Soccer must be affordable to thrive

THE FIFA World Cup has come to its conclusion and, of course, everyone is aware of where Australia finished (for those who don’t, we managed one draw and two losses).
Unfortunately, for the Socceroos, the resolution with our footballing future lies with Football Federation Australia (FFA), and it is buggering it up big time.
The A-League is in a troublesome state, and the ticket prices from last season to go to a game are a disgrace, and, now, the FFA has allegedly jacked up the already sky-high registration fees for our juniors.
How are we meant to have a future on the world stage with our governing body robbing the families of the future?
A registration at a State League 2 federation club in South Australia is $550 per season for the seniors, while the juniors are slugged $500 per season.
I compare this with my registration fee at Gawler Central Football Club this year, which was just over $200.
How can it be possible that there is such a vast difference in fees?
The future of soccer in this country is in trouble, especially if families that may have such talented young players coming up can’t foot the bill for their kid to play.
The FFA needs a clean out, and it needs to go from top to bottom.
A-League clubs need to become independent bodies from the competition, and the salary cap must go.
Once there can be transfers and transfer fees between clubs, rather than the cancelling of contracts, this league will start to flourish a bit more.
However, the reality is that soccer will never be the number one sport in the country – unless the AFL continues down its path of buggering up the game with its rule changes – and the FFA needs to realise that.
Stop jacking up the prices of registration, let the kids play, and let the kids go and watch the A-League without ripping out someone’s entire weekly wage for a ticket.

Jack Hudson

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Growing up in Gawler, Jack has taken on a variety of journalistic roles while still studying for his Bachelor of Journalism and Creative Writing degree. He began his career at The Bunyip as a weekend football writer, before taking on roles with The Footy Budget and The Cricket Chronicle and then earning his first part-time gig at the Barossa Herald. Now returning to The Bunyip, Jack also has a keen interest in footy and soccer, as well as a passion for gaming and reading.

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