Australian soccer to model itself after MLS?

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by usagoal, Sep 3, 2002.

  1. empennage

    empennage Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Phoenix, AZ
    Here's the excerpt about MLS:

    Many would-be reformers in Australian soccer point to the structure of MLS - where the clubs effectively own the league but the league employs the player and is a party to all MLS player contracts - as a template for change in the game here.

    In return for investing in the sport, the team owners operate the clubs. When the 10-team MLS began in 1996, it was capitalised at $105 million. While the MLS still does not draw bumper crowds, its gates are higher than those of the NSL and about half the US squad play in the league.

    It's scary to think that americans are starting to influence the world of soccer. With the national team's quarterfinalist appearance at the WC it lends even more credability to MLS. Australia would love to be where we are right now(even though we may not be totally satisfied).
  2. Brrca Fan redded

    Brrca Fan redded Red Card

    Aug 6, 2002
    Chasing Tornadoes.
    oh boy Australia must be a big Football nation to follow MLS as a model for new Football league in that nation. And here in America I can,t even watch my Shootout,that I paid for , because they show college[so called Football] on those channels, where I used watch MLS games. Where are the soccer gods when you need them?
  3. Wizardscharter

    Wizardscharter New Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    Blue Springs, MO
    Like the US, Australia has many sports that are followed widely. There are four forms of 'footy' - Aussie Rules, NSL, Rugby, and Rugby league. As it's surrounded by water, they also go nuts for swimming, other water sports, and even extreme sports.

    My point is that Australia's situation relative to soccer is very similar to the US climate some years ago previous to MLS. A crowded sports landscape and the best athletes going to other sports are among the similarities.
  4. diablodelsol

    diablodelsol Member+

    Jan 10, 2001
    New Jersey
    You are correct as I'm sure they would love to try and qualify out of Concacaf instead of having their world cup dreams hinge on a two leg aggregate every four years. That is what you meant, isn't it?
  5. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire
    Not to mention cricket. Plus, they're crazy about other individual sports like tennis and golf, too. And since the Australian league has always been financially struggling, the MLS business plan is likely to be appealing to the owners as a way of minimizing losses over the short-term, and thus giving the league at least some hope for the long term.

    Any Australians out there? I think your take on your domestic league would be appreciated.
  6. chayes

    chayes New Member

    Feb 29, 2000
    Raleigh, NC
  7. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Holy crap, Chris Bergin has more influence than we ever imagined!!
  8. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  9. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire
    Re: Do you think....?

    I wonder if they have "Move Adelaide now!" threads because "The Koala's deserve better support than they're getting in that dump towna"? Then of course Adelaide supporters weigh in by saying, "well, there's a lot going on this time of year! We have Aussie Rules football, and yacht racing! And a new movie theater just opened."

    (Note to Aussies: the ignorance displayed in the above post is deliberately designed to mock certain bigsoccer posters, and not your league or your country)
  10. Brrca Fan redded

    Brrca Fan redded Red Card

    Aug 6, 2002
    Chasing Tornadoes.
    Really, who cares if they like soccer or not.
  11. yawn
  12. empennage

    empennage Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Phoenix, AZ
    No, I mean they would love to be a quarterfinalist in the WC and have attendances as good as MLS. :eek:

    I'm not totally convinced that they'd be able to qualify out of CONCACAF. Afterall, they lost out to Uruguay and I'm pretty confident that the US, Mexico, and Costa Rica would've been able to beat Uruguay in a Home and Away playoff more times than not.
  13. SamPierron

    SamPierron BigSoccer Supporter

    Nov 30, 1998
    Kansas City
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Australian soccer faces a few fundamental problems; some will sound familiar, some are decidedly different from the situation in the US.

    As others noted, soccer in OZ is one sport among many, most of which are more established and more popular as sporting events. Big National Team games can draw huge crowds, but league crowds struggle. Lots of youth play, but it doesn't necessarily translate into crowds. Sound familiar?

    There are genuine clubs with genuine fan bases in the Australian league, and top to bottom development systems. Trouble is, most of them are ethnically based, though the names were changed a few years ago to try to get away from it. South Melbourne Lakers used to be South Melbourne Hellas. The colors are still blue and white, but the name had to go. The Adelaide Sharks used to be Adelaide Juventus. And so on.

    Soccer's perception as a foreign sport is perhaps even more acute in Australia, where soccer was the exclusive province of ex-pats (be they Scottish, English, Croatian, Greek, etc.) until very recently, and soccer clubs identified themselves very closely with the mother country, from youth level right to the top.

    This is both good and bad. The good is that there's a genuine base. The bad is that they can't grow from that base. A few clubs have sprung up with no historical ethnic affiliation, with differing levels of success. Perth Glory have done very well; Northern Spirit went under, I think.

    Further, Australian soccer has become a fertile market for European teams...taking the kids away at 16 or so. Harry Kewell is only the best example...there are plenty of others. Australians are more or less used to their kids going away at a young age to test the waters someplace else, so it doesn't have the stigma of sorts that it does in the US. West Ham has established a youth academy in Australia (I think)...Leeds was considering it also.

    Could Australia impose a SEM on their current system? Maybe, of a sort. But to wipe out what already exists would be a mistake.
  14. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    DC United
    Dammit... this is a really expensive keyboard.

    :( ;)

  15. Lithium858

    Lithium858 Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    Baton Rouge
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    LOL you crack me up cause you're never gonna give up on that whole deal are you?
  16. efren95

    efren95 Member

    Apr 20, 2000
    Republic of Texas
    I said it before... I say it again:

  17. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    They'd love to have half the national team play in the domestic league, the way we do.
  18. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    I'm not sure about that, but what I am sure about is that Concacaf is getting much tougher. Face it, one of these days we're not going to qualify (yes, I remember when we never did, but now we expect to).

    I have no idea if Australia would qualify in Concacaf, but they really f-ed it up two times in a row. Their best argument is that by being in a real conference they would be able to improve as a team.
  19. Joe Hadar

    Joe Hadar New Member

    Jun 1, 2000
    MLS a World Model

    I can't wait until the entire world is mired in 'Entertainment Sports'. At least, then, I can return to my real life.
  20. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Australia's whining about qualification is downright pathetic...
    2002 eliminated by Uruguay
    1998 eliminated by Iran
    1994 eliminated by Argentina
    1990 eliminated by Israel
    1986 eliminated by Scotland
    1982 eliminated by New Zealand

    Only once in the last six World Cups were they eliminated by a strong opponent.

    Australia has plenty of talent, but their national federation is a joke. This summer they were in a financial bind, so they failed to bring any foreign-based players back for the Oceania Nations Cup. As a result, New Zealand won the title, led by three players from MLS.

    The punchline is that the winner of Oceania gets a bid to the Confederations Cup, which guarantees over $1 million. Australia threw away a large sum of money, plus the chance to bring their team together and train.
  21. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    Well put. Reducing qulification to a two-leg aggregate doesn't make it mesurably harder to qualify in any direct way, it would just tend to randomize results slightly, as the better team has less chance to advance on only two instances of measurement than, say, ten.

    But these results don't ppear very random. Australia consistently fils to qualify. This my be product of too many games against Vanuatu not keeping the Ozzies sharp, but it isn't because of the two-leg playoff.

    Therefore, if you ditched the two-leg, but kept everything else the same, Oz would likely be a poor WC representative.

    And I'm not very sensitive to the "OFC is confederation, so it should get a slot" argument. If they kicked the Malta and Cyprus out of UEFA, and made them their own confedeartion, should they automatically get a slot?
  22. jwinters

    jwinters New Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    More to the point, if Australia and New Zealand left the OFC for CONCACAF, say, would Oceania still "deserve" a slot?

    Ton-ga! Ton-ga! Ton-ga!

Share This Page