It’s another week in the wild and crazy world of SA football.
I was especially bothered by the awkward times most of the evening matches kicked off.
We really need to think differently about our kickoff times for PSL games.
And by PSL, I mean Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship.
Sponsors are sounding the alarm on traditional sponsorship in sports, so football needs to beware of the wave that’s coming in its direction.
Rumours are rife that one of the PSL’s key partners, Absa bank, is considering dropping SA football. So the signs of sponsors losing interest are there. We need to be careful and take them seriously.
The romance of football being the game of the people without any data to back it up is coming to an end.
So do we really need to think about kickoff times? I don’t think it's been given too much thought.
This was obvious to me when I was the stadium announcer at the Nedbank Cup match between Stellenbosch and Maritzburg United on Friday night.
Think about it, most fans of SA football are general workers, which basically means that they work classic nine-to-five jobs.
The issue is that these very same people would generally have just over an hour to go home and drop off their bags, dress warmly, maybe grab a bite to eat and then head to Athlone Stadium before the match starts. It’s a bit hectic if you asked me.
You might be thinking, but why not go straight to the stadium after work?
Hell no! And risk it getting lost in all that chaos we see at our grandstands?
And it’s not like there are supervised lockers for fans to drop off their bags and pick them top after the matches finished.
Maybe that’s something to think about for entrepreneurs out there. A space at or around the stadium for fans to store their bags and they can come to pick them up afterwards.
Okay sho, I get it, TV has an influence. That’s all good and we thank them for all the money they’re putting in.
But what happened to the selling of the actual live-action football that’s happening on the pitch to fans?
I really think we’ve forgotten about that really important part of why we work in football.
We’ve been so fixated with ticking off the boxes to please boardrooms rather than the fans.
And what about the players? Any youngster who plays football dreams of one day celebrating the in front of a packed stadium.
Our focus should be working towards bringing more people to the game, now and always.
It should have never changed, but we’ve allowed the gap between the game and fans to widen so much and we’ve used the availability of matches on TV as an excuse.
So how about dropping the idea of midweek matches all together for now until we figure how best to serve it to the people?
How about simply packing the weekend schedule with matches and have them start early.
From 12pm maybe? That way, you can sell certain matches as family experiences because they will be nice and early.
Or how you guys see it?