Friday, May 15, 2020

Failed Tasmanian bids for entry to a national league go back a long way

Photo:  The headline in "Soccer Action' claiming Lou Macari of Manchester United might join a Tasmanian NSL team.

Stories that Tasmania would soon have a football team in a national competition are as old as the hills.

They made headlines in the national paper, “Soccer Action”, as long ago as 1980.

None of these predictions have yet come to fruition.

As I have written in the past, I can remember the ‘suits’ from Sydney coming to Hobart in 1981 and saying that Tasmania would have a team in the Philips League.

Empty promises from ‘snake oil salesmen’.

It was only a question of finding a backer and the money, we were told.

Some other potential candidates were against a Tasmanian team in the national league because they believed they were stronger on the field than the best Tasmania had to offer.

Photo:  Makedonia thumb their noses in a "Soccer Action" article at Rapid's bid to play in the NSL.

Makedonia, a Melbourne-based team, for example, mocked the idea, stating that they had beaten Tasmania’s best club side, Rapid, 5-1 before a crowd of just 300 in a national cup competition.

Just as with the current A-League bid, nothing came of the predictions back in 1980.

There were even headlines saying that Manchester United’s Lou Macari would come and play for ‘the Tasmanian Tigers’, the favoured name of the Tasmanian national league team.

Rapid was the driving force as they were the most successful club in Tasmania at the time and club officials developed proposals.  Ken Morton was going to be the coach.

Photo:  Head of Philips League makes all the right noises in a "Soccer Action" article of 1980 but nothing come of it.

Fast forward to 2019 and the Tasmanian bid for an A-League club came to nothing, despite the wealthy backers having the money, something which wasn’t the case in 1980 and 1981.

The fact is, the A-League doesn’t want a Tasmanian club in the competition.

Television wants an audience and the feeling is that a Tasmanian team would not attract enough viewers.

This could be a blessing in disguise as the A-League is on its knees as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Whether it will even survive is a moot point.

Some will call me cynical, pessimistic, a kill-joy, a doomsday merchant.

I remind them that cynics are made, not born.

Attached are some “Soccer Action” articles from 1980.  Judge for yourself.

Remember, too, that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Photo:  Promises, promises...



Anonymous said...

Players were men back then. Not boys like now.

Anonymous said...

A league is doomed no tv broadcaster from next season, no major sponser, no crowds, recycled players. Would rather watched a league of local NPL clubs playing eachother. As for a Tassie team we cannot even get our 8 team league right

Anonymous said...

Do you think our clubs can sort themselves out so we have a better league when it returns?

Anonymous said...

Will be interesting to see what happens at the presidents meeting tonight. Clubs don't want to play without crowds , canteen or bar. Will players drop there wage demands??

Brian Young said...

I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment in that article about crowd numbers, 300 for a Rapid vs Makedonia.
Maybe not as much has changed as people insinuate.