Does the AFL administration do more to hinder the game than grow it

AndyD

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Selling top level Australian Rules football to Australians (especially in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide) is a relatively simple job. However it seems that the current AFL administration appear to care only about enriching themselves, at the expense of all other considerations. This has meant manipulating (or trying to manipulate) certain outcomes (Essendon drugs issue/Melbourne tanking, GC/GWS ultra concessions, general MRP inconsistencies going back to Barry Hall in 05) to achieve the best financial result for themselves. That is one of the few things that threatens that relatively simple job as the basis of most people’s interest in any sport is that it is a fair contest and that both participants are playing by equal rules. There is a reason why the NBA outdraws the Harlem Globetrotters. Are we reaching a tipping point where people will start to turn off the more the AFL try and engineer their preferred outcome?


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Gydafud

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Can only speculate, but I assume that the AFL is run first and foremost like a business. They will look to increase their bottom line at the expense of a fair competition. AFL isn't a competition or a sport, its is a brand and they are treating it as such and trying to exploit it as many ways as possible. That also means they need to protect "the brand" as well.

I don't think they are looking to grow the sport, only awareness of their brand.
 

Pessimistic

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Can only speculate, but I assume that the AFL is run first and foremost like a business. They will look to increase their bottom line at the expense of a fair competition. AFL isn't a competition, its is a brand and they are treating it as such and trying to exploit it as many ways as possible. That also means they need to protect "the brand" as well.
Remebering the 1996 merger debacles then a well known campaigner said ‘ we need to run as a business and not get emotional’ hoping that you wouldnt realise the business is selling emotion.

Ok mate, well be ‘theatre goers’ but dont expect us to pay four figure sums for a $90 dollar jumper in a $20 frame any more
 

greatwhiteshark

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The question is what is their mandate? One could guess it’s simply to bring as much money into the game at the expense of everything else and if that’s the case they are doing well.
What should their mandate be is another question all together.
 

pablo668

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They are doing well at making money and making sure that the AFL is the focus of Aussie Rules footy to the exclusion of all other leagues.
The problem is that they also like to do things like control narratives and interfere in other leagues usually to the detriment of said comps.
It's a situation where the top league is decimating everything underneath it which is self destructive in the end.

The game itself is and should be bigger than the AFL. The AFL should run only the AFL and a new governing body of the game itself be instituted.
 

Kwality

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Its a great game despite fourth rate central management

Id say the only success growing the game (as opposed to growing the afl at the expense of the second tier) has been womens footy, and that was long overdue and is not being managed as well as the women themselves would like
Not a big fan of AFL House but in reality its only what they do wrong that ever gets a mention.

Whether we like it or not the State League model that served the game well was broken in the 80s & a national comp was going to happen. It was driven by survival not by love of the game.

The model is not the fault of the current administration, its what they do from here ....

Growing the game is tough ask, are you talking about participation, kids, junior development, are you talking local, State by State, national, the game at an elite level or more generally.

I dont share your view on womens footy as done yet, I'm sceptical of its ability to be any more than a 2nd tier level comp in the long term, possibly of less real interest than each clubs reserves team.

Most of us see the decisions by the AFL administration through our clubs eyes, take the GF location. It is the current administrations decision & they have done their best to lock it in for the grandchildren of kids yet to be drafted.

I'd like to see the AFL Commission held to account, they get so little scrutiny, they oversee the administration. A public company has an AGM where the Directors are held responsible, our game has equivalent opportunity.
 

raymond35

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They are an amazingly incompetent organization the AFL, yet the game continues to thrive as it was so good in the first place and people love their teams so much.
The multitude of terrible decisions from the AFL over the years has turned some people away ( i rarely attend any more ), yet the game still prospers in spite of Gil, Vlad, Anderson and Companys efforts.
The expansion of the vfl and constant rule changes over the years has been shambolic, and we have ended up with a bizarrely lopsided competition where southern Queensland has the same number of clubs as Western Australia.
But there is literally nothing we as supporters can do about it. The AFL commission is answerable to nobody and any suggestion of a supporters strike would be futile.
It's just a case of sitting back and watching in amazement.
 

Roaming Lou

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The Admin has done some great things for the game, but it can be downright despicable at most times. The AFL tries to pretend that its something its not, Footy is muddy, footy is grubby, it is community orientated. It is not glitzy, glamory and it is not elitist.
 
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Rob

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They do have to be careful that they don't sacrifice too much integrity in the pursuit of KPIs. Every sporting competition has a tipping point for that, and I don't know where the AFL's is.
 

greatwhiteshark

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They do have to be careful that they don't sacrifice too much integrity in the pursuit of KPIs. Every sporting competition has a tipping point for that, and I don't know where the AFL's is.
I don’t think anything is beyond them, and I also don’t think it would have any impact.
They have completely changed a sport that was loved by all with very few issues if any and no one stood up for the sport.
Supporters now have loyalty to their club with little interest in the sport itself.
The sport should be paramount and sadly the last 20 years it hasn’t been. People actually think the sport is called AFL that’s how much knowledge of football a bulk of modern supporters know.
 

greatwhiteshark

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Other than the NBA (and even that’s been challenged this past week), does any fan of any sporting code thing the league management does a good job?
Well once upon a time the league had little to do, they did a fixture draw and other than that you never Heard from them. They seem to have an awful lot to do running a football comp.......
 

Ilksy

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Well once upon a time the league had little to do, they did a fixture draw and other than that you never Heard from them. They seem to have an awful lot to do running a football comp.......
No different to any other professional sports league. My only complaint is the not for profit status - it’s clearly a big business.
 

Elite Master

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AFL is so corrupt but it is filled with even more corrupt teams like Carlton, Essendon, RIchmond and Collingwood. You cant really run a fair league when theres 4 cheating scummy teams with a ton of influence on the league. St Kilda, West Coast and Adelaide are some of the only big clubs I can think of that don't cheat or influence the AFL decisions.
St.Kilda are not a big club. In fact they are closer to us, Melbourne and the Bulldogs than they are to the actual big clubs.
 

Roaming Lou

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Adminsitration back in the 90's was far worse than the one today, imagine the constant outrage today if the league was hell bent killing off teams like it was back then.
Yeah but both of "those" clubs were in an awful mess, but you are right the afl/vfl handled it very poorly which resulted in the sort of "death" of 2 clubs
*Edit* Lol dude they r still trying to kill off north, and hey why not just chuck essendon on the fire to and see what happens
 

HairyO

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Adminsitration back in the 90's was far worse than the one today, imagine the constant outrage today if the league was hell bent killing off teams like it was back then.
They were killing off teams and bringing in new teams with cash.

Now they are propping up teams and bringing in teams no-one cares about.

They have absolutely wasted all the TV money. What happens next time if there is no competition so the winning network offers half the cash?

The AFL is a giant government bureaucracy filled with thousands of employees who do nothing.
 

Stabby McGee

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Adminsitration back in the 90's was far worse than the one today, imagine the constant outrage today if the league was hell bent killing off teams like it was back then.
That's like saying that because you survived three heart attacks in the 90's, then the cancer you have now is just a speed bump.

My big problem with them is accountability and inconsistency. That is that they make up rules on the fly all the time, and there is no making them answer to it. Who is going to do it? Big clubs won't because they get looked after with fixturing and TV exposure, the middle clubs won't because they aspire to be big and want the fixturing and TV exposure, and the smaller clubs won't as they are too shit scared that the AFL drip feed (artificially created through fixturing and TV exposure) will be turned off.

So they do what they feel like. As others have alluded to - thank god we have a game that is strong enough to survive despite these goons running it into the ground as fast as they can for their own vainglory
 

BIRDBRAIN

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Now they are propping up teams and bringing in teams no-one cares about.
And in doing so expanding the bureaucracy, moving hundreds of these blood-sucking 'football industry' employees into these new areas to terra-form the landscape. It's all just about taking more and more. More TV$, expanded bloated AFL industry payroll, more media airtime, more memberships, attendance, more mid-strength beer sold. Force it all down the throats of people in areas that don't even want it and are not interested. The AFL won't take no for an answer, they will spend billions of dollars of Victorian, South Australian and Western Australian supporters money to force themselves upon these rugby state victims. No doesn't mean no to the AFL. They are like militant Jehoavas witnesses bashing down their doors and demanding the unsuspecting and unwilling inhabitants of these states convert to the one true religion. You WILL support 'AFL', you WILL 'barrack' for the fake team which we have bestowed roughly upon the economically viable population-growth geographical area in which you live! To deny AFL is heresy and you will burn in the eternal flames after sentencing by the corrupt MRP. So help you God, amen.
 

footyfan78

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the game continues to thrive as it was so good in the first place and people love their teams so much.
The multitude of terrible decisions from the AFL over the years has turned some people away ( i rarely attend any more ), yet the game still prospers in spite of Gil,
The expansion of the vfl and constant rule changes over the years has been shambolic
Just a bunch of snouts at the trough, the game succeeds despite them.

we could have twice the parasites hanging off it, the sport would still shine through, it's a great game.
Best posts I read about title of thread.
Overall they do some good business things but for the sport itself they are hindering what should be so much better as a game.
Overall probably do more harm than good but if they continue being run as they have been for a few more decades it will no longer be the great sport it once was. There is enough of good in sport left to fix a lot of damage but I struggle to see mindset in people like Gil to lead the sport to a greater vision and version of itself.

Dermy said something on radio that reflects how I feel of where sport is at.
I still like the game but I no longer am in love with the game.
I echo his feelings there.
I add
I used to love the game as much as my club.
It is still best sport in world to me but not as compelling to watch as it once was.
My interest in it, still has some hope it can be great again but right now the love for my club is the one passion that keeps me not totally losing interest in much of what goes on.
 
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Roaming Lou

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Best posts I read about title of thread.
Overall they do some good business things but for the sport itself they are hindering what should be so much better as a game.
Overall probably do more harm than good but if they continue being run as they have been for a few more decades it will no longer be the great sport it once was. There is enough of good in sport left to fix a lot of damage but I struggle to see mindset in people like Gil to lead the sport to a greater vision and version of itself.

Dermy said something on radio that reflects how I feel of where sport is at.
I still like the game but I no longer am in love with the game.
I echo his feelings there.
I add
I used to love the game as much as my club.
It is still best sport in world to me but not as compelling to watch as it once was.
My interest in it, still has some hope it can be great again but right now the love for my club is the one passion that keeps me not totally losing interest in much of what goes on.
Yeah they do good business but the spirit of the game falls on the back of the traditionalist fans, and that is slowly dying.
If things don't turn around the game will turn into some softy pot of corporate mess.
 

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