Footscray football clubs core values and purpose

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Interloper

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The disparity between a member's understanding of the Club and what they are buying into as a member for fans pre 97 and post seems to be fairly high in that scenario, Interloper. That would be a weakness in my view. The Club really would be more appealing if it leant itself to a thoroughly universal experience for those who identify as one of us. What are your thoughts?
There is a greater historical depth to the name Footscray than there is to Western even though Footscray is synonymous with the west. That's probably the experience of and more relevant to older supporters who were part of the Footscray experience. Younger supporters like Vital Dread have known only Western Bulldogs with FFC as a silent partner. A VFL team gives Footscray an onfield presence again and an important role in the success of the AFL team and should help anchor the team in a historical context while also allowing for progress.
At some point I think it's important that the club at least acknowledge that consultation regarding the name change should have happened initially. That would go some way towards relieving the resentment some will feel about being left out of the process. There may have been a view at the time that there were good commercial reasons for the change, and upon presentation of all the data, that view might have some validity. But we won't be presented with that data (the reasoning perhaps), a lot of time has passed, younger supporters have grown up with the Western Bulldogs etc. On the other hand, many people associated with Footscray through years felt disenfranchised by the lack of consultation and are entitled to feel that way. A wrong needs to be righted regardless of whether the name changes or not. I think Gordon is in a unique position to repair that bridge if the will is there.
At various points through this thread (including the title) mention has been made of core values and purpose - essentially identity. It's a worthwhile discussion and I get the feeling that it will be part of the club's narrative from this point. Perhaps not with those labels but references and language that has Footscray as its genesis. A team called Footscray, even if it's in the VFL, will re-ignite and reinforce this and the flow-ons into the AFL team might well help to achieve the universality of experience you're alluding to.
 

Wetdog

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Gordon isn't going to adopt a position beyond steady as she goes until he's installed and will then allow some time before he tries to put his mark on the organisation. But even if he did come out and announce his intention to ressurect the name, it won't be just him, it'll be a board decision, with a bit of luck, after consultation with the members. Frankly, although I support reversion strongly and it's the black mark against Smorgon, I'd be worried if it was an issue this early, let Gordon and the Board concentrate on running at a profit, reducing the debt and onfield success for the time being.
The most sensible post I have read on bigfooty for some time. Agree 100%.
 

lachy

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@Vital dread and eastdog, great to read your posts in this thread.

Hope your studies are going well at university. Not sure if you think you are close to the end but I have completed 18 years study out of the last 23 since I was 22 so you may have a bit more to do :p.

Beleive it or not this thread is not simply about the name it is about the core reasons our club exists. Why we follow the club.

It is important not from an emotional debate but because quite simply in the club does not understand its core and always focus on it we will cease to exist. The url below I had included in another thread. It is buy a guy called Simon Sinek. He is internationally known as the why guy throughout the business world (successful and those who want to be successful)

http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

Have a look at you will get agreat deal of understanding about what I am on about in this thread. If you look him up on youtube he has some similar videos where he relates this proposition directly to sporting clubs and peoples belonging to them. For example say people like us, we don't know each other at all, from very different generations, yet if we were say on holidays in Hawaii both wearing a doggies cap we would most likely talk to each other about the footy rather than other strangers on the tour because we are part of the bulldogs tribe. In many ways it identifies who we are.

The extract in my first post of this thread comes from the article in this url
http://hbr.org/1996/09/building-your-companys-vision/ar/1

One of the co authors Jim Collins is seminal or a guru in business growth and development.

There has been enourmous research done on successful companies and organistions and ALL have been found to have the elements mentioned in the above links. Of course there is much more information available but nothing that contradicts the above.

80% of organisations fail and of the 20% another 90% stagnate at best.

The Footscray football club is more than just a football club to many people, much much more, it provides a sense of belonging. It is tapping into that sense of belonging by recognising our core values and core purpose with vision that will enable the club to thrrive and prosper. Gimmicky marketing will not, in fact it takes the story away from the great work the club doess in the community.

Also, I note you both live in the east, Footscray si an identity, part of the core, Western is trying to be geographic which tries to exclude you from the tribe.
 

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caesar86

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When considering the club's identity and the change to the "Western" branding you need to consider the context in which this change was made. The 1996 season saw Fitzroy lurch from one crisis to the next, crippled by mounting debt. The AFL explicitly chose to cut the 'Roys adrift as they needed to reduce the competition by one team to allow the introduction of Port Adelaide in 1997 (and maintain the 16-team competition). Hinsight is a wonderful thing, but I can't help and look at Port's current situation (the team the AFL wanted to introduce at the expense of Fitzroy). Port Adelaide now have arguably the weakest balance sheet in the league and relies heavily on AFL subsidies to survive. Sixteen years later and hardly different from the situation the 'Roys and AFL found themselves in back in 1996.

A merger between Fitzroy and North Melbourne was ratified by both clubs but was voted down by the other clubs in the competition, fearing that it would create a superpower as North Melbourne were a powerhouse at the time (a view that I believe was ridiculous and motivated by the other club's self interest rather than what was in the faithful Fitzroy fans best interest). The irony of all of this was that the 'Roys were forced to merge with the Brisbane Bears (who the Victorian clubs did not see as a threat...they viewed them more as a laughing stock) who went on to become a superpower themselves with the Brisbane Lions winning 2001, 2002 and 2003 with a losing grand final in 2004. Ask any 'Roys fan and they will tell you that their preference (if they had to merge) would have been with another Victorian club. Their "identity" was largly ripped away from them by the ill-concenvied and selfish motivations of the other clubs with the complicit endorsement of the AFL.

Which brings me back to the whole Footscray / Western Bulldogs identity issue. It was in this context that the decision to re-brand the club was made. Footscray, who had been mooted to merge with Fitzroy back in 1989 were desperate, sensing the impending doom that was to befall them as had been dealt to Fitzroy by the AFL. From the 'Roys experience they rightly felt that if they became financially insolvent, the AFL would cut them loose a la Fitzroy (as it turned out the AFL later realised the error of their ways and realised the importance of supporting the weaker clubs for the good of the game).

Footscray finished the 1996 season in 15th place, only one spot ahead of wooden-spooners Fitzroy. A new president David Smorgon was installed who made it his priority to change Footscray to the Western Bulldogs. This change was not based on any solid business platform (I have demonstrated this at length in my previous post). It was more about shoring up his new presidency against the backdrop of instability and to convince the AFL of the importance of the Bulldogs to the competition. The use of the term "Western" was a deliberate ploy to sell to league's powerbrokers the notion that "you need us in the competition as we are the only club in Melbourne's West, one of the fastest growing regions in the country". Whilst, I believe the decision of the board in rebranding the club was fundamentally flawed, I can at least recognise their motivation in the circumstances they found themselves in. However, the reasoning behind the decision and subsequent spin to sell this change, "expanding the club in the west", was fundamentally flawed. This spin was primarily directed at the AFL (not at their fans) as the club was concerned about their future in the league. The subsidiary purpose of the change was the club's erroneous believe that making the club name more geographically inclusive would actually work in growing their supporter base (my previous post clearly debunks that thinking). The fact that many supporters bought the spin was a bonus for the club in their eyes.

Now this is were notions of club "identity" come in. The Western Bulldogs branding does not contribute to the club's identity, and if anything, it reduces it. A bland marketing construct, which was implemented out of fear rather than any comon or proper business sense, it has no history to give it credibility. "Identity" is all about a collective, shared history of common experiences over a sustained period of time. It's about the wins, the losses but above all sticking "fat" with your club through thick and thin because it is more than a club. It is family. It forms part of each supporter's indentity. You cannot change the name of the club, the very fabric which binds it together and there not be consequences. The fact that this thread about determining the club's identity and confusion among many about what the club stands for is the direct result of the change to the Western Bulldogs and trashing of the club's history and identity. For example, ask any Collingwood or Carlton or North Melbourne supporter and they will tell you that an integral part of their clubs identity comes from the "Collingwood-ness" and "Carlton-ness" of their brand. North supporters are rightly pround of their shinboner spirit. The Bulldogs hierachy have been trying to distance themself from their club's identity to the detriment of the club and its supporters. Bland geographical naming concepts and glitzy marketing cannot create, maintain or even replace an indentity that has been forged with blood, sweat and tears since 1883 in the tough and gritty suburbs of Footscray and the West.

Circumstances have changed from the turbelent era of the 1996/97. The AFL has finally come to their senses and see the benefit in supporting clubs like the Bulldogs and that their presence strengthens the league. The guillotine is no longer hanging over the club. The need for the bland marketing concept of the "Western Bulldogs" to somehow justify to the AFL the club's existance is no longer required. The club is now preaching to the converted...the AFL wants the Doggies in the league.

Therefore, the need for the "Western" branding is over. It is time for the club to one again embrace its identity, its working-class roots and its determined Bulldog spirit. It is time that the club be known once more as FOOTSCRAY. Time to return to its core beliefs. Time to restore its IDENTITY!
 

BIG_BONTS

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Can I just say from a social theory and sociology perspective and as westerner boy living in west footscray.

-Footscray sucks. It stinks, it has a high crime rate and overall isn't a nice place. No one respects Footscray and it has about as good as a wrap as Frankston. This is getting better but not that much.

-All 'ideals', core club 'values', 'philosophies', 'spirit'. It's all fictitious bullshit. Every club at the core level has the same values. Sure there might be different socio-economic circumstances but at the end of the day everyone wants to be a rich, wealthy powerful club. Every club is hard working. Every club has a fighting never say die spirit. Stereotypes are always portrayed as something that everyone knows they shouldn't believe, but they do anyway. Asians are good at math. It is fictitious. Every coach says 'as a footy club we really pride ourselves on our contested footy' - as well as a million other things.

-Culture does not actually exist. Only the idea of having a culture. I agree it is important to not outwardly agree with this, but at the end of the day it's just work ethic and pride that makes people successful! a 'culture' no different to any other club

-Any romanticism is not going to change on-field performance or any measurable aspect of the club.

-The club has not lost anything by taking away the footscray name. Except for it's integrity, but that was gone when someone wanted to make the club on and off field successful - Which was at the inception of the club. Poor man ethos is a bad ethos. It's history and no one wants to be that, they just use it as an excuse but when the club isn't successful on field ala now they bring it up again...
 

Dry Rot

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On topic, if you think what the Swans and Brisbane lions have achieved in the last 12 years, this thread and similar threads are bollocks.
 

dogsbody

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On topic, if you think what the Swans and Brisbane lions have achieved in the last 12 years, this thread and similar threads are bollocks.
I can't agree with that, Dry Rot. Brisbane was given massive assistance by the league following the merger/take over, priority and geographic picks, financial assistance. Now that the effects of those free kicks have faded, they are back in the ruck like the rest. Sydney has the extra $1mil in its salary cap that allows it to snare Tippett in its premiership year, anyway, both teams honour their respective Fitzroy and South Melbourne origins, especially Sydney.

The material that arises in this thread is what keeps us all going during the down times. It isn't bollocks.
 

SonOfScray

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Sydney have also very successfully developed a strong value set using Leading Teams. The strength of their feedback and 'trademark' behaviours is the result of the Club being really explicit about what it is to be one of them. See Mitch Morton post Grand Final for an example.

Without the 'Bloods,' myth and a bit of mayo, the buy in would not be so strong.
 

SonOfScray

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Can I just say from a social theory and sociology perspective and as westerner boy living in west footscray.

-Footscray sucks. It stinks, it has a high crime rate and overall isn't a nice place. No one respects Footscray and it has about as good as a wrap as Frankston. This is getting better but not that much.


-The club has not lost anything by taking away the footscray name. Except for it's integrity, but that was gone when someone wanted to make the club on and off field successful - Which was at the inception of the club. Poor man ethos is a bad ethos. It's history and no one wants to be that, they just use it as an excuse but when the club isn't successful on field ala now they bring it up again...
Disagree with most of your post on the grounds that I do believe in brand identities and an institution's mythology playing an important role how people behave and relate to the organisation. If you have a good story to tell, do it enough and well enough, people will eat it up. There are a lot of aspects to that debate though and you are correct on the idea that we are all the same at some level, that our core is about winning games of footy. Everything else is just another layer in the make up of the Club. Fair play, good discussion.

Just wanted to highlight two points in particular. I don't think anyone has been romanticising the suburb, or suggesting it is something it is not. Fairly pointless bashing of our hometown there. Comments like 'no-one respects Footscray...' are just flat out wrong. Maybe there are people that do, but rather you don't value, or respect them? Which is fine, but the tone there is very abrasive. Why did you feel that was an important point to raise?

'This only gets brought up when we are poor on field.' Wrong. These types of discussion are a well worn path for Doggies fans, usually with the name as a focal point but often equally about the team and what the way they go about things represents. People are curious about things like 'Saints Footy,' and 'Bloods Culture,' and trademark behaviours etc, all the different angles teams try to squeeze a bit of emotion and buy in from. We've often got the double whammy of the Club's branding (as opposed to the team) a regular discussion point. Do a quick sweep of the forum, its all there, running hot through the most successful phase the club has experienced on field and off. You don't have to participate but don't go writing off what lachy and co are trying to raise on the back of that old chestnut. Some people will ride the ups and downs of the team's W-L chart and that is what is important to them to discuss, but others should feel quite welcome to consider the Club in a much broader context.
 

caesar86

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As an outsider, I cannot help but read comments by many Bulldogs supporters with disbelief. The proposition that club culture and identity does not exist is to my mind is fundamentally a false one. It is this thinking by many supporters and club administrators that has led the club to be in the situation they are today and not know what their club stands for.

It is identity that differentiates one club from another. If football club identity and culture does not exist, then why do supporters follow their club through thick and thin. It this identity did not exist, supporters would have no hesitation in chopping and changing based on who is winning at the time. It is this collective identity and loyalty that supporters buy into.

This notion of identity even forms a fundamental part of Victorian culture whereby after being newly introduced to someone, often the very next question is “who do you barrack for”. This is often followed by various comments in jest relating to different football stereotypes, for example, the divide between Carlton and Collingwood supporters and the notion that they come from different sides of the tracks i.e. battlers vs silvertails. Whilst stereotypes will never apply to everyone, they came into being for a reason. There are common threads in each stereotype based in the history and culture of each club.

The Bloods culture, North’s shinboner spirit and Hawthorn known as the “family club” are all perfect examples of club culture and identity forged over time. This is why I believe the manufactured “Saints Footy” culture of St Kilda is hollow and does not resound with supporters as it is not steeped in history or their collective experience.

What many may not realise is that the word “barracker” was first used in the English language through its association with the South Melbourne Bloods in the early part of last century. During the early 1900’s there was a large army barracks on St Kilda Road. The army personnel based at the barracks would make the short trip down to South Melbourne’s Lakeside Oval to support the bloods. These “barrackers” as they became known where renowned for they rowdy and boisterous behaviour at matches. Thus the term “barracker” became part of both football lexicon and the English language to denote a football supporter. Its use became so pervasive that it later formed part of Collingwood’s club song to represent their many rowdy supporters.

Anyone who has been involved in football know that every great club has a soul. I do not understand why the Bulldogs continually wish to distance themselves from their identity and sell their soul for the sake of glitzy marketing. Changing a club’s name does not guarantee success. The ultimate success is achieved by investing heavily in the football department and making the correct recruiting decisions. Just ask Richmond who’s lack of success in the last 30 years is due to continually poor recruiting decisions. Geelong are a perfect example of how to get it right.

I believe Footscray already have a strong culture and identity to tap into. As many knowledgeable fans would know, the term “Scraggers” was a common nickmane for the club when they were known as Footscray. The term “scragger” is defined by the dictionary as “an entity that scrags, based on the verb scrag”. Scrag is defined as “Something thin or lean with roughness. A raw boned person is called a scrag”. Therefore, this term perfectly reflects the Footscray identity and culture build up over the many years. It refects the Footscray toughness, grit and determination and “cede nullis” (yield to none) approach that supporters should be proud of. I believe that this “scragger culture” if it is promoted and endorsed by the club has the potential to rival the much touted bloods culture of the Swans.
 

Dry Rot

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I can't agree with that, Dry Rot. Brisbane was given massive assistance by the league following the merger/take over, priority and geographic picks, financial assistance. Now that the effects of those free kicks have faded, they are back in the ruck like the rest. Sydney has the extra $1mil in its salary cap that allows it to snare Tippett in its premiership year, anyway, both teams honour their respective Fitzroy and South Melbourne origins, especially Sydney.

The material that arises in this thread is what keeps us all going during the down times. It isn't bollocks.
Yes, those teams did receive assistance. From the OP, I was thinking of the issue of the name change (didn't hurt the two northern teams) and stuff like "core values."

The latter I often come across away from footy, along with mission statements and other corporate babble. Have rarely seen any of it being actually useful.
 

dogsbody

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..The latter I often come across away from footy, along with mission statements and other corporate babble. Have rarely seen any of it being actually useful.
I've had the same experience, particularly among organisations which don't really subscribe to values but have been told by a guru they need a mission statement. As far as AFL clubs are concerned, though, vision is crucial, the more so since the advent of homoginisation connected with the nationalisation of the code, the introduction of artificial entities and the perversions inflicted on traditional clubs by marketing gurus (TF take a bow). Supporters and members require a vision of their club that differentiates it from the rest, implying superiority preferably. Players and coaches come and go, the club and the supporters are the constants, the club must articulate the vision.
 

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BIG_BONTS

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Disagree with most of your post on the grounds that I do believe in brand identities and an institution's mythology playing an important role how people behave and relate to the organisation. If you have a good story to tell, do it enough and well enough, people will eat it up. There are a lot of aspects to that debate though and you are correct on the idea that we are all the same at some level, that our core is about winning games of footy. Everything else is just another layer in the make up of the Club. Fair play, good discussion.

Just wanted to highlight two points in particular. I don't think anyone has been romanticising the suburb, or suggesting it is something it is not. Fairly pointless bashing of our hometown there. Comments like 'no-one respects Footscray...' are just flat out wrong. Maybe there are people that do, but rather you don't value, or respect them? Which is fine, but the tone there is very abrasive. Why did you feel that was an important point to raise?

'This only gets brought up when we are poor on field.' Wrong. These types of discussion are a well worn path for Doggies fans, usually with the name as a focal point but often equally about the team and what the way they go about things represents. People are curious about things like 'Saints Footy,' and 'Bloods Culture,' and trademark behaviours etc, all the different angles teams try to squeeze a bit of emotion and buy in from. We've often got the double whammy of the Club's branding (as opposed to the team) a regular discussion point. Do a quick sweep of the forum, its all there, running hot through the most successful phase the club has experienced on field and off. You don't have to participate but don't go writing off what lachy and co are trying to raise on the back of that old chestnut. Some people will ride the ups and downs of the team's W-L chart and that is what is important to them to discuss, but others should feel quite welcome to consider the Club in a much broader context.
You make some great points that I agree with. Story telling is one of them. I like footscray enough to live here, it's just true to acknowledge it's one of the armpits of Melbourne. I say that in a loving way.

Bloods culture - it's a fantastic story that is reinforced through positive attitude and behaviour. I agree with what you're saying that people do care all the time about it, it's just it really comes excessively to the forefront when Sydney were successful with it (which is fair cop). Sydney is a club with 2 premierships in 60 odd years. Hawthorn, Collingwood, West Coast + many many other teams are much much more successful without that story.

It just seems like bringing back footscray has no real advantage (i love it for the vfl) to a national team. On the other hand paying tribute to the footscray legacy in a positive light and creating a fantastic story is where it's at!
 

BIG_BONTS

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Also, from a marketing perspective

The following will explain why the Saints stand for nothing and Sydney have the Bloods.
-Why you do something is of paramount importance
-How you do it is next
-What you do is the least important

Start from the top and create an identity.

A corny commercial example Apple Vs Dell

Dell marketing
-3.5ghz processor 4gb Ram - What
-Dell is a computer company - How
-Dell wants to sell the latest computers - Why

Apple marketing (typed from a 2009 13 inch Macbook Pro)
-Apple exists to be at the forefront of technology and design - Why
-The are a technology company - How
-sell you a computer that is out of date - What

This follows how the brain works with the triune brain and bio-psych crap.

without that order things feel uncomfortable/untrustworthy.
 

Curly5

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I believe Footscray already have a strong culture and identity to tap into. As many knowledgeable fans would know, the term “Scraggers” was a common nickmane for the club when they were known as Footscray. The term “scragger” is defined by the dictionary as “an entity that scrags, based on the verb scrag”. Scrag is defined as “Something thin or lean with roughness. A raw boned person is called a scrag”. Therefore, this term perfectly reflects the Footscray identity and culture build up over the many years. It refects the Footscray toughness, grit and determination and “cede nullis” (yield to none) approach that supporters should be proud of. I believe that this “scragger culture” if it is promoted and endorsed by the club has the potential to rival the much touted bloods culture of the Swans.
"Scrag" is an ugly word with no marketing appeal. I can't imagine the board room at Mission foods, or the other well-heeled sponsors that Gordon wants to attract, agreeing to support a club known as Scraggers, can you? Really?

"Thin, lean, rough and raw-boned" is not what we're about now, sorry. Scragging in football infers cheating by playing the man rather than the ball. We were scraggers because we played an unskilled brand of football, relying on questionable tactics. It was used by opposition fans to put us down.
 

caesar86

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"Scrag" is an ugly word with no marketing appeal. I can't imagine the board room at Mission foods, or the other well-heeled sponsors that Gordon wants to attract, agreeing to support a club known as Scraggers, can you? Really?

"Thin, lean, rough and raw-boned" is not what we're about now, sorry. Scragging in football infers cheating by playing the man rather than the ball. We were scraggers because we played an unskilled brand of football, relying on questionable tactics. It was used by opposition fans to put us down.
Was just an idea floated...Bulldogs can't keep running from their working class roots. To pretend that somehow that the Western Bulldogs is a fashionble club is highly questionable. Instead of pretending to be someone they are not, club needs to embrace their background. Since when did being working class become something you should be ashamed of? Club needs to do what Collingwood has done so succesfully in embracing their working class roots. By taking ownership of the term scragger the club turns it from a negative to a positive. It puts the fear into other clubs by stating that we will not be pushovers and will be ruthless in our pursuit of success and no longer accepting mediocraty. To me thats a lot stronger then a club called the Western Bulldogs who is not sure of its identity.

Also marketing and spin does not create sponsorship for football clubs...ultimately onfield success does. Companies would rather be associated with a winning brand with the additional exposure it provides.

Anyways, that's me done commenting on the Western/Footscray Bulldogs. Good to see some good debate flowing. I wish the Bulldogs a successful 2013!
 

SonOfScray

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Was just an idea floated...Bulldogs can't keep running from their working class roots. To pretend that somehow that the Western Bulldogs is a fashionble club is highly questionable. Instead of pretending to be someone they are not, club needs to embrace their background. Since when did being working class become something you should be ashamed of? Club needs to do what Collingwood has done so succesfully in embracing their working class roots. By taking ownership of the term scragger the club turns it from a negative to a positive. It puts the fear into other clubs by stating that we will not be pushovers and will be ruthless in our pursuit of success and no longer accepting mediocraty. To me thats a lot stronger then a club called the Western Bulldogs who is not sure of its identity.

Also marketing and spin does not create sponsorship for football clubs...ultimately onfield success does. Companies would rather be associated with a winning brand with the additional exposure it provides.

Anyways, that's me done commenting on the Western/Footscray Bulldogs. Good to see some good debate flowing. I wish the Bulldogs a successful 2013!
At the end of 1996.
 

caesar86

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Thanks for your contributions caesar86. Come back anytime.
Thanks for that. It is good to see that there are other supporters out there who believe that the history of footy clubs is invaluable and should be protected and honoured at all costs. Without it, the club is no better off then say, the Gold Coast or GWS Giants. The club and its supporters should not be ashamed of their working class roots. In fact, you should be proud of them and wear them as a badge of honour. Do not buy into the media and marketing spin of the “Western” Bulldogs branding. If the club continues to run away from its history it will be to the detriment of the club. Other Victorian clubs would NEVER allow the re-naming of their club. Why should Bulldogs supporters? If you once again embrace this club identity then the AFL community will start to take the club seriously as the Bulldogs would finally be ridding themselves of the cringe mentality that was adopted at the end of the 1996 season. Let’s hope the new president realises the value of the Footscray brand and returns the club to its true identity.

 

AJARWA

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Western Bulldogs
Really interesting thread, thanks Lachy. Some points I'd like to make:

- Anyone can have a flashy set of core values. It's how the core values are used to continually reinforce behaviour that counts. So I'm happy that BMas is head coach, he seems to be someone who, in the football department at least, is reinforcing a set of core values through behaviours. However, how Doggiesbetonline aligns with the Club's 'community club' mantra is a real bug bear of mine. Mountains of research proves that this gambling platform is absolutely not consistent with the Club's mantra, no matter how much of the revenue is reinvested back into the community. I understand the Club's financial situation but imo this is a very dark cloud that hangs over the Club and leads me to question just how serious the Club is about instilling core values that reflect a 'community club' mantra throughout its operations. Any new set of core values and attempts to instill these across the Club needs to address this inconsistency.

- The argument that Footscray is associated to a set of core values is quite subjective and perhaps becoming more irrelevant as each year passes, perhaps reflected in the amount of interest this thread has received. My family comes from the western suburbs, my father's family grew up in Footscray and Yarraville and I studied in Footscray. But personally I associate my passion for the Club through our mascot the Bulldog - a tough, loyal, mongrel dog that doesn't easily give up without a hell of a fight. For me retaining this mascot has always been more important than retaining Footscray which yes is working class, but so are most of the western suburbs.

- In saying the previous point, I do support the suggestion to name the VFL team in 2014 the Footscray Bulldogs. I think this would be a positive gesture from the Club that does recognise its geographical and historical roots and may go some way to accommodating those who continue to feel disenfranchised by the name change.

- Anyone suggesting that the Club is ignoring it's historical roots should refer to the decision to revert back to the old hooped guernsey. Fantastic move in my opinion that suggests a recognition from the Club that it may have branched too far from its original branding and reflects a move by the Club to listen to its supporters (as I understand this was primarily a supporter driven move).

In summary I do think BMac is instilling a set of core values throughout the football department. But yes I would like to know what the core values of the Club are and will be under the guidance of Peter Gordon, and just how these values will be instilled throughout the Club in everything it does, not just selectively. And yes I do think the name Footscray implies a set of core values that the Club could easily reinstate and reinforce through behaviours in the entirity of its operations (such as hard working, never give up, respect, loyalty, passionate, etc) but reverting back to the name Footscary itself is not necessary for achieving this.

Cheers guys.
 

lachy

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2004
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Some great posts and well thought out discussion.

A couple of issues raised, a mission statement is the clubs vision this is thje document tyhat does change as time moves on as the club strives to become successful in thje key facets at the time.

Its core values and purpose do not change, and go through ALL and I do mean ALL successful businesses and organisations and you will see their core values and purpose remain, their vision through documenets such as mission statements is dynamic.

From our clubs point of view my personal opinion, and it is just that, my opinion, is our 2 most visable people in leadership postions, Peter Gordon and Brendan MCCartney both live and breath our club core values and purpose. McCartneys vision is being released to us and we await for Peter Gordon's to be shared.

As for the name, I have not said our name is part of our core value and purpose, I personally beleive it is but this was never discussed or debated.

What I do know is Western is an abomination for what it purports to do. A couple of weeks ago I spoke to a kiwi I knew. He and his freids, up to 20, settled in Point Cook in the last 5 years, you know when we were making preliminary finals. Being a kiwi rugby of course is his and his friends main game but he wanted to follow the local game and their local team.

Now they knew the suburbs in the West but had no idea that the Western Bulldgos were meant to be their local team. Instead another club, not asociated with the West opened a facility in Point Cook. They assumed this was their local team as they became involved in the local community, and the all jumped on board and became members. The team Geelong. The moral to the story, the name Western represents nothing if you want to grow your memebrship base in the West get out there. When the club was Footscray our percentage support in all of the growth areas in the west was at least as high if not higher than it is now under Western.

Growth will only come by articulating our core values and purpose in the regions we are targetting, then getting out there as part of those communities. We do a fair bit of the latter but very little of the former.

Those who say winning will do this, short term maybe long term utter crap. North were the team of the nineties, they do not have this massive army of supporters getting on board. Richmond have not won a chook raffle yet they do
 

Barkly St End

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Dec 12, 2009
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This is a difficult question - I just don't know that we can return to the Footscray name.

As one poster intimated, the name has been sullied for decades now. There is not even a city council called Footscray anymore, and new developments within the old City of Footscray are very quick to come up with names that distance themselves from the Footscray name.

Why? Because the name is not marketable. As someone who is Footscray born and bred, it sucks that that's the case, but that's the reality - the name is not the least bit marketable.

So forget about it in the modern era of the AFL.

Another poster referred to Hawthorn having grown its membeship base - yeh, 10 premierships in 40 years will do that.
 

lachy

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2004
3,449
3,137
Western
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This is a difficult question - I just don't know that we can return to the Footscray name.

As one poster intimated, the name has been sullied for decades now. There is not even a city council called Footscray anymore, and new developments within the old City of Footscray are very quick to come up with names that distance themselves from the Footscray name.

Why? Because the name is not marketable. As someone who is Footscray born and bred, it sucks that that's the case, but that's the reality - the name is not the least bit marketable.

So forget about it in the modern era of the AFL.

Another poster referred to Hawthorn having grown its membeship base - yeh, 10 premierships in 40 years will do that.
Just a quick comment on your post. The name itself is not the marketing tool, it is why Western never has nor never will work, articluating our why explaining and living our core values and purpose to resonate with our intended growth targets is the only thing that ever has worked and the only thing that will.
 

lachy

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2004
3,449
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Western
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Just another point listening to Peter Gordon's interview on 3 aw when he talked about the name. He said he
Over Footscray but we need to make the name Western work for us. I suggest to him the reason Western has not worked is it represents nothing and will never work
 

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