A-League licences and awards
There are similarities between what happened at Gold Coast United and Newcastle Jets. On another note, did Thomas Broich deserve the Johnny Warren Medal?
The news which has come out of Newcastle this week has been a shock to the system for everybody involved in the Hyundai A-League because no one saw this coming.
If I am to take a look at the situation there are some similarities between what happened at Gold Coast United and the Jets.
The first common denominator being that we are dealing with clubs owned by two self-made billionaires.
These are men who made their money by having the brains and business acumen to do things themselves and when it comes to business maybe we should listen.
Both used the same sentence when speaking of the A-League, that sentence was, "the current A-League model is not sustainable”.
The other common denominator is that neither Clive Palmer nor Nathan Tinkler has a football background.
They haven-t grown up with football and it-s not in their DNA, which means that either their passion for the game is not at the same levels as other involved in the game.
In the future this might be something where FFA consider this and treat those who come from outside our game differently.
Simply put, because their background is not football, it might well be easier for them to walk away from the game without regrets.
However, in the case of Clive Palmer, and I can speak of this first hand, I think he now does have the requisite passion for the game and it might be something the FFA can capitalise on in the future.
My final point on this situation comes down to both Palmer and Tinkler saying their relationship with FFA was untenable.
While it-s very true that both are used to giving the orders to other people, perhaps they have to be handled with care and dealt with in a different manner. They can-t be told by memos what to do and what not to do. There has to be some flexibility, because the game needs wealthy backers.
Some people might just think they are the money and shouldn-t be in the game, but to them I say look at the current financial landscape of the world and of football.
Wealthy owners are part of the game and help leagues and clubs survive, a key case is Manchester City and their rise since they were taken over Sheikh Mansour.
As for the end result for Newcastle, I believe it-s always better to be an optimist and from this view I hope the situation will be resolved, and that Newcastle will be in the competition next year. If you want to be further optimistic, maybe there will be room to grow the competition to 12 teams soon, but maybe I am stretching my imagination there.
Now the Newcastle business is out of the way, I want to talk about the A-League Awards evening.
I don-t know who missed more? Me by not attending or the evening by not having me there?
I have to say I agree with most of the awards given, however I feel the Johnny Warren Medal should have gone elsewhere.
Thomas Broich may be the best player in the A-League and play for the best team, but it is my understanding the medal is not given to the best player in the league, but to the best performer of the season or the one who most contributed to his team-s success.
In my book this is Patrick Zwaanswijk. Central Coast Mariners are not the best team in the competition, but still they managed to win the Premiership, which is the most rewarding title of the season and they did it despite playing and having to compete with the best team ever in the history of the A-league, Brisbane Roar, which makes the Mariners- achievement even greater.
The best player in that team is Zwaanswijk. He was the leader, main goal-scorer despite being a central defender, was the main reason for their consistency and he was part of one of the best parings of central defenders in the A-League with Alex Wilkinson, which led to the Mariners having the best defensive record in the league.
And despite his age, he played more than 90 per cent of the games of the season including the Asian Champions League, so to give the Johnny Warren Medal to someone who played about a third of the season, looks a bit odd.
The injury was of course not Thomas Broich-s fault, but because of his injury his team slipped upand missed claiming the Premier-s Plate. Broich is the best player in the competition, he will continue to be, but I don-t believe he was Player of the Year.