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Canberra rejects AFL bid as it waits for 18th club

By 16 June 2009 7

Todays “AGE” has a story on the ACT turning down the AFL’s plans for more games in Canberra.

“We will be saving our pennies for the introduction of the 18th club,” ACT Sports Minister Andrew Barr told The Age.

Yes, $400,000 should give us more than the odd Melbourne team playing here for lip service. 

Keep up the good work Andrew.

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7 Responses to Canberra rejects AFL bid as it waits for 18th club
#1
Growling Ferret9:45 am, 16 Jun 09

The Age story has given me more confidence over the ability of the ‘West Sydney’ team to be viable. Andrew Barr has neve struck me as a decent negotiator until I read this story…

Canberra will never support a West Sydney “whatevers”, but creating an 18th AFL side sharing a club name with a genuine history such as NSW/ACT Rams brings ownership to the side. Having 5 home games, with a number of these against ‘traditional’ AFL sides from Melbourne, and not just the low drawing interstate teams would also increase support.

I’d have no problem with the club having 2 or 3 strips – a NSW Blues style similar to Sturt for home games in Sydney, a traditional ACT strip for home games in Canberra, and a clash strip for other away matches.

#2
PigDog11:18 am, 16 Jun 09

Why are we waiting for an 18th team? What is the return for Canberra? I for one haven’t seen the demand for an AFL club in Canberra. Sure people go to the games when they are here, but there doesn’t seem to be a grass-roots sort of push for it like an A-League Team. Maybe there is and I am missing it?

“We want to continue AFL in the Canberra market…”

I hate it when they talk about their constituents as a market. Why are we subsiding the AFL? I thought it was the richest sport in the country (sure some of the clubs are broke, but the AFL itself isn’t). The ACT is in the red, they are in the black. Maybe they could pay us to play here? Why don’t they? If they are after a market, maybe we should be putting it out to tender? Whatever code comes up with the most cash can have exclusive rights to the Canberra market for 5 years.

“Barr said his government had significant money to invest but wanted a say in team colours and name, as well as a seat on the board.”

If you have significant money to invest, fix the GDE, it is still missing a lane… or maybe pay off government debt…
But back to the topic. Imagine the government having a seat on a football team board! How painful would that be for the club involved? I look forward to the community consultation process on the name and colours.

“We’ve asked for a proper footy jumper, a traditional jumper with an identifiable brand, not some new-age concoction like we see some of the new franchises in various codes wearing. We want a strong brand that could be shared across Sydney and Canberra.”

How can a new team have a traditional jumper – a traditional jumper that is different for home games, away home games, and away away games. How can you link Canberra and Western Sydney as a brand? Is there a link? Might as well link Geelong and Toorak. We could call them the Geelong/Toorak Cars, because, you know, they both have cars, and a history of the use of cars.

When you talk about strong branding etc. you are going to end up having your team name and jumper designed by a marketing company – and you will end up with a name like the NSW/ACT Max eXtremes.

“Given the comparative levels of support in the ACT versus western Sydney the new team would expect to draw more of its players from this region rather than western Sydney,” Barr said. “We think it would be very difficult for that team to be successful without a very strong ACT presence.”

I couldn’t agree more with Mr Barr’s comments, and it reinforces why the Government should get a seat on the board, and selecting players from his comment above. His view is reinforced by how poorly the Sydney team in the Canberra Aussie Rules comp is going. That Sydney team sure wishes it could have more Canberra players.

/rant

#3
Primal11:25 am, 16 Jun 09

Five home games a year down here seems too much if the club wants to get a decent foothold in Sydney’s west (which, let’s face it, is the bigger and more important half of the equation). I applaud Barr’s desire to get the Territory seriously involved, but this seems impractical.

#4
Holden Caulfield11:39 am, 16 Jun 09

Thanks for the article Chop. I reckon if Canberra did get a serious run of “home” games with the 18th team that I would be inclined to go along. But as a philosophical stance I would never become a member. Carlton, first and foremost for me. :)

Interesting news about the Canberra A-league bid at the end of the article, as well.

#5
Primal12:56 pm, 16 Jun 09

I admit it… if we got 5 home games from the new side I’d be on board quick smart. I’d still be an Eagles fan first and a new team fan second, but I’d certainly look at getting a membership deal for those home games.

#6
bd8410:52 pm, 16 Jun 09

Primal said :

I admit it… if we got 5 home games from the new side I’d be on board quick smart. I’d still be an Eagles fan first and a new team fan second, but I’d certainly look at getting a membership deal for those home games.

I highly admire your excellent views.

However, Barr should stop being a moron and accept the AFL’s offer for the time being. He isn’t likely to get a better offer. He can go about bidding for the new team’s game when they come into existance.

#7
caf11:12 pm, 16 Jun 09

That would be the AFL’s generous offer to relieve us of more cash?

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