Whilst my opinions might ring true to some, to others I’m sure there will be topics and comments made throughout many a thoughts that will tingle a nerve.
If you like it and agree, continue reading, if you don’t continue reading anyway and then leave a comment and have a sook below.
Remember these are my views and not that of Futsal4all.
Three years ago Soccer Australia was abolished and was on its way to being replaced by the current FFA.
At the time we had 2 divided Futsal fraternities, NSW Futsal and ISA 5 a side.
As part of the FFA reform, Futsal had its hand forced to join with Soccer NSW at the time.
Many might say it wasn’t forced,
But when Robert Waddell, the at the time C.E.O of Soccer NSW waddled in and met with all Futsal representatives he sold a great story so much so he instantly became the front runner of Sales Person of the Year. He sold a story so grand which went along the lines of FFA wants Futsal under the governing body of your state, if you don’t agree to it and go at it alone no players will be able to represent Australia as it wont be supported by the FFA.
Like previously mentioned we weren’t forced.
The one positive of minimal choices about having to join with Soccer NSW was the two bodies would no longer be recognized as individual bodies and they formed the Futsal Clubs, Centres and Organizations we see before us today.
Now three years on Futsal NSW has become a part of Football NSW, the biggest non National Sporting company in Australia and it still beggars belief what on earth has Football NSW really done for our sport.
Our registration numbers have dived south with 30 thousand registered players between the two organisations expected with the forming of the two bodies, give or take 5 thousand as dual registered players that registered in both ISA and NSW Futsal and we should still have at least with the growth of sport over the past three years 30 thousand registered players.
We currently have give or take 16 thousand registered players. Yep that’s right 16 thousand so where have the other 14 thousand players gone?
Now is it just me or does it seem every season a lot more people are talking about the Futsal Premier and Super leagues and their kids wanting to play in it. Every season the competition gets bigger with more clubs entering and its getting so much stronger with more players playing.
So the question I ask again is where have 14 thousand paying futsal players gone?
There are two logical scenarios.
1. That centre administrators are simply not forwarding the registrations onto FuNSW, pocketing the money from registrations and leaving FuNSW out of pocket making themselves possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout the year.
2. Centres and competition administrators are noticing that paying FuNSW $67.50 is just not worth it and can do it cheaper themselves.
See centre administrators, especially Futsal ones, are some of the shrewdest in the business. With the registration format as it currently stands, it is flawed beyond fascination and needs a major overhaul if the sport wants to make some money.
As the old cliché goes “You need to spend money to make money”.
Take this as an example -
A player “Little Johnny” heads down to Centre X and pays his $47.50, the competition administrator gets little Johnny and his parents to sign his FFA registration book, hands Little Johnny’s Dad his copy which is also is receipt and proof that he has paid and wollah, bobs your uncle – Little Johnny is registered to play a game of futsal because he is allowed to play with his Yellow form.
Where to that $47.50? Could Little Johnny be one of those 14 thousand players that have gone missing?
You may sit and read this and a little light blub goes off and you think – Well what ever happened to that rule no card no play?
Well that’s a good question, and apparently that rule still stands.
So how does Little Johnny play if he just paid that night and the administrator has to send in his registration details into FNSW?
Another very good question.
At the moment the way around that problem is to let the player play with his coloured FFA form until the player gets his ID card back from FuNSW.
But this is where the problem lies see. If the administrators don’t send in that Registration form with that passport photo to FuNSW they don’t have any idea that Little Johnny was just registered.
Futsal these days especially with the costs of running such centres and even more so clubs has become ridiculously expensive – Referee fees are increasing, Court hire increases, less court hiring available to generate more income and the extraordinary costs of running a club in the current PL/SL as well as time consumption makes life very difficult for most people. Such is the importance of running competitions to PL/SL clubs sees centres now which are affiliated with clubs paying what were volunteers to administer competitions and they really have no choice such is the importance of the game fees towards running their club. Nowadays even more so every penny counts.
The risk of an administrator not sending in his players registration is dangerous indeed, especially in the case of someone getting injured and in regards to insurance.
So what happens if a player does get Injured and the administrators haven’t sent their forms to be registered in ………? Well simply the player is deemed insured from the moment he is registered.
This exact scenario only took place weeks ago involving a current Super League club who also run local competitions.
So again why would any administrator send in their registrations to FNSW besides of those that are needed to compete in SL/PL?
Loyalty is one of the main reasons, but most importantly it is where clubs need to be for their players to be selected for the various State and National representative sides, to be involved in tournaments such as the current School, State and National Championships.
But what about the Centres which aren’t affiliated with a club in Premier League or are just a local centre which is exactly that and just runs local competitions?
These people /centres are in fact the main source of potential income for FuNSW.
Example Fivedock Leisure Centre – One of the biggest if not the biggest independent running centre not affiliated with a “club”. They have over 1000 registered players within their junior, mixed and senior competitions which are played over 4 nights throughout the week. They were once affiliated with NSW Futsal and were also affiliated with club Fivedock Wanderers and Fivedock Force (now Inner West Allstars).
As part of NSW Futsal Fivedock Leisure Centre became a member of FNSW – that relationship lasted one year.
Fivedock Leisure Centre now independently run their own competitions with all the incomes going directly to their centre keeping the money “in house” whilst using Sports Co health cover, the insurance for the centre as their insurance company charging half the price. FNSW in that one centre alone lost anywhere between 5 and 8 thousand dollars.
Another organization which could prove extremely dangerous for FNSW are the PCYC. Thankfully for FNSW the relationship between the PCYC and FNSW currently seems to be workmanlike with PCYC having clubs in both the Outdoor and Futsal fraternities but PCYC only charge a $5 registration cost. That’s right $5.
PCYC have 21 Centres within metro areas of NSW as well as 38 regional centres with Futsal competitions being played in 35 of those centres throughout NSW. All those centres have been made to pay the $67.50 registration by their Chairman even though they could just pay the $5 registration within their own organisation as well as using their own insurance at no extra cost. Should the relationship between the two organisations sour, FuNSW could lose possibly another 10-15 thousand dollars.
Now if an organization such as PCYC can get their insurance to be so cheap that they only have to charge their members $5 and be covered by insurance then where are we going wrong?
That’s a difference of $62.50 for an adult in registration costs.
Quite simply as we speak the structure that is the registration process as it stands is flawed and possibly costing FNSW between 25 to 100 thousand dollars a year and within 3 years of working within SNSW/FNSW they haven’t come out up with a solution on how to fix it or quite possibly maybe they don’t think they have a problem.
Looking from afar it is quite evident to me that there are two major issues with the current registration system which are a major problem for FNSW…..
a) Administators whom use their affiliation with FNSW as a way to attract players and teams are taking advantage of this.
Going purely on the numbers, some centres are signing up players and not passing on their registration fees to the governing body therefore costing FuNSW many thousands of dollars
b) The price of FNSW registration is forcing centres away from being affiliated with FuNSW and at the same time possibly forcing futsal players to pay 2 registrations. First for their local non FNSW affiliated centre and Second if they are selected to play in the PL or SL competitions.
There are two possible scenarios which could possibly help FNSW with this money and player loss.
The idea which has been suggested now many a times and that’s increase the outdoor registration fee by a minimal amount even $5 and make every Football NSW member an automatic Futsal registered player.
Lets do the numbers, currently FuNSW has 16,000 futsal players.
The numbers are almost 50-50 in regard to Senior and Junior Players. Lets say
9000 Senior Players @ $67.50 = $607,500.00
7000 Junior Players @ $47.50 = $332,500.00
Unbelievably the cost of just producing that plastic ID card is a whopping $6.
$6 @ 16,000 players = $96,000.000
So that equates to roughly $840,000.000 profit via FuNSW registrations.
Currently FNSW has 190,000 registered outdoor players. If FNSW would increase the registration by only $5 and that increase going to FuNSW and making every outdoor player a readily registered Futsal player FuNSW makes $950,000.00 clear on the spot.
If that was the case the Futsal registration would surely no longer need to be $67.50 as the insurance component would decrease as the numbers would increase with the merger of numbers combining both Futsal and Outdoor therefore also possibly reducing the registration fees to non FNSW members to even possibly half.
Add to that figure of $950k another say 7 out of the 16 thousand players that play Futsal for recreation that aren’t part of Youth League or Senior Outdoor Leagues at half the current price and that’s another possible $245,000.00, taking the possibility of Registration intake from $840k to $1.2mil.
In that scenario you also wouldn’t have the burden of the loss of $100k on registration cards as all players would have the same ID number for both Futsal and Outdoor except for those 5 thousand players which is a massive decrease from 16,000 resulting in only a loss of $30k from $96k.
a) Futsal makes a massive windfall.
b) Playing Futsal numbers would dramatically increase as all players would more than likely play Futsal as they don’t have to pay an extra fee.
c) Outdoor competitions such as 6 a side and 7 a side would struggle to compete with Futsal as any registration fee those competition charge would be dearer than what Futsal competitions would charge.
d) Its easier to manage players for both Futsal / Outdoor and most importantly
e) Centres can’t take advantage of the system by not registering their players.
If they want to charge an additional registration fee then they have every right to via their centres but FuNSW no longer suffer because of it.
With that extra $400,000.00 FuNSW now have they could possibly take a leaf out of the old regime at NSW Futsal and give every affiliated FuNSW Centre a laptop where centres can simply take a photo of their non registered FNSW players and get them sent directly to the offices at FuNSW and a card can be sent within a week of being registered.
Where the solution to the other problem of players playing with their coloured slip would also come to an end and would not cost FuNSW any money what so ever. There would be no excuse with the laptop system.
If you don’t send those registrations through within 2 weeks of registration the centre should be fined a massive amount of money i.e $1000 per player. In fact I think that Futsal NSW should apply that rule as we speak and any player who hasn’t had their registrations sent in within 21 days becomes ineligible for insurance forcing the centres to send in ALL their registrations as they wouldn’t be able to take the risk of having a player get injured.
The centres continue to make money whilst running their competitions, FuNSW make extra money to develop the sport, Football NSW aren’t fazed either way and continue in their money making schemes and everyone is happy.
So I go back to the original question posed at the beginning of this blog, What has Football NSW really done for our sport?
Sure we have the best PL/SL competitions in the last decade, advertising has increased via newspapers and televisions shows but have they helped out at the grass roots levels and helping increase numbers within our sport the answer is simply NO in fact numbers have decreased.
The evidence is there.
The write ups in the paper and the televisions shows are solely on the back on the quality of one competition not the sport as a whole.
If Football NSW would come to the party with something along the lines that is being suggested then the question is undoubtedly YES.
Until they do, then FuNSW as it currently stands will only continue to run a prestigious and envious league with decreasing numbers and increasing fees.
-Balls ‘n all