Opinion Commentary & Media III

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Val Keating

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 27, 2017
5,789
12,512
AFL Club
North Melbourne
The anti-North spin continues -
BARRETT: Can these new leaders stop a shaky North from heading south? -
The mid to late 2000s were tumultuous for North Melbourne. Financially haemorrhaging and fractured within its operations, the AFL was desperate to move it to the Gold Coast. A new chairman, new CEO and new coach somehow gained stability - for eight years, anyway. But the Roos are back in a vulnerable place. A new coach, new CEO and new footy operations boss are about to team up with a chairman, who along with a former director, has ruthlessly applied a figurative flamethrower to operations – actions they deemed not just necessary but crucial to the future. Once again – yet again - it is make or break time for the Roos. And while it was Gold Coast last time, it is Tasmania this time, when it comes to the AFL's geographical foothold plans. DAMIAN BARRETT delves deep into the club's latest turmoil.

IT'S THE halfway point of the 2016 season.

North Melbourne, coming off preliminary final finishes in 2014 and 2015, has just defeated Richmond by 70 points in Hobart and is a game clear on top of the ladder with a 10-1 scoreline.

Eleven matches later, the Roos have won just twice more. Club icon Brent Harvey, along with the equally loved Drew Petrie, Michael Firrito and Nick Dal Santo have all had their careers ended in decisions which may have been right but embarrassingly poorly delivered to the individuals and public.

That year's flag is won by the Western Bulldogs. Richmond wins in 2017, a season in which North finishes 15th and re-contracts its coach Brad Scott all the way through to the end of 2020.

Less than half that deal later, early in the 2019 season, Scott is exited. At the same time, North Melbourne chairman Ben Buckley decides the chief executive officer and general manager of football, Carl Dilena and Cam Joyce, will also be departing.

Financial arrangements pertaining to Scott, Dilena and assistant coach Leigh Tudor, who has also parted, will tally about $1.5 million on the 2020 books.

That is serious impost for Ben Amarfio, even before he walks in to the club later this month as its new CEO.

North Melbourne is heading into the future with three new faces in its three key administrative positions - Amarfio, Rhyce Shaw as coach and Brady Rawlings as general manager of football.

The regularly struggling club - the one which took 50 years to win its first VFL premiership, which was forced into a private ownership structure in the 1980s as a last-resort survival project, which the AFL was desperate to move to the Gold Coast in the late 2000s – is again in a vulnerable state.

AFL headquarters has been an interested, and occasionally concerned, observer of the North Melbourne goings-on this year.

That the AFL needs to, after 2021 when deals to play games in Tasmania by North Melbourne (Hobart) and Hawthorn (Launceston) expire, finally and emphatically resolve its own business strategy in the Apple Isle is both a worrying and exciting backdrop for the Roos as they attempt to work their way out of their latest period of uncertainty.

There is clearly a deal to be made for North in Tasmania, a potentially lucrative one which could see the club maintain an 11 "home" game arrangement in Melbourne as well as servicing eight or nine matches in Hobart and Launceston.

Unless the club quickly regains authoritative control of its own operations, though, any deal will be made on its behalf.

The AFL has provided public encouragement to a consortium seeking a fresh licence for the state. But it is far from convinced that a new licence is the solution for the region.

Hawthorn is believed to be open to an exit provided it gets financial encouragement to do so, in order to partially fund its new facility at Dingley.

Which would leave North Melbourne as the focus of AFL plans outside Victoria. Again.

In late May after removing Scott, North Melbourne ordered a football department review, conducted by then-Roos board member Brian Walsh, ex-director Glenn Archer and former KPMG chairman Peter Nash.

Even as that review was unfolding, Archer, who had recently stepped off the North board, and Buckley instigated approaches and offers to ex-North players and recent premiership coaches in Adam Simpson, Alastair Clarkson and John Longmire.

The questions had to be asked. All said no, despite telephone number financial incentives. Just as big-name players like Dustin Martin, Josh Kelly, Jordan De Goey and others had done. Tom Lynch wouldn't even take a phone call.

The outcome of the initial review revealed a need to focus on culture and football, and an initial round of interviews for the CEO position saw ex-Fremantle CEO Steve Rosich emerge as a frontrunner.

But some powerbrokers demanded a re-think.

Former North player and director Mark Brayshaw, currently CEO of the AFL Coaches Association, was always in the picture too, his mix of knowing the club intricately and intimately, as well as ticking the boxes of culture and football, making him a strong candidate.

Subsequent analysis of its situation then swung focus back to commercial and corporate facets, where Amarfio, who was a very popular boss of Triple M for five years and also drove the extraordinary financial deals secured by Australian cricket when in senior management at Cricket Australia, presented as the person for the future.

Just as Shaw had done to Buckley and Archer when he started winning matches after taking over from Scott.

North believes the appointment of Shaw will be proven to be a masterstroke, and he has impressed every single person at the club, partially due to a highly unusual quality for a person holding a senior position in AFL clubland – that of being refreshingly prepared to openly concede deficiencies in his make-up.

He is said to be well aware of shortcomings, but fastidiously committed to rectifying all of them, and has already been lauded for an inclusive all-club approach.

In 2016, when James Brayshaw's nine seasons as chairman expired and Buckley took over, there was a clear change in outlook, an appetite to focus on the now and to not be burdened by potential future ramifications relating to those decisions.

A 12-win 2018 season not only exceeded expectations, but gave Buckley confidence his outlook was right. Another recruiting spree was ordered, which secured Jared Polec, Aaron Hall, Dom Tyson and Jasper Pittard.

Scott's view of list management didn't match Buckley's, and when he presented to the North Melbourne board in May this year, so strong was he that the Roos needed to think deeply into the future that some directors felt he was saying to them that he wanted out.

He didn't. He was simply seeking clarity and thorough consideration on the future direction of the football department. But the fact he was asking questions led some to believe he was not sufficiently demonstrating a desire to continue.

Scott knew early in 2019 that he wouldn't be serving the 2020 year of his deal, and had privately prepared with Dilena an amicable and well-planned separation, quite possibly with Shaw as the nominated successor.

But Buckley moved in the week leading into the round 10 match against Western Bulldogs, thus ending plans for an orderly exit.

At that stage, Roos directors felt Scott would be coaching another club in 2020. Some were convinced it would be St Kilda, but a couple felt it would be Carlton.

Instead, in 2020 Scott is likely to be immersed in a wide-ranging, strategically significant role with the AFL.

Of equal significance to the Tasmania project for Amarfio is a need to secure for the Roos a sizeable chunk of land and freehold opportunities within the massive redevelopment of the suburb of North Melbourne and its train stations.

The past six months have been tumultuous for North as Buckley and Archer set about blowing up a past they had both had a say in as directors of the club.

They were convinced massive change was required and as stakeholders had rights to enforce it.

The future is on their heads, more than it is the three newbies – Shaw, Amarfio and Rawlings.
Can’t stand Damo the smug campaigner. Hope he’s never allowed to set foot in Arden St
 

Val Keating

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 27, 2017
5,789
12,512
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Smacks of being spoon fed by Scotts or Joyce's. The details about Brad's outlook to the Boards, the pay details and the deal with Funky Carl to be paid out in 2020 are a bit of a giveaway.

Strategically it's nuts from the AFL to try and shift us south. Why remove a team from the fastest growing city in the country to set it up in a place where people are much more likely to follow a brand new team than change allegiance to one that they have barracked against for years? Set up one in the NT too, have 20 teams and more matches and you can ask for more $$ for the broadcast rights.
That’s what I took away as well. Either Joyce or Brad, probably both were the sources
 

Kanga Glory

Club Legend
Nov 1, 2010
2,718
5,469
arden st
AFL Club
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Can someone please change this broken record. He is like a ex boyfriend/girlfriend who has nothing good to say.
It’s the AFL website, it’s the off season and they need to keep putting in their daily quota!!!
He is a muck racker who wants to stay relevant and see’s North as a easy target.
He can get stuffed when we become a juggernaut, they should call him out but that never wins
 

see see

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Snake_Baker

L'enfant terrible
Apr 24, 2013
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Nice to know that Brad and Barrett can sit around in their support group wiping the tears from each others eyes. Scott is a ******* whinger based on this. A decade at the helm and he still wants to blame the club for all his flaws.
I can see it now............

Scott: It wasn't me that banned you Damo maaaaate, it was that asshole Buckley!
Barrett: Yeah, we oughta get that prick.................
 

TennisPlayerAndy

Klay Thompson's Jumpshot
Apr 1, 2008
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Nice to know that Brad and Barrett can sit around in their support group wiping the tears from each others eyes. Scott is a ******* whinger based on this. A decade at the helm and he still wants to blame the club for all his flaws.
From the moment he called a practice match off due to rain, his sook status was never in question.
 

Marstermind

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 16, 2004
7,492
17,115
The Gasometer
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Kangaroos
The anti-North spin continues -
BARRETT: Can these new leaders stop a shaky North from heading south? -
The mid to late 2000s were tumultuous for North Melbourne. Financially haemorrhaging and fractured within its operations, the AFL was desperate to move it to the Gold Coast. A new chairman, new CEO and new coach somehow gained stability - for eight years, anyway. But the Roos are back in a vulnerable place. A new coach, new CEO and new footy operations boss are about to team up with a chairman, who along with a former director, has ruthlessly applied a figurative flamethrower to operations – actions they deemed not just necessary but crucial to the future. Once again – yet again - it is make or break time for the Roos. And while it was Gold Coast last time, it is Tasmania this time, when it comes to the AFL's geographical foothold plans. DAMIAN BARRETT delves deep into the club's latest turmoil.

IT'S THE halfway point of the 2016 season.

North Melbourne, coming off preliminary final finishes in 2014 and 2015, has just defeated Richmond by 70 points in Hobart and is a game clear on top of the ladder with a 10-1 scoreline.

Eleven matches later, the Roos have won just twice more. Club icon Brent Harvey, along with the equally loved Drew Petrie, Michael Firrito and Nick Dal Santo have all had their careers ended in decisions which may have been right but embarrassingly poorly delivered to the individuals and public.

That year's flag is won by the Western Bulldogs. Richmond wins in 2017, a season in which North finishes 15th and re-contracts its coach Brad Scott all the way through to the end of 2020.

Less than half that deal later, early in the 2019 season, Scott is exited. At the same time, North Melbourne chairman Ben Buckley decides the chief executive officer and general manager of football, Carl Dilena and Cam Joyce, will also be departing.

Financial arrangements pertaining to Scott, Dilena and assistant coach Leigh Tudor, who has also parted, will tally about $1.5 million on the 2020 books.

That is serious impost for Ben Amarfio, even before he walks in to the club later this month as its new CEO.

North Melbourne is heading into the future with three new faces in its three key administrative positions - Amarfio, Rhyce Shaw as coach and Brady Rawlings as general manager of football.

The regularly struggling club - the one which took 50 years to win its first VFL premiership, which was forced into a private ownership structure in the 1980s as a last-resort survival project, which the AFL was desperate to move to the Gold Coast in the late 2000s – is again in a vulnerable state.

AFL headquarters has been an interested, and occasionally concerned, observer of the North Melbourne goings-on this year.

That the AFL needs to, after 2021 when deals to play games in Tasmania by North Melbourne (Hobart) and Hawthorn (Launceston) expire, finally and emphatically resolve its own business strategy in the Apple Isle is both a worrying and exciting backdrop for the Roos as they attempt to work their way out of their latest period of uncertainty.

There is clearly a deal to be made for North in Tasmania, a potentially lucrative one which could see the club maintain an 11 "home" game arrangement in Melbourne as well as servicing eight or nine matches in Hobart and Launceston.

Unless the club quickly regains authoritative control of its own operations, though, any deal will be made on its behalf.

The AFL has provided public encouragement to a consortium seeking a fresh licence for the state. But it is far from convinced that a new licence is the solution for the region.

Hawthorn is believed to be open to an exit provided it gets financial encouragement to do so, in order to partially fund its new facility at Dingley.

Which would leave North Melbourne as the focus of AFL plans outside Victoria. Again.

In late May after removing Scott, North Melbourne ordered a football department review, conducted by then-Roos board member Brian Walsh, ex-director Glenn Archer and former KPMG chairman Peter Nash.

Even as that review was unfolding, Archer, who had recently stepped off the North board, and Buckley instigated approaches and offers to ex-North players and recent premiership coaches in Adam Simpson, Alastair Clarkson and John Longmire.

The questions had to be asked. All said no, despite telephone number financial incentives. Just as big-name players like Dustin Martin, Josh Kelly, Jordan De Goey and others had done. Tom Lynch wouldn't even take a phone call.

The outcome of the initial review revealed a need to focus on culture and football, and an initial round of interviews for the CEO position saw ex-Fremantle CEO Steve Rosich emerge as a frontrunner.

But some powerbrokers demanded a re-think.

Former North player and director Mark Brayshaw, currently CEO of the AFL Coaches Association, was always in the picture too, his mix of knowing the club intricately and intimately, as well as ticking the boxes of culture and football, making him a strong candidate.

Subsequent analysis of its situation then swung focus back to commercial and corporate facets, where Amarfio, who was a very popular boss of Triple M for five years and also drove the extraordinary financial deals secured by Australian cricket when in senior management at Cricket Australia, presented as the person for the future.

Just as Shaw had done to Buckley and Archer when he started winning matches after taking over from Scott.

North believes the appointment of Shaw will be proven to be a masterstroke, and he has impressed every single person at the club, partially due to a highly unusual quality for a person holding a senior position in AFL clubland – that of being refreshingly prepared to openly concede deficiencies in his make-up.

He is said to be well aware of shortcomings, but fastidiously committed to rectifying all of them, and has already been lauded for an inclusive all-club approach.

In 2016, when James Brayshaw's nine seasons as chairman expired and Buckley took over, there was a clear change in outlook, an appetite to focus on the now and to not be burdened by potential future ramifications relating to those decisions.

A 12-win 2018 season not only exceeded expectations, but gave Buckley confidence his outlook was right. Another recruiting spree was ordered, which secured Jared Polec, Aaron Hall, Dom Tyson and Jasper Pittard.

Scott's view of list management didn't match Buckley's, and when he presented to the North Melbourne board in May this year, so strong was he that the Roos needed to think deeply into the future that some directors felt he was saying to them that he wanted out.

He didn't. He was simply seeking clarity and thorough consideration on the future direction of the football department. But the fact he was asking questions led some to believe he was not sufficiently demonstrating a desire to continue.

Scott knew early in 2019 that he wouldn't be serving the 2020 year of his deal, and had privately prepared with Dilena an amicable and well-planned separation, quite possibly with Shaw as the nominated successor.

But Buckley moved in the week leading into the round 10 match against Western Bulldogs, thus ending plans for an orderly exit.

At that stage, Roos directors felt Scott would be coaching another club in 2020. Some were convinced it would be St Kilda, but a couple felt it would be Carlton.

Instead, in 2020 Scott is likely to be immersed in a wide-ranging, strategically significant role with the AFL.

Of equal significance to the Tasmania project for Amarfio is a need to secure for the Roos a sizeable chunk of land and freehold opportunities within the massive redevelopment of the suburb of North Melbourne and its train stations.

The past six months have been tumultuous for North as Buckley and Archer set about blowing up a past they had both had a say in as directors of the club.

They were convinced massive change was required and as stakeholders had rights to enforce it.

The future is on their heads, more than it is the three newbies – Shaw, Amarfio and Rawlings.
A thoroughly bizarre article. It just rehashed a list of events that are common knowledge. The Tassie bit is tagged on at the start but with no insight, no depth, no sources, no quotes. Just Barrett saying North might move but with absolutely and literally nothing to back that up. The rest is just a look in the rear view mirror with an insinuation that moving on a group of non-performers from long held positions is a bad thing. Brad's "wide ranging strategically significant role" sums up the whole story. Meaningless, vague, insignificant, waffly and lacking in any substance.
 

ArchKing Carey

Club Legend
Jun 17, 2011
1,123
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How funny how critical journos were of the tigers as recent as 2016. One year later and that all changed.

As Snake put it, win games convincingly and games that count and all is forgiven.
First half of 2016 didn't count as we didn't beat anyone of significance.

If we played like we did against Richmond, Pies and Port this year against the teams considered the measuring stick next year, you can forget about this oxygen thief's opinion pieces.
 

Snake_Baker

L'enfant terrible
Apr 24, 2013
51,752
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The Unicornia Reactants

How funny how critical journos were of the tigers as recent as 2016. One year later and that all changed.

As Snake put it, win games convincingly and games that count and all is forgiven.
If we have 14/15 wins in the bank at the end of 2020, the journos will be lining up to suck our kneecaps.

They are cyclical 24 hour opportunists.
 
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