'No one could be happy' with current A-League turmoil - David Gallop
Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop has warned that expansion will not solve all problems as the A-League suffers through a significant slump.
The FFA chief executive has admitted that no one could be happy with the A-League's TV numbers and crowds -- indicating the need for the game to be marketed better in Australia, so more people who play at the grassroots level become rusted-on A-League fans.
"Expansion can often have pitfalls and be a very costly venture in Australian sport ... we need to think carefully about that," he told SEN.
He expects progress in the next few months as the game works through a complex set of issues linked to how the A-League operates, raising capital for new teams and the rewards for current owners.
Gallop was blunt, however, about the current A-League season.
"No one could be happy with the pure output, in terms of numbers around attendances and ratings," he said.
"Of course, those never tell the full story, the quality of the football has been high, Sydney FC have just played beautiful football and look almost unstoppable.
"But it's another reminder of the competition in the Australian market."
He said this A-League season had struggled to generate interest in the wake of the Socceroos' qualifying process late last year, with competition from the Rugby League World Cup, the Ashes, the Big Bash League and the Australian Open.
"Football needs to actually think about how it's marketed, both at club level and our level as we go into the next season in October," Gallop said.
"The sport has a lot of reason to be optimistic, confident about the future.
"The challenge is to turn those grassroots participants into fans of the A-League.
"It's still a relatively young competition, it doesn't have the generational support of the AFL and NRL."
Gallop was similarly frank about poor A-League TV ratings.
"That's probably been frustrating for us, our clubs and no doubt for Ten and no doubt for Fox Sports as well," he said.