While it’s understandable that FFA’s priorities currently lie with completing the 2019/20 A-League season, the lack of talk over the upcoming W-League season has been rather disappointing given the momentum that could have been gained from the successful 2023 World Cup bid.
At the very least, there should be some discussion over how the season will look and what plans the FFA have to market the league, especially considering so many star players are leaving to go to Europe.
While no one expects a concrete business plan at this stage, there should be more communication from FFA about what is happening. After talking to so many current W-League players and coaches, it is apparent everyone is in the dark, which is staggering when you think the season is only four months away.
With so much money coming into women’s football now from the government and other sources on the back of the 2023 bid success, it must be invested into our top domestic league.
Every club should have been told to have W-League memberships ready to sell the day after the World Cup announcement. While a draw isn’t out, a decent priced package that gives access to games and other novelty items, would have no doubt sold like hot cakes.
Last year during the women’s World Cup, the Western Sydney Wanderers used some good sense to sell W-League memberships for the first time, as the Matildas strutted their stuff in France. It proved a master stroke as the club sold a number of memberships.
Some other clubs followed suit and W-League memberships hit record numbers. Going forward, the memberships could even give access to Matilda games in the coming 12 months.
With the restructured TV deal with Foxtel only just taking shape, it will be interesting to see what happens with the W-League. Every game was either televised or streamed live last season.
While FFA will be diligently working on this, there needs to be some public transparency so that fans are at least shown the games governing body is doing something about it.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the upcoming W-League season is there has been little discussion around potential marquees. Last season we had the likes Lynn Williams, Kristen Hamilton, Morgan Andrews, Milicia Mijatovic and Mallory Weber grace the W-League for the first time.
There was even talk the Wanderers nearly signed Brasílian star Marta Vieira da Silva.
This year, perhaps understandably, there has been very little chatter. While European based international players won’t come downunder, there is every chance some American based ones will.
In fact a number have claimed they are willing to listen to offers but haven’t been contacted.
While COVID19 lingers, there is much uncertainty about the future, but undoubtedly there will come a time when things will get back to normal.
FFA are certainly working behind the scenes on this in very difficult circumstances...but a little more communication and transparency with fans and the media wouldn’t go astray.