Why does a balanced league matter? because the premier’s plate matters. how much it matters is a matter for debate. but is there anyone out there that doesn’t think a premier’s plate and a toilet seat is a better achievement than a toilet seat by itself? and last season it went down to the wire … CCM won the plate. they played the schedule they had in front of them and got the most points during the season. fair play to them. but each team had a different schedule. 3 games against each opponent, a home and away series, and a random set of home and away matches for the last 9 matches. so a scheduling decision decides whether you play the jets twice at their stadium, or twice at yours. etc. no-one’s mad enough to go throug the schedules and calculate which teams have harder schedules. at least, i am not. but what we can safely say is that they aren’t the same.
9 opponents, 4 games against each opponent = 36 game season.
Playing each other 4 times is a lot. And having to fit in around rugby league and rugby union (and the damage they do to the pitches) … bit of a squeeze that. Bit of a jump too … 27 to 36 …
Hmmm, guess the solution is more teams. 15 teams = 28 game season
The candidates? Gonna get a little crazy here, it hasn’t worked before, but North Queensland Cowboys Sporting Club.
NQ loves rugby league. Give them something to cheer, with the same colours, in the summer. Get in tight with the deep pockets leagues club. Maybe get the same corporate backing. Its crazy like a fox this idea : )
Canberra should have got a Guernsey for this season as well as WSW. Make it happen.
Woollongong? Former NSL champs. Must be some backing up there.
Brisbane Strikers / Brisbane South … they still have their fans up here. Some of whom … gee, lets just say their fave team is whoever is playing the Roar.
I dunno, a second Adelaide team, second perth team? An AIS/development team run out of Canberra with an upper age limit of 25?
South Melbourne – hated and reviled by some in internet land, but a lot of history there? There is plenty of NSL dna in the a-league. players, coaches, brisbane roar (lions), newcastle jets, adelaide united, perth glory, frank lowy … there isn’t an instant connection nsl = bad.
Maybe 2 in one year, 2 in the next, lucky last at the end of that?
The other thing about these would be, maybe they can’t be sustainable if they have the same salary cap and use the same stadia type as the current a-league teams. So maybe Townsville has a team that costs the half the a-league average. Maybe a second Brisbane team plays out of a revamped 15,000 seater on the south side …
The other thing that expansion teams deserve is some kind of expansion … draft. not a draft, but the right to talk to and poach any player outside an existing club’s protected group of players – maybe that is 11 players, maybe 13. doesn’t mean that the expansion team has to take the player. doesn’t mean the player has to go. but if you are an established first team player, and a team doesn’t put you on the protected list – you aren’t really feeling the love, are you. Or if you are knocking on the door of the first team, and an expansion team comes along with flowers and the offer of a first team spot… time is ticking. Chance to play big minutes.
This is what WSW needed. not 6 foreign spots and mark bridge playing wide forward/wing : (. Mooy and Luke Bratten running the middle of the park for WSW, that would have been something.
More opportunity for Aussie players, more rivalries … a balanced league (leaving no doubts about the premier’s plate) …
Good times ahead?