I’ve started this blog basically for the same reason as anyone else who needs an outlet to express themselves beyond a 140 character limit and doesn’t want to bore their friends and family to tears with long-winded statuses.
I have blogged in the past with @OSAussies which I started over three years ago and I hope has made a positive contribution to the football landscape in Australia. In addition to this I was a co-founder of Football Central along with Jason Ganter and Ahmed Yussuf which has been going for over a year now and produced some significant pieces and broken quite a few stories for new and relatively small player in the arena.
Recently though I have grown more and more dissatisfied with the governance of the beautiful game both abroad and domestically. Everyone has known of FIFA and international sports dodgy deals in dark rooms or luxury yachts for years and it almost became tolerable until 2010 and the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Corruption is a really of business and politics and it has been since day one but we don’t like it rubbed in our faces and this is what FIFA did with the Qatar decision.
My personal focus has always been more at home. I love football wherever it is played but it is in Australia where I’ve always cared about the fortunes of the game more than anywhere else. Before moving to Japan the National Soccer League was struggling under poor governance from Soccer Australia and an Australian media more interested in chasing the booming Australian Football League and National Rugby League than this pesky little sport that just couldn’t capitalise on its clear advantages such as participation rates of young people of both sexes, broad appeal to people of various backgrounds, and of course the global reach it has.
The emergence of the Football Federation headed by the rich, powerful and influential Frank Lowy in 2004 brought a huge wave of positivity. There were a number of people concerned at the complete overhaul which saw some traditional powers, who for generations had helped build the game, banished to the football wasteland. Overall though we knew what the Crawford Report confirmed and that was that a major overhaul of the competition and governance structure was needed.
I was unable to watch the newly created A-League because I had moved to Japan the year before but I did check the scores online and followed the news with great interest. The crowds were great and the coverage was much more positive and prevalent than I’d ever experienced. The same year we qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1974. What a time to be a football fan!
It was only three years ago when I began the OS Aussies site that I had the opportunity to talk to and even meet people involved in just about every facet of the game that I got my first whiff that maybe all wasn’t what it seemed. The curtain was slowly being pulled back and what it was revealing, was things that I wasn’t prepared for but it did set me on a course of wanting to know more.
I took what I heard from various people and would look further into it. I looked into the background and associates of journalists, coaches, players, and administration. What I was told in confidence almost never came out in the public, in fact, often the complete opposite was reported or at best certain important points were just left out. By getting to know the people behind the decisions and the reporting I could understand why they did what they did and in some cases I could even accept it.
However, it was like my partner had farted for the first time but instead of laughing it off or pretending it didn’t happen the stench lingered and clinged to my nostrils. I’ll never leave the game I love over it, but I’ll continue to seek answers and ways to combat these negative aspects of football.
In doing so I need to consider the fantastic people I’ve collobarted with and the football outlets I’ve helped create. I don’t want them to be adversely affected by my personal agenda. Yes, I do have an agenda but it’s an agenda with a very simple goal, bringing balance to what is reported to the public who deserve to know how their game is being run and by whom and why.
People can follow OS Aussies or Football Central and know that they are completely agenda-free. This blog people can choose to follow or not, to believe what I write or not. There won’t be any favours or punches pulled.
Everything which appears on this blog will be formed from the informations and facts gathered as well as my personal experiences. There will be no attempt to mislead anyone. I hope you get on board for this journey even if it is to keep me honest. If I miss something or report something that was factually incorrect I welcome correction and even a figurative kick up the backside.