General A-League Discussion Thread


I mean one that runs without P&R for a while.


It also helps that England has a population of almost 55million, squashed into an area 1/8th the size of NSW

1 Like

Soem solid reimagining of history here by in a story about Chris Ikonomidis

He has signed for two more seasons with Glory and not surprisingly has come to the notice of a number of European clubs.
But the 24-year-old, who was brought back to Australia by Glory after three years with Serie A side Lazio, is taking all the fuss in his stride.


They’re just trying to ignore the unicorns like all good, sensible people.


Wasnt sure where to put this but as it pertains in part to how the A-league will shape up for the 2022 season and that years World Cup, I’ll put it here…


Also on channel 7 news tonight basil zempilas congratulated perth glory on announcing goalkeeper andy keogh signing on for another couple of years.


Haha. Mariners wait till 1am to sack mulvey. Classy.


That’s a club who can’t back themselves to keep a secret for eight hours until the next work day.


The Coast deserve better than that. It shouldn’t be either/or.


Add Canberra ASAP but not at the expense of a team. We should be ensuring all teams survive (nux are the only maybe).


A lot of blame is directed at Charlseworth, and rightly so, but there isn’t nearly enough acknowledgement of how much inequality has been introduced with the rule changes since he came in. I really don’t think there could’ve been a worse moment for someone to come in and tighten CCM’s purses.

  • Second marquee
  • $200k loyalty player allowance
  • $50k extra home-grown player allowance
  • $50k mature-aged rookie
  • $150k NYL salaries, which provide the depth for SFC/MV’s top-heavy squads

Maxing out the allowances and signing two Ninko/Riera/Castro marquees gives you a payroll more than double the salary floor. Even if you take out the two best players (2x marquees at a big club, 2 players on ~$700k at a salary-floor club) the difference is $3.5m vs $2.0m.

Is it any wonder that SFC/MV are perma-glued to the top, and CCM/WelPho are knocking death’s door?

It’s easy to talk about only watching to see your team win trophies, particularly as a Sydney fan, but its time to question whether it is realistic to expect Australian football to be able to sustain 12/14/16 teams that can afford to keep up with SFC/MV/(presumably, if they ever get out of this mess) WSW financially.

And if not, then we have to consider whether it is appropriate to have a league that simultaneously allows such disparity and has the championship as its only competitive objective.

Either harden the cap to allow CCM/WelPho/Canberra/et al. to compete, or consider an alternative structure which embraces the inequality and gives teams of different means different competitive objectives and pressures to fight for.


Waring outlining how relaxed the Australian training is to japan


I’ve tried to consider options for this. There are several leagues in Europe which split into bottom and top competitions for the last couple of months. The main issue is that the bottom competition is invariably geared around staying up rather than anything significant about topping the section - unless I’ve missed something.


there are a couple of leagues (Belgium for example) that let the teams in the bottom half who haven’t been relegated play off for europa league spots but that’s not really an option over here.

And if anyone thought that finishing 6th and being able to win the GF was stupid, just imagine finishing 15th and getting into the europa league


Been keeping an eye on the Belgium situation due to Vukovic’s involvement, and I think there are some merits to it when we go to 12 teams (and even possibly next season’s 11).

With 12 teams, playing each other thrice for 33 rounds is too long for Fox and most fans’ patience, yet 22 is ridiculously short.


  • Go the Belgian model - with 12 teams, each team plays each other twice, home and away in traditional league format (gives us 22 rounds).
  • Then split into two groups of 6 - elite and remedial. Within those groups you play each opponent twice, again in a home and away format, in a mini league (gives us 10 more rounds).
  • This means every team has a regular season of 30 rounds
  • Similar to Belgium, points accrued before the split are preserved for the split phase to reward effort already earned (but maybe reset the goals totals)
  • All teams in the “Elite” group are in the FFA cup next year
  • The “Remedial” group play to earn entry into next season’s FFA cup (top 3-4 teams in that group would get this, to hopefully give the Mariners some interest into the last month) or maybe to get a pass to later rounds, with the lower you place the earlier you have to enter.


  • Late part of season avoids huge mismatches
  • Symmetrical - you play every team you are in competition with home and away
  • Some teams you only have to play twice a season
  • Concentrates competition among the top teams at the end in a similar way to a finals series - you may open up a 5-6 point lead at the top before the split, then have to protect it with harder matches every week
  • Keeps some element of competition for the lower 6
  • 30 rounds is a good, manageable number - less than playing each other 3 times, and better balanced
  • Scales well to keep a competitive element for the lowly sides - giving an award for making 9th/10th


  • Some teams play each other 4 times a season - e.g. Welly and CCM will be sick of each other’s sight, likewise us and Melbourne will get all the more sick of each other
  • Works best if we get rid of the finals - and I don’t think there’s the FFA or broadcasters would be keen on that.

Anyhow, that’s my straw man for discussion. Let me know of any adjustments or alternative you can think of.


The difficulty with the split groups is that you need to have an incentive for the bottom tier to compete, and the current FFA Cup is definitely not that. You’d need to scrap the finals and position the cup as the primary knockout comp - maybe playing the semis and finals (or more?) on dedicated weekends to end out the season.

Even there I feel (a) having professional sides miss out on the next cup completely (with 20+ state-league clubs qualifying) seems really harsh, and detrimental to engagement with the cup comp (b) entering at a later stage probably isn’t a huge incentive given the gulf between the A-League (whose 10 teams are all through to the later stage) and the state-league opponents who would be the opponents in those early stages.

Perhaps, in addition, you include a seeding model to the cup where from say R16 on the draw is seeded based on the previous season standings, which gives all teams in both sections an incentive to always want to move up a spot or two. At 7th, for instance, you’re far more likely to get a seeding (and avoid the top clubs) in the quarter finals than you are from 9th.


Scotland have a similar system (thanks FM19 for teching me that). But I dont think playing for FFA cup spots is enough of a motivator and acts to weaken the FFA Cup.

Youd probably have to make it an 8 team finals with the bottom six playing for that. But having a split season then finals creates the nightmare of 5/6 fixtures a season against a team.

The whole system is really a convoluted finals anyway.

And the biggest issue would be trying to schedule last minute games around NRL/AFL games last minute would be a logistical nightmare


This is a good point. Having the split 2/3 of the way through makes it hard to work out what to do w.r.t. grounds due to this country’s use of stupid, overpriced shared stadia.


I don’t know that it would be that big an issue TBH.

Teams know that they have 5 home games in those 10 weeks regardless of where they land, so you can just assign everyone 5 home and 5 away games against ‘TBD’, and then massage the final-stage draw later to maximise the usage of those bookings. You can probably start pencilling in the top few and bottom few teams a couple of months into the season, and by the time you’re a few months out there should be a fair idea of which teams are likely to land where and which bookings might need to be moved, so the number of ‘last minute’ bookings might not end up all that different to the finals series.