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‘When Soccer Died’ documentary to raise awareness on big issues

Two local filmmakers have come together in a bid to shine a light on the problems facing Australia soccer.

Their new documentary, to be named ‘When Soccer Died’, has already seen many prominent Australian soccer names taken part.

Michael Cain and Oscar Vieira will touch on many topics in their documentary, including the end of the NSL and subsequent creation of the A-League.

Other topics that will be discussed will be the national curriculum and the closure of the AIS’ football program.

There is a select group of people across the country who feel that the sport of soccer has become more and more corporatized since the creation of the A-League back in 2005.

The growth of the NPL in recent years also shows that there is still a lot happening at the community level. These clubs can and should be given an opportunity to thrive .

Cain and Vieira will touch on this subject, as well as the youth system in Australia, a system many feel is struggling at this current point in time.

Speaking to SBS’ ‘The World Game’, the pair spoke on the inspiration behind this documentary and the potential of become too negative in their bid to raise awareness.

“I’ve been concerned for a long time in terms of the direction that Australian football is heading, sort of going away from what made us a unique footballing country,” said Vieira.

“We’re trying to get as many of the voices people respect and understand into one space from a verity of different fields and get their opinion and find some common themes.”

“So people can see that it is really an issue, and if we can get enough people in that space we want to reinforce it and we want to make people aware, and we definitely want change.”

The pair are holding out hope that the documentary can be ready for screening by the end of the year.

Credit: theworldgame.sbs.com.au

Football Victoria makes operational changes due to COVID-19

Football Victoria have announced changes to its operations, with the aim of securing the financial viability of its organisation and member clubs.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the governing body will reduce the pay of its five-member executive team by 40%.

More than half of its workforce will be stood down for a month, with affected staff able to access annual leave and long service leave entitlements for the 30 days.

Football Victoria also announced it will:

  • Retain a core team of football, operational and business services staff on reduced hours and pay, with a focus on providing ongoing support to member clubs across the state, as well as scenario-planning to enable the resumption of all sanctioned competitions and participation programs post-shutdown;
  • Place an immediate freeze on recruitment; and
  • Consider the potential for further staffing adjustments subject to the duration and/or financial impact of the suspension of football activity.

It is also expected that football activity will be suspended beyond the current 14 April deadline, with Member Federations currently in discussions with the FFA about further measures.

Football Victoria CEO, Peter Filopoulos, revealed the governing body was engaging with federal and state governments in relation to financial support.

Mr Filopoulos claimed the situation facing the sport is extremely difficult.

“These are extraordinary times, which call for extraordinary action to ensure the financial viability and long-term sustainability of our game across Victoria. It’s gut-wrenching for everyone involved in the game, and I’m acutely aware of the impact that stand downs will have on the lives of our people,” he said.

“However, it’s vital that the organisation is fit-for-purpose during this period, and remains agile and responsive so that we’re in a position to get through the significant challenges facing us right now and be able to resume football activities down the track.

“Over the past couple of years, the team’s been working hard to develop and deliver on our strategic plan, FootbALLways. I’m immensely proud of them, and I’m humbled by the way the Victorian football community has responded to this unprecedented crisis by taking the appropriate precautions to ensure people stay safe and healthy,” Mr Filopoulos said.

“As an organisation, we’ve had to take measured action quickly and we’ve sought to keep our staff and clubs fully informed during this challenging period, with the absolute focus being on their health and well-being, and to support them as well as we possibly can.”

Mr Filopoulos continued:

“The COVID-19 health crisis continues to evolve and challenge us with many uncertainties and unknowns. Our focus at this time is to look out for our people and clubs so they can take care of themselves and their families, and we will support our staff however we can if they choose to seek alternative employment during the period of the shutdown. Hopefully, the Federal Government’s latest income relief package will go some way to stemming the number of people we have to stand down.”

“Beyond that, we’re working tirelessly in the background in anticipation of resuming football activities as soon as we can overcome the significant challenges facing us right now. This involves comprehensive scenario planning in consultation with member clubs, local government and the broader community to enable the reactivation of as many of the 40,000 fixtures we stage each season across all levels of football,” he said.

“In the meantime, we appreciate the patience and incredible support of the Victorian football community, the lifeblood of our game.”

The Football Business Network and Football Coaches Australia present a ‘Talking Football’ virtual networking event with Craig Moore

A dynamic and progressive sporting organisation is responding to the current demand for on-line content and the need for the football community to remain connected and engaged whilst the on-field action is halted.

The Football Business Network will host a virtual networking event on Friday April 3rd at 6pm, featuring former Glasgow Rangers, Socceroo and Brisbane Roar defender Craig Moore. The modern Australian footballing great will appear live, answering questions from a digital audience and reflect on the current crisis that threatens the immediate future of football both domestically and internationally.

There is also scope for broader issues to be raised, with the Socceroos, Olyroos, coaching, player development and Australia’s current position in Asia, likely topics on the agenda.

The event is jointly presented by Football Coaches Australia; the voice for coaches around the country, and aims to bring football back to the people for at least an hour, as the round ball game continues in indefinite hiatus for at least the short term future.

Click here to secure your registration for the free event

CEO of the Football Business Network James Boyle has once again displayed his progressive and experimental thinking by morphing modern technology, the fans and the demanding situation in which we all find ourselves at the current time. The result should be a dynamic, unique and ground-breaking event for Australian football, with one of its finest appearing and responding to the questions raised.

Boyle birthed the network in 2018 in an attempt to provide business executives and football people the chance to network in a relaxed and informal setting, as well as providing opportunities for businesses to expand their brand through sponsorship and marketing opportunities.

I can vouch for the quality and organisation of the events held thus far, having attended the inaugural event in Sydney in late 2018. On that night, current Rydalmere FC manager and former Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow Rangers and Scottish International Gavin Rae spoke eloquently when responding to questions from fans, journalists and business executives. The network also hosted a Q and A event featuring Socceroo coach Graham Arnold in 2019.

On this occasion it will be the turn of one of Australia’s greatest modern players to reflect on the state of the game, its limitations and the likely direction it will take in the future; particularly considering the current global situation.

Moore played 175 games with Rangers across two spells at the club, spent time with Newcastle United and Crystal Palace in the UK and also played 62 times in the A-League for Brisbane Roar in what was a storied and heralded career.

As a member of the 2006 World Cup squad, the Sydney born defender will forever live in the annals of the Australian game; converting a penalty against Croatia that aided the Socceroos’ advancement to the knock-out phase of the tournament.

Always a forthright, honest and knowledgeable leader, Moore’s openness and passion for the domestic game will meld perfectly with an expectant and enthusiastic audience, keen to hear what the 42-year-old has to say about the game in 2020 and the future direction it is likely to take.

Once registered, attendees need only follow the instructions provided in a confirmation email and join the meeting at 6pm on Friday the 3rd of April. The discussion is expected to run for an hour yet overtime seems likely with registrations building as the date draws nearer.

It should be a fantastic event, offering support for the football community during an undoubtedly stressful time, whilst also providing an opportunity to listen to one of the best players ever to wear the famous Socceroo kit.

 

Leading Bundesliga clubs commit to assisting fellow German teams

The four Bundesliga sides who qualified for this season’s UEFA Champions League have created a €20 million (AU$36.1 million) solidarity fund to support clubs in German football’s top flight and second-tier 2. Bundesliga during the coronavirus pandemic.

League leaders Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig have agreed to forego their annual share of organising body the German Football League’s (DFL) national media revenue, which would have amounted to approximately €12.5 million (AU$22.6 million). The clubs will contribute the other €7.5 million (AU$13.5 million) from their own resources.

The contribution will likely be offset by revenues the four teams will receive for participating in the 2019/20 Champions League, European club football’s premier competition.

“This campaign underlines that solidarity in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga is not lip service. The DFL presidium is very grateful to the four Champions League participants in terms of the community of all clubs,” said DFL chief executive Christian Seifert.

“We’ve reached a point where Bundesliga has to admit – yes, we are manufacturing a product and if we no longer manufacture it then we cease to exist.”

The news comes days after Seifert warned that several German clubs may not survive the ongoing health crisis, also conceding during a news conference that “tens of thousands of jobs are at stake”.

“Without income from television, sponsorship and gate receipts we can only survive for a short period. Ghost games will be the only way to survive in the short term,” he said.

The last Bundesliga game was played on 11th March and games in Germany’s top two tiers were further suspended this week until 30th April at the earliest.

Players at Bayern, Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach are among those at several Bundesliga teams that have already agreed to take temporary pay cuts to help other club employees financially while revenues stall during the coronavirus crisis.

These powerhouse German clubs have taken appropriate steps to limit the damage of halted competition, as evidenced by the recent news at Football Federation Australia – who recently had to let go 70% of their staff as part of the many job losses linked to the coronavirus situation.

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