I am as confident about the future of A-League as ever

The two cracking elimination finals meant it could be the most celebrated column of the season, except for one key detail that left Sunday’s broadcast in deep relief.

Western United’s 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix may have been a predictable result – it was their seventh win of the season on the same scoreline – but the match was more than routine.

If Jamie Young hadn’t arguably pulled the save of the season to deny James McGary with a great diving save in the 71st minute, the result might have looked different.

But John Aloisy’s side have one of the worst defenses in the league for a reason, and even though Reno Piscopo came close by shaking the crossbar from a distance, the Kiwi fighters found no way to overtake the indomitable Young at AAMI Park.

If Saturday night’s match had been an exciting affair, Adelaide United’s 3-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners at a cold Coopers Stadium was a great A-League men’s competition.

We pine all the time for a European football experience, yet we already have Adelaide.

Adelaide United supporters celebrate

(Photo by James LSB / Getty Images)

The Reds ran under the lead sky in front of a huge crowd at Coopers Stadium and went on to do something all season – comfortably account for a team that everyone on the East Coast loves.

They are somewhat lucky with Craig Goodwin’s wind-assisted opener, but the return to the influential Cusini Yengi and the emergence of a truly talented youngster like Bernardo means the Reds will pose a serious threat to defending champions Melbourne City in their two matches. Leg semifinals this week.

Goodwin was at his best in a heated contest on a cold Adelaide afternoon, when it came as no surprise to find All-Action Young’s scoresheet in his second game back from a serious leg injury.

Not without us. Or at least those connected to Network 10’s Secondary Channel Bold coverage didn’t see it.

Because of what can only be described as the worst nightmare of a television producer, Bold’s coverage was in the middle of a commercial just as Goodwin floated on top of another inch-perfect cross.

So, instead of watching the two-goal lead on Yangi Volley The Reds, many fans were watching an ad sitting at home on TV.

Advertising during gameplay. We’ve talked about them all season.

And the failure to broadcast such an important moment – with an apology on Twitter that created a snowstorm of negative reactions – is detached from what would otherwise have been an engaging encounter.

Here’s why I’m not too worried. This week I had a drink with Nick Bower, who is now the Sports Sales Director at Paramount ANZ after a long career in various commercial roles.

And although I can’t reveal the content of everything he and I discussed, I can safely say that the essence of the conversation has filled me with confidence for next season.

We’ve talked about a lot of things – including truth-telling, the problem of advertising during the game – and I’ve come to believe that many of these problems will be solved next season.

Nick has been ruthlessly honest about the technical challenges that Paramount has faced since its launch in Australia.

And I was honest about the fact that a huge chunk of the A-League main fanbase doesn’t understand what ‘commercial’ represents on commercial broadcasts.

Those who want to avoid ads during gameplay can always look ad-free at Paramount +.

And next season we’ll see it with some real marquees, if news is found that the APL has made a list of 35 legitimate targets.

Each season does not have to be the best of all time There were obviously some problems, but they weren’t something that could be fixed

A-League Main is currently in rebuild mode.

And if you have to go to the Elimination Final, this week’s two-leg semifinal will again make for an unexpected appointment.

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