A-League Game on Christmas Day?

Last Friday on SEN, former Geelong star Cameron Mooney expressed his opinion that a cross town rival A-League game in Melbourne (Melbourne Victory vs Melbourne City) on Christmas Day would be successful.

As I have lived in New Zealand for four years, I understand that Christmas Day is a family day and the biggest day throughout the year in the Western countries. I keep in mind about Christmas in the Western world and respect.

Then you will sense my response to Mooney hopefully. It is “No-oh-oh!!”

I have checked relevant comments made on SEN’s Facebook page. Many followers said “No” to his opinion.

Would players like to play football (soccer) on Christmas Day? I do not think so because I reckon they want to spend time with family. It is a family day for everyone including soccer players. They have the right to enjoy the family occasion and relax.

What I had not thought was that such a game will affect not only players but also staff members from football clubs and the stadium, security guards, food caterers and people who are working for the game. They also want to spend the day with family, I believe.

Do sport lovers want a sport game on Christmas Day? I do not think so. They want a family day too, I am sure.

I am not sure if Mooney is a Christian or not, but he needs to respect Christmas and family.

His old club plays footy on Easter Monday annually against their huge rival, Hawthorn and the blockbuster always attracts more than 80,000 people at the ‘G. But would a Christmas soccer game be popular like the Hawks vs Cats blockbusters? I do not think so.

Matt Granland, Mooney’s co-host on the SEN morning show, disagrees with Mooney. Granland respects Christmas as a family day.

Through seeing his comment, I realise that we need to respect others. Profit is important, but players need to be respected even if spectators want exciting games.

Many footy fans seem unhappy with how the league is run. They think footy matches are more business than how games are played.

On Tuesday, I listened to the SEN afternoon show hosted by Tony Schibeci. Netball’s Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander was interviewed by Schibeci. It was really interesting to listen to.

She wants players to communicate in person although she respects modern technology. Communicating verbally face to face is important, I believe. It is good for health both physically and mentally. And such communications gain respects, I believe.

It is not about respect, but what I was impressed was netball players would know what time they need to go to bed to be ready for a game in the following day. Then curfew rules are not needed.

I think good quality of sleep is needed not only in sports but also any job. In my opinion, we need to respect premises’ business hours even if I may be selfish. As working in small inns, we have limited business hours because of staff members’ working hours (however I am overworking already on the normal working days) and I believe not to disturb other guests. I wish guests consider how being late for check-in cost other people’s lives. What will affect other guests and staff members? Think about it. What if you have to cancel a date due to a selfish customer?

Back to the original topic, Mooney can ask himself such questions. Think about players and other staffers. What if you have to play soccer on Christmas Day?

Sport is not a 24/7 business. Leave Christmas Day alone.

P.S. Recently I have launched a travel blog featuring Kyoto. Visiting my blog and sharing on the social media would be much appreciated. You can see my blog here:

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Very interesting discussion as always, Yoshi, particularly given the similar debate about whether the AFL should play matches on Good Friday.
    Of course, those NRL “heathens” across the (Vic-NSW) border fixture a couple of games on Good Friday each year.
    Years ago, the Victoria-New South Wales Sheffield Shield match at the MCG included play on Xmas Day.
    Indeed, the great Alan Kippax and NSW No.11 Hal Hooker added 254 of their last-wicket, world-record 307 on Xmas Day 1928 (a “few” years before my time).
    I can see where elite sport on Xmas Day and Good Friday would be beneficial, particularly for those without family who dread these two days of the year.
    That said, a lot of elite sportspeople would probably prefer to spend these days with their family or friends rather than be expected to “put on a show”.

  2. It’s always an interesting question about when to schedule entertainment, as sport is so often referred to these days. Personally I like the Boxing Day tradition of cricket at the ‘G and I feel soccer (football) should always schedule a major game on Boxing Day, irrespective of falling on a Saturday as this year.
    In the US, sport on major holidays is big TV ratings winners, the Thanksgiving NFL game is synonymous with Thanksgiving and the NBA have scheduled 5 games, with the earliest game starting at 4.00pm on Christmas day, a blockbuster for ratings.
    So the winner again is the broadcaster, because as everyone knows there is nothing on TV during Christmas Day and after a few too many tipples and turkeys, we all need couch time, or is that family time.
    Merry Xmas

  3. G’day Fitzroy Pete and devap,

    Thank you for your comments and my apology for the late respond.

    Pete – Your point of view about people who have no family to spend Christmas Day and Good Friday is good. As a single man in 40s and having no good relations with my family, I understand how they feel. But in my opinion, alternative stuffs should be given. For example, playing social sports and social parties in the community centre. I did not know about past cricket games played on Christmas Day. Good records were made, but I would like to know how players felt about playing sports on Christmas Day.

    devap – Thanks for your thoughts on sports on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Yes, broadcasters are always winners. Many administration people seem to work for businesses rather than spectators these days. Maybe soccer games on Boxing Day would be good so that people can choose either cricket or soccer.

    Merry Christmas to Almanackers!


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