The A-League’s says the competition must put special emphasis on building the profile of the clubs in the hope of improving the league on the whole.
Former Premier League executive chairman Scudamoreafter taking the reins in 1999.
Now, he’s tasked with helping the A-League clubs transition towards an independent entity separate from Football Federation Australia (FFA) — and after watching his first game over the weekend, he knows exactly what needs to happen.
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“The most important question is whether the building blocks are being put in place and I think they are,” Scudamore told Simon Hill on the .
“Are they building a platform from which they can grow? Yes they are.
“Does it take a long time? Yes it does.
“The Premier League took 28 years to get to where it is now. I’m not saying the A-League will take that long but it’s about doing the right things consistently and building consistent clubs.
“I absolutely believe the nub of football at whatever level is you build the club out. It’s not all about marquee players, it’s about building a club out because the club is a sustainable unit in football. Players come and go by definition. You can be a fan of a club a lot longer than a player can play for a club. That’s what you’ve got to build, that unit around the clubs.
“That’s what I’d like to see that building of the infrastructure at youth development, in the women’s teams and around the whole club. You can make pretty quick progress in that and I think that’s what is happening now.”
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While Scudamore certainly arrives on Australian shores with a wealth of experience under his belt, his official job title has caused some confusion among fans.
“I’ve been asked by the clubs to come down and have a look,” he clarified
“The best way of describing it is that I’m an advisor and a crtitical friend, I’ve been asked to look at their strategy documents which I’m doing. They’re lengthy, comprehensive and good.
“I’ve been asked to come in and work with Greg O’Rourke and his people to see if there’s any insights or guidance I can give them.
“The club owners are keen to talk, keen to ask questions and keen to get a view. Nobody is expecting the idea that this is the same as the Premier Legaue. But it’s the same game, the same challenges.
“I’m not operational, I’m not any part of the governance of the game I’m just down here to help and add some experience.”
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Scudamore saw his first ever A-League game over the weekend, .
It was a match the former Premier League chief says he ‘enjoyed’.
“There was four quality goals scored, particularly the three Adelaide scored were skillful goals,” he said.
“I thought the pace of play was good and open and it didn’t get too bogged down in midfield at all so technically I thought it was quite good. The refereeing standard was good and I was impressed with what I saw.
“Obviously the league is on a journey, the club owners and the chief executives have decided they want to get a grip of this thing and they’re trying to work out a situation from the football federation where they’ve got more say in what they do.
“What I’ve seen so far is a platform from which things can happen and things can grow because it is the world’s most popular sport and it is the best game that has ever been invented that lends itslef to a whoile sort of engagement. Especially with now social media you can engage more people.
“It’s not just a case of going from Saturday to Saturday or week to week, it’s an all-round all-consuming event. If you build your fan base properly, you have some big opportunities.”