EXCLUSIVE: FFA Chairman Frank Lowy has made an impassioned plea about football’s future and has slammed those taking pot-shots at the code.
In an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo magazine today, Lowy conceded these are troubled times for the A-League but believes hysteria over perceived problems has been over-stated.
“I don’t feel good about it,” Lowy said when asked about some of the media criticism centred on the A-League and the World Cup bid.
“I think the problems are exaggerated. We have a plan for Australian football and I believe the A-League is here to stay.
“However it would be nice to get a bit more sympathy rather than being knocked all the time as it doesn’t help the game.”
An example of this media savaging was former Socceroo Robbie Slater’s lambasting of the game in his newspaper column in recent days.
After ripping Harry Kewell a few weeks earlier, Slater slammed many aspects of the game in Australia in an all-guns blazing appraisal.
And while crowds are struggling at the moment with a cap imposed on the Gold Coast and some A-League clubs in financial black holes, this is balanced out across the country by some success stories.
In the west the success of Robbie Fowler’s Perth Glory has seen crowds hit record numbers at nib Stadium.
In Adelaide the Reds’ success is set to continue a spike in crowds at Hindmarsh. In Wellington Phoenix are still riding the crest of a Kiwi World Cup wave while in Townsville, Franz Straka’s Fury are making positive strides in a tough NRL market.
It’s not been a perfect start to the season but with AFL and NRL finals set to finish in two weeks, the A-League can be confident of a better few months ahead.
Lowy added: “I believe we are having a bit of a dip right now for whatever reason, but we will overcome those problems.”
The FFA Chairman spoke with FourFourTwo for the November issue of the magazine, which will include a 12-page ‘Inside the 2022 World Cup bid’ feature, out October 6.