Just because it is, doesn’t mean it’s right.

If you watch the footage on Footballwest.tv of the Flexible Signage Solutions Grand Final between the Western Knights and Perth, you will hear victorious coach Graham Normanton state, “ This is the league. We’ve just won it and that’s what people need to know. That’s the rules we play by that’s what it is and we are absolutely delighted to win it.”

Which is a valid point everyone did know the rules at the start of the season. Perth did win the finals series and deserved to, because as Graham Normanton went on to say, “We geared ourselves for it and we’ve won it on the day.” Congratulations to them as a club.

However as written on this post previously, the terms Premiers and Champions have been used incorrectly. Perth should be the Premiers and not the Champions as they were the winners on the day, not over a league season.

It is no fault of coaches or teams that we have the finals series, and a strong range of views as to who is regarded as the “Champion.”

If the team that finished top of the league is not the Champion, as Mr Normanton alludes, why would they receive any prize money for coming top of the league?

Just because all the other sports in Australia operate this way does not mean that it is right. Take a look at the Hyundai A league as an example.

When the FFA was accepted into the Asian Football Confederation, along with it came a place in the Asian Champions League. The AFC advised the FFA that that spot would go to the team that finished on top at the end of the league season, as is the case throughout Asia. The FFA disagreed, as it is run by people from other codes and not football people – one of the problems holding the game back despite the giant strides made in the past five years.They said that they would be sending the winner of the Grand Final.

After much toing and froing a compromise was met. Vietnam, who had two teams in the Champions league were told they would now only have one spot, and Australia could have two, one for the team that tops the league, the other for the Grand Final winner.

The argument has been thrown up that finals series are the Australian way. If that is the case then surely if Australia is part of the Asian Confederation they should respect the Asian way, which happens to be the same as most leagues around the world.

The debate is bound to rage on. With no one right and no one wrong. It is simply a matter of opinion; ours being that being consistent over 22 games is a massive achievement and in the true meaning of the word allows you to call yourself a “champion.”

Just because it is, doesn’t mean it’s right.
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3 thoughts on “Just because it is, doesn’t mean it’s right.

  • November 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks for the repsone mate!

    I dont think I destroy my onwn argument at all, it actually ehences it. For instance the finals series in 2008, known as the “Top Four Cup”, was a Mickey Mouse Cup that no one really cared about. it was just an end of season carnival. Sure they went out to win it, but it wasn’t a “real” Grand Final, because it had nothing riding on it!

    But this Grand Final did, as did the previous 4 “real” Grand Finals. The reason? because if you win it you can down in the record books as the Champions for that year. For instance Athena finished top in 1989, 1990 and 1991. In those 3 seasons the Grand Final determined the championship. Perth Italia won the Grand Final all 3 times. Most wouldn’t even know that Athena finished top without actually looking at the legaue table. Both Perth and Athena website reconises that Italia did win the League in those seasons. I bet Athena would love to swap places, as I have no doubt would the Knights this year with Perth!

    I dont think the term minor premier is oxymoronic. It’s a term used in Australia for nearly all sports. St Kilda were minor premiers, while Geelong were “major” premiers for instance.

    Anyway, I dont think this is something we canall agree on. 🙂 I just feel sorry for Perth a bit, as some still don’t consider them champions, even though they are according to the rules, they have the championship trophy and they go in the record books as Premier League winners.

  • November 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Jacob, As I said we will all never agree and no one is right and no one is wrong. The champion to me will always be the team that wins the league over the home and away season. Nothing will ever make me change that opinion.

    However I do agree with you in terms of the crowds as sadly with the Perth public they tend to jump on the bandwagon with a successful team when they are doing well, but are invisible when they are not.

    If you don’t mind me saying you destroy your own argument by stating that there have only been 5 “Real” Grand Finals. Surely if you have a finals series as you advocate they are all real?

    It is like how can you have a minor premier? That is oxymoronic. You are either the premier or not.

    As I said in the piece above if this is the Australian way why would Australia not accept the Asian way? Or the way 98% of the footballing world operate?

    I believe and hope that as the migrant population integrates into Australian society and football takes a stronger hold the finals series will hopefully fade in significance. But I realise that may take at least 20 years. But I live in hope.

  • November 5, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Strongly disagree Ashley!

    Normo was 100% correct. The mindset has to change. Perth won the league title, not the Knights. That’s why Perth got the big prize money and the trophy with “Champions” on it. The Western Knights are the Premier League Runners-Up.

    You might say you can still have a finals series as a seperate competition. But I can tell you now, you would have been lucky to have half the people at the game.

    We’ve had many “Grand Final’s” in WA before, but the vast majority of them didn’t mean much at all.

    This was the 5th “real” Grand Final. 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998 and now 2009, which have determined the championship. That’s why I thought it was weird you were comparing past Grand Final wins by both sides in your opening commentry on footballwest.tv when you should have really been comparing past Championship wins, because that’s why they were fighting for!

    With no Grand Final in the A-League (or NSL of the past), we wouldn’t see the sell out crowds that we’ve had on the big day. We would have never sold out Subiaco Oval, that is for certain.

    In every other sport Champions and Premiers means the same, why in our sport they decide to call it differently is strange. The top team is the Minor Premiers (or Minor Champions), while the Grand Final winner is the Premiers or Champions. I think it came from NSW, as that is what they have called the differences in their local soccer leagues for decades. While in Victoria they officially call the top team the Minor Premiers.

    Anyway, even though I disagree with you on this point, I would just like to say well done on a great year with footballwest.tv. I’ve enjoyed it, and hope it continues next year, well done!


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