Caltex Socceroo star Tim Cahill says Football Federation Australia’s new broadcast deal with Fox Sports will positively impact the grassroots level of the game.
A new six-year deal worth $346m was announced at FFA headquarters on Tuesday.
The value of the deal is set to increase in the new year, with FFA still to sell one match in prime time on free-to-air on Saturday nights, while international rights and digital are yet to be finalised.
Cahill says the new windfall for the game will be a massive boost for the elite players and clubs but also hailed the impact it will have flowing right down though the game.
“I’ve been involved with for four years with Foxtel and Fox Sports in the grass roots.
The implementation and how we can grow the game. It’s to help the younger kids and inspire them to follow the game and play in the A-League one day,” Cahill said.
“We need to get investment into the elite level, the women’s level and emphasize the grassroots which is something that’s really going to be the main sticking point to how we create the next lot of players coming through.”
As part of the deal, the Hyundai A-League’s marquee fund – which helped bring Cahill to Melbourne City – will increase from $1m to $3m for clubs to entice big-name players.
Cahill’s return has had a huge impact on the league and Melbourne City, with the 37-year-old hoping the competition can continue to attract huge marquee talent.
“It’s important for each club and it helps the fans and it helps the exposure of [the competition],” Cahill said.
“We have to really focus on getting kids to games, getting families to games and welcoming them.
“It’s part of our jobs as players to be role models on and off the field and help take the game to the highest level possible whether it be domestically or internationally. We’re on a step in the right direction.”