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April 27, 2010

The Melbourne Storm fiasco cont ...

Following on from my original post on this subject, back to Melbourne for a minute more ...

The second issue is that the current NRL administration has been shown to be completely incompetent at policing its own rules. That's taking nothing away from Ian Schubert, who by all accounts has done a great job of policing a really dumb set of rules. It's the people who allowed those rules to persist, despite overwhelming evidence of problems and pressure to change them, who need to be replaced. That the leadership can be so resistant to feedback and change is a problem for any organisation.

This, of course, makes the proposed Independent Commission an even more urgent priority. The game needs to be run by a balanced group of independent decision makers whose immediate source of feedback is those who have the most at stake in the game. Only when consultation happens at this level and results are transparent and accountable will the game develop to its potential.

The final point is that some of the penalties that have been handed out are actually penalising innocent fans and players, not the perpetrators of the crime. This is the worst possible outcome. The fans are not to blame for any of this and the NRL cannot afford to penalise and alienate them. The Club may have committed a sin, but be careful how you define "Club" ... and make sure the punishment fits the crime. This is further evidence that the priorities of the games "leaders" are far removed fro those of the game's supporters ...

So, when it comes to penalties, the crime was stacking the team. A few club officials committed the crime. It's arguably fair to take the winnings off the club, since they won them while breaking the competition's rules, but it's not fair to penalise the players, staff and fans who committed no crime. If the club can get their player payments back below the cap, let them contest the title. The NRL cannot afford to let the Storm fold. I suggest Gus's solution that Melbourne be allowed to compile a $4.1million roster, but I'd let them do it by offering the elite players a new contract at their cap-registered salary. THAT would test their claims that they are a tight club playing for each other and determined to stick together. It might even strengthen their brand beyond this mess.

Incidentally, while I'm ranting about football, can we please have an end to the invasion of the gambling companies? Gambling has nothing to do with football and is a blight on our culture. Ban it from TV advertising in the same way smoking was banned and alcohol gambling has been regulated. I don't care what the latest odds are on the game I'm about to watch (or in the middle of watching) and I'm sick of this corruption of the human spirit!! Join the Facebook group NOW!

Posted by Hughie at April 27, 2010 9:42 AM

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