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Football Australia announces Domestic Transfer System White Paper

Football Australia have announced the release of their Domestic Transfer System Transformation White Paper.

Developed throughout the fourth quarter of last year, the White Paper will be discussed and consulted with key football stakeholders over the coming months.

Principle III of Football Australia’s XI Principles identified the need for stimulation and growth of the Australian football economy, with a new modern domestic transfer system earmarked as a proposed measure.

The White Paper identifies several key elements of a properly functioning transfer system for consideration and discussion in the context of transforming the domestic transfer system.

These include:

  1. Administration of Transfers
  2. Training Rewards and Young Players
  3. Loans
  4. Player Eligibility Rules
  5. Registration Windows
  6. Transfer Fees
  7. Special Provisions Relating to Contracts
  8. Agents
  9. Dispute Resolution and Player Status Resolution
  10. Private Academies; and
  11. Recent amendments by FIFA (Coaches and Women)

Football Australia will conduct a planned engagement process with clubs, players and other members of the football community early this year.

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, said of the developments: “2020 was a difficult year.  Despite this, Football Australia took the opportunity to return to its football core and saw the organisation take transformative steps which culminated in the establishment of a bold and innovative vision for the game in the form of the XI Principles.

“To highlight a significant year for the game in 2020, we also successfully secured hosting rights for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, underwent an internal reshaping to ensure we are ready to implement our strategic agenda, renamed the organisation, revamped the FFA Cup and recently announced the unbundling of the Professional Leagues,” Johnson added. 

“The publication of the White Paper, following the Transfer System webinars late last year, is another significant step as we look to bring to life the XI Principles and we are excited to lead with this strategic initiative in 2021.

Johnson outlined the importance of the creation of a modern domestic transfer system, explaining it is a vital link in the Australian football landscape. He believes Football Australia’s role in regulating both the Professional Leagues and growing the game more broadly, will create many more benefits in the football ecosystem. 

“The absence of a domestic transfer system has meant that Australian football has been unable to fully integrate into world football by embedding itself in the global football market which has led to lost economic and sporting opportunities for our game over many years,” Johnson said.

“In 2019, FIFA reported that Australia received just US$1.9 million in transfer receipts from a market currently valued at US$7.35 billion for men alone. This low figure received by Australian clubs is in stark contrast to many nations of a similar or lower international ranking than our National Teams, and to many countries with significantly smaller populations than Australia. It also highlights that Australian clubs, from the professional right down to the grassroots, are missing out on vital funds that could be used to underpin and enhance the sport.

“The establishment of a modern Domestic Transfer System in 2021 by Football Australia will seek to remedy the ‘gap’ that has been created in the Australian football ecosystem by providing opportunities to progressive clubs at all levels of the sport to generate new revenue streams which can be deployed into the ongoing training and development of players, and the clubs themselves.

“We believe that the implementation of a fit-for-purpose system will have transformational benefits for football in Australia and particularly our professional and grassroots clubs by reconnecting the game and stimulating growth,” Johnson concluded.

The Domestic Transfer System Transformation White Paper can be viewed here.

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Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Australian football hits the broadcast market: Where will the rights land?

Crunch time is fast approaching for Football Australia and the APL, with new broadcast deals set to be struck independently in the coming weeks.

Football Australia have regained the broadcast rights to all Socceroos and Matildas internationals, Asian Cup qualifiers and World Cup qualifiers according to the SMH, and are now looking to on-sell to broadcasters.

“There are a lot of national team games because of the backlog of the calendar in the lead-up to Qatar 2022 and Australia and New Zealand 2023. We will go to market with even more national team games than what we have had in the past and I think that is a very attractive market in this competitive environment that we have in broadcast today,” FFA CEO James Johnson told SMH.

The APL are also in the process of negotiating a new TV deal for the A-League and W-League which will look to secure the future of the professional game in Australia.

Whilst there will likely be a free-to-air component for each deal, here are the companies that may stump up the majority of the cash:

Stan Sport

Stan Sport are a relative newcomer to the sport media rights landscape in Australia. They recently secured the rights to showcase Super Rugby matches on their platform, with Rugby Australia also signing a free-to-air deal with Channel Nine, who are owners of the streaming service.

A similar type of deal may be attractive to the APL or Football Australia, as Channel Nine also owns major newspapers across the country such as The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

A positive media narrative is something the game is crying out for after years of negativity, and a partnership with Stan and Channel Nine should guarantee an increase in media visibility for Australian Football across a range of channels.

Stan is interested, with a need to add to their low portfolio of sport at the moment, as they look to continue to build up their Stan Sport add-on service.

Fox Sports/Kayo

Fox Sports have had the broadcast rights for the A-League since the competition’s inception and shown some of the Socceroos’ and Matildas’ biggest moments over the past 15 years.

Their current on-air talent includes the likes of Mark Bosnich, Archie Thompson, Robbie Slater and Robbie Cornthwaite.

Fox also has the Australian rights to the Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, English Championship and more across their platforms.

Over the past few years Fox have been disappointed with the linear TV ratings of the A-League and have axed magazine shows,  as well as holding back on overall production values for their broadcasts.

Despite this, the company is still interested in brokering a new deal, but there are question marks around their coverage.

Constant technical issues have plagued the broadcast of W-League games this season on Fox and they continue to focus the majority of their energy and investment around NRL, AFL and Cricket.

Optus Sport

As of February 2021, Optus Sport had 868,000 subscribers to their service.

The streaming platform currently have the Australian rights to the English Premier League, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, FA Women’s Super League, J League, Euro 2021, Copa America 2021, J League and more.

Current on-air talent includes the likes of John Aloisi, Michael Bridges, Mark Schwarzer and Kevin Muscat.

The company have produced a range of different programs that go along with their high-quality production of pre-and post-game shows for the UEFA Champions League and English Premier League. This includes the Football Belongs podcast and Women’s Football Oz Style.

Optus Sport are well within its rights to say they are the home of football in Australia; however, the addition of A-League/W-League and Socceroos/Matildas content rights will leave no doubt.

Sports Flick

The Sydney based start-up streaming service have a range of unique content on their platform including the rights to the UEFA Women’s Champions League and the K-League. They have reportedly done a deal that has seen them grab the UEFA Champions League rights off Optus Sport from next season.

Will they look to Australian football properties for more content?

Others: DAZN, Amazon

Let us know where you want to see the rights end up, join the conversation on Twitter @Soccersceneau.

Mediacoach: LaLiga’s secret weapon

Coach using mediacoach

Developed by LaLiga, Mediacoach is a video analysis platform which ensures that all 42 LaLiga clubs are able to analyse practically all of the tactical, technical and physical aspects of their own side and their rivals.

In football, the smallest details can be key to deciding the outcome of a match. Mediacoach allows for all clubs from LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank to have access to a depth of tactical analysis like no other. The comprehensive live in-match data covers a range of football statistics including distance covered, player positioning, speed and ball movements.

Big Data is critical to football in the modern era, and this initiative is a fine example of how LaLiga is leading football in an innovative fashion.

Having been introduced to Spanish football in 2010, Mediacoach has grown to have over 430 club staff across 42 clubs utilising the tool. Mediacoach is hoping to expand their features to ensure that even more groups, from club trainers to media partners, can benefit from it.

This season alone has seen a multiplication of the number of cameras in the stadiums in order to progress real-time data tracking to new levels, whilst making the tool available to more users via the cloud.

Coaches like Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone, Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane and Barcelona’s Ronald Koeman (plus their extensive coaching staff) have Mediacoach at their disposal every week. The tool allows for detailed pre-match report, video analysis, accumulated reports to run through all potential on-field scenarios and developments, performance statistics, tactical camera footage and post-match reports.

Ricardo Resta, director of LaLiga’s sports area and the Mediacoach platform, credited the ambitious nature of the world-first initiative.

“The use of data is a huge differentiator for the global sports industry. With Mediacoach we are ensuring that the best information can be accessed by all LaLiga clubs, no matter their size. It’s how we ensure that the league grows as one,” he said.

“Multi-camera technology is able to track movements on a football pitch down to very fine margins. Increasing its use in LaLiga stadiums provides even higher levels of accuracy so that coaches can make informed decisions in the heat of the moment.”

Pascoe Vale FC faces opposition in effort to develop pitches

Pascoe Vale players

National Premier Leagues Victoria side Pascoe Vale FC has responded to opposition from locals to their proposed plans for Moreland’s Hosken Reserve pitch.

Plans to refurbish Hosken Reserve have been considered in the past, however Moreland City Council’s Hosken Reserve Masterplan represents the most recent effort to revamp the ground, with Pascoe Vale FC putting forward a plan to develop synthetic pitches for football use.

Assessing the options for The Hosken Reserve Masterplan refresh are a consortium group – theCommunityCollaborative, who will be considering which pathway is best to ensure a balanced approach to sport, community health and wellbeing.

Facing opposition from members of the public who fear the loss of space for their own recreational activities is Lou Tona, a spokesperson for Pascoe Vale FC. He acknowledged that the club is disappointed by the opposition they have faced throughout the consultation process.

Football at Hosken Reserve

Pascoe Vale FC are a staple of the Moreland community, not just as a provider of grassroots development for younger generations, but in exemplifying the values of the city itself through its practices, education of young people and their dedication to community growth.

Tona has cited that the attitudes of residents of the proposed plans have been nothing short of disappointing. Comments have been made by members of the ‘Keep Hosken Reserve Accessible for All group’ on social media, which Tona believes flies directly in the face of the values of Moreland as a city.

“We had a pop-up recently where there were many kids playing and parents there too, and they referred to us as ‘mafioso soccer goons’ online,” he said.

“In this day and age, we’re quite disappointed that this is what’s happening. As a club we are fully understanding of the consultation process, we’re fully invested in it and we fully believe in it. And we’re happy to move forward with whatever the outcomes are for the reserve and we’re looking forward to positive outcomes for the whole community.

“From day one of it heading to consultation we embraced and accepted that it needed to go that way. We’re all for freedom of speech and for working with the community. We want to be great neighbours; however, we just feel that some of our neighbours are throwing racist remarks, anti-football remarks and antagonistic remarks towards us as a club.

“Our submission & plans are to do with us as a football club and it being a sports reserve, and to be treated in that way has been extremely disappointing.

“The club stands for what the city of Moreland stands for – ‘One Community, Proudly Diverse’.”

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