As a long-standing fan of the A-League and then as it evolved the W-League, I’m frustrated.
Now let me start at the start. I’m an accidental fan of the game. If not for a few life events I might not be the slightest bit concerned, but I am and here we are. How did it start my, my wife bought a season ticket for my son and I for season 2 as he had started mini-roos earlier in the year? She thought it might be a good idea for some father son bonding. If not for events prior to my son may have been involved in junior rugby and life may be different. My daughter later wanted to play soccer as a junior and did so until under 16’s. When she started juniors she, and her mother, joined as season pass holder and later my sons GF also joined us. We have a tribe of supporters.
On to today. As you can tell, I’ve seen a lot of the A-League. Of the 17 seasons we’ve attended, including the most recent, my son and I have remained club members. Season passes every year.
Now, I get COVID has smashed a lot of plans and clubs have struggled to do things in part from COVID. It’s been a tough two years. That’s hopefully the worst behind us. What I’m concerned about is we are one season into the new APL run league and it looks to be in a worse state than the shit show the FFA was running. For a sport which approaches the state of a religion in many countries and we have a cross section of those nationalities in Australia, I can’t for the life of me as a long-time fan see anything looking forward that will bring the game to its peak. I can remember watching the games played without fans in the height of the pandemic and I’m going to say without the true fans and the unexpected moments with fans the game looses something, so I hope that the gloss of TV rights isn’t bigger than brining fans back to the game, because it’ll never be much of a game if that’s the plan. It might well kill it, eventually. It’s hard to conclude much else as everything this season pointed to the fans matter little. I would have thought fans would be a priority for the administration and yet in QLD we are let to see any clear interaction with the APL and members or other fans at any level.
We’ve had no surveys, we’ve had no booths to talk about the APL strategy to the fans at the game. We’ve had no request for any feedback in any form. This is leaving fans disengaged and uncertain in a time that the APL needs fans more certain than ever before.
As you can tell if you look around this site I know about technology and I’m astounded at how poor some of the technology has been. The keep up app is ok, but could be so much more, but since you’re not asking how would you know. The Paramount+ project so far I’d rate about a 5, Ok lot’s of potential, but nothing to scream about. People are having issues with the app, but we’ve had no mention of any improvements or even some thoughts on any of the technology issue. If there’s a plan for an upgrade to Paramount + get them to announce it soon, because I am sure you’re going to lose subscribers and therefore potential fans if they don’t give it a major overhaul.
Now I get it’s been a shit season again with COVID and while I’ve floated some negative’s, there have been positives. At the club level, people have worked hard with sometimes minimal resources to get things done and they have. Match days have gone ahead and there have been the diehards still getting to games. Some have even made away trips after travel became easier.
This is me venting my frustration at the league and the APL specifically, because the APL is failing to engage with their customer and failing to deliver the goods. To top it off, they’re not showing anything to compel people to remain customers (fans) or allow customers to recommend the product.
APL first year I’d give them a 3/10
Brisbane Roar Fan