke out an alternative bidder.

Neil said...

Only one flaw in your argument re the transfer of Hernandez. Transfer fees are never included in the salary cap.

Anonymous said...

Interesting one - well, Melbourne has been the only A-league club to make an inwards transfer. If Carlos decides to move on in his prime, they will probably cash in. His next transfer will make his last one look small i think.

Muscat being counted as a coach is something that all clubs and senior players should look at using. Why the other clubs didn`t make use of something which is good for them (salary cap wise) and good for the players (life after playing wise) is a strange one.


Ed said...


I reckon the Roar would have offered such a deal to Moore - if there was any money there to pay him. I'm starting to suspect that cap restrictions are the least of our problems at the moment.

Melbourne are in a position to take advantage of any potential loopholes because they have a solid revenue stream.

I can only see two ways forward for the Roar - concentrate on youth and hope modest crowds return to cheer the home grown kids.

Or a mysterious Arab Billionaire injects millions into a the club... At the moment option A looks a lot more likely.

john said...

Thanks Neil, Clayton and Ed
I think Craig Moore was offered a coaching type deal (think it was reported in the Courier Mail last season) and he declined. I don't think he intended to play for the Roar next year in any case. The Roar produced an opportunity to make themselves look bad.

Like that 'they wanted to leave so what could we do?' Well if they are on contract like Reddy (for next season) or even Miller, you say no, take them to court - like Newcastle has done, or you release them on the basis they don't play in the A-League. Do you want to cheeze off players or losse fans?

Re a youth player strategy this will cost net $3m to $8m for the season as they must play at Suncorp. If they brought Culina or Fowler for a $1m they may have broken even. It is just false economy.

john said...

Re Arab takeover see today's Courier Mail, Coffee Club director saying don't put money on it and if it happens won't be 90%.

Anonymous said...

You have talked before about the NFL model, haven`t you John? Maybe I am remembering things that didn`t happen.

An alternative to Salary Capping is the NFL process of revenue sharing. Happens on the TV deal side of things in Oz (I think) ... but the American NFL is quite socialist compared to most sports leagues. I think even ground receipts are shared 60:40 between the two sides.