Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sydney crowds; will they turn up?

THERE were strong comments after my most recent piece from some Sydney FC fans not happy with the sacking of Branko Culina and the club’s move to appoint John Kosmina.

The feeling among many fans, including those that have commented, is that the club has become Frank Lowy’s play-thing.

Fair enough, some might argue, since it was Lowy who basically bailed out the club after the largesse of the first season. The club was said to be six or seven millions dollars in the red.

However, there are others who argue it is a throw-back to the early days of NSL when Lowy presided over the Sydney City Slickers, the league’s best backed club financially, but the worst backed club in terms of numbers, as Lowy himself confirmed in Ross Solly's Shoot Out;

"It [Sydney City] was very successful, the players loved it.....but we didn't have spectators."

The fear among many fans is that Sydney’s crowds, already sliding, will continue to dwindle, and many regulars are claiming they will no longer attend. Some will even switch allegiances.

Here are the thoughts of one Sydney FC member, who has forwarded TRBA the email he sent to the club after hearing about the way the whole Culina matter was handled;

“This club is a shambles. Three coaches already and we aren't even half way through the third season. Instead of sacking the coach, the club should take a closer look at the squad of players. Half of them shouldn't even be there. And the other half are too bloody old. Our playing roster has to be the worst in the league. I was teetering whether to continue my membership this year and only did so on the appointment of Culina, and the hope of influx of new players. What do we get...Popovic...(dont we have a tall lumbering slow central defender already?). Thanks for making up my mind about next year. Cant wait for a second Sydney team, in the meanwhile, Go the Mariners.”
It’s stinging stuff, and there’s no doubt it’s the last thing the club and the A-League needs, fans of the game to stay away.

Yet there is a feeling the club has done very little to engage its fans or the community, with many feeling they’ll need some convincing to stay on board.

Others will be there through the good and the bad, as another SFS regular confirmed;

“Sydney City Hakoah reunion – Lowy, Kemeny, Kossie…not sure if it’s good or bad. I am not a member, but attend every home game, and yes, I will be there again
– I back my teams to the end.”

Right now the club looks like it could go either way – will it move forward and offer the stability and sound management fans crave, or has the goodwill be lost? Will fans give the club another chance?

In his piece yesterday, Mike Cockerill signed off by writing that there should be a spike in crowds for this weekend;

One positive at the end of a bad week for the club is the likelihood of a bumper crowd to witness Kosmina's first game in charge. With former English Premiership star Michael Bridges making his Sydney FC debut, and Socceroos striker John Aloisi making his debut for the Mariners, club officials are hopeful of a season-best crowd for a match that could decide Sydney's title aspirations.

Interesting times indeed for Sydney and the A-League.

Whether you’re a Sydney FC regular or casual, will you be turning up? If you’re not a Sydney fans, can you understand if fans turn their back on the club given what has gone on so far? Let us know your thoughts either via a comment or email me at roundballanalyst@gmail.com

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be turning up and will do week in and week out until Sydney FC is no more.

This will only be my fifth game this season though (sick for 2nd round and overseas between 3rd and 9th) and I hope it doesnt turn out to be like the four that I have witnessed (CCM home, Perth away, Perth away, Adelaide home).

Heres to hoping Kosmina brings some life to the squad. Unfortunately it looks like, with Rudan out and Timpano still not match fit, Poppa might be starting. Im just happy Milligan is around to watch him.

Thu. Oct. 25, 07:41:00 pm AEST  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

Good for you anonymous, travelling to 2 away games, both in Perth...

That's massive. Great work.

What do you feel the crowd will be on Sunday?

Thu. Oct. 25, 08:51:00 pm AEST  
Blogger druryfire said...

I've sat back, i've read the comments, and think it's great.

I'm an englishman looking in on the A-league, and boy, the league will survive with the fans you guys have.

You guy's with the comments, Sydney fans or not, you drive the game.

The A-league will survive, but Sydney? Maybe, maybe not, sounds like they can stab in the back at any moment.

But it keeps the league interesting and in the media, which i guess is needed in very early days for A-League.

I've had coaches come and go for the english team i support, but i always get behind them, might not like them, will also criticise them, but believe the club is bigger than one man, so if you love that club, you stick with them.

Thu. Oct. 25, 11:38:00 pm AEST  
Anonymous Pinuts Pethia said...

I will only turn up if my wealthy friend invites me to sit in his box.

Fair comment druryfire.

Living in Sydney means that Sydney FC would be an obvious choice of club to support.

Considering Sydney are a new club in a new competition, the love of a club for many supporters takes years to build. This is also compounded by the fact that this club or competition has a very short history. It needs to engage possible supporters positively and to generate stability to create a positive environment/image, otherwise Sydney as a city has many other options for its population to enjoy.

Unfortunately when a club is run like a circus, and you give the club your support and that is not reciprocated, love/passion/support dwindles.

Sad but true!

Fri. Oct. 26, 12:58:00 pm AEST  
Anonymous Sean said...

Stumbled onto this site. Good to here Sydney supporters suffering.

What a bollocks club!

Lads support a real club like Victory! No shankers in our team. Quality all over the park.

See you next time we come up.

Fri. Oct. 26, 01:05:00 pm AEST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean said: "Lads support a real club like Victory! No shankers in our team. Quality all over the park".

Muscat, quality? Go look up the definition of the word.
Archie Thompson, quits, comes back, quits, comes back.
Would you like me to continue!!!!

Fri. Oct. 26, 03:55:00 pm AEST  
Blogger druryfire said...

In addition to what i have already said.

I guess most clubs are only three years old, unlike in UK, going on 100-odd years, so most people here are born into the club.

In Australia, i guess you get behind your city, or district team, but if theirs two teams from that neighbourhood, then i guess you could switch. Just like a woman i guess, if your not happy you get another until you commit yourself 100%

Fri. Oct. 26, 06:18:00 pm AEST  

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