Australian Hyundai A-League versus The English Premier League

I’m surprised I have lived here in Australia as long as I have without making this comparison before. Still, better late than never.

Now, I understand this is a bit of a bloke’s post, and even then, not every bloke likes football (as it should be called) or soccer, as it is called here. For you, here’s a couple of escape routes, girls first and blokes who don’t like footy second…

For those of you who are still here, let’s start comparing…

Footy PlayerAustralian football

I’ve been a few times, you can click on this link to read about My First Visit to the Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane and also visit Australia Almost Qualify for the World Cup Finals to read a bit more about football in Australia.

The reason I am doing this comparison now is that yesterday was the Hyundai A-League Grand Final, described by a friend of mine as ‘like the FA Cup’.

To find out how much like the FA Cup it is, let’s look at the Hyundai A-League.

Hyundai A-League

Formed in 2004, yesterday was the culmination of the league’s ninth full season. The league currently comprises of 10 teams; two from Melbourne, two from Sydney, and then one team from each of Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Newcastle and Gosford which is 76 kilometres north of Sydney on the Central Coast.

The 10th team is Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.

Other teams have come and gone, Gold Coast, Auckland and Townsville all had teams, but they have since been dissolved.

The current format

These 10 teams play 27 games over the course of one season and the team with the most points wins the league.

When that is all done and dusted though, the top six qualify for what is called the “Finals Series”. The teams that finished third to sixth battle it out before joining the top team and the runners-up in the semi-final play-offs.

In this years Hyundai A-League Brisbane Roar finished top of the division with Western Sydney Wanderers the runners-up and it was the same two teams that met in this years…

Hyundai A-League Grand Final

Here are the highlights…

So, how much ‘like the FA Cup’ is it?

English football

English football probably has as many divisions as the A League has teams. The top four divisions are professional and comprise of 92 teams in total. The English Premier League is the top division of them all and has 20 teams.

This weekend, with just two or three games left in the season, any one of three teams could win the English Premier League, or EPL; Manchester City, Liverpool or Chelsea.

One pivotal game this weekend in the race for the Premiership was Everton versus Manchester City, this was the opening goal…

The game ended with City winning 3–2, a great result for them away from home against a side that was sitting in fifth position.

At the other end of the table just three games ago, Sunderland were in 20th position at rock bottom and seven points adrift from safety; the bottom three teams automatically get relegated to the next division down.

Then, away from home against Manchester City, they got a 2-2 draw, they almost won it but City equalised in the dying minutes. Then Sunderland went away from home against Chelsea who were top of the table at the time and beat them 2-1.

This weekend Sunderland went to Manchester United, I’m sure you’ve heard of them, and picked up all three points there as well.

In what other football league in the world would that happen? 20 teams and it’s almost impossible to predict any game with certainty.

The FA Cup

The FA Cup is a completely different competition, unrelated to the EPL. There is no league or ladder, it’s a knockout competition. According to Wikipedia, in 2012-13 season, 758 teams took part.

Yes, seven hundred and fifty eight!

So, the Grand Final here in Australia is nothing like the FA Cup at all.

Don’t get me wrong, everybody has to start somewhere, and I think it’s fantastic that Australia does now have a professional football league. There are some great things about it as well, players aren’t ridiculously overpaid and it still costs just $20 or so to get in to watch your favourite team.

Not bad.


During the commentary in yesterday’s Grand Final when a Roar player grabbed a late equaliser forcing extra time, one of the commentators said something like “There are big moments in big games but they don’t get much bigger than this!

Oh yes they do, it’s in England, in the English Premier League. Undoubtedly the best football league in the world.

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Mandy August 2, 2014, 12:59 am | Link

    Thanks for that little bit of info. That will frantically reduce my stress levels when I hear the word 🙂

    • Kirri August 2, 2014, 7:35 am | Link

      Haha, I’m glad to hear that, it was kinda what I was hoping for. I don’t think it matters what you call it as long as people understand what you’re talking about. Soccer does that, football (in Australia) doesn’t because football has always been a generic term that applies to half a dozen sports. But soccer is being increasingly phased out of the Australian dialogue for the same reasons as in Britain and “real” football fans can become very defensive over its use. I just think that everybody needs to calm down and instead be a little bit grateful that when shortening assoc. they used the last 3 letters and not the first. 🙂

      • BobinOz August 4, 2014, 12:04 am | Link

        Personally, I’m very calm about the whole thing, as long as people CALL IT FOOTBALL!!!!!


        • Kirri August 4, 2014, 12:37 am | Link

          That’s ok, call it whatever you want, rugby league’s a better game anyway 😛

  • Mandy August 2, 2014, 12:29 am | Link

    Hello Kirri

    I am not sure what nationality you are, but I assume American or Oz.
    If you and your countrymen wish to call it ‘soccer’ then that is your prerogative. There was no blame being dished out here. If you read my comment again it is the British who are being slated for adopting Americanisms. If the origin of ‘soccer’ is as you say, it is not known to many Brits, therefore they don’t say it for that reason, they say it because they hear it on American tv etc, which along with many other Americanisms over here, is frustrating!
    To you it is soccer, as a non Brit, you can call it what you wish, you have my blessing (I bet you’re thankful for my blessing)

  • Kirri August 1, 2014, 10:46 pm | Link

    Did you know that soccer was the original British slang for the game. It was properly referred to as association football to distinguish it from rugby football and assoc. football became assocc-er and eventually soccer while rugby was rugger. The term was widespread in Britain during the time it was introduced to countries like Australia and America but around the 1970’s Brits began to think of it as an Americanism and phased it out. So it would be appreciated if you could stop blaming us for using the name that you guys presented us with just because you changed what you called it.

  • Mandy May 21, 2014, 7:28 pm | Link

    My son (aged 6) and his dad and grandad are all Sunderland season ticket holders. They (and me if I am honest) really enjoyed ‘The Great Escape’. I was at the Cardiff match at home when we thrashed em 4-0. I have to say I have been sucked in, though admittedly still know nowt about it! But if the ball hits the back of the net – it’s a goal! That’s all I need to know.
    Anyway, we are contemplating a move to Oz in the near future, was worried about the football side of things because you know how big it is here and I was worried about there not being any passion for it over there and no games to go to. But I am glad they have embraced it a bit more, although the fact that they call it “soccer” is extremely disturbing! What is that about? Where did that stupid word originate?? It’s even starting to migrate here… ‘Soccer a.m’ and ‘Soccer aid’!! Jog on muppets, you’re British… ITS FOOTBALL!!
    Anyhow thanks for the football update. Great site 🙂

    • BobinOz May 22, 2014, 6:09 pm | Link

      Great escape? More like a miracle, wasn’t it?

      The soccer thing is rather unfortunate, but it’s all come about because the word football is already being used for other sports here and in the USA as well. We have Australian Rules Football played in the Australian Football League (AFL) and America has the National Football League (NFL).

      The really strange thing is the ‘ball’ they use isn’t round. Seriously, it’s a funny shape.

      Here’s to Sunderland!

      • Mandy May 22, 2014, 6:20 pm | Link

        HA! Na, they knew what they were doing, it was a hustle 😉

        A funny shape? I will have to look into this more. Being a footy fan, do you like it? Does it keep your football needs satisfied?

        Well thanks again for all the info on your site, it really is amazingly useful. Just the spiders to contend with now….eek!!


        • BobinOz May 23, 2014, 3:56 pm | Link

          Being a footy fan, I’ve never actually watched one, well, I’ve seen bits of an AFL game, not my cup of tea. Now, State of Origin, that’s a different story, they are great to watch.

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