Football in Australia in 2021 could look a little more different than it had prior to the current pandemic, as the virus may have accelerated the need for it to happen.
A-League clubs have been desperate to gain full control over the competition’s governance and it seems the Football Federation Australia (FFA) are set to make that happen within the next few months.
The club’s owners have been fighting their case for a number of years, and it seems they are closer than ever to being able to turn the A-League into the division that they want it to be and potentially take it to a new level.
If successful, owners of the 12 clubs that are involved in the competition will have full control over sponsorship, commercial deals, administration and the broadcast of the competition. Should they get control of those factors, they will then potentially be in a position to get the investment they need to take the competition to a new status in world football.
However, there are some problems that still need to be resolved amongst owners and the FFA, with issues surrounding expansions, club licensing and composition still not agreed upon.
The need to accelerate this process, though, has perhaps come as one of those “hidden blessings” that COVID-19 has managed to provide a very select few; such as the growth of new casinos 2021 in Australia as with the demand on online gaming increasing with COVID-19 has seen a huge increase in recent months. The FFA currently have a significant financial burden and the 2021 season could make things more difficult as there are a number of potential revenue streams that could be effected – such as reductions in broadcast revenues, potential restrictions on crowds and possible greater travel costs for clubs.
Discussions about the final model that an independent A-League will follow continue to take place, as the FFA and clubs at supposed to be at odds about how it should be structured.
Clubs want full independence from the FFA and are seeking a full-ownership model, which would be similar to America’s Major League Soccer or England’s Premier League. This model would give clubs control over everything, including expansions, foreign player limits, licensing and locations of teams. It would be similar to the new edition of rules for the game of chess as the classic game continues to evolve and remain intact with modern trends.
However, the FFA want to retain a degree of control on the biggest issues – similar to Germany’s Bundesliga – despite accepting that independence for the A-League could be the best thing for the competition. That will give A-League clubs ownership of the league, its governance and operations while ensuring the national body retains a degree of oversight.
“We want to determine an operating and governance model for our professional leagues which is fit for the current and challenging circumstances which the game finds itself in,” an FFA spokesman said.
“Ultimately, we need to develop an operating and governance model for the professional leagues which supports the recovery of professional football; in particular, the rebuilding of football as a worthwhile, stable and rewarding profession of choice for footballers in Australia.”