Universal Love 'Destiny' by Norman Ashton: How Port Adelaide put itself on the national stage

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El_Scorcho

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#27
I have to buy this book.
As a young Victorian can anybody explain to me who Max Basheer is, why we hate him, and why his book will be controversial?
Max Basheer was the president of the SANFL between 1978 and 2003, and as such is responsible for firstly blocking our 1990 bid, but then also screwing us on our 1997 entry with the divorce of the Power and Magpies and the move of the Magpies to Ethelton etc.

He also spent that 25 years as president lining his own pockets and the pockets of his mates in the Adelaide establishment, making short sighted decisions to benefit himself and his mates which were not in the interests of South Australian football. He's basically a fat, incompetent Lex Luthor.

I'm sure some of our older posters can fill in more than I can.
 
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#28
I have to buy this book.
As a young Victorian can anybody explain to me who Max Basheer is, why we hate him, and why his book will be controversial?
President of the SANFL from 1978-2003 and before that, Vice president, on the committee to find a new oval, battled Bradman for years to get a bigger slice of the pie from SACA from games at AO, Bradman stopped the SANFL's 1969 or 1970 plan to build an oval at Islington Railway Yards about 6kms due north of Adelaide and only a few kilometres from Prospect Oval. It would have had train access for games unlike West Lakes. Bradman lobbied the government and got the Lands department to rule an oval as invalidating the planning regulations. That made Max a very driven person. Not many people took on Bradman. He was on other committees for 25 years before he became President, especially the tribunal. Max was a lawyer and took over from Judge Don Brebner who was President for 10 years and Max was his VP for the majority if not all of those 10 years.

He basically moved against Port going into the AFL by organising the other clubs to take the dispute to court and use the full weight of the law to stop Port talking to the AFL. The 1 month injunction judgement of Justice Olsson that Port couldn't go over the border and talk to the Vic officials, despite the Supreme Court of South Australia having no jurisdictional powers in Victoria, probably would have been overturned on appeal to the Federal or High Court, but Port were never going to get a hearing in one of those courts before that month was up.

In May 1990 the SANFL voted and said they didnt want to join the AFL for at least 3 years and wanted it to be a 12 team comp but would accept 14. When Port said they are going in, in July, they moved heaven and earth to stop Port and put in their own composite team and protect their revenue streams. They didn't want to pay the $4 million upfront entry fee to the AFL, otherwise they would have joined back in 1986. Port had negotiated a smaller up front fee.
 
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Schulzenfest

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#29
In May 1990 the SANFL voted and said they didnt want to join the AFL for at least 3 years and wanted it to be a 12 team comp but would accept 14. When Port said they are going in, in July, they moved heaven and earth to stop Port and put in their own composite team and protect their revenue streams. They didn't want to pay the $4 million upfront entry fee to the AFL, otherwise they would have joined back in 1986. Port had negotiated a smaller up front fee.
I'd never heard this before. Wow. If I've ever seen a sentence that sums up the short-sighted conservatism of the SANFL, it's that one.
 

theDuckFarmer

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#30
President of the SANFL from 1978-2003 and before that, Vice president, on the committee to find a new oval, battled Bradman for years to get a bigger slice of the pie from SACA from games at AO, Bradman stopped the SANFL's 1969 or 1970 plan to build an oval at Islington Railway Yards about 6kms due north of Adelaide and only a few kilometres from Prospect Oval. It would have had train access for games unlike West Lakes. Bradman lobbied the government and got the Lands department to rule an oval as invalidating the planning regulations. That made Max a very driven person. Not many people took on Bradman. He was on other committees for 25 years before he became President, especially the tribunal. Max was a lawyer and took over from Judge Don Brebner who was President for 10 years and Max was his VP for the majority if not all of those 10 years.

He basically moved against Port going into the AFL by organising the other clubs to take the dispute to court and use the full weight of the law to stop Port talking to the AFL. The 1 month injunction judgement of Justice Olsson that Port couldn't go over the border and talk to the Vic officials, despite the Supreme Court of South Australia having no jurisdictional powers in Victoria, probably would have been overturned on appeal to the Federal or High Court, but Port were never going to get a hearing in one of those courts before that month was up.

In May 1990 the SANFL voted and said they didnt want to join the AFL for at least 3 years and wanted it to be a 12 team comp but would accept 14. When Port said they are going in, in July, they moved heaven and earth to stop Port and put in their own composite team and protect their revenue streams. They didn't want to pay the $4 million upfront entry fee to the AFL, otherwise they would have joined back in 1986. Port had negotiated a smaller up front fee.
We should all chip in for something like a bat signal to summon REH whenever someone posts a question on the Port board.
 
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#31
I'd never heard this before. Wow. If I've ever seen a sentence that sums up the short-sighted conservatism of the SANFL, it's that one.
You gotta read it in the context of the times not with the vision of 2018.

Mid 1990 Australia was in recession although it wasn't until November that the figures came out confirming that. Inflation was around 8-9%, housing interest rates were 17% - only because they were capped. In early 1990 The Reserve Bank cash rate peaked at 17.5% and was still 15% when Bruce decided to go in. For comparison purposes, the official RBA rates has been 3% since Dec 2012 and has been at 1.5% since August 2016. Unemployment grew from 6% to 11% within 12 months.

WCE, Sydney and Brisbane were financial basket cases off field with Sydney and Brisbane also on field. West Cost finished 11th in 1989 but were building in 1990 under Malthouse. The public float of Indian Pacific Ltd in 1987, the company set up to hold the WCE licence, was a disaster, only 1/3rd of the offer was subscribed. They had over $7m of debts in 1990 and as business interest rates were around 20%, they had an interest bill of over $1m and the salary cap in 1991 was $1.5m.

I'd like to see how today's Australia handles 17% interest rates, inflation rate of 8% and Unemployment rate of 10% and what that would do to the economy. Remember back in 1990 there was no Pay TV and the government had several times blocked its introduction, protecting their media mates especially the Fairfaxs at 7 and Packers at 9 over the previous decade. The big 1987 communications cross media ownership changes saw, as Keating called it, you could be the Queen of screens or the Prince of print but you cant be both, saw a massive scramble and realignment of media assets - loaded up with debt. So there was bugger all money in TV rights in 1990, about $8m/year.

So in 1990 the thought was why pay $4m to enter a competition and lose a shit load of money like the other 3 expansion teams? It was a bloody fair argument.

The VFL just plucked $4m licence fee figure out of its arse in 1986. There were no detailed business plans done to model the value of that $4m.

Originally it was to be paid over 10 years, but to swing Fitzroy's vote at a break in the meeting to vote to let in WCE and brisbane, Oakley Samuel, Scanlon and one other commissioner twisted Fitzroy President Leon Wiegard's arm and unilaterally changed the game and said the 2 new clubs had to pay up front with in 30 days. It meant Fitzroy got $667k cash not $67k x 10 years and could survive a bit longer. It meant the 2 new clubs were going to be in financial trouble from day 1.

Or the $6.5m figure in July 1985 when they sold the Sydney licence to the Edelsten group. Edelsten was broke. He ended up becoming a front man and it was a small WA mining firm Westeq Ltd who was the real owner before Sportsplay/Powerplay were floated on the stock market. The only due diligence the VFL did was they got a letter from Peat Marwick Mitchell saying they saw there was no reason they could see that he couldn't meet the payment. That was it. No financial modelling.

So I don't blame the SANFL being conservative, not trusting the AFL's value, not wanting to pay the $4m and see the new team plunged into financial crisis. They should have been prepared to pay something, but that something should have been based on a sound financial model drawn up by the AFL not some gut feel figure. The fact they offered Port a licence at only $1.5m is proof their modelling of the $4m was bullshit.


This is from Gary Linnell’s, FOOTBALL LTD The Inside Story of the AFL - From Chapter 20 “The End of The Cold War.” I typed up almost half the chapter and linked it yesterday in the 1990 - Unanswered Questions thread. Here is the link if you want to read more.

https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/why-did-we-join-the-afl.208042/page-2#post-4157625

South Australians saw themselves as underdogs when it came to football and, just like WA, were sick and tired of their best players being lured across the border to play in Melbourne. But while WA would eventually concede defeat and join the expanded VFL in 1987, SA remained defiant. It had not been interested in joining a competition which still boasted the word ‘Victorian’ in its title and it would join on its own terms.

By 1990 they still remained defiant. The AFL was interested in expanding but the SANFL was not interested. The main sticking point was the $4 million licence fee-a fee both West Coast and Brisbane had been forced to pay and which the League considered to be non-negotiable. So, too, did the South Australians, led by their president, Max Basheer, and the club presidents. In May that year, the SANFL reiterated its stance by issuing 10 conditions for entry. Having watched West Coast, Brisbane and Sydney suffer enormous financial problems, it claimed there was no justification for the licence fee. And, while it believed a 12 team national competition was the ideal size, it was prepared to join the a 14 team competition.
 
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GreyPower

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#32
If the combined team went in in 1986, I imagine it would have been very strong and enjoyed concessions similar to the Eagles.
 
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#33
If the combined team went in in 1986, I imagine it would have been very strong and enjoyed concessions similar to the Eagles.
The Eagles had shit initial concessions. They lost 17 WAFL players signed up by Vic clubs in between about 8 weeks from the start of talk of a WA team to the vote to let them in. They were signed up on the old Form 4's as the first draft was a few weeks after the 1st October 1986 vote to let in WCE and Brisbane.

All 13 other teams inc Brisbane were allowed to have a senior list of 52 but WCE were only allowed 35. They could only take a max of 5 players from any one WAFL club and only 1 uncontracted ex WA player per VFL club could be signed up. They got Glendinning from North, Miles from Collingwood, Malaxos from the Hawks Phil Narkle from the Saints and Annear from Richmond.

In the end they only recruited 34 players. They couldn't enter the 1986 draft and they could only select 12 WAFL zone players before the 1987 draft. . Of those 12 WAFL players they took at end of 1987 only 4 were any good, McKenna, Rance, Ugle and Waterman.

They got injuries in 1988 and negotiated with the VFL for more concessions and to increase their squad to 52 like the 13 other teams.

WCE negotiated a great set of concessions for the 1988-1991 drafts. They were given access to WAFL players, basically a zone.

1988
Pre-draft selections
1: Stevan Jackson
2: Don Pyke
3: Peter Sumich

4: Craig Turley

5: Scott Watters

1989
Pre-draft selections
1. Peter Mann
2. Ryan Turnball
Additional Selections
1. Tony Begovich
2. Brad Gwilliam
3. Dean Kemp

1990
Zone selections
1. Glen Jakovich
2. Mitchell White


1991
Zone Selection
1.Jason Ball

Blue = 1992, 94 flags, Black = 1992, Green = 1994 flag.

So if SA had a team in 1987 they probably would have started with the same crap concessions as WCE as they had to build a team in Brisbane out of nothing.I think the 11 based Vic teams had to give up between 4 and 7 players each. They would have probably said to the SANFL you have the same 35 player concessions as WCE.

The interesting thing would have been if WA and SA clubs could then have negotiated similar great concessions as WCE did for the 1988-1991 inc drafts. Would the VFL allowed 2 teams to get such great concessions?? I have my doubts.
 
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#40
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#41
Started this morning. Read evrything except Justice Ollsen's legal bit right artbthe end. Hste legal jargon tbh.

Confirmed the Norwood involvement from early days right up until Oakley signed the HOA with Port, and the "letter". Still none the wiser as to the author - was it NFC or John Adams? Both vehemrntly deny it, of course.

Remember the announcement of the 2nd licence on 13th December 1994. A day after my birthday. Was in my car coming home from work, and 5AA were all over it. Nearly tookout a stobie pile i was so delirious!!!

My recollection was of a two page advert Port took out in the local paper laying out the terms agreed withthe VFL, and I thoght they were that we would get up to 8 former SANFL players plus around 6 former Port-only players back from the VFL clubs to start with. Rumours abounded the we would target Jsrman, Bradley, Obst, etc but that all went out the window with the court case of course.

Glad Bill Sanders stated a few years back the "Port won it by the length of the straight" - the 2nd licence race. Puts the Norwood assertion that the Norwood-Sturt bid was farvand away the best, and that the whole bid process was a farce, in the same bracket as the "that was never ever a free kick to Hodges in the Prelim final" statement :drunk::cool::huh::(:thumbsdown::rolleyes:

On a side note, will the club ever appropriately honour Bruce Webber? A 3 metre high bronze statue in the front foyer by the time our 150th birthday arrives would be a great start.
 

RossFC

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Moderator #42
Got this book for Christmas and have read the first 2 chapters.

Is this correct that in the early '80s Norwood representatives went over to Victoria to meet with the VFL and waited around for 2 hours before they did their pitch?

Then the VFL didn't bother to respond to Nord with a yes or no later? They had the decency to say no to East Perth a year or 2 before.
 

RossFC

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Moderator #43
To those that are Anti-MCG for the grand final. East Perth were willing to play all finals in Victoria.
 
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#44
Got this book for Christmas and have read the first 2 chapters.

Is this correct that in the early '80s Norwood representatives went over to Victoria to meet with the VFL and waited around for 2 hours before they did their pitch?

Then the VFL didn't bother to respond to Nord with a yes or no later? They had the decency to say no to East Perth a year or 2 before.
The VFL in late 1980 sent back the East Perth proposal and it basically wasn't read. The VFL declined the application returning it without comment giving the impression it was beneath them.
 
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#45
Is this correct that in the early '80s Norwood representatives went over to Victoria to meet with the VFL and waited around for 2 hours before they did their pitch?...
Norwood made a bid in 1982 and the VFL rejected it. If its in the book I'd believe it. The bloke who wrote is an academic - Professor of History and Classics so I reckon he would have foot noted his source. From that great old footy web site FullPointsFooty -from the Port Adelaide page but mentions Norwood.

https://web.archive.org/web/20100619230420/http://fullpointsfooty.net/port_adelaide_(3).htm
Much more significant, however, were a number of off-field developments, notably in relation to the VFL's ever tightening control over the game's character and destiny. Fully conscious of the way in which the wind had begun to blow, in 1982 the SANFL asked the VFL to consider admitting a composite South Australian team to its competition. Individual clubs such as East Perth and Norwood allegedly did likewise. In most instances, the VFL's response was simply to ignore the approach, which aside from demonstrating rank arrogance on its part, gave the clear impression that it had already concocted its own preferred blueprint for the future of football. As to what that blueprint actually entailed, there was some doubt - a point to which Port Adelaide's 1982 Annual Report made somewhat bitter reference:

The anticipated composite South Australian side entering the VFL competition did not eventuate and (the) national competition still appears a long way off. One must ask does the 'Big V' want the game to go national, or does it still believe that the bleeding of clubs of their good players in other states is the path to tread? Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia are now coming in for more than their fair share of plundering and yet through it all some clubs in the VFL are declaring huge financial losses and until sanity is restored throughout Australia in the world of Australian Rules football, many more clubs will face financial ruin. The current economic climate is not encouraging and it is encumbent (sic.) upon us all to have a really serious think about where we are going and what we can do for our club. (See footnote 23)

23. 'Port Adelaide Football Club Inc. Annual Report and Balance Sheet Season 1982', page 11. As to the question of whether the VFL actually had a distinct blueprint for the future of football in mind at this point, I have my doubts. The VFL's pseudo-national expansion process was, I believe, much more a result of knee-jerk economic expediency than careful planning.
 
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#46
Well I've had my first read-through of the book and learnt a lot. It's tempting to conclude the AFL gamed us all here in SA, but I'll content myself with the fact we ultimately took our rightful place in the competition (albeit without the prison bars!).

A novel suggestion appeared on page 45 - 1989; a "Fremantle-based Fight For Football Campaign" came up with the idea of each state having a 20 game domestic season followed by a 10 week national super league made up of "amalgamated clubs from each state". This would preserve state leagues whilst creating the desired national competition. Probably too late a concept given West Coast were already involved in the VFL then, but I suppose this might have been a feasible arrangement earlier in the 1980s if agreement could have been reached.
 

chiwigi

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#48
Started this morning. Read evrything except Justice Ollsen's legal bit right artbthe end. Hste legal jargon tbh.

Confirmed the Norwood involvement from early days right up until Oakley signed the HOA with Port, and the "letter". Still none the wiser as to the author - was it NFC or John Adams? Both vehemrntly deny it, of course.

Remember the announcement of the 2nd licence on 13th December 1994. A day after my birthday. Was in my car coming home from work, and 5AA were all over it. Nearly tookout a stobie pile i was so delirious!!!

My recollection was of a two page advert Port took out in the local paper laying out the terms agreed withthe VFL, and I thoght they were that we would get up to 8 former SANFL players plus around 6 former Port-only players back from the VFL clubs to start with. Rumours abounded the we would target Jsrman, Bradley, Obst, etc but that all went out the window with the court case of course.

Glad Bill Sanders stated a few years back the "Port won it by the length of the straight" - the 2nd licence race. Puts the Norwood assertion that the Norwood-Sturt bid was farvand away the best, and that the whole bid process was a farce, in the same bracket as the "that was never ever a free kick to Hodges in the Prelim final" statement :drunk::cool::huh::(:thumbsdown::rolleyes:

On a side note, will the club ever appropriately honour Bruce Webber? A 3 metre high bronze statue in the front foyer by the time our 150th birthday arrives would be a great start.
Oakley said it directly as well, Port were ALWAYS getting the second license.
 

elpirate

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#49
Well I've had my first read-through of the book and learnt a lot. It's tempting to conclude the AFL gamed us all here in SA, but I'll content myself with the fact we ultimately took our rightful place in the competition (albeit without the prison bars!).

A novel suggestion appeared on page 45 - 1989; a "Fremantle-based Fight For Football Campaign" came up with the idea of each state having a 20 game domestic season followed by a 10 week national super league made up of "amalgamated clubs from each state". This would preserve state leagues whilst creating the desired national competition. Probably too late a concept given West Coast were already involved in the VFL then, but I suppose this might have been a feasible arrangement earlier in the 1980s if agreement could have been reached.
Do not like the idea with amalgamated teams.

I say top 2-5 teams from the state league that year compete for.national glory.

Amalgamation means nothing.

Anyway, it didn't happen.
 
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