Latest News

Back to Latest News back


New book explores the ‘Code Wars’ in Australia’s football market

New book explores the ‘Code Wars’ in Australia’s football market
August 20, 2021

The rivalry between Australia’s four football codes is something to ‘cherish’ according to a recently published book from Deakin University’s Dr Hunter Fujak.

In Code Wars - The Battle for Fans, Dollars and Survival, Dr Fujak states that while the different football ‘tribes’ want to see their particular football code on top, the erosion of one or more of them “would undoubtedly leave the sport landscape poorer.”

Noting that AFL is practically unassailable in its position at the centre of Australian football culture, Dr Fujak’s work explains that each of the other codes face pressure for different reasons and have also failed to make the most of their opportunities over the decades.

While particular events briefly allow the three other codes of rugby league, rugby and football to take centre stage - for example, for the State of Origin, Bledisloe Cup and men’s and women’s World Cups respectively - they are “relatively limited artillery shells” against the entrenched cultural norms of the AFL and its fans.

Despite the author’s view on the AFL’s supremacy, Code Wars does not attempt to say which football code is the ‘best’ or ‘worst’, but it looks at the uniqueness of the Australian sporting landscape and considers issues such as:

  • Why the Melbourne and Sydney sporting cultures are so different.
  • Why Wagga Wagga has produced so many elite athletes of multiple sports.
  • Will the AFL ultimately crush its competitors.
  • And, whether concussion will one day wipe out contact football altogether.

It also explores the cutthroat cultural and commercial competition between the codes, and considers what the future may hold at a time of great uncertainty shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Fujak says the book is for those whose interest in football and sport extends beyond what goes on on-the-field, and what shapes that which goes on off-the-field.

Based on data from Dr Fujak’s PhD dissertation, Code Wars translates academic scholarly research into something tangible - and no doubt highly debatable - for the real world.

Dr Fujak is a Lecturer in Sports Management at Deakin University in Melbourne. His PhD was awarded by UTS in Sydney and explored consumer behaviour in sport.

Code Wars is published by Fair Play Publishing, and is available from bookstores and direct from the publisher.

Click here for more information.

Related Articles

19th August 2021 - Construction begins on Western Australia’s State Football Centre and $35 million upgrade announced for HBF Park

18th August 2021 - Retiring star Eddie Betts say AFL is not a safe environment for Indigenous players

17th August 2021 - Council tenders venue management contract for Central Coast Stadium

13th August 2021 - AFL report fails to present ‘clear cut’ option for Tasmanian team

12th August 2021 - Australia’s National Football teams well positioned for fan engagement following Tokyo 2020

12th August 2021 - AFLW competition to expand to 18 teams for 2022/23

6th August 2021 - Organisers postpone Rugby League World Cup until 2022

3rd August 2021 - Changed Bledisloe Cup schedule will see Eden Park host two tests

30th July 2021 - Football Australia’s domestic match calendar another step towards national second division

29th July 2021 - Ongoing Coronavirus challenges sees NRL delay plans for 17th team

28th June 2021 - Rugby Australia welcomes PacificAus Sports funding to support Fiji Rugby Union

11th June 2021 - NRL announces expansion of women’s competition to six teams

4th June 2021 - ‘Social Impact’ identified as key factor for proposed Northern Territory AFL club

20th May 2021 - Rugby Australia launches bid to host 2027 Rugby World Cup

23rd April 2021 - Public dispute over NRL culture in wake of sex tape leak

25th February 2021 - NRL cuts operating costs by more than a third in wake of Coronavirus challenges

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

13th December 2019 - Plans revealed for Sunshine Coast Stadium expansion

23rd January 2018 - Bonita Mersiades: Why I wrote the inside story of the FIFA Way

7th November 2017 - Deakin University again ranked world’s best for sports science

23rd April 2017 - Deakin University program helps children of all abilities be part of AFL Auskick

5th September 2014 - Football codes struggle with attendances

22nd July 2009 - Leisure industry must learn from football codes

31st January 2008 - Battle of the Football Codes

Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Intelligenz Solutions

Intelligenz provides Leisure Management Software for managing all your Program Registrations, Facility Bookings, Membership Sales and POS Transactions; including detailed Reporting, automated…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology


Active World

Since 2019, Active World's development team has been delivering a comprehensive single solution that caters to the diverse requirements of successfully operated and managed leisure centres. The…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Fitness / Recreation / Technology


Ticketworx Pty Ltd

Ticketworx (formerly House of Tickets) is Australia and New Zealand’s foremost ticket specialist servicing some 2,700 clients and producing in excess of 30 million per tickets per annum.…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Technology / Ticketing / Venues


Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues


Advanced Aquarium Technologies

Advanced Aquarium Technologies (AAT) is a world leader in the design, construction, and operation of landmark public aquariums. Led from Queensland, AAT has delivered aquarium projects in over 25…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Parks / Zoos


Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks


Gladstone MRM

Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues


Felton Industries

Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…

read more

Parks / Play / Recreation / Sport / Venues


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