Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

 FFA looks for A-League season restart in July

 FFA looks for A-League season restart in July
May 29, 2020

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has unveiled a plan, agreed with game stakeholders, to restart the A-League’s 2019/20 season by mid-July, subject to agreement with broadcast rights-holder Fox Sports.

Suspended since 23rd March, the plan envisages that players will return to training by mid-June, with the season to be wrapped up in August.

Announcing the resumption plan yesterday, FFA Chief Executive James Johnson confirmed an agreement with A-League clubs and the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) players’ union that would see matches played at a yet-to-be identified hub as of mid-July.

Johnson advised “we are committed to delivering the completion of the Hyundai A-League 2019-20 season and have agreed a comprehensive plan with the Hyundai A-League clubs and the PFA.

“All parties have worked together extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure the professional game is ready to resume.

“We are now looking forward to the agreement of our broadcast partner, Fox Sports, to our fixture proposal and timings. That’s the final piece of the jigsaw and once we have it in place we can move forward quickly.”

The plan is based on a hub approach which FFA said will allow for innovative commercial and broadcast opportunities. It incorporates best practice health protocols for players and officials and provides a schedule that will bring a constant stream of games over a 35-day program.

Johnson added ‘ideally mid-June will see players return to training, allowing them to reach the required elite level of fitness for competitive matches to commence by mid-July, and for the Hyundai A-League Finals Series to be completed by mid-August.”

While details of the hub were not released, it is believed most games will be played in Sydney, with a format Head of A-League Greg O'Rourke flagged as delivering "football content seven days a week".

The exception will be games between the Melbourne clubs of Western United, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City.

O’Rourke, advised “the hub strategy means that we have a unique opportunity to showcase the Hyundai A-League through a different lens and we will be including new and innovative elements to the matchday broadcast experience.

“Our focus is also on optimising the broadcast flow and therefore providing football content seven days a week. We believe that there are great opportunities for our broadcast partner and therefore the fans.”

However, with major broadcast partner Fox Sports facing a range of financial challenges, the restart of the competition needs final agreement from the pay-television operator.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the broadcaster is seeking a reduction of between 50 and 70% in its $57.6 million per year rights deal for the remaining three years of the contract.

Agreed in December 2016, Fox holds a six-year rights agreement covering the 2017/18 to 2022/23 seasons. The deal allows Fox Sports to broadcast the A-League, the women’s W-League, and Australian men’s and women’s national team matches on Foxtel’s cable and satellite channel and streaming platforms.

Fox is said to believe the contract is now overpriced in the current economic climate, also pointing to the poor ratings and attendances the A-League has generated in recent seasons.

Image: Sydney's Bankwest Stadium is among venues ready to host a restarted A-League competition (top) and FFA Chief Executive James Johnson (below).

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

Related Articles

20th May 2020 - Global sports sponsorship market predicted to fall by 37% this year

20th May 2020 - NRL announces six venues that will host restarted season fixtures

15th May 2020 - AFL announces that season will restart from 11th June

13th May 2020 - FFA set lose $6 million sponsorship with major A-League sponsor Hyundai

2nd May 2020 - FFA supports measures released for resumption of grassroots and elite sport

5th May 2020 - Deakin University launches survey to assess how Australians are coping without sport

1st May 2020 - Coronavirus has multi-billion dollar negative impact on global sport

29th April 2020 - FFA prepares guidelines for the resumption of football

27th April 2020 - FFA appoint former stars to game development panel

23rd April 2020 - FFA extends postponement of the Hyundai A-League

30th March 2020 - FFA announces 70% staff cut due to COVID-19

24th March 2020 - FFA announces suspension of A-League season

17th March 2020 - FFA suspends grassroots football

19th February 2020 - FFA and NZF to demonstrate unified bid to FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 inspection team

18th February 2020 - Western United reaches 5,000 members milestone in first A-League season

13th February 2020 - A-League’s Perth Glory agrees new sponsorship as ownership change looms

15th January 2020 - New FFA Chief Executive sets out priorities at first press conference

16th October 2019 - Former English Premier League head Richard Scudamore joins A-League as special advisor

1st July 2019 - FFA agrees to independent management for the A-League


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

SENtag

Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks

 
 

Clubware

Clubware’s online gym software is not your run of the mill management system. It has been carefully designed to incorporate all the elements that a fitness club would need. How did we do that?…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Recreation

 
 

HRMWEB

At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology

 
 

The Retention People Australia

TRP help health clubs, leisure centres and gyms across the globe create happy, loyal members through our user-friendly software which enables effective engagement and the delivery exceptional customer…

read more

Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Altitude Training Systems

ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help all athletes gain the competitive edge. Our…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology

 
 

Enta Australasia

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing.  19th July 2018 - ENTA…

read more

Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Rae-Line

Sports Padding At Rae-Line we manufacture high quality sports padding, gym mats, foam mats and protective padding, suitable for a range of different facilities. Our sports padding is…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Safety / Sport

 
 

TECHNOGYM AUSTRALIA

Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business