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La Liga’s Ultimate Xpert a ‘roaring success’

La Liga has declared the first edition of La Liga’s Ultimate Xpert a ‘roaring success’ after the first round of the new quiz competition was held in early December.

The competition will be held on 20 matchdays over the course of the rest of the season and sees fans use their La Liga knowledge to compete to win prizes such as official shirts and footballs.

La Liga Ultimate Xpert contests are run in conjunction with La Liga broadcast rights holders across the world.

Each contest focuses on one of the 20 different La Liga clubs, with questions asked by La Liga figures including current players and La Liga ambassadors.

The winners of the Ultimate Xpert competition in each region could win a trip to Spain and an exclusive football experience as part of the LaLiga Experience 2021/22.

Australian supporters can participate in the competition via local broadcaster beIN Sports – details on how to participate are released via beIN Sports Australia’s social media channels and the beIN Sport’s ‘Early Kick Off’ show every Friday.

“The format of the competition has been designed in a way that will promote traffic to broadcasters’ websites, digital platforms and social media accounts and that will boost engagement on such platforms,” La Liga said.

“A priority for LaLiga is to maintain close relationships and collaboration with its broadcast partners to help them maximise the value of their rights and this is just the latest example.”

In further La Liga news, the league’s president Javier Tebas has revealed that the organisation is working on a 10-year plan that focuses on the growth of the league.

“I think over these next 10 years, the most important thing for us will be the digital ecosystem,” he said during an interview at the World Football Summit Live in late November.

“There’s already an understanding of what’s coming with regards to audiovisual rights, to technology and to over-the-top (OTT) platforms, which are here to stay. All of this means there’s a need to make plans for a long-term period of transition.”

“We’ve been working on our digital ecosystem for several years and have invested a lot of money in this, in the likes of OTT and anti-piracy.”

Tebas also said the La Liga was working on a La Liga version of the NBA League Pass, a digital subscription which gives fan access to every match.

Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Football NSW grants webinar to aid clubs and associations

FNSW

Football NSW in conjunction with ‘The Grants Guy’ are set to premiere a free Grants Zoom online webinar next Wednesday (September 22) at 6:30pm – 7:30pm.

FNSW clubs and associations will be provided with valuable information through the grants webinar, especially for applying for funding which have assisted many teams in the past in their pursuit of seeking facility upgrades amongst various other beneficial elements.

The webinar will provide a practical guide to grant writing for any football club seeking to attain funding by applying for the Greater Cities Sport Facility Fund and the Regional Sport Facility Fund in particular.

Both grants will be explained through the practical step by step webinar, and guidance will be provided as to how to apply for the Grants.

The following topics will be discussed:

  • How to apply for the grant – the do’s and don’ts
  • Eligibility & Answering the Question
  • Project Assessment, Evaluation, Rationale, Methodology
  • Budget & Acquittal
  • Getting Grant Ready and Planning your Club’s Application

For the Greater Cities and Regional Sport Facility Fund, the second and final round of the $100 million grant is available, with grants of up to $1 million offered to sport and recreation organisations and councils.

In Round 2, up to $46 million is available for projects that improve sports facilities and recreational spaces and enable more people to participate in sport and active recreation.

Grants from $100,000 up to $1 million are available for a range of projects including lighting, amenity buildings, clubrooms, change rooms and grandstands.

Round 1 resulted in $54 million awarded for 91 projects, with over $10 million awarded to football projects.

Round 2 is the final round of the program with applications closing at 12pm, on October 8, 2021.

Register for the webinar today by clicking here.

For any further questions please contact Football NSW’s Government Relation, Infrastructure and Funding Manager Daniel Ristic via email on danielr@footballfacilities.com.au.

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.

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