Despite Large Turnout, Football Federation Australia's Numbers 'Not Cause For Celebration'
Football Federation Australia "trumpeted its best-ever crowd figures" on Wednesday with "impressive" numbers, according to Sebastian Hassett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The total gate clocked in at 1,666,942, "the highest in the history of the A-League." The FFA is "not only proud" of its rising TV presence -- up by 18% -- "but of its bouncing online footprint," which has seen a 40% rise on its digital platforms and a 105% rise on social media. FFA CEO David Gallop said, "The A-League is not just on the move, it's expanding massively in the mainstream of Australian society and capturing thousands of new fans live, on TV and in the digital space." Gallop adding that "the game's big strength comes from those who engage with it: under 35." It's "not as though the A-League hasn't seen a boom before." This year "has not eclipsed the most desirable benchmark of average crowds." The reason why this year "has produced the largest aggregate crowds is obvious." In the first four years of the A-League, there were eight teams. This year there are 10. While the numbers are strong, "they are not cause for celebration" (SMH, 4/4).