Football SA earns extra spot for 2020 FFA Cup

Football Federation Australia (FFA) have confirmed that South Australia will be allocated an additional team for the FFA Cup Round of 32 for the 2020 season.

FFA recently reviewed the FFA Cup spot allocation framework following the introduction of expansion team Western United in this year’s A-League season and Macarthur FC in the 2020/2021 season.

While the new framework will stay consistent with regards to the allocation of spots between A-League clubs and Member Federation clubs, the model which determines the Member Federation slots has been altered.

In the new model, Football NSW will lose one of their slots and will instead be awarded to Football SA. This comes on the back of Football SA’s continued increase in FFA Cup entrants, which has risen from 28 in 2015 to 54 in 2019 (for the 2020 competition).

South Australia will now have two teams in the Round of 32 in the 2020 FFA Cup.

Football SA CEO Michael Carter was thrilled with the news of the extra FFA Cup spot.

“This is a fantastic result for Football in South Australia. We have been making representation to FFA for a number of years about the need to increase our spot allocation to truly reflect our strong participation in the FFA Cup.

“Football in South Australia has a proud history and gaining an additional spot allocation is great for the local game and will see another club represented on the National stage,” Carter concluded.

Adelaide United is the most successful team in the history of the FFA Cup, winning the competition three times in six seasons.

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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