Foxtel To Inject $20M Into Development Of FFA Grassroots Program For Australian Youth
Australian football "continues to kick goals" after pay-TV provider Foxtel and Football Federation Australia "formed a partnership" in which Foxtel will inject A$20M ($20.8M) into the development of a grassroots program to encourage more kids to play the sport, according to Ray Gatt of THE AUSTRALIAN. News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Australian, was on hand as the two organizations announced the four-year deal, in which Australian national football player Tim Cahill "will play a significant role via the Foxtel Ambition Program." Under the deal, Foxtel "will also be the naming-rights sponsor for the A-League All-Stars," who will play ManU in front of a sell-out crowd of 82,000 at ANZ Stadium on July 24. The company will also sponsor the National Youth League (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/9). NEWS LTD.'s Tom Smithies wrote that the A$20M program "will have two strands: the All-Stars Academy, a free program of two-day clinics for 1,000 kids across the country, and the All-Stars Ambition tour, where 30 potential stars will be selected for a week-long exposure to elite football." Cahill's coaching clinics will "be used to roll out the Academy program, with the Socceroo to be one of the faces of the initiative." Asked whether it was a statement of intent that should worry the other codes, FFA CEO David Gallop was "unequivocal in welcoming the challenge." Gallop said, "Absolutely, it's not a matter of whether they should be. I'm sure they are" (NEWS LTD., 4/9).