Is there any magic in the Cup?

Jake Rachwalski

Last Wednesday, the 11th of August the FFA drew the matches for the FFA cup’s round of 16 matches which will be played on Wednesday August the 26th and Tuesday September the 1st.

The draw threw up some enticing match ups, Ex NSL clubs Heidelberg United and Sydney United drew each other at Heidelberg’s Olympic Village and New South Wales state league side Rockdale City Suns drew A-league champions Melbourne Victory at Jubilee oval in Sydney just to name a few.

With matches being drawn the question now becomes which ones will be televised nationally on Foxtel’s Fox Sports channel. On August 26thA-league teams Adelaide United and Sydney FC will be broadcast live on Fox Sports with live updates to other games during the broadcast, with the Rockdale City Suns vs. Melbourne Victory game to be broadcasted live the following Tuesday.

Although all games are live streamed on the Fox Sports website, it’s hardly national exposure for teams like Heidelberg United, Sydney United, Hume City and Sydney Olympic, just to name a few, who rarely have the opportunity to play to a National Audience.

The purpose of the FFA cup is to put state league sides which includes former NSL clubs on a national scale and a chance to compete against the much more wealthy A-league clubs on and off the pitch. With the choice to Broadcast an all A-league matchup rather than an all State league match which is a rather big one former NSL rivals Heidelberg United and Sydney United, it seems as if “The magic of the cup” has been forgotten.

Although it’s disappointing, maybe it’s an initiative for supporters of the local game to attend matches. It’s not surprising that a decision like this has been made…. After all Adelaide United and Sydney FC have bigger fan bases then those of the state league teams and are likely to draw a bigger TV audience. Is that really the case though? Would Sydney United and Heidelberg United not garner outside interest from their regular fan bases? People at bars and pubs might take more interest in a game where they haven’t seen these teams playing on TV before as well as adding to that national exposure.

FOX SPORTS CEO, Patrick Delany, said at the announcement of all games of the 2015 FFA cup being live streamed “The inaugural FFA Cup was a huge success. Australians fell in love with the magic of this truly national competition as the underdog grassroots clubs took on the big-hitting A-League teams.” Now after the decision to ignore the “underdog grassroots clubs” two weeks in a row for the wealthy A-league clubs, it’s hard to understand if Mr. Delany really means what he said or if he were saying it as a promotional stunt for his channel, as most TV CEO’s do.

Photo by Kevin Aris from FourFourTwo Website.

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