Autopsy David Koch & The Vanillarisation of Port Adelaide

tribey

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Cast your mind back a few short years to when we were in the doldrums. Onfield, off-field, the works. Shitshow writ large.

While we'd all agree the crux of the problems that led to our eventual nadir of 2011-2 were obvious - club cleft in two, AAMI Stadium, dud timeslots and a lack of national exposure eroding our sponsorship value leading to the financial implosion that saw us slash'n'burn our football-related spend - there were deeper gremlins afoot.

There was a populist opinion outside Alberton that it was simply on the nose. That it was too Port Adelaide. It was arrogant. It was insular. It was no longer coming to heel. Its very identity - the 126 years of SANFL dominance that saw it promoted to the AFL in the first place - was a millstone around its neck. You'll never attract the new supporters you need to be a viable concern going forward! The OneClub merger is a mistake! Referencing Fos Williams' famous Creed is counterproductive! How dare you get the Victorians involved in our Fruchoctopian carry-on! Pull your heads in, jettison the references to your past, turn that scowl into a smile and you'll be so much more likeable.

Former State Treasurer Kevin Foley's tilt at the Presidency was to be built around this doctrine. Power FC would be the manifesto, in much the same way former CEO John James told Ashley Porter that "Port Adelaide" was "geographically constricting" while likening our future branding direction to GE and KFC. And all this off the back of the disastrous reign of coach Matthew Primus - eager to distance himself from the real or imagined hubris associated with the likes of Choco, Chad Cornes and Warren Tredrea - making 'humble' his chief buzzword, while CEO Mark Haysman was sacrificed at the altar of his own recalcitrance to be replaced by former SANFL man, Keith Thomas.

It was a real sliding doors moment for the very raison d'être of the club.

And in stepped David Koch.

Even your most hopeful Port fan had their doubts about the combination of a FIFO President from Sydney TV and high finance, let alone the 1984 Jack Oatey Medallist whose appointment as CEO had John Olsen and Leigh Whicker grinning from ear to ear. But those fears were soon allayed as KT and Kochie doubled-down on affirming our identity with the slick 'We Are Port Adelaide' campaign as the boardroom warfare over stadium deals, AFL licences and reserves teams continued in earnest.

Away from the suit and tie a formidable football department was assembled as Ken Hinkley, Alan Richardson (then Phil Walsh) and Darren Burgess arrived at Alan Scott HQ to implement the seismic shift supporters had been crying out for for years. Bigger bodies. Harder bodies. An honest gameplan. We will never ever give up. An upset Elimination Final win against Collingwood at the MCG in the first year. A demolition of Richmond at the new Adelaide Oval the next. A stunning win over Freo in Perth and then an ace away from a fairytale Grand Final appearance not 26 months since the infamous loss to GWS.

But somewhere amongst this seemingly inevitable march towards the ultimate success something changed.

The night we beat Hawthorn at the Oval a woman - non-member - threw her drink on an opposition player. The men from Glenferrie were also booed off, perhaps by those with long memories of the 'unsociable Hawks' years of dominance over us by fair means and foul. Bizarrely, Keith Thomas chose to respond to the isolated act of a lone moron and wider crowd behaviour that is a staple of football culture by lecturing his members on how to behave at the ground.

Kochie was suddenly everywhere, taking maximum plaudits for the revival while becoming a permanent fixture on our screens after seemingly every September goal. This spilled into 2015 with his ill-advised swagger immediately prior to the first bounce of our opening home fixture with the Swans, marching onto the Oval with the bewildered Fariss brothers and telling supporters to raise their scarves for NTUA before being told to jog on by a flustered goal umpire who had three middle-aged spivs cluttering up his workplace.

More isolated incidents at the Oval followed. Clarko accosted by a random chodeboat outside his hotel. A Western Bulldogs supporter claiming her autistic son was abused/bullied/fleeced in a game of high-stakes baccarat depending on which social media app she was using at the time. And how did Thomas and Koch respond to these unfortunate but isolated incidents? By playing a video on the big screens lecturing members on good behaviour. Again.

And now we have word filtering through from those who attended the Presidents Luncheon that Koch boasted he barracks for the Crows when they're not playing Port. That he hopes for a friendlier rivalry. Hackneyed appeals to the vague concept of South Australian unity. Off the back of his hopes for Port to be everyone's second team. Such platitudes even spread to the players, with Travis Boak's party line of putting the Showdown rivalry on hold culminating in yesterday's predictably soft and underwhelming team performance in contrast to the Crows fierceness from the off.

What. The. F**k.

What happened to We Are Port Adelaide?

At the beginning of the Koch reign he had the air of a prodigal son with something to prove. He'd not only resuscitate the ailing club of his childhood, but show his critics he could run a football club with just as much acumen as his other endeavours.

Now?

He seems every bit the liniment-sniffer drunk on his own bathwater that his doubters feared he would be, having converted us from the rehabilitated, feared and ruthless Port Adelaide that exists to win premierships to the worst version of Crows-Lite existing to be inoffensive, endlessly apologetic and liked.

David Koch has delivered a club whose success is now measured in crowd numbers, receipts and outsiders' smiles. The very club we feared John James and Kevin Foley would railroad us into.

100% vanilla. 0% ticker. Port Adelaide in name only.
 

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chiwigi

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#2
What is annoying is that Kochie was assaying the opposite the whole time, how we need to be Port Adelaide. I am still annoyed by our softness over the weekend (and the past few weeks) but will just about give the club a pass if we knock that **** on the head from now on. It was a hard time for the people involved and I don't know the extent of their feelings, but it is unprofessional to do what we did yesterday.
If I wanted to pay to watch a charity match I should be given that option and not have it forced on me by the club as I felt happened yesterday.
 

charcolechaddy

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#4
We as a club and Koche have come of the tracks this year, I think in a way we thought this was the year to sit back and revel in the spoils of the last two years hard work.

"Newsflash" it takes more than two years to get this club back to where it truly belongs.

Time to take a good look in the mirror and get back to work.
 

Gillian Batty

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#7
It's everywhere you look. I'm not entirely sure it can be wrestled back. The masses have bought in to the mediocrity. The team gets cheered off the ground regardless of the result. I can take losses, but I can't possibly accept what happened yesterday and the sentiment in the buildup to the game.

We are just a bland-ass club that doesn't actually stand for anything anymore, and that is utterly devastating.
 

edgie

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#8
Prison Bars and Dave Granger as tackling and wrestling coach would alleviate these problems.
Winning is the only thing that will alleviate it, and I don't care if it is done in pink Knickerbockers, Port Adelaide expects to win. Port Adelaide is more than a colour scheme.
 

edgie

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#11
Kane Cornes' defection to pose in "Fireman of 2016" Calendars is also indicative of the lack of commitment to the ultimate cause that has permeated the entire club this year.

Yeah, look, hindsight bring 20/20 and all that... You're right.

It was another example of Port Adelaide disrupting it's on field ability and delivery to be a good news story. A club champion setting himself up, amid growing concerns about footballers post football lives.
 

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edgie

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#12
Spot on OP.


The tragedy for me is the fact that the only thing this current club has in common with the one pictured below is the name and address.


Which is precisely why I don't want the PBs permantly back as well. They have to be earned, with sustained, continued success, and the right attitude.

Also that open lace up is a bit sexual. Definitely too risque for KT and Kochie.
 
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KenOath

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#13
I've said it before, the club lost it's way this year. As soon as the "Bring the Noise" brochure landed in my mailbox I knew that something wasn't right.

"We are Port Adelaide" is what drove us out of the mess, it's what will enable us to get back on top for a sustained period. More substance, less gimmicks!
 

OneGreatClub

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#16
Cast your mind back a few short years to when we were in the doldrums. Onfield, off-field, the works. Shitshow writ large.

While we'd all agree the crux of the problems that led to our eventual nadir of 2011-2 were obvious - club cleft in two, AAMI Stadium, dud timeslots and a lack of national exposure eroding our sponsorship value leading to the financial implosion that saw us slash'n'burn our football-related spend - there were deeper gremlins afoot.

There was a populist opinion outside Alberton that it was simply on the nose. That it was too Port Adelaide. It was arrogant. It was insular. It was no longer coming to heel. Its very identity - the 126 years of SANFL dominance that saw it promoted to the AFL in the first place - was a millstone around its neck. You'll never attract the new supporters you need to be a viable concern going forward! The OneClub merger is a mistake! Referencing Fos Williams' famous Creed is counterproductive! How dare you get the Victorians involved in our Fruchoctopian carry-on! Pull your heads in, jettison the references to your past, turn that scowl into a smile and you'll be so much more likeable.

Former State Treasurer Kevin Foley's tilt at the Presidency was to be built around this doctrine. Power FC would be the manifesto, in much the same way former CEO John James told Ashley Porter that "Port Adelaide" was "geographically constricting" while likening our future branding direction to GE and KFC. And all this off the back of the disastrous reign of coach Matthew Primus - eager to distance himself from the real or imagined hubris associated with the likes of Choco, Chad Cornes and Warren Tredrea - making 'humble' his chief buzzword, while CEO Mark Haysman was sacrificed at the altar of his own recalcitrance to be replaced by former SANFL man, Keith Thomas.

It was a real sliding doors moment for the very raison d'être of the club.

And in stepped David Koch.

Even your most hopeful Port fan had their doubts about the combination of a FIFO President from Sydney TV and high finance, let alone the 1984 Jack Oatey Medallist whose appointment as CEO had John Olsen and Leigh Whicker grinning from ear to ear. But those fears were soon allayed as KT and Kochie doubled-down on affirming our identity with the slick 'We Are Port Adelaide' campaign as the boardroom warfare over stadium deals, AFL licences and reserves teams continued in earnest.

Away from the suit and tie a formidable football department was assembled as Ken Hinkley, Alan Richardson (then Phil Walsh) and Darren Burgess arrived at Alan Scott HQ to implement the seismic shift supporters had been crying out for for years. Bigger bodies. Harder bodies. An honest gameplan. We will never ever give up. An upset Elimination Final win against Collingwood at the MCG in the first year. A demolition of Richmond at the new Adelaide Oval the next. A stunning win over Freo in Perth and then an ace away from a fairytale Grand Final appearance not 26 months since the infamous loss to GWS.

But somewhere amongst this seemingly inevitable march towards the ultimate success something changed.

The night we beat Hawthorn at the Oval a woman - non-member - threw her drink on an opposition player. The men from Glenferrie were also booed off, perhaps by those with long memories of the 'unsociable Hawks' years of dominance over us by fair means and foul. Bizarrely, Keith Thomas chose to respond to the isolated act of a lone moron and wider crowd behaviour that is a staple of football culture by lecturing his members on how to behave at the ground.

Kochie was suddenly everywhere, taking maximum plaudits for the revival while becoming a permanent fixture on our screens after seemingly every September goal. This spilled into 2015 with his ill-advised swagger immediately prior to the first bounce of our opening home fixture with the Swans, marching onto the Oval with the bewildered Fariss brothers and telling supporters to raise their scarves for NTUA before being told to jog on by a flustered goal umpire who had three middle-aged spivs cluttering up his workplace.

More isolated incidents at the Oval followed. Clarko accosted by a random chodeboat outside his hotel. A Western Bulldogs supporter claiming her autistic son was abused/bullied/fleeced in a game of high-stakes baccarat depending on which social media app she was using at the time. And how did Thomas and Koch respond to these unfortunate but isolated incidents? By playing a video on the big screens lecturing members on good behaviour. Again.

And now we have word filtering through from those who attended the Presidents Luncheon that Koch boasted he barracks for the Crows when they're not playing Port. That he hopes for a friendlier rivalry. Hackneyed appeals to the vague concept of South Australian unity. Off the back of his hopes for Port to be everyone's second team. Such platitudes even spread to the players, with Travis Boak's party line of putting the Showdown rivalry on hold culminating in yesterday's predictably soft and underwhelming team performance in contrast to the Crows fierceness from the off.

What. The. F**k.

What happened to We Are Port Adelaide?

At the beginning of the Koch reign he had the air of a prodigal son with something to prove. He'd not only resuscitate the ailing club of his childhood, but show his critics he could run a football club with just as much acumen as his other endeavours.

Now?

He seems every bit the liniment-sniffer drunk on his own bathwater that his doubters feared he would be, having converted us from the rehabilitated, feared and ruthless Port Adelaide that exists to win premierships to the worst version of Crows-Lite existing to be inoffensive, endlessly apologetic and liked.

David Koch has delivered a club whose success is now measured in crowd numbers, receipts and outsiders' smiles. The very club we feared John James and Kevin Foley would railroad us into.

100% vanilla. 0% ticker. Port Adelaide in name only.
I admire David K immensely for what he has done for our club. He KT and Ken saved it. However I agree we have become too honest too apologetic and the Crows and other clubs have taken advantage. We have become a laughing stock and it hurts. OK Koch and KT time to turn the tables. How about you highlight the incidents that occured after the game from Crows supporters. The Crows sweep these under the carpet and the SA media happily comply so the fairytale about the decemt Crows supporters continues. Other club players rough us up and that is OK ? Opposition supporters rough us up and that is OK? ThE umpires destroy us but you accept it without a whimper? I am furious.
 

Gillian Batty

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#17
I've said it before, the club lost it's way this year. As soon as the "Bring the Noise" brochure landed in my mailbox I knew that something wasn't right.

"We are Port Adelaide" is what drove us out of the mess, it's what will enable us to get back on top for a sustained period. More substance, less gimmicks!
But even when you strip away all of that ********, you're left with the very stark realisation that, as it stands, we exist to be liked and nothing else. The players don't really seem to mind disappointing the supporters and the supporters almost don't mind being disappointed at this stage. In this sense we are nothing like the Port Adelaide of eras past.
 

manureid

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#18
#Likes aplenty! Was getting mighty pissed at the Crows supporters around me 'largeing it up' as they ran roughshod over us for the firs 3 qtrs. I just wanted someone to show some fight, some physical presence and thought for a second Lobbe had when Jacobs went down, but then I saw the replay and the half arsed bitch slap and almost apologetic look on his face after and knew it wasn't going to happen.
 

Kingfish73

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#20
Fantastic post. We have lost the key principles that drove us in 2013-14:
a) hard work
b) responding to supporters that they will never give up
c) playing "port adelaide" football
d) earning respect
e) you earn the right to wear the jumper
f) Ken focus on football, Koch on $ and corporate interests

Whether it is KT, Koch, Ken, the skipper, other players - none of them seem to give a toss and show the pain of such a horrid year. Its your spineless one liners and spin. We have lost the foundation on how we grew out of our slump. Now we are a club that is digging a deeper hole for ourselves if we continue this complacent behaviour. If I am wrong within the inner sanctum, then please Port Adelaide, show something to your bleeding supporters. You cannot sugar coat this poor season.

Ken needs to be given everything he needs to make the changes he needs within the coaches box, players, and ensuring Koch and co leave the playing performance solely to Ken. Reduce media tree hugging. I still believe in Ken and that in my view is the greatest comfort we can rise again next few years.
 
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