Football Coaches Australia addresses Dwight Yorke appointment

Football Coaches Australia (FCA) has today congratulated Australian Professional Leagues (APL) on securing FC Barcelona to play an exhibition match against the A-League All Stars team in Sydney next month.

FCA’s mantra is to promote and strengthen the reputation of football in Australia and the reputation of Australian football on the world stage.

FCA acknowledges the appointment of Dwight Yorke as the All Stars head coach in this exhibition game, however strongly believes that the All Star team should be led by an Australian A-League or national team coach.

This will be Dwight’s first official head coaching appointment at any level, and FCA wishes him all the best with his future football management aspirations. His football pedigree and his outstanding contribution as a player with Sydney FC, at the inception of the A-League, are recognised by all.

FCA president Phil Moss, who was appointed assistant coach of the last A-League All Stars team for the 2014 match against Italian giants Juventus, said:

“Whilst FCA supports the inclusion of Dwight Yorke in the coaching staff as he launches his managerial career, the missed opportunity for an Australian coach to gain invaluable experience and exposure internationally as the Head Coach is disappointing,” Moss said.

“We understand the profile and interest having Dwight Yorke involved and what it will add to this game, and also understand the logistical issues of not knowing who the Isuzu Ute A-League final four coaches will be.

“But we are about providing opportunities for Australian coaches to grow, and show the world what we are capable of and this is a missed chance to do that.

“I was involved as the assistant in 2014 and know first-hand what a huge development opportunity that was for me and we feel there are numerous coaches with the right capabilities and experience to lead the All-Star team in the game against Barca.

“Whilst we anticipate the appointment of Australian coaches to assist Dwight, we can’t ignore the fact this would have been an ideal opportunity to promote our own Australian A-League head coaches to the football world.”

Australian football coaches deserve to be further acknowledged for their efforts in guiding their respective teams throughout the past two seasons, particularly in extremely challenging COVID circumstances. An All Stars head coach appointment would have been a fitting reward.

Previous All Stars appointments have been Ange Postecoglou (2013 v Manchester United) and Spaniard Josep Gombau (2014 v Juventus). These appointments were chosen by fans who voted.

FCA believes that A-Leagues Men and Women competitions should not only be a pathway to the global football world for players, but also our elite coaches, and we should use every opportunity to support them in their career development.

FCA also encourages the APL to consider the unique experience the All Star game would provide an Australian woman coach in one of the assistant coach roles.

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City Football Group add İstanbul Başakşehir to club portfolio

City Football Group (CFG) announced a “football collaboration agreement” with Turkish Süper Lig side İstanbul Başakşehir to expand on their current portfolio of worldwide football clubs.

CFG is the owner of Premier League giants Manchester City and the group also own majority shareholder status in a further seven clubs around the world including A-League side Melbourne City.

Under this agreement, CFG will provide Başakşehir with guidance on transfers, academy development and data-driven insights. The group will also offer support with player screening and football strategy.

This strategy used by CFG has been rather successful for all the clubs under the consortium and Melbourne City in particular have used this connection to make some big transfers in and outgoings. David Villa was the first significant loan move from CFG club New York City FC which started a practice of players and coaches rotating between the group’s clubs.

It has seen players like Daniel Arzani and Aaron Mooy move to Manchester City temporarily to be loaned out to other European clubs. Recently, Patrick Kisnorbo earned a move to fellow CFG club ESTAC Troyes to become the first ever Australian manager in a top five European league.

Göksel Gümüşdağ, Majority Owner and Club President of Başakşehir, explained that this move is immense for the club.

“İstanbul Başakşehir FK has achieved many firsts in Turkish football despite its young age and today, with this collaboration with the leading football group in the world, it marks another milestone for İstanbul Başakşehir and Turkish football,” he said in a club statement.

“From the very beginning, we have reiterated at every opportunity that our vision and goals are different and today underlines this expression again. We are very happy, proud and excited. I would like to thank all the people in City Football Group for their approach and support in the process. I hope it will be beneficial for Başakşehir FK and Turkish football.”

City Football Group released their own statement regarding the new addition to their family and the future plans for the club.

“This collaboration will help CFG grow knowledge and develop relationships in Turkey, an ambitious football nation and developer of talent. This will also provide CFG with an opportunity to collaborate across emerging football areas with a club that has a shared vision.” a CFG statement read.

City Football Group, INEOS and Red Bull in particular have figured out a way to potentially ‘game the system’ to their advantage before FIFA or UEFA had ever thought of cracking down on this potentially threatening move for football.

İstanbul Başakşehir is just another club adding to the growing list of clubs involved in a multi-club structure which is said to be over 180 clubs across the world in total. Modern football is transforming like never before.

DFL and EA Sports continue to delight Bundesliga fans

The German Football League (DFL) renewed its partnership with sports game manufacturer EA Sports, in a deal labelled by officials to be of ‘high strategic importance’.

It guarantees that clubs from Germany’s top two tiers will feature in EA Sports’ football video-game, EA Sports FC, until 2027.

In addition, EA Sports will continue to sponsor the ‘Player of the Month’ and ‘Player of the Season’ awards for the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2.

A relationship that stems back to 1998, the DFL and EA Sports share an important history built on innovation within the gaming world.

In 2012, the DFL pioneered the world’s first eFootball competition, Virtual Bundesliga (VBL), helped greatly by its relationship with EA Sports. The VBL remains a strong part of the DFL’s vision, resulting in the professionalisation of the competition.

An arm of video-game publishing organisation Electronic Arts, EA Sports is in the midst of a new era in football gaming, after failing to agree a deal with its long-time naming rights partner, FIFA.

However, the game’s universal popularity since its inception in 1993 gives it one of the highest return customer rates in video gaming history.

EA Sports’ first iteration of the game since removing the FIFA branding – EA Sports FC 24 – is the highest-selling video game in the UK and Europe, and ranks 10th in the United States (from Statista).

This global demand is exactly what the DFL is eager to capitalise on, according to Bundesliga International Chief Marketing Officer Peter Naubert.

“The contract renewal confirms the positive development of our global licensing and sponsorship partnerships and underscores the global appeal of the Bundesliga brand as well as the significant growth that the DFL generates for clubs,” Naubert stated via press release.

The gaming industry remains a lucrative space for football organisations to increase its marketability and generate greater revenue. Late last year, the Argentina Football Association partnered with a gaming software company to increase its marketing presence in Europe.

DFL joint-CEO Marc Lenz explained that the extension of its deal with EA Sports is crucial to its marketing strategy.

“Our core aim is to reach young fans and find new ways to spark their interest in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2,” Lenz told the DFL website.

EA SPORTS FC is a successful part of this strategy, because the licensing partnership and the Virtual Bundesliga increase the visibility of our leagues and clubs.”

Lenz’s partner Steffen Merkel spoke about the relationship between the DFL and EA Sports.

EA SPORTS FC deepens the connection between millions of fans and their favourite players and clubs from the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, which are an important part of the video game series,” Merkel added via media release.

“The partnership has existed since 1998 and underscores the shared conviction behind the cooperation, which is characterised by constant and successful evolution.”

Meanwhile, the inclusion of Germany’s top two professional leagues in EA Sports FC will assist EA Sports’ future plans for football gaming.

“Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are key to building an innovative and evolving football platform for fans, and we’re thrilled that the DFL shares our vision for the future of football,” EA Sports President, Cam Weber, added via the DFL website.

By continuing its relationship with EA Sports, the DFL demonstrates its commitment to a sustainable and profitable future for its competitions.

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