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A-League news: Simon Hill column, what competition needs

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Kudos to the good people of Perth for putting on such a good show on Sunday night. 56,000 fans created a superb backdrop to the season finale and while the result didn’t go the Glory’s way, the crowd figure is a further indication that fans of the A-League (and the game) are still plentiful — if we make it attractive enough for them to turn up.

Bouquets too, for Sydney FC in earning their fourth championship. A club that suffered massive upheaval last off-season weren’t tipped by many to go all the way.

The Sky Blues lost Graham Arnold, Andrew Clark, Adrian Mierzejewski, Bobo, Jordy Buijs (and others), suffered regular injury problems to key players (Buhagiar, Warland, Zuvela, De Jong, De Silva), and had to play the entire season as wandering nomads around their own city while Allianz Stadium is being redeveloped — so it’s some effort to come home with the biggest prize of all.

But none of the feel-good factor surrounding the grand final should take the focus away from those charged with reversing the A-League’s arrested development.

Grand Final

Put simply, this off-season is crucial in getting things right off the pitch ahead of the 15th season of the Hyundai A-League.

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Japan vs England LIVE: Updates from Women's World Cup as Lionesses look to win Group D

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JAPAN VS ENGLAND LIVE: Updates from the Women’s World Cup as the Lionesses attempt to top Group D.

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Everton agree £22m deal to sign Andre Gomes from Barcelona – deal to be done in 24 hours

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EVERTON have agreed a permanent deal for Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes.

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Man Utd transfer negotiations over summer deal will be damaged because of one man – Moreno

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MANCHESTER UNITED’s transfer negotiations over the sale of Romelu Lukaku will have been affected by Roberto Martinez’s recent comments, claims ESPN FC pundit Alejandro Moreno.

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