Australia`s A-League marks 10 years
Australia`s A-League is aiming to break the two million spectator barrier this season for the first time, organisers said Tuesday, as the tournament marks its first decade.
Sydney: Australia`s A-League is aiming to break the two million spectator barrier this season for the first time, organisers said Tuesday, as the tournament marks its first decade.
Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop said the competition which began in 2004 as a replacement for the National Soccer League had set itself ambitious benchmarks.
"We`re going to go through the two-million crowd barrier for the first time," he said.
Last season, which ran from October to May, pulled 1.8 million spectators through the gates.
Gallop said organisers were also aiming for 660,000 weekly television viewers, two million web users, one million social media followers and break through 100,000 in memberships.
The 10-team league has attracted several high-profile signings for this season, including Spanish World Cup winner David Villa, who will play a guest stint at Melbourne City.
The club was bought by English Premier League giants Manchester City earlier this year.
FFA chairman Frank Lowy, who played a key role in the revival of the national football competition, recalled his fears about how the public would react to the A-League when it debuted a decade ago.
"I remember the launch in front of journalists and thinking I am going to have to beg people to come and watch," Lowy, the billionaire owner of the Westfield shopping centre empire, said.
"But now we are a competition that`s confidently standing on it`s own feet."
The 2014/15 season starts Friday when Melbourne Victory hosts the Western Sydney Wanderers in Melbourne.