By now, the Tasmanian government has signed up to another five year commercial partnership with the AFL’s Hawthorn FC –
(q. v. later ones yourselves.)
It seems that, despite a lot of hostile huffin’ & puffin’ (mainly from the south), the Bartlett government - at least in this instance - has taken the only commercially sound choice of two options. This is the essence of that choice.
~ You have a choice between two out-of-towners for a commercial partnership to bring a product into your home market which you cannot (yet) provide yourself.
One has a proven track record in its home area, where it has grown its industry’s second largest customer numbers from a perilously low base; after overcoming a near takeover in the mid-1990s when complacency almost ended its operations, it has a recent history of administrative efficiency and effective (though, at times, headline-hunting) leadership, which has given it a sound financial foundation for future operations; in addition, it has recently achieved at the highest level in the industry.
The other has the smallest customer base (well under half the size of the other’s), constantly needs industry hand-outs to keep going, and, since the end of the previous century, has led a nomadic existence looking for new partners whom it has a reputation of alienating by short-term exploitation. Its earlier partnership with a Tasmanian entity at a lower level in this industry is widely considered a factor in that entity’s demise. In Dec 2007, it rejected (largely on emotional grounds) an industry offer which would have secured its future, and it claimed that several ‘white knights’ would be tipping millions of dollars into its operations - which has so far not happened. It is led by the show-biz glamour boy linked to a fading low-rent industry-related TV show, and his recent actions have already repudiated several public commitments he made to his core constituency at that time.
Between the two options, prudent due diligence has a fairly easy choice here, doesn’t it. ~
One earlier Mercury report claims that “North Melbourne’s offer involves the Kangaroos playing seven matches in the state from 2012, with five in Launceston and two in Hobart”, but did anyone seen any firm and concrete details of this “offer”, or was it ‘an offer which could be refused’?
Did someone, anyone, demand to be shown how the NMFC would persuade its Melbourne members to move interstate of seven of its eleven ‘Home’ games, after having promised them ‘No More!! Never Again!!!’ a few years ago?
(At that same December 2007 AGM, the North Melbourne FC had the sense to resile from one of the silliest marketeering decisions in recent Australian sport, when it re-branded itself from ‘North Melbourne FC’ to ‘The Kangaroos FC’ - on this basis:
~ ‘The Kangaroos’ would be a nationally-recognised brand, identified with the essence of ‘Australianness’, or some such moronic mouthwash. All over this kangaroo-packed wide brown land, every sports-minded person would wake up one morning to find out that the NMFC was now the Kangaroos FC, and go, like, ‘Wow, man, like, I never really went for Aussie Rules or the gAyFL, but now I’m gunna sign up as fellow kangaroo right now, and, like, gimme me moby, WTF am I waiting for!!!’ ~
Interestingly, the players themselves never took to this nonsense, singing “Good old North Melbourne, . . .” after each of their wins in the ‘Kangaroo’ seasons 1999-2007.
[Sadly, not enough of the media, and hardly any sports journos, declined to toe this stupid line - any journo, you’d reckon, with half a brain & an ounce of gumption*, would refuse to acknowledge this ‘re/branding’ drivel. Same with venue names - at least the ABC still holds out. ‘Aurora Stadium’ - Bah! Humbug!!]
* particularly as so many journos keep telling their readers how free-thinking and how non-conformist they are.)
The NMFC would also have needed to show that, if its relocated games were to be its ‘Away’ matches, how it would persuade its opponents to move what are their ‘Home’ matches all the way from, say, SA & WA, or from NSW & Qld, across and down to Tasmania?
Yeah, like the Eagles who still, and the Dockers who finally, fill the 40,000-seat Subiaco Oval, would forgo their Home venue, for flying 3000 klicks to & fro across the whole country to the 20,000-seat venue at York Park or 15,000 at (sub-standard) Bellerive Oval? Ditto, for the Crows averaging 45,000 at Adelaide’s Football Park?
Brayshaw, needed to give us these details - and to stop sounding like a ‘roo-oil salesman. (If he can.)
Wade^ & co needed to demand these details, and publish them for us - and to stop giving us the impression that they are gulls, and stop treating Tasmanian football fans, wherever they reside, as if they are mugs. (If this clique can.)
Then there’s the silliest claim yet: if Tasmania spurned the NMFC’s “offer”, the State will forgo its ‘right’ to ever getting its own AFL club, as claimed in another Mercury story: “AFL Tasmania chairman Dominic Baker said any dream of a Tassie club would be shattered if the State Government turned its back on a seven-game deal with North Melbourne”.
Yes, “shattered” - today’s lesson in hyperbole. Any chairman who spouts such tripe ought to vacate the chair, methinks - it gives his organisation a bad name. Or worse.
Even the most one-sided and myopic of southern football fans could see this for the absolute BS that it is.
But hang on, wait half a mo - hosting the NMFC for a couple of their trademark fly-in > fly-out games may, in a perverse, counter-intuitive kind of way, be the way to go!!
Notice that Queensland’s Gold Coast now has its own AFL club, AFTER being sneeringly rejected by glamour boy Brayshaw & his NMFC? And that the greater western Sydney region has own AFL club-in-waiting, after the NMFC failed in similar raids on the Sydney Swans supporter base about ten years ago?
Can you see the common feature??!!
P’raps that’s the one valid reason for accepting the Ch 9 Footy Show host’s offer: his club’s likely cutting & running will strengthen Tasmania’s claim to its own AFL club!
BTW: it is a CLUB we want, not just a team, another thing you journos should learn (as well as how to distinguish ‘reluctance’ from ‘reticence’, and how to not use ‘impact’) - a team we already have, sort of, with about 10,000^^ Tasmanian members [including me, on a “Paris vaut bien une messe” basis as a member of the Henri IV Quartet]: it wears brown & gold, plays here four times a season, as is called the Hawthorn FC.
Repeat after me: we want a CLUB!!
^ every time I see, hear or read of Mr Wade, I am reminded of the cry attributed to Henry II in December of the Year of Grace 1170: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest!”
^^ out of over 50,000 members in 2010, and nearly half of the total number for the NMFC.