FFA boss David Gallop says he’s not worried the Big Bash League or any other sport will take the focus off the A-League this summer.
Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop has a warning for other sporting codes who attempt to take the spotlight off the A-League this summer – we’re unstoppable.
The A-League will commence its traditionally intense holiday schedule on Thursday night with the Central Coast versus Wellington match at North Sydney Oval kicking off a period of 16 games in 17 days.
There’ll be fixtures on Boxing Day (Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar), New Year’s Eve (Central Coast v Perth Glory) and New Year’s Day (Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix).
The Melbourne derby on Saturday night and the Melbourne Victory versus Western Sydney Wanderers clash on December 28 are expected to draw the biggest crowds.
But while the third edition of cricket’s Twenty20 Big Bash League starts on Friday, Gallop said he wasn’t at all concerned it would lure cricket fans away from football.
“We’re unstoppable in Australian sport and the next 17 days gives us another opportunity to demonstrate that,” he said as he launched the Summer of Football alongside stars Alessandro Del Piero and Shinji Ono at Bondi Beach on Wednesday.
“I think the proper cricket kind of ended yesterday with the Ashes being decided.
“So we’re really confident that the seriousness of the A-League, that battle for the six spots is going to command attention over this holiday period.”
Gallop said both crowd figures and television ratings were ahead of what they were this time last season.
But while attendance numbers have experienced a dip in the last few weeks from the record opening-round figures, he was confident they would spike again over the holiday period.
“We obviously went into the start of the season with an emphasis on some big match-ups and then we went into an inevitable period where we didn’t quite have those games every week,” he said.
“But now with the summer of football… I think you’ll see our crowds are going to be boomers over the next few weeks.”
A major factor in drawing crowds is the marquee players.
Sydney FC skipper Del Piero has so far missed two games with injury and was taken off in last week’s win over Melbourne Heart with tightness in his lower back.
With Sydney to play three games in 13 days beginning with their clash away to Wellington on Sunday, concerns surround the Italian veteran’s fitness.
Asked how many minutes he through he could manage in the three games, he said laughing: “270?.
“I really don’t know.
“The focus is on Sunday for me and for the team and that’s the best thing to do.
“A lot of us play all of the games so there’ll probably be someone who needs time for recovery, I don’t know. But this is trouble for (coach) Frank (Farina) not for me.