SYDNEY - The start of the next A-League
season has been moved back to October in a bid to reverse the
trend of diminishing crowds and interest in the Australian top
Football Federation Australia (FFA) are hoping the later
start will help define soccer as the only summer football code
as it does battle with the more popular Australian Rules and
rugby league and union operations in a congested sports market.
Although a crowd of more than 50,000 watched the Brisbane
Roar beat the Central Coast Mariners to win the A-League title
in March, attendances overall were down on previous years.
As well as reducing the number of midweek matches, the FFA
has also promised a bigger and smarter marketing outlay for next
Twice champions Sydney FC, once the glamour team of the
A-League whose crowds dropped below 10,000 last season, welcomed
"We think the move to an October start date is the right
move for the A-League," acting CEO Stefan Kamasz said.
"There are plenty of local derby matches and fixtures where
strong rivals face each other throughout the opening rounds too,
so as a league we can have a strong start to the season and
build really good momentum from there."
The first round of matches will take place on October 8 with
the final matches of the regular season taking place on March 25
before the "finals series" to decide the champions.
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