We're a s**t Show - Fagan is a Complete Fraud, We're Rotten to the Core

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arrowman

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 27, 2004
10,134
9,521
Adelaide
AFL Club
Adelaide
OK, I've read a lot and I'd like to offer my thoughts, being as objective and unemotional as I can.

None of us can say for sure what is going on inside the club, or in particular inside the heads of those who are running it. But I think we can say, objectively and without melting, that there are three key influences, which in some combination can negatively impact the decision-making by the club, and these don't just exist in the minds of disgruntled supporters, IMO they are real.

1. Complacency. The club knows that they have a loyal band of supporters and members who will continue to buy memberships and turn up to games, regardless of performance on the field (within reason). They know that for the club to be sound and successful, financially, all they need to do is be "competitive", make the finals on a regular basis etc. They know this, we all know it - the question is whether they have the strength of purpose to understand that it's not enough.

2. Fear of upsetting the supporters (and in particular, the Apricot Slice Brigade). The club knows that - for example - dropping or delisting a favourite player will result in a 5AA / Facebook backlash from those very same loyal supporters. They'll still keep coming to games, but they'll be angry at the club for treating a Lovely Boy (player or coach) in such a fashion. This is not about maintaining membership numbers and attendances, it's about wanting to be Liked. Which is even worse than number 1.

3. Boys' Club. Adelaide is an incestuous place, it's not what you know, it's who you know, and it's not just in football that that applies. Heck, Melbourne is incestuous too, but at least they've got a greater variety of relatives to choose from. :) And there is strong evidence for this when you look at the staff list (admin and coaching) of the club.

While none of can say for certain that these 3, or some combination of them, are actually what is negatively influencing the club, it is IMO certain that these influences do exist. And it's not up to the club to defend itself to disgruntled supporters by convincing us - through words - that these things are not an issue; it is up to the club, through its actions and on-field success (or heck, even on-field failure after taking bold action) to show that they aren't the joint cancer on the club that some supporters believe they are.

None of the above is particularly new / original - but I'd like add a small twist.

Numbers 1 (and a bit of number 2) in the above list are not just a weakness when it comes to the ability of the club to make bold changes. They are a strength, they are an opportunity. Why?

Because the club also knows - should know - that they can afford to take bold steps. The same rusted-on supporters who keep turning up to games regardless of lack of performance / success (and really, so they should, as supporters, by the way) are the very same supporters who will continue to do that when the club has made bold, controversial decisions and changes.

So don't knock the Apricot Slice Brigade - they're the ones who will (should) make it possible for the club to make the bold moves, even if they do stink up 5AA for a few days or weeks after one of the Lovely Boys gets dropped or delisted. Or after a legend of the club loses his coaching position.

- If, that is, the people who run the club can manage to see that.
 

hey shorty

Hall of Famer
Jun 15, 2005
44,790
34,793
Where the Hills have eyes
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
AUFC, Everton, Sturt
Too large. I’m cancelling our gold memberships and will try and change our club supported to Port for our AO memberships but I don’t expect that will make a difference. I’ll probably be the only AO member to do that and any other membership cancellations will be replaced by the wait list I presume. I won’t be cancelling our women’s memberships though.
Why change to Port just to make a point
 

Elite Crow

Premium Platinum
Mar 21, 2008
51,668
68,740
adelaide
AFL Club
Adelaide
I am surprised at the writing style.

Almost like he is writing to a mate and not a supporter he doesnt know.

I would assume he would get tons of these emails and a PA would filter them and have a generic response with a few edits to personalise each one to match the initial email. With Fages possibly never seeing any of them but just getting a consolidated report on the general feeling of these emails.

This does not read like that at all.






Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
They are from him, i spoke to him after one
 

Sanders

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 1, 2012
26,155
34,509
AFL Club
Adelaide
OK, I've read a lot and I'd like to offer my thoughts, being as objective and unemotional as I can.

None of us can say for sure what is going on inside the club, or in particular inside the heads of those who are running it. But I think we can say, objectively and without melting, that there are three key influences, which in some combination can negatively impact the decision-making by the club, and these don't just exist in the minds of disgruntled supporters, IMO they are real.

1. Complacency. The club knows that they have a loyal band of supporters and members who will continue to buy memberships and turn up to games, regardless of performance on the field (within reason). They know that for the club to be sound and successful, financially, all they need to do is be "competitive", make the finals on a regular basis etc. They know this, we all know it - the question is whether they have the strength of purpose to understand that it's not enough.

2. Fear of upsetting the supporters (and in particular, the Apricot Slice Brigade). The club knows that - for example - dropping or delisting a favourite player will result in a 5AA / Facebook backlash from those very same loyal supporters. They'll still keep coming to games, but they'll be angry at the club for treating a Lovely Boy (player or coach) in such a fashion. This is not about maintaining membership numbers and attendances, it's about wanting to be Liked. Which is even worse than number 1.

3. Boys' Club. Adelaide is an incestuous place, it's not what you know, it's who you know, and it's not just in football that that applies. Heck, Melbourne is incestuous too, but at least they've got a greater variety of relatives to choose from. :) And there is strong evidence for this when you look at the staff list (admin and coaching) of the club.

While none of can say for certain that these 3, or some combination of them, are actually what is negatively influencing the club, it is IMO certain that these influences do exist. And it's not up to the club to defend itself to disgruntled supporters by convincing us - through words - that these things are not an issue; it is up to the club, through its actions and on-field success (or heck, even on-field failure after taking bold action) to show that they aren't the joint cancer on the club that some supporters believe they are.

None of the above is particularly new / original - but I'd like add a small twist.

Numbers 1 (and a bit of number 2) in the above list are not just a weakness when it comes to the ability of the club to make bold changes. They are a strength, they are an opportunity. Why?

Because the club also knows - should know - that they can afford to take bold steps. The same rusted-on supporters who keep turning up to games regardless of lack of performance / success (and really, so they should, as supporters, by the way) are the very same supporters who will continue to do that when the club has made bold, controversial decisions and changes.

So don't knock the Apricot Slice Brigade - they're the ones who will (should) make it possible for the club to make the bold moves, even if they do stink up 5AA for a few days or weeks after one of the Lovely Boys gets dropped or delisted. Or after a legend of the club loses his coaching position.

- If, that is, the people who run the club can manage to see that.
An interesting and new perspective 👍

I think the problem is just how many rusted on supporters there are in the apricot slice brigade. There is a lot but maybe not a critical mass

It’s no different to a political party, you have your core voters who are with you come what may, and those swing voters who need to be persuaded.

Which constituency you have to appeal to most depends on the numbers

We will always get say between 20-30k at our games, apricot slice in hand. We cannot alienate them, and they are a solid ballast to launch more adventurous thinking from

But...

That’s not enough. The operational leverage of our economics is such that we need 40-50k.

The swing voters are what kills us. The supporters who need enough success to sustain interest, without any real ambition behind it

The apricot slice, and the fervently ambitious and hungry for ultimate success supporters are part of the solution; and you are right to single out the apricot slicers for credit.

Those who claim to want success but don’t really, those people are the problem. The club is forced to pander to them. To narrow the corridor of results to low volatility shifts year on year

If you don’t care about results ✅
If you care fanatically about results ✅
If you think make finals and anything can happen? You are the problem. On and off field you are a terrible affliction on the club administration
 

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hey shorty

Hall of Famer
Jun 15, 2005
44,790
34,793
Where the Hills have eyes
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
AUFC, Everton, Sturt
No it’s not, it’s only a couple of numbers on a membership tally. Given that I don’t get to vote at the AGM and even if I did it’s not meaningful, the only power that I have is to reduce their membership number by 2 and the cash that comes with the gold upgrade.
Switching you're membership to Port to prove a point...... That's ridiculous.
 

Peter J

Brownlow Medallist
Dec 24, 2008
17,230
32,277
Adelaide
AFL Club
Adelaide
OK, I've read a lot and I'd like to offer my thoughts, being as objective and unemotional as I can.

None of us can say for sure what is going on inside the club, or in particular inside the heads of those who are running it. But I think we can say, objectively and without melting, that there are three key influences, which in some combination can negatively impact the decision-making by the club, and these don't just exist in the minds of disgruntled supporters, IMO they are real.

1. Complacency. The club knows that they have a loyal band of supporters and members who will continue to buy memberships and turn up to games, regardless of performance on the field (within reason). They know that for the club to be sound and successful, financially, all they need to do is be "competitive", make the finals on a regular basis etc. They know this, we all know it - the question is whether they have the strength of purpose to understand that it's not enough.

2. Fear of upsetting the supporters (and in particular, the Apricot Slice Brigade). The club knows that - for example - dropping or delisting a favourite player will result in a 5AA / Facebook backlash from those very same loyal supporters. They'll still keep coming to games, but they'll be angry at the club for treating a Lovely Boy (player or coach) in such a fashion. This is not about maintaining membership numbers and attendances, it's about wanting to be Liked. Which is even worse than number 1.

3. Boys' Club. Adelaide is an incestuous place, it's not what you know, it's who you know, and it's not just in football that that applies. Heck, Melbourne is incestuous too, but at least they've got a greater variety of relatives to choose from. :) And there is strong evidence for this when you look at the staff list (admin and coaching) of the club.

While none of can say for certain that these 3, or some combination of them, are actually what is negatively influencing the club, it is IMO certain that these influences do exist. And it's not up to the club to defend itself to disgruntled supporters by convincing us - through words - that these things are not an issue; it is up to the club, through its actions and on-field success (or heck, even on-field failure after taking bold action) to show that they aren't the joint cancer on the club that some supporters believe they are.

None of the above is particularly new / original - but I'd like add a small twist.

Numbers 1 (and a bit of number 2) in the above list are not just a weakness when it comes to the ability of the club to make bold changes. They are a strength, they are an opportunity. Why?

Because the club also knows - should know - that they can afford to take bold steps. The same rusted-on supporters who keep turning up to games regardless of lack of performance / success (and really, so they should, as supporters, by the way) are the very same supporters who will continue to do that when the club has made bold, controversial decisions and changes.

So don't knock the Apricot Slice Brigade - they're the ones who will (should) make it possible for the club to make the bold moves, even if they do stink up 5AA for a few days or weeks after one of the Lovely Boys gets dropped or delisted. Or after a legend of the club loses his coaching position.

- If, that is, the people who run the club can manage to see that.
Great post.

Boiling that down to the micro ie me, what I find so frustrating is a sense that, even though I am indeed a rusted on member, the club does not trust me to keep turning up come what may.

If Fagan/Pyke were to release a joint 5 plan which is the clubs vision on how we secure our next flag - then I’m absolutely on board with that.

If it speaks to bold moves supporting a clear pathway - I could give a crap about any pain along the way.

So you’re dead right, why on earth don’t they leverage loyalty? Imagine creating a fireproof business model - but then treating it as set/forget.

Very frustrating
 

arrowman

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 27, 2004
10,134
9,521
Adelaide
AFL Club
Adelaide
. The operational leverage of our economics is such that we need 40-50k.

The swing voters are what kills us. The supporters who need enough success to sustain interest, without any real ambition behind it

The apricot slice, and the fervently ambitious and hungry for ultimate success supporters are part of the solution; and you are right to single out the apricot slicers for credit.

Those who claim to want success but don’t really, those people are the problem. The club is forced to pander to them. To narrow the corridor of results to low volatility shifts year on year
If Fagan/Pyke were to release a joint 5 plan which is the clubs vision on how we secure our next flag - then I’m absolutely on board with that.

If it speaks to bold moves supporting a clear pathway - I could give a crap about any pain along the way.

So you’re dead right, why on earth don’t they leverage loyalty? Imagine creating a fireproof business model - but then treating it as set/forget.
These are salient points. FWIW I don't think we're in any danger of suffering tarp-like crowds and thereby seriously damaging the club's resources / ability to act (I mean, imagine being hamstrung from being able to sack/payout a coach you signed up on a 3 year extension one year before you had to make the decision :D ), but dropping to low 40Ks on a regular basis would be a strong signal. But...

A signal of what? If you believe the club is complacent, then that shakes the complacency. But if performance is bad enough, over a long enough period, to hit the crowds like that, then as a club official you'd have to be brain dead to not have noticed already that something needs to be done.

Of course if you believe that the club is so unutterably complacent that they're not even interested in getting better, you might believe that. Personally I don't. Complacent? Yes. To the point of not even caring about success until the supporters ram it down their throats? Not so much.

The question is - what is it that you (the club) do? And that's where I think competence, ruthlessness and a willingness to break the shackles of the boys' club and insularity come in to play.

In short, I don't think supporters dropping off / boycotting is by itself sufficient - or maybe even necessary. To be honest I think the noise from the media - and social media, if it comes to that - is more relevant to inciting change. Not just "change is needed, we have to change by persisting and trying harder" but actually looking at what people are saying and consider that maybe there are some things worth listening to.
 

King Elvis

Hall of Famer
Aug 13, 2006
46,393
38,147
SA
AFL Club
Adelaide
Those who claim to want success but don’t really, those people are the problem. The club is forced to pander to them.
Sanders, I agree with you on most things, but I can't agree here (although I suspect this is more of an observation, than your opinion).

The AFC isn't forced to pander to anybody; they do it because they are pissweak, and because self-preservation over performance has become a culturally accepted approach.
 

King Elvis

Hall of Famer
Aug 13, 2006
46,393
38,147
SA
AFL Club
Adelaide
Great post.

Boiling that down to the micro ie me, what I find so frustrating is a sense that, even though I am indeed a rusted on member, the club does not trust me to keep turning up come what may.

If Fagan/Pyke were to release a joint 5 plan which is the clubs vision on how we secure our next flag - then I’m absolutely on board with that.

If it speaks to bold moves supporting a clear pathway - I could give a crap about any pain along the way.

So you’re dead right, why on earth don’t they leverage loyalty? Imagine creating a fireproof business model - but then treating it as set/forget.

Very frustrating
Wait, didn't Fagan promise to release a strategic plan detailing how we would drive success over the next few years?

Do I remember that right, or am I dreaming?
 

GreyCrow

Hall of Famer
Mar 21, 2016
46,417
67,001
Down South Corvus Tristis
AFL Club
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Sanders, I agree with you on most things, but I can't agree here (although I suspect this is more of an observation, than your opinion).

The AFC isn't forced to pander to anybody; they do it because they are pissweak, and because self-preservation over performance has become a culturally accepted approach.
When this was posted by Sanders I had to read it a few times to gather its meaning on a Good Friday holiday.

I think , and this is my interpretation is that the Slicers will fill 32-35,000 of the ground each week, no matter the result. The AFC dont need to consider them because they are there

Its the 10,000 they look out for. The other 2-5000 are going to turn up based on team and game time.

That 10,000 represents $300,000+ per game or approx $3m per season , bottom line. So yes I can see the decisions to stay stable , to have continuity, to reward 'faithful players -and of course self preservation.



Wait, didn't Fagan promise to release a strategic plan detailing how we would drive success over the next few years?

Do I remember that right, or am I dreaming?
Dreaming I think

Hawthorn do it and I discussed it a few years ago. I had hoped the AFC would adopt one and if I recall ad victoriam pointed to a page where a mission statement was posted but I didnt see it as a 5 year plan
 

Mike Smyth

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 8, 2012
15,303
18,655
AFL Club
Adelaide
If he pulls off the Aquatic Centre that's a massive win for him. The problems on the field and in the football dept have been there now for 20+ years so you can't blame him for that.
 

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