So here we are, the annual muffin fest. The Crowcast team have been practicing like crazy over the off season in preparation of this culinary extravaganza... Myself, NikkiNoo and macca23 will be attending this year. We may get a chance to ask questions of Fages in between servings, so now is your chance to put your 2 cents worth in. The most popular (and appropriate) questions will be put together and asked if time permits. Those submitting the most popular questions will win all the muffin bottoms from the meeting! So have at it - post your questions in this thread. Try not to duplicate - if some other muffin bottom loving fan has asked your question, dont ask it again changing three words, just like his post, so we can see what most people want asked. Deadline for questions is Sunday night 5th of Feb. Answers and muffin review will appear on the CrowCast Tuesday Night Live episode on Feb 14th, and then posted here by the end of that week. PS. for those who have been rolled up in the foetal position craving the return of CrowCast, we will be premiering for season 2017 on Tuesday night 31 January. More on that later in our podcast thread. Rules for this thread: 1. Dont be a dick. 2. See rule #1 Questions for the club 2017 Football Dept • One of the key areas Andrew mentioned when he joined the club was to build the best football department in the business. Whilst many supporters expected to see changes across the department and the aggressive recruitment of key personnel, the perception has been that we haven’t really maintained focus on this objective. How does Andrew see the progress made in the football department to date, and have we achieved the goal of “best football department in the business”? If not, what are the areas still needing to be addressed? Andrew felt that the football department had improved and benefitted from an ongoing review process conducted by multiple external consultants and advisers. He cited a raft of personnel changes that had been made in the previous 2 years, numbering up to 20 people across the department from support staff to coaches, as well as positional adjustments as a result of development (eg Heath Younie). He felt that the program had passed the rigour test, and that the Club was now in a position to take a “steady as she goes” approach in terms of the football department operations. In addition, he addressed the appointment of Brett Burton, first as Head of Fitness and subsequently as GM Footy Ops. He said that Brett’s initial interview with the club had blown them away and that he was an extremely impressive person. The club felt the “boy’s club” insinuations were baseless, asking the simple question “why would we undermine our own success by making a less than adequate appointment?“ He felt that Burton’s appointment as GM would be vindicated and accepted as people see the results. • Over the past 10 years, nearly every club that has won a Grand Final has received some sort of draft assistance, concession, or supplement. Considering the evidence suggests a team requires AFL assistance to win the flag, and Adelaide has received no such assistance, what strategy does Adelaide have in place to compete with teams that have an advantage? The club does not have any plans to initiate an academy program similar to, say, GWS, and does not see any reason to make representations to the AFL in regards to perceived “inequalities” in the competition. Fagan was also very strong that the club would maintain an attitude of ongoing professionalism and strive to finish as high as possible each year. Therefore, there was no merit seen in dropping down the ladder and rebuilding through high draft picks. Fagan placed confidence in our program to develop AFL quality players, although he conceded it was difficult to recruit “marquee” players to the club, as players needed to want to come here and, importantly, also be the right fit for the team and the club. Football Club • Andrew has previously stated a goal of 200,000 “members” by 2025. Does he think this is still a realistic goal, are we on schedule, and what is the projected timeframe to reach 100,000? As he has mentioned in the past, Fagan does not place a high value on the “official” membership numbers generated by the AFL and sees it as somewhat archaic. He cited the ongoing program by the club to engage with all supporters – paying and non-paying – in an effort to make all supporters feel connected to the club. That said, he felt that achieving 100,000 within the next 3 years was certainly a reasonable possibility. • During the recent Board election process, is the club disappointed by the lack of nominations from rank and file members and, if so, how does the club seek to encourage such nominations in future elections? He was not disappointed at all and felt it was an endorsement by the membership of the Board’s performance. He felt that the mechanisms were in place should a member/s want to nominate and run for a Board spot, and he made no apologies for the club putting forward candidates who they felt were appropriate. • Has there been any change in the club’s attitude towards having a clubrooms/venue for members? Has the club got any plans for a venue in the future? What are the club’s long term plans regarding increasing their “non-football” related revenue? The club have no plans to operate a CBD venue and had every intention of maintaining club headquarters at West Lakes for the term of the lease (still 23 years to go). He felt the club was in a no win situation with regards to an additional venue, as regardless of location, it would be inconvenient to some supporters. He also didn’t see any financial benefit in having another venue, as costs were high and revenues would not justify the expense. He noted that the Indoor Cricket centre had been tried as an after-match venue similar to the old shed, but had not been a success. He again cited other means of engaging with fans as having more benefit. • What will be the most significant off field challenge facing the club in the next 5 years? No one individual thing but basically being covered in the other questions asked. • There appears to be an increase spend on social media and the formation of a media company by the club. What are the club’s plans for media and media based marketing in the future? In line with the club’s desire to engage with all AFC supporters (noted as 600,000), the club has made significant investment in its media operations. Whilst the club used to use external facilities to produce content, it had now built its own studio and production facilities on site. There will be major improvements in the club’s content delivery on social media platforms, together with the development of the new AFC app. Fages advised to look forward to some new initiatives and a few surprises on this front this year. • I went on the roof walk the other week and the guide told us that you can do the tour during a Power game, which includes watching a quarter from the seats on the roof of the riverbank stand. However the Crows did not give permission for this to be done during their games. Can you please ask Mr Fagen the reason behind this. The SMA wanted a commercial arrangement for this last year which the Crows found unacceptable. The Power, on the other hand, didn’t. This year we’ve been able to negotiate a much more appropriate arrangement, and roof walks will be available during Crows matches, including a quarter viewing the game from the perch on the Riverbank stadium. • Does the Club have any say in where its preseason games are played? If so, what are the chances of one day seeing a match played in Townsville or Nth QLD in general? The Suns have had a few games here but I would love to see the boys in town! Generally not, as the venues are decided by the home team. That said, when the games are regional, the club does have a little input. • When are we getting a new logo? (Yep that old chestnut). The club don’t see it as a priority, it’s an expense to change branding, and won’t be happening any time soon. • Are we going to change the look of the clash Guernsey. Did BLK going into administration affect our options? There’s no plans to change the clash strip – these run on a two year rotation so they will be redesigned next season. The BLK issue wasn’t addressed. • Why was the word mighty removed from the club song? The club actually wasn’t aware of this, nor were past players when asked. Its opened up a bit of a mystery at the club and they are looking into it. Watch this space. • How about either players wear numbers at open training days, or put names on their backs and fronts? Fagan liked the idea and understood the reasoning, but explained that players can wear a number of different tops during training with drills and match simulation, and it wouldn’t be workable to have 5 or 6 tops lined up for each player with their names on them. Plus, there aren’t that many open training sessions these days anyway. • Can we ask the AFL and its partners to stop referring to us as "Adelaide Crows". Is this something the club has requested, or is that just the media? This is a media thing, but the club doesn’t have a problem with it, as we are branded a number of ways including “the Adelaide Crows”. List Management • How has the club navigated contract negotiations during the current CBA negotiations? What is the club’s feel about the players push for a percentage based cut of the pie? The club have remained ambivalent about the current negotiations as they don’t see themselves as a player in the discussions. Andrew’s personal view was that he was concerned about the impact of funding towards development at lower/junior grades. He also questioned the player’s stance in times when revenue might be neutral or negative. • What was the motivation behind going into 2017 short on the list? Andrew pointed out that our list structure wasn’t that different to 2016, and that they were structuring up the list with an eye on the consolidation of lists which will be happening soon, possibly next year. • We have offered long contracts to Jenkins, B Crouch and now E Betts. Is it fair to say that is a change in policy? What led to this approach? Andrew didn’t see it as a change in approach, rather an adaptation to the current player market – free agency, higher player movement etc. • Have we looked into getting Jackson Edwards permission to play with our SANFL side like the FS prospects do in the VFL? It’s not something we can request as it’s in the SANFL’s hands given its their competition and rules. Jackson has trained with us but he’s a Glenelg player. Football related • Do we regret having got the West Coast timeslot changed? This is a myth. The AFL were never going to schedule a Monday night game as channel 7 couldn’t accommodate it due to previous programming commitments. When it was mooted as a possibility, the club stated they would prefer not to play Monday night, but it was never on the table anyway. The Friday night match was scheduled by the AFL in its wisdom, but was not impacted by the club’s initial desire not to play on a Monday night. • Is there any chance we will see a showdown SANFL curtain raiser to the AFL showdown? This was not possible as we don’t play any SANFL home games, and therefore are not in a position to request a game at AO. (By association, the only way we would see an SANFL Showdown curtain raiser is if Port agreed to swap out their home game for AO).