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Students are required to write an essay on a topic that explores the organisation and management of Australian sport. Students are able to choose one from topic options as listed below. The essay must demonstrate critical thinking and thus be an evaluation rather than merely a description. It must utilise the recommended sources provided and extra other sources  (books, chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles). In addition, essays should usefully draw upon official reports, websites of sport organisations, ABS data, media articles, etc. A reference list must be included at the end of the paper using Harvard.

In 2019, Football Federation Australia abandoned its National Club Identity Policy. Explain the purpose of that policy and why it is no longer in place. For many NPL clubs, why is this change so important?

The Purpose of National Club Identity Policy

In the sports industry, sports teams and clubs function under rules and policies stipulated by oversight and regulatory bodies. Oversight and regulatory bodies are normally formulated and managed by government bodies. The main function of these bodies is to harmonize and standardize the practices and operation of individual teams and clubs in a certain league. In Australia, football teams and clubs in the various leagues function under the regulation, monitoring, and management of the Football Federation Australia (FFA). The FFA functions by providing rules, regulations, and policies that would streamline the operations of Australia’s teams and clubs. The FFA functions by formulating and implementing policies that are to be adhered to by all teams in the Australian Football Leagues. Moreover, the FFA has the mandate to eliminate and abandon policies that the Association thinks are no longer appropriate in the Australian National Premier League (NPL).

This essay analyses the actions of the FFA to abandon the controversial National Club Identity Policy (NCIP), five years after its implementation in 2014. The essay primarily delves into the investigation of what was the purpose of the policy during its formulation in 2014. Employing relevant literature materials, the essay answers the question concerning what could have been the possible reasons why the policy is no longer effective in the Australian Football Leagues. Besides, the paper analyses the possible benefits derived by NPL clubs due to the abandoning of the NCIP.

The concept of the National Club Identity Policy (NCIP) aimed at “promoting and strengthening the reputation of football in Australia” (National Club Identity Policy, 2015, pp. 2). According to the article, the main objective of the NCIP was to make football a sport that would be inclusive to all participants. Racial and ethnic backgrounds that were written on teams’ shirts, logos, and emblems were ordered to be revised with immediate effect. According to the article, the FFA had recognized the need to appreciate the multicultural nature of Australia.  The FFA follows functions to liberate the Australian Football industry as suggested in the recommendations by the Crawford Report (Georgakis and Molloy, 2016, pp. 73). Therefore, the NCIP policies expelled and forbid any signatures, logos, and writings that could discriminate a section of players and fans in the Australian NPL, outdoor, futsal, indoor, beach, school, and summer football in the Australian jurisdiction. The policy, moreover, aimed to ensure inclusivity in the FFA, Member Federations, Competition Administrators, Clubs, Players, and Officials.

The Abandonment of National Club Identity Policy

The NCIP required clubs to ensure that their shirts and logos are limited to English words, a reference to the broader geographic area where the club is located, numbers, references to flora, and reference to fauna ("FFA announces National Club Identity Policy", 2015). According to the online article, this policy not only aimed at promoting inclusivity and accessibility in how clubs organized themselves but also how clubs engaged and interacted with their communities. Clubs were required to revise or change their names, logos, and emblems. The purpose of these revisions was to ensure that the new logos, club names, and emblems of clubs would accommodate every member of the Australian sporting multi-cultural society.

Five years after its operation in Australia, the FFA, member federations, Association of Football Clubs as well as clubs decided to crap and abandon the NCIP (“FFA overturns much-maligned policy banning ethnic club names, 2019). The NCIP was banned on the basis that it banned Australian teams and clubs from using symbols, names, and colours that could be associated with any ethnic group, a foreign nation, political affiliation, race, or religion. According to many stakeholders, the 2014 NCIP functioned by whitewashing clubs' backgrounds. According to the FFA, denying Australian teams and clubs the rights to display their ethnic backgrounds on their shirts, logos, and emblems adversely affect the concepts of diversity and inclusivity. By denying the football community to display their ethnic backgrounds is a sign of failure to appreciate and acknowledge the contributions made by the Australian community. In essence, the promotion of diversity and inclusion is well illustrated by the many ethnicities and cultures in Australia. By displaying their ethnic backgrounds, clubs in Australia function by promoting diversity and inclusivity as opposed to when clubs are forcefully obligated to use names, logos, and emblems that represent geographic or national aspects.

The abandonment of the NCIP was applauded by football clubs as well as football fans. Enthusiasts of football felt that the abandonment of the policy liberated them from the risk of losing their connection with their favourite clubs. According to Kunkel, et al., (2016, pp. 117), fans are loyal to the teams that they can relate to. The scholars affirm that brand awareness in football teams enables teams to appreciate their football teams. Sponsorship brands that function by promoting teams and clubs with a certain ethnic background successfully motivate and mobilize fans. In his book, Gorman (2017, pp. 19) assert that fans in Australia base their loyalties on national and ethnic backgrounds. Teams and clubs with a particular ethnic background are likely to attract loyal fans from a particular ethnicity (Njororai, 2018, pp. 813). According to Krugger, et al., (2019, pp. 200), it is almost impossible to remove the ethnic attachment from fans to their football fans. Banning clubs and teams from displaying their ethnic backgrounds functions to reduce the morale of fans towards their favourite teams. NPL teams would advantage from optimal support from their fans after the abandonment of the NCIP.   According to Binjwaied and Richards (2015, pp. 113), fans' loyalty to their favourite teams is correlated with increased customer bases and higher revenues and profits. According to the scholars, clubs with loyal fans sell many tickets, jerseys, and other products. Therefore, clubs with many loyal firms usually enjoy increased sales, profits, and revenues. Considering that NPL clubs will likely increase their fan base after the overturning of the NCIP, the teams are likely to perform better in financial and business performance.

Benefits of Abandoning National Club Identity Policy

Football clubs, moreover, function as symbols for regional and cultural identities (Gomez-Bantel, 2016, pp. 693).  Teams and clubs in the NPL that are formed to represent regional, ethnic, and cultural phenomena would likely advantage from the overturning of the NCIP laws and policies. In the Australian NPL, most clubs are formed by football enthusiasts that are based in certain geographical or cultural settings. FFA's ban of logos, jerseys, and emblems that postulate's a team's ethnic background functioned to discredit, downplay, and infringe cultural diversity and inclusion (Schnytzer, 2016, pp. 52). The scholars assert that FFA's 2014 decision would lead to the erosion of cultural diversity that is celebrated by clubs and teams in the NPL. According to the scholar, the NCIP function to present an Anglo-Australian culture, which failed to acknowledge the fundamental cultures celebrated by Australian firms. The overturning of the NCIP functioned to liberate Australian football from potential financial and existential risks. The Australian football league is now poised to attract sponsors from foreign and transnational countries. Australian firms could now celebrate their teams’ original jerseys, logos, and emblems without the fear of penalties from the FFA. This would function by increasing the satisfaction derived by fans during football matches. In football, satisfaction during game time corresponds to fans’ loyalty towards their favourite teams.

Although football fans supporting teams from diverse ethical backgrounds are associated with violence and hooliganism, these rivalries can be tamed and celebrated as cultural diversity (Kampmark, 2017, pp. 877). According to the scholar, existing hooliganism and violence between transcultural and transnational football clubs result due to the fans' lack of understanding of concepts such as diversity and inclusion.  According to Knijnik and Spaaij (2017, pp. 37), the cultural artifacts and arts presented by teams from different ethnic backgrounds during football matches present a benign atmosphere where diversity can be celebrated. Moreover, Lawrence and Davis (2019, pp. 705) assert that present-day fans celebrate cultural and ethnic diversity. Although there may be times where fans may grow uncontrollable in their celebrations, fans in the present day are restraining from using words that are discriminatory or racially downgrading (Love, et al., 2017, pp. 235). NPL teams are poised to control their teams from engaging in racist or discriminatory practices in Australia. The overturning of the NCIP was a positive indicator that NPL teams are performing towards incorporating multiculturalism as a strength, not a weakness. It was an indicator than the FFA had developed trust that NPL clubs could promote and practice concepts of diversity and inclusivity by themselves.

The Significance of Diversity and Inclusivity in Football


NPL teams can also advantage from the large number of migrant and foreign players that would join their teams. According to James and Walsh (2018, pp. 230), migrant and transnational players from Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, and Yugoslavia would find teams and clubs in the NPL.  The scholars assert that ethnic clubs had previously been banned in Australia in 2003 and 2004 seasons. The overturning of the NCIP, fortunately, will bring forth the talent and skills possessed by youthful players from minority ethnic groups in Australia. According to Mauro (2018, pp. 885), transcultural football leagues function to increase the talent pool of the players. By repealing rules that deny clubs the right to show and portray their identity, new talents, and skills from diverse players from these minority groups would eventually have a platform to bestow their talents. NPL teams, on the other hand, would greatly advantage from the injection of new players in the industry. The performance of NPL clubs that employ talented and skilled football players from diverse ethnic groups would generally improve. NPL teams, therefore, appreciate FFA's decision to overturn the NCIP because they acknowledge that the decision would serve to unlock the unexploited talents and skills possessed by players from minority ethnic, racial, and transnational players.

The repeal of the existing controversial and maligned policies in Australian football is likely to have a similar effect on the previous laws and policies that had been formulated to streamline and increase the efficiency of the Australian football leagues. Since 2003, the Australian federal government has played significant roles to streamline the affairs of the Australian Football (Harper, 2019, pp. 1816). The Federal Government's intervention in the NPL has played significantly not only in improving the conditions of the NPL but also in eliminating repressive policies that may exist in the policy formulation and implementation of the local policies. For instance, the repeal of the NCIP represented a forward step by the governing body of sports in Australia. The government of Australia acts as the custodian of different bodies that govern sports in the country. Therefore, NPL teams directly advantage from the government's roles in maintaining and balancing the activities played by FFA. Although the government's intervention in sports management is majorly criticized, the government frequently helps to re-establish functional policies that conserve the impact of sports on its fans (Fahlen, et al., 2015, pp. 396). NPL teams and clubs, therefore, are likely to applaud for the Australian government’s participation in the repeal of NCIP. Teams will now celebrate their venerated cultures and ethnic backgrounds, thus promote Australian diversity among football enthusiasts.

Challenges of Multiculturalism in Football

Conclusion

To conclude, the overturning of NCIP has been greatly appreciated by NPL clubs and other stakeholders. The policy served by restricting and denying football clubs in the NPL to portray their allegiance to specific ethnic, racial, or political affiliations. However, the policy was abandoned in 2019 because the government, FAA, clubs, and fans felt that the NCIP hindered the concepts of diversity and inclusion in Australian football. As a multicultural country, the FAA suggested that it would be appropriate for the policy to be abandoned so that concepts of diversity and inclusion are smoothly practiced in Australia's football leagues. Some of the benefits derived from the abandonment of the policy include: increased fans support, financial and existential advantage, culturally diverse teams, wider talent pools, and increased government support and trust. These benefits are accrued to all teams and clubs in the Australian NPL.

References

Binjwaied, M., Richards, I. and O'Keeffe, L.A., 2015. The Factors Influencing Fans’ Attendance at Football Matches in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In Athens: ATINER'S Conference Paper Series, No: SPO2015-1467.

Fahlén, J., Eliasson, I. and Wickman, K., 2015. Resisting self-regulation: an analysis of sport policy programme making and implementation in Sweden. International journal of sport policy and politics, 7(3), pp.391-406.

Footballnsw.com.au. 2015. National Club Identity Policy. [online] Available at: <https://footballnsw.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/FFANCIP_gi2intdh3rj4155vtn97cjmjo.pdf> [Accessed 8 May 2020].

Georgakis, S. and Molloy, S., 2016. From old soccer to new football? Expert accounts of transformations on the world game in Australia post-Crawford Report. Soccer & Society, 17(1), pp.72-89.

Gómez-Bantel, A., 2016. Football clubs as symbols of regional identities. Soccer & Society, 17(5), pp.692-702.

Harper, A., 2019. From bastard child to a place in Australia’s family; the Federal Government’s role in repositioning Australian soccer as a legitimate, mainstream sport: a qualitative study. Sport in Society, 22(11), pp.1816-1833.

James, K. and Walsh, R., 2018. The expropriation of goodwill and migrant labour in the transition to Australian football's A-League. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 18(5), pp.430-452.

Kampmark, B., 2018. Australian soccer rivalries: diasporas, violence and the Balkan connection. Soccer & Society, 19(5-6), pp.875-887.

Knijnik, J. and Spaaij, R., 2017. No harmony: football fandom and everyday multiculturalism in Western Sydney. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 38(1), pp.36-53.

Kruger, D.J., Day, M.M., Duan, A., Heyblom, A.M., Juhasz, D., Misevich, S.L., Phaneuf, C.V., Saunders, C.M., Sonnega, P.A. and Sreenivasa, V., 2019. You can’t root for both teams!: Convergent evidence for the unidirectionality of group loyalty. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 5(2), pp.199-212.

Kunkel, T., Doyle, J.P., Funk, D.C., Du, J. and McDonald, H., 2016. The development and change of brand associations and their influence on team loyalty over time. Journal of Sport Management, 30(2), pp.117-134.

Lawrence, S. and Davis, C., 2019. Fans for diversity? A Critical Race Theory analysis of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) supporters’ experiences of football fandom. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 11(4), pp.701-713.

Love, A., Gonzalez-Sobrino, B. and Hughey, M.W., 2017. Excessive celebration? The racialization of recruiting commitments on college football Internet message boards. Sociology of Sport Journal, 34(3), pp.235-247.

Mauro, M., 2016. Transcultural football. Trajectories of belonging among immigrant youth. Soccer & Society, 17(6), pp.882-897.

MyFootball. 2015. FFA Announces National Club Identity Policy. [online] Available at: <https://www.myfootball.com.au/news/ffa-announces-national-club-identity-policy> [Accessed 8 May 2020].

Njororai, W.W.S., 2018. AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia: footballing rivalry and shared political underdog status in Kenya. Soccer & Society, 19(5-6), pp.811-828.

Schnytzer, J., Shimoni, B. and Galily, Y., 2016. The exogenous cultural incorporation of football into the Australian mainstream: a case of polyglot multiculturalism. Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science, 5(1), pp.51-69.

the Guardian. 2019. FFA Overturns Much-Maligned Policy Banning Ethnic Club Names. [online] Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/mar/01/ffa-announces-end-to-ncip-introduces-diversity-and-inclusion-policy> [Accessed 8 May 2020].

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My Assignment Help (2020) The Essay Explores Why Football Federation Australia Abandoned Its National Club Identity Policy And Shortened Its Length To 70 Characters, Analyzing The Decision's Implications And Rationale. [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/21658-the-organisation-of-australian-sport
[Accessed 16 June 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'The Essay Explores Why Football Federation Australia Abandoned Its National Club Identity Policy And Shortened Its Length To 70 Characters, Analyzing The Decision's Implications And Rationale.' (My Assignment Help, 2020) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/21658-the-organisation-of-australian-sport> accessed 16 June 2024.

My Assignment Help. The Essay Explores Why Football Federation Australia Abandoned Its National Club Identity Policy And Shortened Its Length To 70 Characters, Analyzing The Decision's Implications And Rationale. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2020 [cited 16 June 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/21658-the-organisation-of-australian-sport.

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