Central Coast Mariners unite with Queensland-based Marsden State High School

Marsden State High School & Central Coast Mariners

The Central Coast Mariners and Marsden State High School have established a relationship that will offer a solid, long-term route with growth possibilities for players and coaching personnel.

Marsden State High School and the Mariners will work together as part of the agreement to create a boys’ and girls’ talent development pathway for the Southern Queensland-based club.

In accordance with the agreement, Central Coast Mariners talent identification programmes will be run at Marsden State High School in South Queensland with the goal of identifying young football talent.

Through professional development opportunities at the school, the collaboration will support club employees in addition to helping to provide a pathway for Marsden State High School students to the Mariners Academy.

“Marsden State High School has a rich culture of producing and nurturing high performing athletes across our various sporting excellence programs,” Marsden State High School Associate Principal Sean Curtis said via press release.

“We are the largest secondary school in Australia with over 90 different nations represented across our student body. After visiting Central Coast Mariners last month, it was clear they shared similar values to us and partnering with the number one Academy in Asia is just another example of the superior opportunities we thrive to provide for our students, staff and community.”

Central Coast Mariners Sporting Director Matt Simon noted the significant opportunity for fostering new talent.

“This partnership with Marsden State High School is an exciting opportunity for us as a club to continue to expand our network as we look to identify and help develop the next generation of Australian football talent,” he added via media release.

“We are delighted to be partnering with a school that has the pedigree of producing athletes that Marsden State High does, and we look forward to working with them on delivering pathways and development opportunities for everyone involved.”

Marsden State High School Football Coordinator Graham Fyfe will also be at the forefront of ensuring young players get the best possible experience.

“Working directly alongside the staff of Central Coast Mariners, who are considered among the best in the country, will be an invaluable experience for the staff of the Marsden State High School Football Excellence Program,” he added via press release.

“They can learn from the expertise and knowledge of the club’s coaching staff, sports scientists, and other personnel who are involved in the daily operations of a professional football team.”

“This, in turn, enables them to provide an even higher level of guidance and mentorship to the students and players within the Marsden State High School Football Excellence Program.”

The partnership sees the Mariners give back to the community and help grow the next generation of footballers in the country, signifying the importance of youth development in the country.

WSL eyeing enormous 150% increase to broadcast rights deal

In a historic first for football in the UK, every single Women’s Super League match is set to be broadcasted live from next season across multiple channels.

The WSL tender document issued to broadcasters this month features all 132 league games, with 56 to be sold exclusively and the remaining 76 available on a non-exclusive basis.

Under the terms of the existing deal that expires at the end of the current season, Sky broadcast 35 matches-a-season and the BBC 22, with the rest streamed for free on the FA’s website.

The tender document is asking for a huge £20 million ($38.48 million) a year TV deal and this 150% increase to the value of its broadcasting deal is far from surprising following the explosion of the women’s game. This figure is set to be confirmed as soon as they can find the right suitors.

In an attempt to gain an increase from the existing £7.75 million ($14.91 million) a year deal, the WSL have responded by making every match available for broadcast, which the league hoped would attract bids from beyond current rights holders Sky Sports and the BBC, It looks to be working.

Sky Sports and the BBC are set to bid again on the rights and extend the current partnership whilst it is said that this potential deal is also attracting networks like TNT Sports and DAZN.

The Premier League and EFL have stood firm on the UEFA blackout that suggests all 3pm Saturday matches are not shown on TV, to encourage locals to attend matches in person. This means the WSL will have to work around it and it is likely that Saturday lunchtime and Sunday afternoons remain as the most common kick-off times.

There is little the WSL are having to do to persuade broadcasters into putting their hands up for these rights, which is a testament to the sport’s current growth and upward trajectory it is trending towards.

FA Director of Women’s football, Kelly Simmons, explained how important it was to secure this monumental broadcast deal.

“While we’ve been developing this it’s been so hard to sit on it because it’s so exciting for the women’s game. It is transformational,” Simmons said in an interview with Guardian Sport.

“When I first came into this role, we said that we really thought women’s football could really break into the mainstream and this is mainstream, this is prime slots on television, big audiences, week in week out.”

This deal in particular launches women’s football into the mainstream and helps improve the quality of the product which goes a long way to opening the eyes of a huge audience to its impact as a sport and socially.

Premier League continues talks on cost control and EFL funding

Premier League club bosses are holding further talks regarding cost control measures for clubs competing in European football and additional funding for the EFL.

The top flight is examining the introduction of a model along similar lines to UEFA’s squad cost ratio, which by 2025-26 will cap the spending of clubs involved in European competitions on wages, transfer fees and agent costs at 70 per cent of revenue.

It is understood that clubs in the Premier League not competing in European competitions will be allowed more leeway on spending, with a ratio of around 85 per cent of revenue having been discussed. This is potentially to ensure a more level playing field for mid table Premier League clubs who are struggling to break that barrier.

There is a major roadblock, however, in these talks with relegated Premier League clubs still earning parachute payments in their first season back in the Championship and being able to continue working to the 85 per cent ratio whilst the bottom half Championship clubs are working on a much tighter budget, closer to the 70 per cent UEFA mark.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters spoke about these talks advancing and what it means for the future of both leagues.

“We have some proposals out for consultation with our clubs about moving and aligning more with the UEFA system,” Masters said at the Culture, Media and Sport committee.

“Some of the issues that are still at debate between the EFL and the Premier League and internally within the Premier League itself are about trying to find a resolution on exactly how the financial regulatory system will work in the future.

“There’s an area of disagreement between us on how cost controls are going to work. Because obviously if you’re going to put more money into a system, that system has to be properly regulated. That system has yet to be fully agreed on how Championship clubs, how relegated clubs and how Premier League clubs operate a common system.” he concluded.

In terms of the extra funding agreement being discussed, EFL Chairman Rick Parry announced that his competition was prepared to accept an amount that would equate to 14.75 per cent of the two competitions’ net media revenues, which he said worked out at an extra £125million ($240 million) a year.

Whilst this is a huge positive for the footballing ladder in England, there is still a debate amongst clubs and representatives over how the extra funding to the EFL should be paid out.

Recently relegated sides are already working on a bigger budget, whilst sides in the bottom half are struggling to pay player wages with this disparity being completely unacceptable.

So it definitely begs the question, does majority of the extra £125million ($240 million) a year go towards helping bottom clubs compete in the long term? or would that be a stain on the league’s integrity and fair play values?

Votes were not casted in last week’s meetings regarding cost control measures or extra funding, but reports suggest that a conclusion is being made swiftly with both parties eager to agree on a fair deal.

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