The Boys' Club - Michael Warner

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hamohawk1

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Feb 18, 2011
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Not sure if this is the appropriate thread but it is media related so thought it best go here.

Good easy read i've been smashing over the long weekend. Outlines some pretty interesting issues, including the AFL executive, Essendon (and other clubs) drug scandals as well as other issues.


Anyone else had a read?
 

T-D-J

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I'm about 4/5th's the way through it, I've found it quite interesting, a really good record of capturing all the AFL scandals over the last 20 years or so and putting them in context with some insider info.

If anything it's turned me off being interested in AFL off-field news, as the administrators of the game come across in the book as so unlikable, and as indicated by the book title, it's a massive boys club of privileged types making enormous amounts of money off the game.
 

hamohawk1

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Feb 18, 2011
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I'm about 4/5th's the way through it, I've found it quite interesting, a really good record of capturing all the AFL scandals over the last 20 years or so and putting them in context with some insider info.

If anything it's turned me off being interested in AFL off-field news, as the administrators of the game come across in the book as so unlikable, and as indicated by the book title, it's a massive boys club of privileged types making enormous amounts of money off the game.
Thought it tails off towards the end, but hope that doesn't put you off.

Felt the exact same way about the off field stuff.
 

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MauroFogheri

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Heard a lot about it and no thanks - boring premise. The decision-making machines that exist behind closed doors, whether that be Law and order, public service, high finance, journalism, sports admin., can all be the subject of a sensationalised book, but the AFL is a big, dopey easy target. What is the line? Sausages are like laws, all fine and good but you wouldn't want to see them being made :huh:
 

Keith Ape

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Thought it tails off towards the end, but hope that doesn't put you off.

Felt the exact same way about the off field stuff.
You're not wrong. I've been hooked on this book and smashing through it but can barely get through to the end.

It goes off a cliff after the Covid season.
 
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Kwality

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I'm about 4/5th's the way through it, I've found it quite interesting, a really good record of capturing all the AFL scandals over the last 20 years or so and putting them in context with some insider info.

If anything it's turned me off being interested in AFL off-field news, as the administrators of the game come across in the book as so unlikable, and as indicated by the book title, it's a massive boys club of privileged types making enormous amounts of money off the game.


Not read it so far - who are the people that are supposed to have made money from the game ?
Sure, the players & those employed, anyone else?
Did Ron Evans get a mention?
 

T-D-J

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Not read it so far - who are the people that are supposed to have made money from the game ?
Sure, the players & those employed, anyone else?
Did Ron Evans get a mention?
There was a good amount on Ron Evans, especially his dodgy dealings in getting the catering contract at Subi, and maintaining the catering contract at the MCG with Spotless.

The one that stuck out to me as somewhat surprising was Craig Kelly, I knew he was a player manager prior to reading the book, but the book details his very close relationship with Gill, and how many aspects of the commercial aspects of the AFL go through Kelly and his businesses with zero tendering processes. And these are HUGE contracts.


Thought it tails off towards the end, but hope that doesn't put you off.

Felt the exact same way about the off field stuff.
I skimmed over the end of the book, as it just goes through what the author thinks the AFL should do to make it a more transparent organisation, which is quite obvious from reading the body of the work. I thought the Epilogue really drove the overriding point of the book home quite well with Dean Bailey's story, a real footy person just getting steamrolled by the AFL machine for the sake of money (and keeping the bookies happy).
 

Kwality

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There was a good amount on Ron Evans, especially his dodgy dealings in getting the catering contract at Subi, and maintaining the catering contract at the MCG with Spotless.

The one that stuck out to me as somewhat surprising was Craig Kelly, I knew he was a player manager prior to reading the book, but the book details his very close relationship with Gill, and how many aspects of the commercial aspects of the AFL go through Kelly and his businesses with zero tendering processes. And these are HUGE contracts.




I skimmed over the end of the book, as it just goes through what the author thinks the AFL should do to make it a more transparent organisation, which is quite obvious from reading the body of the work. I thought the Epilogue really drove the overriding point of the book home quite well with Dean Bailey's story, a real footy person just getting steamrolled by the AFL machine for the sake of money (and keeping the bookies happy).
Amusing review of the book by Crikeys Steven Mayne, who is not a fan of the AFL:
 

T-D-J

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Amusing review of the book by Crikeys Steven Mayne, who is not a fan of the AFL:
Calling for a Royal Commission is tongue in cheek, but I think broadly he has a point, in that the AFL doesn't pay tax and gets huge amounts of funding from government sources it needs to be more accountable and transparent in its reporting. Simple things like showing how much senior staff are being paid would raise a lot of eyebrows.
 

Kwality

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Calling for a Royal Commission is tongue in cheek, but I think broadly he has a point, in that the AFL doesn't pay tax and gets huge amounts of funding from government sources it needs to be more accountable and transparent in its reporting. Simple things like showing how much senior staff are being paid would raise a lot of eyebrows.
Not sure of the relevance of tax.

The lack of transparency is an issue & it applies to the clubs also. I'd like to see the Commission leading on transparency requiring both parties 'to lift the bar' on disclosure along the lines of public companies. That would see the senior employees packages reported on.
 

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thejester

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I haven't read it yet, but it's been pretty interesting listening to his views on the HS Footy Podcast. Hard to argue with a lot of his cynicism about how power works in footy, but also hard not role your eyes at time when he is very much part of the machine - he's been fighting a rearguard for Kennett the last few weeks that is clearly based in part on the fact he can get Jeff on the phone.
 

PatonsSnapChat

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Was there any new reporting in this book?

I saw the excerpt that rehashed the whole Ben Cousins saga. That was pretty underwhelming.
nothing new, some stuff a little more researched like the misogyny etc at AFL house.

It’s greatest asset as a look at the AFL is probably more about how alot of incidents are intertwined rather than just “events” as we consume them every couple of years in traditional media.

It’s worth the read it’s not a hard read by any stretch.
 

Sweet Jesus

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nothing new, some stuff a little more researched like the misogyny etc at AFL house.

It’s greatest asset as a look at the AFL is probably more about how alot of incidents are intertwined rather than just “events” as we consume them every couple of years in traditional media.

It’s worth the read it’s not a hard read by any stretch.
Yeah I'm sure it's not a "hard read". My concern is that it sounds like nothing new either. Old reporting rehashed and turned into an "exposé" in book form.
 

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