Bosnich’s plea for drastic A League change

January 19, 2024 BY

Not funny: Former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Bosnich has called for the A Leagues to move to an autumn and winter schedule. Photo: JASON O’BRIEN/ AAP IMAGE

MARK Bosnich has launched an impassioned plea for a change in the A-League season for both men and women, doubling down on his belief that the competition suffers for playing into the summer months.

Professional football in Australia runs from October through May, with Cricket Australia’s Big Bash League the only other tournament on a similar scale to play through the summer months.

Kick-off times in summer were moved back for the 2023/24 season, with no games to start before 5pm local time.

Bosnich has previously called for a move to the winter and autumn months for the A-League Men and Women, but speaking to SEN 1170, called for an imminent decision to be made.

The Australian football legend doesn’t buy the argument that the summer months present the game with a free slate and added he’s raised the issue with the game’s hierarchy.

“We need to change the time of the year that we play, we really do. That needs to happen like tomorrow,” he said on SEN 1170’s The Run Home.

“I want the players in Australia who I care about, both boys and girls, your job as administrators is to provide the best possible environment for them to play in. In my opinion, you’re not doing that.

“I remember some of them saying, ‘maybe eventually’. Not eventually, [it’s got to happen] now.

“You’re just putting it off… it was explained to me that [the A-League] would get less TV rights. It shouldn’t matter, it’s not as if they get extortionate TV rights right now anyway.

“I want everyone listening to this… be honest right now, do you ever pick up the newspaper and see seven pages of soccer? Summer in Australia is for cricket, it’s for tennis, it’s for beaches and it’s for holidays.

“People, the last thing on their mind is [A-League].”

The Australian Professional Leagues, or APL was formed in December 2020 to take control of the A-League, the first time it had become officially independent of Football Australia.

But Bosnich said it hasn’t benefitted the competition.

“You’ve got to think about the fans. It’s got worse, it must be said, it’s got worse,” he said.

“Everyone thought after the clubs went separate and became the APL that things were [going to improve], it hasn’t.

“It’s just gone downhill. [From] broadcasting to scheduling, every second day there’s something that comes up and you think, ‘oh, not again’. It’s like they’re doing it on purpose.

“So enough. It is the most participated sport in the country, it’s got a wonderful potential, always has done, but you need to start doing things for the most important people in the game which are the fans and the players.

“There’s no Craig Foster on the coverage, there’s no Robbie Slater. I’m starting to think it’s because they don’t want those type of people on the coverage because they would hold, the game, to account.”