World Cup, Schmorld Cup

Is it just me or does anyone else think that the chances of Australia hosting the World Cup sit somewhere between Buckley’s and none. It is bad enough that the Federal Govt has ploughed $54 million into the bid without the utterly scandalous decision to spend billions of dollars on a series of rectangular white elephants.

While there will be those who argue that Sydney’s hosting of the Olympics proves “we” can handle any major event, it needs to be pointed out that stark difference between the two events. Firstly, the Olympics, with the exception of some rubbish soccer games, were based in Sydney which allowed sports events to be managed to fit in with broadcast needs, particularly the USA. The Olympics, despite the protestations of John Coates and his trough feeding mates, barely rates a ripple internationally. The World Cup is in another universe by comparison.

This brings me to my main point. Why would broadcasters and every sector of the media pay the billions of dollars that FIFA sucks out of this hoopla when the vast majority of games will be on at times when the majority of the world’s soccer fans are asleep, and not because another scoreless draw? Unless FIFA plans on playing games at all hours of the day and night there is no way the media will pay the big bucks. It would be commercial suicide. So, unless we can tow the Australian continent 8hrs east or west, I would suggest that the money ear marked for this feast of football is put towards something more viable. Like the odd hospital or 200.

On a local front, the ACT Govt has offered $100 million bucks towards the building of at $270 million rectangular stadium next to, you guessed it, another rectangular stadium. That this town has no multi-purpose stadium is ludicrous enough but to even consider building a 40,000 seat stadium that cannot accommodate anything other than rugby and soccer is utter madness. Manuka Oval is a great ground for footie but it was chocablock on Saturday with 14,500 attending. (Sadly, it is the only proper game being played this year after the North Melbourne Mercenaries quite town 2 yrs ago). The parking is awful and there is little public transport available. Therefore, a further upgrade of seating seems pointless even with the plan to host 4 Rooty Hill Rabbits games here in 2012. The local gov’t blew any chance of having a top class facility when they raped Canberra Stadium (which had a running track and held a greater capacity) to play some women’s soccer games in 2000. Hell, we can’t even cope with the accommodation needs when (eventually) the US President visits. How will Canberra cope with in influx of 10,000 mad Italians? Not that cites outside of Sydney or Melbourne would receive games involving the traditionally big soccer nations.

One last point. I don’t know anyone or have ever spoken to anyone who actually watches soccer with any real passion. I know a lot of European and South American immigrants love the game but will they pack the MCG at 3am on a Tuesday night so that the Poms can watch it at a reasonable time. The A League (one player in the national squad) is a joke and the EPL is a pointless exercise on burning Russian roubles. Would you even travel across the street to see Qatar playing some former eastern bloc country? I certainly wouldn’t and I bet there will be more than a few others.

About Tony Robb

A life long Blues supporter of 49 years who has seen some light at the end of the tunnel that isn't Mick Malthouse driving a train.

Comments

  1. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket says:

    A number of the stadiums built for the World Cup in Korea in 2002 remain largely unused.
    While the Koreans will turn out in droves for their national team they have not fully embraced the K-League on a scale to fill 40,000 plus stadiums.
    At least in Australia the stadiums built or revamped in Geelong, Adelaide and Perth will be well utilised post-World Cup by the AFL.
    This would not necessarily be the case in Canberra it seems – although maybe the Raiders and the Brumbies might use it – unlikely to fill it on a regular basis, while the new one in western Sydney is a free kick for soccer. Unless league and union teams go there as well.

    Don’t think we need worry all the media in the Middle East is convinced that Qatar will get it in 2022…

  2. Ian Syson says:

    Tony, I concur with your sentiments in your first sentence. I don’t want the WC here — because the FFA is just as corrupt as the old federation ever was. We don’t deserve it until we clean up our act.

    Just a few comments:

    I think fewer than 9 per cent of soccer matches end 0-0. The average score is 2-1.

    Our time zone puts us smack in Asia which represents an expanding TV market (which I guess is why the AFL is trying to get into China). The last time a WC was held in Asia it was a success.

    A game played at 8 pm in eastern summer time Australia will be broadcast at 9 or 10 or 11 am in Europe depending on time zone. The Poms will be taking time off in droves to watch the games.

    Sydney Olympics. MCG: 7 games; total attendances 300,000. Teams playing there include: Spain, Italy, Australia, Chile and Cameroon (the finalists). 94K attended the opening game between us (Australia) and Italy. 22 goals were scored; no scoreless draws.

    Soccer fans world-wide will get up at any time of night to watch their teams play. In that regard they’re much like footy fans living in the UK when they manage to get a live feed for games here.

    I’m not sure why you feel the need to disparage the game: “some rubbish soccer games”; “some women’s soccer games”. The game has a right to exist here and it deserves the opportunity to have some decent stadiums instead of crappy grounds built in the extremities of suburban wastelands.

    Why don’t you use the World Cup as an opportunity to get to a pub or two and meet some passionate Australian fans of the game? You might even enjoy it. Come to the North Fitzroy Arms and watch Australia’s games with me!

  3. Tony Robb says:

    John,
    You make some very valid points. I’m not against the game per say but I dont believe the Australia is a viable option for a number of reasons and that is my primary concern. That we are throwing money at an event that makes no sense from an economic or social perspective. I understand that Asia is a growing soccer region and will have a large TV audience. But does that equate to increase in consumtion of the products being flogged by the TV network. If for example Mercedes was major advertiser, would they get value for there buck if the primary viewing time were in Asia. TV is about advertising full stop. The scale of infra structure needed to be built in 8-12 yrs to host this event is would be mind boggling. Based on the estimates of a mate who knows such things, he beleives that any where up to 600,000 visitors would come. How could customs/security cope with an influx of that magnitute over, lets say a one week period. Where would they sleep and how would they travel across a country as big as Australia unless we had double or triple the airport capacity. It just make any logical sense.
    I don’t wish to argue the merits of any particluar sport but my failure to “embrace soccer” comes after trying to do so and not being able to get enjoyment from watching it other than rare goals. I find that soccer games can be shut down defensively too easily once a team has a lead so it not only nil all draws that become tedious. I also can’t embrace fans who throw flares, deliberately set out to cause violence and shoot their players when they let a goal in.
    Rocket, I agree with you thoughts on stadium being utalised afterwrds but if they are purpose built I can’t see how they will ever return a profit in the AFL States if they can’t be used for cricket or AFL.
    However, John I thank you for comments and your offer of an Ale at the Arms. We will be in Melbourne for the June Long weekend but sadly Australia plays on the Tuesday (Aust.Time)There’s that time difference again and depending on what time they are playing in Sth Africa the Arms mightn’t be open LOL What will be open is the bar at Ethiad for the Carlton game on the Friday and there has been some talk of having a catch up with some other folk from Melbourne.
    I will be embracing the World Game actually as my daughter debuts tomorrow after playing 6 years of footie. I trust there wont be too many flare thrown at an under 14 girl’s game and can’t wait to see how she goes.
    cheers

    Tony

  4. Ian Syson says:

    Tony,

    If they ever impose the WC on us (which I don’t want), I’ll be renting my N Carlton house out for 6 squillion dollars a week. That’s four people taken care of. Only 599,996 to go.

    I think we all need to get our head around the changing demographics of Asia, especially China.

    In relation to your point about Mercedes in Asia: http://www.2point6billion.com/news/2010/05/06/april-sales-of-bmw-audi-and-mercedes-benz-surge-in-china-5590.html

    May 6 – German luxury automakers BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz have reported tremendous monthly and quarterly sales figures in the world’s largest auto market.

    Bavarian Motor Group, which also includes the Mini and Rolls Royce brands, more than doubled year on year auto sales for April with a monthly growth rate of 115 percent. The 12,440 cars sold in the month brought the group’s total quarterly sales figures in China to 46,619, up from the 26,369 in the first quarter of 2009. The core BMW brand accounted for roughly 94 percent of the group’s monthly and quarterly sales.

    Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand has maintained its position as the most popular luxury car in China with year on year auto sale increases of 61 percent for April and 73 percent for the first four months of the year. That puts the number of vehicles sold last month at 19,606 and at a total of 71,055 on the quarter.

    Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz brand also managed to double its year on year auto sales for April, reporting 11,300 units sold in the month – bringing 2010 first quarter sales up to 35,400 vehicles.

    Yearly automobile sales targets for 2010 are reportedly 120,000 for BMW, “more than 100,000” for Mercedes-Benz, and 200,000 for Audi.

    The Arms will most likely be open (unless it’s ludicrously late): the publican in soccer mad. He got extended licences last time.

    Good luck to your daughter btw.

  5. Tony Robb says:

    Thanks Ian,
    Sorry, I was being facecious re the Arms. Offer is still on for the beer at Docklands. Nothing better than an obliging publican. Reminds me of the time I was in Canada in 89′ when the GF came on the Tv at 11.00pm. After some gentle pursuasion ( read $50) and a shout of the room,(read another pineapple) the barkeep kept the joint open for whole game while I was trying to get the locals to “embrace” what turned out to be one hell of a game. I just told them that Ablett was the Wayne Gretsky of footy and sure enought he delivered.

    China is no longer a sleeping giant that’s for sure. It’s a screaming monster which has now found the wonderful world of capitalism so it doesnt supprise me that the sales of luxery cars his gone up. I, wrongly, was thinking of Asia as being Southern Asia. ie Indonesia etc. That was why I was thinking about potential sales.
    Anyhow. Thanks for you feedback
    cheers
    Tony

  6. Pamela Sherpa says:

    Tony, I couldn’t agree more with regarding money being spent on stadiums instead of hospitals. We may love out sport but honestly, the money men have their priorities sadly out of whack.

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