Hume City FC

Hume City FC

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24 January, 2020





Mar 3, 2017 - 6:02pm

As I sit in my car driving into Football Federation Victoria headquarters in St.Kilda to attend a Men's Standing Committee meeting, my first since being selected on it, I receive a text from a close friend in Sydney.

It was a photo taken from a distance of a whole bunch of kids on a footy field. It wasn't overly clear. It then followed with the following words,

"Can you f***en believe this? Who would have thought my son will be playing this bloody sport?."

It followed with another photo with his son standing side by side with AFL and Greater Western Sydney footballer Heath Shaw, and then the following text. "Who the f*** is this?"

My mate is an NRL freak and an uncompromising Parramata Eels supporter.

On this day he had lost his son to a rival sport...The AFL had got it right again. Their attitude to junior participation and grassroots football continues to wow me. Arguably the most politically connected sport in the country, they know how to tick all the right boxes.

Fast forward to Monday. My 4 year old starts Primary School. Very excited to be mixing it with the big boys and girls.

He returns home with a primary school induction pack. Plenty of giveaways. Some stickers. Plenty of promotional brochures. I say to him,

"Come on mate lets look at some of the brochures. AFL (tick) Netball (tick) Tennis (tick) Cricket (tick)...Hang on, where are the FFA brochures for Miniroos??

Football, the world game, like a crazy dog chained up unable to break its leash and jump over that small fence.

The game just continues to be held back due to the small minded bureaucracy trying to save the game, rather than win it.

It is true, that all success comes from a good structured defence. Yet when the game has everything going for it with 4 strikers waiting outside the 18 yard box anxious to recieve that through ball to score in that top corner, it unfortunately does not receive that killer pass.

Brisbane Roar plays 9 games in 32 days traveling all over the world. They end up in South Korea only to be completely demolished by a rampaging South Korean opposition.

Where are the administrators at Football Federation Australia to protect its clubs, its brand by altering its Asia representative team's fixtures to suit its schedule?

Yep, that would be right. Thinking out side the box is not something we do at FFA. Its black and white. Absolute our way or the high way.

Let us look at some blatant administrator error's by FFA.


A concept employed after its success in the AFL and NRL. The mentality behind it is to save those clubs that are not that successful. To ensure a league which is equal. It is to stop the better run clubs from becoming better, and the poorer run clubs from running poorer. The NRL salary cap sits at $7million and the AFL at $10.5million. All fantastic, when the game is played by locals for the locals.

Now let's talk about the world game. The game that not only stops the nation, but the whole planet.

We want to grow this game by imposing a $2.6 million dollar salary cap for a team of 20-23 man squad. What can the club's possibly do with this sort of money, in Asia?
Lose 6-1 maybe? Embarrass our sport maybe?

Well if we want to put it in perspective top tier Chinese club Hebei China Fortune F.C pays Ersan Adem Gulum an annual salary of $5.5 million. A local Meadow Height's talent that was never good enough in Australia for any representative football whilst growing up.


When a player is transferred from A League to Asia, Europe or another part of the world, the FFA in conjunction with the A League team receives the full bell's and whistles whilst the clubs at State Federation level who actually develop these players get Banana's and if lucky, some dipping chocolate. Doesn't make sense? I will simplify it. Step by step.

Mum prepares a lunch box for her little prep student.
He/She goes to school.
The bell rings for lunch.
Just as he/she open's mummy's delicately prepared lunch with fruit and snack to go with it. A fat grade six boy rocks up and grabs the lunch box. The prep student looks at the teacher for help...The teacher says to the grade six student, you can have the lunch box, as long as you give me a taste of it as well.

What would this be called in the schoolyard. Maybe we can ask the Bully Zero Foundation who seem to be the experts in the field?


FFA contributes next to nothing for grassroots football. There is absolutely no money which is filtered through to local clubs Australia wide to better the services provided to its playing community. Clubs are expected to increase the price of a Dim Sim, staff volunteer time away from their family, whilst parents are expected to pay up to $2,000 a season to have their children play NPL football. Next door to us, local children wanting to play AFL only pay a registration fee of a couple of hundred dollars per season. Why, because the AFL supports it and wants to genuinely grow the game.


I understand the fear. There are a lot of what ifs that would be floating around the boardroom of FFA.

But it has to start. The vision has to be fulfilled with no hesitation. We need at least another two team's in the A League, but most importantly we need a B League. We cant die wondering. I say this with no hesitation because we have a great product, if sold with precision it will be fighting for the number one sport title in Australia within 20 years.

A perfect example again was the AFL who originally planned for the AFL Women's league in 2020. But played the political wild card by rushing the competition in order to capture a gap in the market, once again gaining the support of the government through its strategy.

What I have written today are just some issues that have been boiling in the kitchen for some time. I don't have enough time to write about the points system, the facilities, lack of players playing in top tier competition around the world, our inability to qualify or win youth level competitions in the Asian and World Cup's.

Yes we are regulating the coaching. Which is fantastic.

Yes the FFA Cup is helping the games exposure at local level.

But there is something drastically wrong here. If the Federation does not pull it's head out of the sand, start listening to its people that make the game what it is in this country, instead of opting to listen to people who they pay to tell us the way it should be run from other countries, then there is a revolt on its way. Whether it is Khaldoon Al Mubarek from Abu Dhabi or Li Ruigang from Shanghai or just Uncle John from Anderson Reserve. Hold on it is coming.

Ezel Hikmet