In the massive Big Australian FTBL Survey, almost 1000 fans had their say on the state of the game and how they interact with the sport in Australia.

Last week we revealed how confidence with the FFA had plunged in the wake of the row over the sacking of former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic. Fans were hugely disappointed by the new FFA Board...and CEO David Gallop was rated a massive fail by fans.

Earlier this week we also revealed fans backed Canberra, Tasmania and Wollongong for the next two spots in the A-League, and were overwhelmingly behind the push for a national second division and promotion and relegation from the A-League.

Today we can also absolutely confirm Sam Kerr is the fans' new figurehead of Australian football, following in the footsteps of players like Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell as the name on everyone's lips.

After standout seasons in Australia and the USA, picking up Golden Boots in both the NWSL and W-League, as well as stunning performances for the Matildas, Kerr is now a true Aussie icon.

She earned twice as many votes as second-placed Aaron Mooy who was the most popular Socceroo of the moment, ahead of Mat Ryan in third-place before Awer Mabil, Daniel Arzani, Tom Rogic and Rhyan Grant brought up the rear.

Another Matilda, Hayley Raso – who marked her comeback from a broken back in three places with a goal for the Matildas within moments of coming off the bench in her return debut last week – was also a huge favourite for fans.

She came in ahead of new Socceroos recruit Martin Boyle and long-haired Roo Jackson Irvine, while Lisa De Vanna proved to be more popular than Robbie Kruse and Aziz Behich, who were just ahead of Kyah Simon. Craig Goodwin topped the charts for the "Other" players nominated by fans.


Revealed! Where FANS want the A-League clubs to go next

Fans have spoken loud and clear on how they feel about the A-League and its future in the massive BIG Australian FTBL Survey 2019.

On the best player of all-time, one star stood out across history. Lionel Messi put everyone else in the shade, earning three times the vote of Diego Maradona, and twice the vote of even Pele.

Surprisingly even David Beckham came out ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo who rounded out the top five with just 4.55 percent of the vote. Brits George Best, Ryan Giggs, Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard came next, marginally in front of Luka Modric, Ronaldo and Alessandro Del Piero.

Gerrard was the favourite suggestion for fans nominating "other" stars – but Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry all had popular backing along with Aussies like Kewell, Cahill and Kerr.

NEXT: How much are you paying to play?

Our survey also revealed just how much fans are spending to follow the sport in Australia.

More than two-thirds of all the fans who responded will splash out between $50 and $200 a month on match tickets, season tickets, parking, public transport and pay TV to watch football.

Most are spending up to $100 every month (27.28 percent) but another quarter are spending up to double that or more, with 1 in 10 spending more than $200 a month.

Most of those who responded had put their playing days behind them. Almost half (46.41 percent) said they no longer played the game, but another 26.6 percent still play every week or more. Just 8 percent said they had never played, while 11.70 percent play occasionally and 7.18 percent play frequently.

Just more than half (52.93 percent) were a member of a club however, and of those who paid fees, most paid between $300 and $500 a year (21.97 percent), with around 15 percent playing less than that.

Worryingly though, more than 10 percent who took part in the survey said they were paying more than $1000 a year, while 2 percent claimed to be paying more than $3000 a year.

And do they get value for their money with that? Yes and no - literally! Half of those surveyed said they did get value for money (49.63 percent)...and half said they didn't (50.37 percent).

Less than 10 percent said the cost of football encouraged them to play versus 35.87 percent who said they were discouraged by the cost, with a healthy 54.38 percent saying the cost had no impact on them playing.

Most fans said they spent up to 10 hours a week on football (31.06 percent), whether it was playing or watching, but almost a quarter spent up to 20 hours on the sport.

Another quarter spent between one and five hours - but a surprising one in nine devoted more than 30 hours, a full working week, to the game.

NEXT: What are fans favourite leagues around the world?

The A-League was easily the most popular among those who responded to the survey, with 40.7 percent of the vote, surprisingly outstripping the EPL which managed a healthy 32.13 percent.

Socceroos and Matildas came third with almost 13 percent of the vote, but the remaining options fairly evenly shared the rest of the vote.

Just 0.8 percent of those who responded said they only played the game socially or for exercise.

However the story changed when fans were asked what leagues their club team-mates followed.

Almost 15 percent of them were said to only play football socially or for exercise, while 83 percent were said to follow the EPL, the overwhelming favourite among team-mates.

A-League still held up well though, with 71.41 percent backing among club mates, and likewise the Socceroos and Matildas with 63.09 percent.

Again though, after that, most of the other leagues shared the vote fairly evenly with only the Scottish Premiership lagging slightly behind on 18.91 percent.

Finally, on the international scene, fans admitted they had been disappointed by the Socceroos defence of their crown at the Asian Cup which saw them exit at the quarter finals after a 1-0 defeat to United Arab Emirates.

More than half (55.93 percent) reckoned the team did worse than expected, another 41.54 percent felt they had performed to expectations – while 2.53 percent thought they had done better than expected.


FTBL survey: FFA's overwhelming fail

Football Federation Australia has been judged by football fans in the new Big Australian FTBL Survey – and overwhelmingly failed.

That was compared to almost two-thirds (64.45 percent) who felt the Socceroos had lived up to expectations by failing to qualify from the group stage of the World Cup in Russia last year. Almost nine percent actually felt the World Cup went better than expected, while around a quarter (26.9 percent) thought it was a disappointment.

However the excitement is palpable for the Matildas at the World Cup in France this year.

A whopping 79.36 percent said they will be glued to the screens in June to watch the Aussie women take on the world as one of the favourites for the world title.

Despite all the furore over the sacking of Alen Stajcic, Aussie football fans are excited by the prospect of the Matildas taking on the world and are right behind the team, with just seven percent saying they're not interested, and another 13 percent yet to make up their mind.