Craig Foster - My Message To The Fans

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Shane
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Craig Foster - My Message To The Fans

Postby Shane Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:50 pm

The following article comes courtesy of Craig Foster. The last part of the article is what I'd like everyone to really imerse themselves in - It's important and for the greater good of Australian Football.

http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/craig-fo ... o-the-fans

______________________________


The start of a new fan movement?

I certainly hope so, having spent last night talking football with a considerable group of football lovers in Sydney alongside various dignitaries such as Mark Bosnich and Sydney FC’s Edwin Lugt.

What a valuable and heartening experience it was.

Among the crowd a group of supporters whose football involvement stretched from running clubs, such as Mark Ambour of Waverley Old Boys, the head of the Eastern Suburbs Associoation Peter Hennessy, the boys from The Football Sack - a staple of the football twittersphere, former Deputy Mayor of Woollahra Marcus Ehrlich, the Chairman of the National Indigenous Chamber of Commerce Warren Mundine to the many Sydney FC fans who eagerly took the opportunity to question Edwin directly and plead their case for more involvement and engagement.

It’s far too rare in football for everyone to come together, well, at least from the fans' perspective.

Football Federation Australia meets with the clubs and media. Players meet with the fans at various times. But the fans rarely have the chance to meet with those responsible for managing the game they love so much.

It is a phenomenon that is quite common abroad. In England, during my time at Crystal Palace, the Chairman and club owner and team manager would meet with the fans several times a season to talk directly.

This process was seen as necessary in the running of the club, within a football culture that recognizes the invaluable connection between the club and those who support it and keep it alive.

As any fan will tell you, the chance to speak directly and praise or voice frustrations brings them closer to the club and makes them feel an important part of the game.

Issues discussed last night ranged from the ticket prices at Sydney FC to the stadium suitability, player recruitment, the brand of the club and the confusion over what Sydney stands for over the past six years, marquee players and the value of Dwight Yorke in season one, and how Sydney can connect with the fans more regularly.

Much of the two hours were spent on the need for greater football understanding at head office and the necessity to engage our own football family who can ensure the survival and prosperity of the A-League. If the game will only reach out and make them a part of the journey.

The AFC Asian Cup was raised, and the question asked about what it can do for the game.

I congratulated FFA for its achievement in gaining the hosting rights for the 2015 edition of the tournament.

It is a fantastic achievement and a diplomatic success to be endorsed as the only bidder. I explained that the 2015 AFC Asian Cup offers Australia massive benefits in three areas: tourism, business and diplomacy.

:: Tourism because nothing else Australia can undertake can bring a billion Asian eyeballs to bear on the gifts our country has to offer, not even Oprah;

:: Business because Austrade’s Business Club Australia is skilled in using these tournaments to connect business leaders from the fifteen countries with our own at events built around the games;

:: Diplomatic because the opportunity for the Australian State and Federal Governments to engage with their brethren from many of our major Asian trading partners and political partners is extraordinary.

All of this serves simply to position football as the one game that can deliver such immense benefits for our relationship regionally.

FFA can leverage this position to continue football’s rise in both prominence and influence nationally.

There was a broad range of topics discussed and I was pleased to gain an insight into the frustrations and joys of being an Australian football fan, but in the end, after thanking all for showing their passion by coming along, I left the fans with the following challenge:

Get organized!

This must be the start of a new fan movement that sees all the disparate groups come together under an umbrella organization to focus the huge numbers who love the game into a single force.

I have said many times that if football ever gets organized as a single entity we are exceptionally powerful as the largest sporting constituency in the country, a power that can be wielded at all levels of commerce and government to ensure a greater share of resources the game needs by virtue of our size.

Well, now is the time.

Football is about emotion and the fans must separate their passion into the different areas: their club, the Socceroos and the game itself.

Parochialism reigns when it comes to one’s club, as it should. But when the national game and the national team are concerned, we all have a shared agenda, a combined mission to push the interests of the game, which takes collaboration.


So following from the success of the fans forum, I urge all the fan groups around the country to begin the process of getting together to create a single voice.


When this happens, Australian football will hit light speed in it's development.
Shano. Red to the core.
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Re: Craig Foster - My Message To The Fans

Postby General Ashnak Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:45 pm

This is the start up organisation along the lines Fozzie wants, it needs people involved from across the country. We are going to be at the Melbourne version of the Sydney Fan Forum.

Football Supporters Federation Australia

website: http://www.fsfaus.org/
forum: http://f.fsfaus.org/
Terry Pratchett wrote:
The thing about football - the important thing about football - is that it is not just about football.
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Re: Craig Foster - My Message To The Fans

Postby Shane Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:37 pm

This place is dead, isn't it?

The overall consensus is great and I would happily contribute, but yeah, there doesn't seem to be much movement?
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Re: Craig Foster - My Message To The Fans

Postby Stuckey Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:53 am

This place is dead, isn't it?

The overall consensus is great and I would happily contribute, but yeah, there doesn't seem to be much movement?
More of a bowel movement! :P

Yeah i would be happy to chip in as well.

Maybe a bit of a AU influence could be a good thing considering how awesome are crowds are!
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General Ashnak
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Re: Craig Foster - My Message To The Fans

Postby General Ashnak Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:12 am

Is is pretty dead as it is still in the embrionic stage. Last year there was a reasonable flurry but it was too ambitious and would never have succeeded. This year the aim is to start to act as an information point for Australian fans and to build a data base of stadiums and the nearby pubs, accomodation etc. How best to get to them those sorts of things. There is also going to be a presence at the Melbourne forum by Matt looking at increasing awareness and garnering more support.

This is the thing with something like this is that it will take time - a very precious resource in todays environment.

If you are serious about wanting to help out then get in contact with Matt (notorganic on basically every website) and let him know.
Terry Pratchett wrote:
The thing about football - the important thing about football - is that it is not just about football.
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General Ashnak
Proud Adelaide United Supporter
Posts: 2003
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:51 am
Current Favourite Adelaide United Player: Pablo Sanchez
Location: Deep South rAdelaide

Re: Craig Foster - My Message To The Fans

Postby General Ashnak Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:25 am

Also please sign up to the website so that as we get more and more organised we can forward you information.
Terry Pratchett wrote:
The thing about football - the important thing about football - is that it is not just about football.
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Shane
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Re: Craig Foster - My Message To The Fans

Postby Shane Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:24 pm

I like the whole concept and am quite happy to push it using We Are The Reds.

However, you talk about gaining support but I can't seem to recall seeing anything on many forums about it asking if anyone is interested in jumping on board?

Have they actually approached the forums and websites of the supporter groups for each A-League club to start the ball rolling?

The forum they have implemented was a great start and the conversation that I've been reading on their forums seemed positive, but then it just "stopped".

They really should keep the forums going if they can.
Shano. Red to the core.
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General Ashnak
Proud Adelaide United Supporter
Posts: 2003
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:51 am
Current Favourite Adelaide United Player: Pablo Sanchez
Location: Deep South rAdelaide

Re: Craig Foster - My Message To The Fans

Postby General Ashnak Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:48 pm

There has been some approaches made, but part of the problem is the lack of spread across Australia. There have also been issues with people making commitments and then not following through on them. For example I am the only person from South Australia who has made any commitment. As you can expect it is a pretty big task to make headway on your own!

I agree wholeheartedly on the need for the forum to get moving and I am agitating for this to happen - I will get a bit annoyed if we don't see some action in the next few weeks in areas that have been identified as needing action.
Terry Pratchett wrote:
The thing about football - the important thing about football - is that it is not just about football.
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Re: Craig Foster - My Message To The Fans

Postby blahblah Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:46 pm

Would it be possible for the club based forums to have their Socceroos forum linked together as a common site?
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Re: Craig Foster - My Message To The Fans

Postby Stuckey Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:46 pm

Would it be possible for the club based forums to have their Socceroos forum linked together as a common site?

I wouldn't want to know how much Victory fans want Archie "useless turd" Thompson in the Roos squad
Josep: "It's Futbal!"

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