Posts tagged ‘state competition’

Rules Pointless Unless Adhered To

Sports administrators in the main are very sensitive people. The want all the praise but are not keen on criticism. One would have thought heading into a field where you are never going to keep everyone a happy a thick skin would be a prerequisite.

What is a major concern to sports lovers and participants is the inconsistency being shown by those running the various sports.

Rules and regulations are put in place by the various governing bodies yet none seem to have the courage to enforce those regulations; some sports enforce where it suits.

A prime example follows the introduction of a new side to a state competition. One of the conditions of entry so NTFS has been led to believe was that the new side would not go out and target players from existing clubs and entice them to the new club with incentives. Yet the feeling among a number of the existing clubs is that this is exactly what has happened. One club official claiming that the departing player was honest enough to share the deal he was being offered and explaining why he was leaving.

When this was taken up with the game’s governing body the club was allegedly told “What can we do?”

If you as a governing body are not going to do anything why put rules and regulations in place? When creating these rules it would be wise to outline the consequences of clubs or individuals breaking these regulations and the sanctions that they face. In this instant surely a fine or a deduction of points would have been the ideal way to show that such behaviour would not be tolerated?

Of course the ignorance of some clubs, run in the main by volunteers is a major cause of the mismanagement. Clubs are not aware of many of the rules or the constitutions under which they are operating and as a result people obtain positions they are not entitled to and no one says a word. In one sport one man currently holds three official positions, one with a club, which precludes him from holding one of his other positions, yet has anyone said anything?

They say we get the politicians we deserve, it would appear that sport is getting the administrators it deserves. Each club should take the time to read the rules and regulations as it is in their long term interests that they are adhered to. It may not affect your club now but it may down the track, so if one club steps out of line the others have an obligation to stand as one a nip that breaking of ranks in the bud.

If in this busy world that we live in they feel they do not have time to do such things they would be wise to elect a representative  whose sole job is to monitor such issues and ensure for the good of the clubs and the sport that rules and regulations are adhered to. They currently cannot rely on the administrators to carry out this role which in truth should fall under their remit.

If the administrators are not prepared to ensure that everything is run by the book, then is it any wonder that anarchy is sticking its head above the parapet?

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March 31, 2015 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

Time To Underpin Those Underpinning Football.

According to the rhetoric the National Premier Leagues are the new era of Football in Australia, it will take the game to a new level. So many cliches but very little to support the words as they float away on the wind.

The truth is the competition in each state has simply been give a new name, a unified name. A name to satisfy a requirement for a second tier competition “underpinning the A-League.” It is rather an intriguing word choice as if you look up “underpinning” in the dictionary it states two definitions which the administrators continually try and ignore; “Foundation for something” and “supporting structure.”

For over one hundred years the state league clubs in the main thanks to, and not as many would want you to believe, their ethnic roots have kept the game alive in Australia. It has been these clubs who have supplied the next generation of A-League stars, not the A-League clubs who have against their will been forced to invest in a youth team.

It is great news that these clubs who have been manned by  hundreds of people over the years who have given hours of their time for free to keep the game and their club alive, finally have a competition that makes all that hard work worthwhile; yes there have been at every club people who have put themselves ahead of the club, but if you look around in most cases they have gone and the club remains.

The sad thing is the NPL is not all that it should be and those people cannot rest easy knowing the future is bright. There is little or no investment from the FFA or Football West to make those clubs involved feel that they are part of a ‘new dawn,’ of something the like of which we have never seen. There has been no financial carrot for teams to strive to win that inaugural NPL title, just a play off place against a South Australian team due to cost restrictions and if they win that the possibility of taking on the big boys from the big cities on the East.

What about the promotion of this great new era? There has been next to nothing, a web based video and a breakfast shown and seen by those who have already bought into the idea and the concept that this re-branding will in fact carry the game forward.

There has been talk that the new NPL will attract bigger crowds than the old State League, yet how will that be so when nothing is spent on promotion? The West Australian newspaper carried a picture from the launch breakfast, but how much space will the game garner on a match day for previewing the fixtures and how much on a Monday reviewing the games?

Many will say what little chance does a state competition have when the Perth Glory struggles for coverage. Others will say its only a state competition so doesn’t warrant coverage, yet the WAFL will have sometimes four pages in the paper and that is a state competition. The difference is Australian Rules Football pays or has paid in the past for some of that space in the paper to ensure that they get the coverage they feel their teams and their sport needs to attract high profile sponsors. The WAFL crowds are not much better than some of the better State League football crowds yet they garner more coverage because they have invested in it. The perception then is that the game is thriving and killing other state competitions.

As Perth Glory are struggling for stories in the paper, and as a part of the NPL, a league that they have stated they believe their future relies upon, why have they not combined with Football West and bought newspaper space in order to promote their club and the league that they believe is so vital to bring through the next generation of players? We are constantly told that the relationship between the two is the best it has ever been, so why not a collaborative approach to gain the sport more publicity?

Sadly it all comes down to cost. Neither organisation wants to invest in something as intangible as publicity, so both fall back, like so many organisations on social media. The thing is to make social media work for you, as those who use it successfully will tell you, you have to spend money. Simply posting messages to your Twitter followers and your Facebook friends is almost pointless. For these people have opted to “follow” you and “Like” you so they probably already now what time you are playing, against whom, where and when. They are already committed to the game.

The NPL is a good concept. It has the potential to raise the profile of the game as a whole across the country, but with no marketing plan and no media strategy to pull people through the gates it will struggle. It will die if this responsibility is left solely at the feet of the clubs, as they simply do not have the resources available. With the right plan and the game’s administrators “underpinning” the League in its infancy, they may grow to a position whereby they can take over that role, but not at the start.

Finally the sad fact is that even if the standard of the football improves dramatically, thanks to the coaches that have been given a piece of paper to say that they understand the philosophy of football, it will take a while for the crowds to come, as how will they know that the game has improved? The only way will be via word of mouth.

It is time for less talk and time for actions to speak louder than words. No doubt the clubs, the coaches and the players are about to give their all to the NPL. So too should the administrators across the country promoting and gaining the league publicity. As without out this investment all of the pain to get to this stage will have been for nought, and that would be a great shame.

March 7, 2014 at 7:40 am 1 comment


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