The Finance And The Fury: A Lesson From Australia


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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3 Responses

  1. Albert Ross says:

    Part of the problem IMO is that the FA simply don’t have the level of control over the clubs that FFA have. Because the A League is run on the basis of licences being granted by FFA, they remain able to withdraw that licence. In the case of North Queensland, what they effectively have said is that their business plan for the franchise didn’t add up, and as the organisation that grants that franchise they have the right to demand such detail. The line about “a move to local ownership” implies that this was a case of trying to plant a team in a promising location – not an uncommon thing in sports that want to expand their market, Rugby League seems to do something similar over here with the likes of Gateshead Thunder, Harlequins, Crusaders and Catalan Dragons over the years – the idea being that they will benefit longer term by making their product available more widely. While there may be more chance of success where there is some history of interest in the sport, access to a large population centre might be considered the key factor.

    The FA meanwhile have to deal with clubs, sometimes (often) long established, that are limited companies in their own right, and a league system that (subject to ground gradings) is based on meritocracy.

    It may not be impossible and arguably it is desirable to enforce tighter restrictions on the financial affairs of clubs, but will the FA be prepared to do so? What would the fallout be? There seems to be little desire from the FA, who are letting the leagues themselves make the decisions on that front.

    I don’t think the FA have the stomach for it, and I think it would be a complete minefield to try and implement anything beyond the sort of regulations that the Conference have enacted. They are already proving not to be fully effective in keeping clubs out of trouble, but short of insisting clubs post a bond equivalent to the year’s projected costs prior to the start of the season, what else is possible?

  2. Micky F says:

    Good article with one minor error, NQ Fury didn’t take the NZ Knights place in the A-League, the Wellington Pheonix did. The Fury were one of two expansion teams who joined the league in 2009, the other being Gold Coast United.

    There is an interesting comparison between these new teams as Gold Coast’s crowds have been even worse than the Fury’s, they average only 3,000 fans in a 27,000 seater stadium! Yet Gold Coast have survived as they are underwritten by a billionaire mining magnate with deep pockets.

    Just like the EPL it seems that rich sugar daddies are what you need for success.

  1. March 14, 2011

    […] The finance and the Fury – a lesson from Australia Two Hundred Percent […]

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