Almanac Soccer: 2017 – A Nothing Year in Australian Football

2017 should be a year remembered for Sydney FC dominating the competition, winning a classic grand final against Melbourne Victory and Ange Postecoglou leading the Socceroos to our fourth world cup in a row.


However, do you notice none of this is being discussed in the mainstream media?  In fact football in this country is not being mentioned at all.  With the A-League clubs and the FFA locked into a battle that will see FIFA intervene at some point in the next few months, it is costing the game more than another boardroom battle that looks bad for all involved.  It has brought the game to a standstill.


Crowds are down in the A-League, ratings are down both for Foxtel and Channel One and the National coach quit after qualification because of lack of support and infighting on the FFA board.  There have been some cracking games in the A-League this season, but who would know with the lack of crowds and mainstream media coverage.


The Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners are bringing a resurgence to football in the Northern NSW region, but who would know apart from the diehard Jets and Mariners supporters?  Currently the FFA are looking for a replacement for Postecoglou, but who would want to take the job with the chance FIFA may end up taking over the running of football in this country?


I have always been a glass half-full guy when it comes to soccer in this country, but frankly while we are in this state of flux I don’t see a good future.  There are 4 clubs ready to enter the A-league, but with the board currently showing no ambition or innovation the signs are not promising.


Until a real decision on the how the board will look, football in this country will continue to be rudderless and will have huge ramifications in the long run for the game.


About Vaughan Menlove

Obsessed with Richmond, Luton Town, Melbourne Victory and Arsenal. The Dr had a soccer career hampered by the realisation he was crap, but could talk his way around the game. Co host of It's Not Called Soccer podcast


  1. Doctor,
    I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Aussie Rules supporter, but I really enjoy football – and have since I was a kid. I have always believed that all codes can happily co-exist, and the cross-code antagonism is unnecessary.
    But in this past year, more than ever, I have really feared for the future of football in this country. Where are the visionaries, the men and women who can lead football out of this wilderness? When will self-interest be put aside?
    Thanks Vaughan.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    G’day Vaughan, haven’t the FFA ballsed many things the past couple of years.
    I may be a lone voice in this, but I’d prefer a winter competion, running from say March to October. With extra teams which are badly needed.Would much prefer to follow my football teams of all codes at the same time during times of less daylight and weather more suited to sitting in front of the TV.
    Out of interest, who are the 4 teams ready to enter? South Melbourne and 3 others?

  3. Love watching La Liga and the Champions/Europa Leagues. Football will always struggle wherever there is a dominant domestic alternative. But that is only the US, Canada, NZ and us (and white South Africa). Why watch a fourth rate local comp when I can watch Spanish, German and Italian top class games live on Foxtel? We are a feeder comp and always will be. Bringing our best talent home for internationals – just as Croatia and Argentina do.
    Bringing 4 new teams into the A League? Would keep the insolvency lawyers happy down the track. My guess is the Australian kids dream of playing for Man U not Perth Glory. Its only ever a stepping stone – or a fall back.
    Anyway the Tigers flag should be enough to keep your glass half full for another decade. Getting Arsene Wenger to manage the Socceroos would kill 2 birds with one stone?

  4. Dennis Gedling says

    The FFA haven’t had their eye on the ball and it’s meant the league has stagnated in it’s current form. The whole idea was to start small so clubs are viable and then build. For some reason the building stopped for longer than it should. New teams are needed, the FFA Cup to not be treated like a ginger stepchild with a standalone Cup Final weekend and promotion to be more than a couple of bus shelter ads. When the clubs get more of a say instead of a centralised 1984 like running of things then it’ll be back on it’s trajectory.

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