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Proof Socceroos' World Cup success hasn't helped struggling A-League with shocking crowd numbers

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Proof Socceroos' World Cup success hasn't helped struggling A-League with shocking crowd numbers

Crowds for the A-League remained abysmal as the competition didn’t get a boost from the Socceroos’ incredible run to the World Cup in Qatar last year.

Football Australia will no doubt hope that the strong support for Graham Arnold’s men in the Middle East will carry over into the tough national competition after the tournament on December 19.

This is not.

Data from the website austadiums.com revealed how poor the numbers were, with the fixture between Western United and Newcastle Jets on January 15 attracting just 2356 supporters.

Additionally, the January 8 game at Campbelltown Sports Stadium featuring Macarthur FC versus the Jets saw just 3123 fans through the gates.

The dismal crowd was in stark contrast to the scenes during the World Cup, where Federation Square in Melbourne and Darling Harbor in Sydney were packed with fans as Australia reached the round of 16 for only the second time.

Perhaps fearing what might happen, Socceroos star Craig Goodwin practically begged for healthy numbers in A-League matches after Qatar.

Huge crowds during the World Cup proved that the Australian public still cares about football (pictured, Federation Square in Melbourne)

Huge crowds during the World Cup proved that the Australian public still cares about football (pictured, Federation Square in Melbourne)

But despite the Socceroos' World Cup heroics, A-League crowd numbers each week remain appalling (pictured, a dismal crowd at a recent match in Wollongong)

But despite the Socceroos’ World Cup heroics, A-League crowd numbers each week remain appalling (pictured, a dismal crowd at a recent match in Wollongong)

‘We’re hoping that what we’ve achieved here will help grow the game back home because the A-League is doing better than we thought,’ the Reds skipper said in December.

The message to you [the public] is it – ‘go out and see the Socceroos players playing in the A-League.’

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‘Support your local teams and embrace Australian football; help it grow.

‘It’s about building on what we’ve done here, not just as a playing group, but as a country too.’

Sadly for Goodwin – and Football Australia – his call to arms fell on deaf ears.

Socceroos star Craig Goodwin has pleaded for healthy numbers in A-League matches after Qatar - his call to arms was ignored

Socceroos star Craig Goodwin has pleaded for healthy numbers in A-League matches after Qatar – his call to arms was ignored

A bleeding Melbourne City Tom Glover is carried off the pitch by teammates after fans stormed the pitch at AAMI Park

A bleeding Melbourne City Tom Glover is carried off the pitch by teammates after fans stormed the pitch at AAMI Park

Poor numbers in A-League matches were exacerbated by shocking scenes in the Melbourne derby on December 17, which was an unwanted black eye for the code.

The pitch invasion at AAMI Park saw Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover hit with a bucket and referee Alex King also injured in the chaos that followed.

Ahead of the derby in round eight, Melbourne Victory had its highest average attendance of the season, according to the ABC.

But following heavy penalties handed down by the FA, those numbers have plummeted.

Nor is Melbourne Victory the only A-League outfit experiencing a decline in support on home soil.

Despite sitting in third place, the Western Sydney Wanderers saw their average attendance drop by more than 60 per cent at Commbank Stadium.

Sydney FC and the Newcastle Jets – both struggling this season – experienced drops of at least 30 per cent.

Then we have the grand final announcement from last month, which created tension of tidal-wave proportions.

The decision to award Sydney hosting rights until 2025 was a disaster, despite PR spin from Australian Professional Leagues chief executive officer Danny Townsend.

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While the deal struck with Destination NSW last month was worth a reported $10 million, the A-League teams earning the right to host the deciders is one of the competition’s best features since 2005.

APL boss Danny Townsend is an unpopular figure among many football fans after his grand final announcement in Sydney last month

APL boss Danny Townsend is an unpopular figure among many football fans after his grand final announcement in Sydney last month

Fans from Adelaide United and Brisbane (both teams pictured) will have to fork out for flights and accommodation to see the grand final in Sydney for at least the next three years if their teams are in the decider.

Fans from Adelaide United and Brisbane (both teams pictured) will have to fork out for flights and accommodation to see the grand final in Sydney for at least the next three years if their teams are in the decider.

Many disgruntled fans voted with their feet, refusing to attend games out of principle.

And fans who attended matches across the country then walked out in protest.

Labeled by Townsend as a ‘unique opportunity to build a tradition for football fans’, the corporate deal will be judged forever.

When the development was made public on December 12, Perth Glory boss Tony Sage branded the move an ‘af****** joke’ on social media, while Sydney FC’s support group, The Cove, posted: ‘ While of course this decision benefits. to us, it’s completely unfair and unfair to the rest of the league.’

For the A-League to succeed, the competition needs real marquee signings that will put bums on the seats.

Not players from Europe in their mid to late 30s chasing the last payday.

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Playing in the summer is ridiculous in the heat, and the fact that there is no chance of clubs being relegated due to the absence of a national second division means that mediocrity is alive and well.

Many players fall short of the standard, and a look across the 12 A-League clubs will tell you that many faces in the side are ‘recycled’ year after year.

The Socceroos have shown the public that the world game still cares – but instead of sitting on their hands in the eyes of many, Football Australia needs to make wholesale changes – now.