Football Queensland reveals Future of Football 2020+ Recommendations Paper  

At least seven Queensland football clubs are going to benefit from a share in over $1.5 million in fresh infrastructure funding as a result of commitments made prior to the recent Queensland state election.

Football Queensland have released a Future of Football 2020+ Recommendations Paper, which offers the state’s 183,000 participants a modern, effective vision for the game to unite behind.

“As described in the XI Principles, Football Australia is leading the transition to a holistic ‘One Football’ model that facilitates this essential change. Our game has not undergone reform in 20 years and while everything around it has altered, it is time now for the game to evolve too,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“The Future of Football 2020+ journey began with a vision to develop a new governance model and a streamlined administration model that will allow football in Queensland to flourish; one that enables affordability and consistency in the way the game is delivered across the state, with unified and connected competitions and pathways, ensuring protection and development support for those who participate in it, from players, to coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers.”

“The Recommendations Paper is built on the back of twelve months of extensive analysis and consultation with our game’s stakeholders. A number of independent reports produced by governance expert DHW Simpson framed the basis of 20 recommendations that were proposed and adopted by the FQ Board,” FQ President Ben Richardson said.

“Throughout the Future of Football 2020+ journey, the Queensland football community has clearly stated that the game needs to evolve and adapt to meet the changing landscape of sport and the growing needs of its participants.

“This is what our game deserves. Importantly, as the Future of Football 2020+ journey has so clearly confirmed, it is what the community demands of us. As the game’s temporary custodians, we must listen, we must unite, and we must move forward.”

“‘Football in Queensland United’ is more than a vision statement for Football Queensland. It is, above all else, a reflection of our drive to finally bind the entire game around a common future, with a common purpose and in common effort,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“It will inspire a shift away from costly, complex, restrictive and divisive administrative and governance practices and deliver a modern, responsive, efficient and effective framework through which football can truly flourish.

Following the release of the paper, Football Queensland will now conduct a series of consultations across the state with clubs, zones and stakeholders. The governing body will discuss the suggested implementations from the listed recommendations, detailing to interested parties the process of how they will transform the game’s governance, affordability, administration and competitions.

“We’re confident that by working in collaboration with the football community to implement these reforms, we can build a brighter future for football in Queensland and for all who are part of our game,” Cavallucci said.

“It is incumbent upon us all as stakeholders to be committed partners in progress, to align our efforts and to adopt the best-practice approaches that drive affordability and unlock new opportunities.”

The Future of Football 2020+ Recommendations Paper can be viewed here.

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.

Player sentiment up, average age down: PFA releases annual report

Sentiment is well and truly up for A-League players, according to the annual Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) report.

This time last year, only 33% of A-League players felt confident about the direction of their football careers.

According to the PFA’s latest annual report, that number is now 56%.

Of the A-League’s 312 players, 200 responded to the 2020/21 A-League survey, capturing 70% of the current cohort, with the results proving that even despite the ongoing turbulence and uncertainty of COVID-19, the majority of players feel much more confident about their futures within the game.

The report highlights that Australian players actively want to remain in the A-League, as opposed to seeking opportunities overseas.

The key numbers that demonstrate this include:

  • 55% of players said they would like to stay playing in the A-League next season, up from 45% last year.
  • 56% of players are confident about the direction of their football careers, compared to 33% in 2019/20.
  • Only 4% of players would move to an overseas league even if it was for similar money and/or playing standard.
  • Only 16% of players who would prefer to move to an overseas league would only do so if the money and standards were better.

Other highlights of the report include that the average A-League player is getting younger.

Over the last 14 years, the average age of the A-League player has consistently trended upwards.

In 2020/21, however, this changed and the average age trended downwards, dropping from 27.6 to 25.1.

The number of players utilised in the A-League who were aged 21 and under came in at 107, representing 35% of the 300 players who received A-League minutes during the 2020/21 season.

The youngest squads on average belonged to Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United, with average ages of 23.6 and 23.9 years respectively.

Another highlight was the fact that of the league’s 312 contracted players, 300 received A-League minutes.

“These reports have been immensely valuable, helping the PFA and the players better understand the industry in which they are employed, monitor the application of high-performance standards, assess technical progress and survey the players’ experience,” PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said of the report.

“For the last five years, we have been able to utilise these reports to formulate evidence-based positions to improve the environments in which our members work through collective bargaining.

“Promisingly, after a period of significant uncertainty, the players have indicated that they are more confident in the direction of their careers and the future of the competition than this time last year, signifying a positive shift in the perception of the A-League.”

The report also highlights the fact that A-League attendances were the lowest ever in the competition, thanks in large part to COVID-19, with an average attendance of 5,660.

Foreign players in the league reduced by 12 to a total of 51, whilst the average salary in the A-League is $136,791.

Access the full report HERE.

DFL and AWS introduce two new Match Facts to Bundesliga coverage

Bundesliga analysis

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced the addition of two new Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS that will premiere as graphics during broadcasts and in the official Bundesliga app during the 2021-2022 season.

The two new Match Facts – Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile – will bring the total number of advanced statistics to eight, with each of them aiming to give fans deeper insights into the action on the pitch.

The first of the new advanced stats – Shot Efficiency – compares the number of goals that a player or team has scored with how many goals the player or team should have scored based on the quality of their chances.

The second – Passing Profile – provides deeper insights into the pass quality of a player or an entire team. Both of the stats are generated by gathering and analysing the match feeds from live games in real time as they are streamed into AWS.

Both new stats made their debut during Matchday 4 on the clash between German Champion FC Bayern München and the second-placed team of the previous season RB Leipzig.

The two new Match Facts will better showcase the action on the field – giving fans, coaches, players, and commentators visual support for analysing the decision-making of players and teams.

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovations for DFL Group, was excited to further innovate the matchday experience for viewers based both domestically and internationally.

“Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS allows us to give fans more insight into the game of football, broadcasters more interesting stories to tell and coaches and teams, more data to excel at their game,” he said.

“Last year, the reception for Bundesliga Match Facts around the world was very positive, and we expect through ML and AI to continue to innovate on these analytics to make them even better.

“These two new stats give fans a view into player efficiency that hasn’t been achieved before, and we are just at the beginning of our relationship with AWS. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to evolve the fan experience and the game.”

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