Grand Final – Traditional for Football?

As we approach the end of another great A-League season. The topic is coming up about how the National Champion of Football in this country should be judged? Should it be like in leagues in Europe or South America the team where at the end of the home and away season the team that is on top of the ladder is crowned the champion. Do we continue to have a finals series and the grand final winner is crowned the champion as we currently do.

It is funny when supporters here want the traditional finish of the top of the ladder option, when the grand final has been with the A-League and the old NSL for over 30 years. The grand final has brought classic moments for football in this country. Or course the A-League grand finals have brought games such as Archie Thompson’s 5 goals against Adelaide Utd in 2007, the nail biting Grand Finals involving Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers appearance in the grand finals in only their first few years of existence. We should also remember the NSL have had some magnificent grand finals as well such as Melbourne Knights vs South Melbourne in 1991, Brisbane Strikers vs Sydney Utd at a packed Lang Park in 1997 and Perth Glory’s Grand Final appearances in the last days of the NSL.

The Australian sporting public have grown up and are now used to the concept that the best team of the season is the Grand Final winner. It shows they rise to the big occasion and the sense of theatre and tension that adds to the romance a supporter feels on these days. While there are football supporters who would prefer the champion to be decided by the league table, for the game to further grow in the competitive Australian market it needs the Grand Final as this is the way Australians have decided our sporting champions. So really the traditional way has been what football in this country has been doing for 30 years.

Bring on the Grand Final.

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

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