Where to now, Melbourne Croatia? Football federation Australia's use of accounting numbers to institute exclusion upon ethnic clubs

James, Kieran and Tolliday, Chris and Walsh, Rex (2011) Where to now, Melbourne Croatia? Football federation Australia's use of accounting numbers to institute exclusion upon ethnic clubs. Asian Review of Accounting, 19 (2). pp. 112-124. ISSN 1321-7348


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the cancellation of Australia's National Soccer League (NSL) competition and its replacement in 2004 with the corporatist A-League which is based on the North American model of 'one team one city', no promotion and relegation, and private-equity clubs. The authors believe that one of the aims of the A-League and its 'ground-zero' ideology was to institute exclusion of the ethnic clubs that had formed the backbone of the NSL for 30 years.
Design/methodology/approach – Extensive literature search, participant-observation, one personal interview and two group interviews were employed. People interviewed were the
President of the Croatian community’s Melbourne Knights Football Club, the Club Secretary of Melbourne Knights, and three leaders of Melbourne Knights' MCF hooligan firm.
Findings – The authors observe the Football Federation Australia hiding behind the perceived scientific nature and technical veracity of budgeted accounting numbers to set the financial bar too high for the ethnic clubs to find a place in the brave new world that has been called 'Modern Football'. However, capitalism creates its own discontents. Online forums and homemade fence banners are the new vehicles for dissent for the supporters of 'Old Soccer'.
Originality/value – There is still only a small academic literature on Australian football and most of this has been written by humanities lecturers. The paper offers a business school perspective.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2011 03:02
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2017 23:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australia; football; history; accounting; A-League; Croatian diaspora; Melbourne Knights; National Soccer League; soccer history; sociology of soccer
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1504 Commercial Services > 150404 Sport and Leisure Management
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150199 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160803 Race and Ethnic Relations
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950102 Organised Sports
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1108/13217341111181050
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/19960

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