Interesting article in The Age (Melbourne) on the state of the ‘football wars’ in Australia. Four codes (Australian football, rugby league, rugby union, soccer), 21 million people, the professional leagues in all four codes have either expanded in the past five years or are looking to expand in the next five. Add in cricket, v8 supercar racing, horse racing and it’s a tough marketplace Down Under.
A further interesting point to the football wars is the competition for managers of each code. Yesterday the Australian Football League revealed that AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou is making about AUD $1.4m (see this article from afl.com.au). Demerious is likely thus paid even more than the highest paid AFL player; his pay being justified on the grounds of massive revenue growth (34% increase to AUD $285m in 2007) as well as a competitive marketplace for sports executives. In the past few years the Football Federation Australia (soccer) poached the AFL’s 2IC Ben Buckley to be their new CEO, in order to replace John O’Neill, who returned to a role as Australian Rugby Union CEO. Superstar effects indeed.