The HUGE flop that led to the A-League making a $10 million deal to sell their grand finals to Sydney
A lack of A-League fan subscriptions to Paramount+ have been reported to be the reason the grand finals for the next three years will be played in Sydney.
Last season, a five-year, $200 million broadcast deal was signed with Network 10 and Paramount+, but a key clause in the deal revealed that a certain amount of subscriptions for A-League coverage on Paramount+ was integral.
Once those targets were not met, the flow-through effect saw less money transferred to the A-League and its clubs, leaving Australian Professional Leagues chief executive Danny Townsend to seek a deal worth of at least $10 million with Destination NSW, the Sydney Morning Herald informed.
When Townsend announced the deal on Monday, many soccer fans, players and clubs were shocked.
The backlash has been severe, with Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory supporters planning to walk out of this weekend’s derby at AAMI Park in protest.
The lack of A-League fan subscriptions to Paramount+ is the reason why the grand finals for the next three years will be played in Sydney; left APL boss Danny Townsend scrambling for a new deal, which he struck with Destination NSW.
Adelaide United captain Craig Goodwin appeared in a video promoting the Destination NSW deal after the decision, but did not support the result.
Sydney FC’s main fan group, The Cove, have announced they will not attend this Saturday’s game against the Central Coast Mariners, while their fans based in Gosford, on the central coast of New South Wales, will boycott the games. of the series finale over the next three seasons.
Brisbane fans have also pledged to stage a protest on December 23 when they host the Wanderers at Kayo Stadium in Redcliffe, and Melbourne Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro stepped down as APL director this week following the announcement of The Sydney Grand Final.
However, not all clubs were opposed to the agreement with Destination NSW.
Western Sydney Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer, who also heads the APL board, admitted to the commercial reality of football in Australia he is facing and applauded Townsend for thinking outside the square.
“We have just experienced two of the worst years in football history due to the impacts of the global pandemic,” a statement from Lederer said this week.
‘This unprecedented global event (Covid-19) has affected our community as a whole and decimated the livelihood of professional football clubs.
“This final grand agreement creates a necessary step to ensure our game has a sustainable future.
Broadcaster Lucy Zelic has criticized the A-League, stating that they have “sold their soul” by taking $10m from the NSW government for Sydney to host the men’s and women’s grand finals of the competition until 2025.
Fans of Adelaide United and Brisbane (both teams pictured) will have to fork out for flights and accommodation to watch the grand final in Sydney for at least the next three years if their teams make it to the decider.
“The decision of the APL board is for the benefit of all the clubs in the League.”
Adelaide United captain Craig Goodwin appeared in a video promoting the three-year deal with Destination NSW after the decision, but did not support the result.
“When they were filming, there were two questions that they asked me and one of which I refused to answer,” the Socceroos star told Channel 10 in Qatar.
‘The other question was about what the grand finals can do for the Australian players.
‘The question (I declined to answer) was, ‘why do you support this APL/DNSW initiative?’ and I didn’t want to answer that question because I didn’t support it.
“I think it’s not the best thing for the fans.”
Socceroos star Craig Goodwin has lashed out at the decision to hold the Grand Final in Sydney until at least 2025
A Sydney A-League grand final (both teams pictured) would be a promoter’s dream, but selling a decider in Harbor City between two interstate teams won’t be easy for a competition already struggling with low crowds. .
Fans are concerned about empty rows of seats in the grand final if no Sydney team takes part (pictured is the crowd at last Saturday’s clash between Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix in Wollongong)
For many soccer fans across the country, their complaint with the APL was the lack of consultation.
Since the A-League began in 2005, clubs have needed to earn the right to host the grand final based on their performance in the final series.
Basically emulating the NRL (Sydney) and AFL (Melbourne) grand final models has removed one of the competition’s most attractive selling points.
The proof has been that many capitals host the A-League grand final, including Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.
Newcastle, north of Sydney, hosted the decisive game in 2018, with almost 30,000 fans in attendance, almost at capacity.