They’ve promised so much and delivered… nothing good… yet.
Obviously, football is a sport that has a long and storied history of not being able to get its shit together, but I think we may be at just about the lowest ebb since the early 2000’s. I’d like to think that this is the floor, but we’ve seen the death of a national league before…
To be honest, I think the APL have done a pretty shit job, so far. I get that there are some mitigating factors (being football is the biggest one). But I’ve seen little to persuade me that they have a plan to get the game even on a path to where we want it to be. Their list of achievements includes:
- Rebranding the leagues, for what reason I’m still not sure;
- Giving the telecast rights to someone who doesn’t know football, doesn’t seem interested in putting in the work to grow its exposure or even really provide a quality product;
- They have, I think pretty unarguably, fucked the draw;
- They’ve developed an utterly useless online news platform, in KeepUp (it really can’t);
- Rerolled the salary cap to pave the way for possibly the most inequitable competition yet.
But tbh, I think the thing that puts me off about them the most, is their previous rhetoric of being fan-centric seems to have vanished, the minute they took the reigns. They’re more than happy to try little things like enforced ad breaks - just to see what they can get away with…
So, I thought I’d put together a wish-list, with varying degrees of realism, of things that could be done to try and turn this thing around. I’d love to hear if others had their own wishes.
Get the teams playing in their home grounds again - Sydney FC and Brisbane need to be back in proper stadia. Wellington needs to be back in their own friggin country, Western need to actually FIND a home. At least Perth can play at home now.
Get the footy on the telly - Streaming services aint it. Its niche. I know the one we have is shithouse and there are better examples. You can have a streaming platform as an alternative for penny pinchers and weirdos, sure. But this thing wont break into the mainstream until you can turn on the TV, flick to the channel and the game is on. Even Foxtel is more accessible than this, let alone the quality.
Stop cannibalising your own viewership - There are precious few people who want to watch this league, as it it, and precious little football to watch, so don’t put games on at the same time. Let us watch all the games. We’re the only ones who are going to - at least for now.
Fuck off the VAR - This just seems like such a no brain-er, to me. No one wants it. Get rid of it and the football people will love you for it. You get the short term popularity boost, by making a proactive change and you get a better, more enjoyable games in perpetuity. Fuck it off.
Find an owner for the Jets - tough one. We’ve had some doozies in this league, I get it. And who in their right mind would give money to these blokes, at this point? But there’s got to be football in the Hunter. And we can’t take ourselves seriously as a competition when one of the clubs is owned by the others.
Promotion and relegation - Give the games some stakes, broaden the base of appeal and give people more of a reason to watch the lower leagues. I know we run risk of every team being from Sydney and Melbourne within a few years, but hey… it works for the other sports. I’m pretty much at the point where i feel, it can’t really be worse than this. Start it small. Have a promotion/relegation series, like in Japan. They’ve already figured it out. Just copy them!
What else? There’s got to be more fix up around this shit shack?
Or can anyone talk me out of developing a strong opinion about the APL?