Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughA-League more like Z-League... - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough A-League more like Z-League... - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

A-League more like Z-League…

G’day! Most of you might have heard of the A-League some of you may not? It’s the nearest thing Australia has got to the premier league or shall I say the conference! The A-league has many difficulties to overcome before it is celebrated as the countries number one sport and one of the top leagues in the world. The two main sports in Australia are the NRL (National Rugby League) and the AFL (Australian Football League) which overshadows the ‘soccer’.

A big problem is the quality of players we have. Most big name players are ones that are fast approaching retirement and getting that one last big pay-check. The likes of Dwight Yorke and Robbie Fowler are the most famous A-Leaguers. Some names you may recognize playing here are Nicky Carle, Paul Ifil, Hayden Fox and Chris Greenacre. With each club having a salary cap of $2.35 Million (£1.68m) and only allowing 1 Australian Marquee player and 1 non- Australian Marquee player where they can pay an unlimited amount too also causes difficulty to attract top names.  The average annual salary excluding marquee players is $106,608 (£71,136) which compared to the European stars is peanuts! Also there have only been roughly 11 transfers where a fee has been attached! With the Transfer of Dwight Yorke to Sunderland from Sydney FC for $500,000 (£333,000) making it the leagues all time transfer record selling fee. We have to rely on players that are out of contract. Average attendances are very low as well with the 2010/11 average season attendance of just 8,393. It’s hard to believe that Sydney with a population of 4.5 million only managed an average season attendance of 7,656 taking into consideration the capital only has one team Sydney FC. 

The A-league was formed in 2006 and has ten teams (9 Australian 1 New Zealand) and no cup competitions throughout the season. With the league winner having to wait a whole year before they can participate in the Asia Champions League!!! They play each other three times to determine the league champions and then play a final series which is a bit similar to the play-offs. The top-six-ranked teams at the end of the regular season are entered into a finals series, where the top two ranked teams in the regular season compete over two legs (with ties decided by the away goals rule, including extra time), the winner progressing straight to and hosting the Grand Final. On the same weekend, the third and sixth-ranked teams play against each other the same for the fourth and fifth-ranked teams. The winner of each of these matches plays against each other, the winner of which goes ahead to play in a Preliminary Final against the loser of the two-legged match between the top two teams. The winner of this match progresses to the Grand Final. It’s as complicated as David Hayes reasons for losing against Klitschko!

We can only prey for A-miracle or keep getting up at 3am to watch some proper soccer until it happens…….

Harry O’Donnell

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