Opinion Where has the club gone wrong?

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Hi Richo,

First of all thanks for taking in the opinions of the fans regarding why people haven't renewed this year. I feel like you've already been made well aware of the reasons people are feeling so disillusioned but i'll throw in my opinion as well. Starting with some background.

I've been a member for 15 years, first signing up as a teenager when I had my own money to play with and I attended every game even in the dark 2011-2012 era, and you know what? It was great fun. The reason being is we knew we were terrible and it was folly to think otherwise. We were severely under resourced, the list was in poor shape and we were playing out of a concrete bowl in a desolate AAMI Stadium. I'm now a black diamond member and have been since the move to AO. There is only one reason I renewed both our BD memberships this year, and that is to keep my seat dead centre wing of the centre tier. There is no other reason. I am fortunate enough to be able to throw money away for something I may not use a lot right now, but others aren't so fortunate and will readily reallocate their money to other endeavours that actually bring them joy. A completely understandable position to take.

Fast forward to 2019 and the situation is different. We are well resourced, we have a great stadium (Aside from the SMA, who i'll touch on later), we've built a reasonable list we know is capable and the excuses for our poor performances are not there like they were in 2011-2012. I have now attended one of two home games this year, missing the Richmond one simply because I felt like it was going to be a chore, and that I already knew what the result would be before the ball was even bounced. Senior players out for the opposition? Check. They have a undermanned and short defence that we don't exploit with our selections? Check. We went in unchanged after several players put in absolutely droppable (some even don't come Monday) performances? Check.

Our supporters aren't dumb. We've seen it happen many times before. We even have a term among supporter groups for it. We call it a "What Happen Power?". It's the game everyone knows we'll lose despite being favourite to win it, and we'll undoubtably lose it in comical circumstances. Our current plight is a meme among Port supporters. That's right. We're a joke. So it's no surprise that yet again, when our perceptions get proven reality for the millionth time - people lash out at the club, the coaches and the players. So what leads to this animosity between supporter and club? I have boiled this down into six distilled points.

1) The Co-Captaincy Situation. I don't think i've ever felt more distant from my club. This was an issue many supporters would plant their flag and fight to the death on. What sets us apart from any other team in the competition, or the team across the road for that matter? The fact we have (or at least, did have) traditions that bound us, made us unique, made the role of captain a sacred office held by only the greatest and most esteemed players of our once mighty football club. The support base was clearly and unrelentingly against the idea of co-captains, no matter what the messaging or the reasoning from the club may have been. The ruling was clear. We would not sacrifice what we deemed as part of our soul, for a decision that was to be made by an administration that had completely lost the faith of the members. There was, and still is - no way that this decision will ever fly, and I felt immense disappointment and anger when the decision was made. It's changed my perception of the club forever. There is no justification for this decision. None. Even if you felt it would help us win games (which of course there is literally no way of determining that would ever be the case, to say otherwise is guesswork). We don't trade who we are for that under any circumstances. Additionally, in the wake of this decision - Tom Jonas (and others from the club) stirred the supporters on Twitter about the decision and effectively told us to get over it. This turned supporter against player, supporter against co-captain. An irreversible process.

2) Changing Our Motto. Since the dawn of time our ethos, the one thing central to the existence of this football club has always been "we exist to win premierships". When the administration at large decided they would change this, and tack on (Yes - tack on, let's not give it any more respect than that). the term "and make our community proud". Changing this fundamental and resolute motto without consulting the membership was quite frankly disgusting. Another shocking chapter in ignoring the fans, failing to consult them and simply paving your own way. Slowly but surely ebbing away what made Port Adelaide, Port Adelaide. We understand that the community arm of the club is important, but that is what we have Power Community LTD for. Our football arm needs to be solely and wholly focused on premierships and to change that focus, even so slightly as adding words to our motto was perceived as taking the eye off the ball and yet again, fiddling with our soul at the behest of apparent commercial or political gain.

3) The Chairman. David Koch has used and continues to use language to our members that is completely unbecoming of a leader. Language that talks down to us, infers that we don't know better than he does and quite frankly insults our intelligence. His messaging over the co-captaincy situation was an effective example of this. He can construe his points, but he needs to choose his words more carefully. His perceived arrogance has turned large portions of the support base against him, and I suspect it will get to a boiling point within the next 12 months. Furthermore, continually referring to our club as "little" and "working class" and a "battler" makes a mockery of the lion heart that beats inside this club, somewhere. Buried. We are not little. We are one of the biggest clubs in Australia and we damn well need to act like it.

4) On Field Results & The Hinkley Extension. This is the big one. Ken Hinkley has been at the helm for a long, long time. He's built a list, he's bought in recruits and yet we play the most predictable, insipid football i've ever had the displeasure of watching. We have immense talent on this list and yet time and time again we continue to lose games in which we are strong favourites, and worse - in the exact same ways. We always fail to exploit opposition structures, and also hamper our own performances with poor selection. Our penchant for a small forward line has never worked, and will never work. I can't believe we continue to try it. Ken has failed to adjust to all the close losses, and we've also got a savage record of being blown out of the water by Essendon, inexplicably. We've had so much change through the club and yet he remains the single constant. Supporters have seen enough, and crowds are now going to turn their backs on the club. He is a dead man walking and the rage is building to the point that supporters are so angry with Ken that they don't listen to a word he says in press-conferences or otherwise. The things he does say just fan the flames of exactly why we want him gone.

Extending him at the end of 2017 was a bad decision then, and it's even worse now. He was immensely unpopular at the end of 2017, and 2018 only served to enhance that unpopularity. To miss finals from 11-4 is unforgivable and continues the make the club a punch line for football jokes. There is no excuse in the world that excuses missing finals from 11-4. None. That alone was a sackable offence as far as the membership was concerned. We have run absolute legends of the club out of town for far less. If a decision isn't made on Hinkley soon, the backlash will turn into something the club has never faced before. The AGM will be a complete circus and attendances will drop right off.

5) The SMA. I know personally that I and many others are not spending a single cent inside the stadium until we have a position on the SMA board they have taken both AFL clubs for a ride for too long. We as supporters don't care if this reduces the revenue for the club, as we are making our point in any way we possibly can. This relationship has to change and both AFL clubs must get their fair due. The debacle with the amazing Game Day Village is a monument to the disappointment fans feel about this. The fact the SMA muscled in on our enjoyment was a point of no return.

6) The Prison Bars. Bring them back. Enough said.

Happy to have a chat on the phone or in person about any of the above.

Kind Regards,

Penisface
Very, very good. Well done, Doctor.
 

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LFC2010

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Hi Richo,

First of all thanks for taking in the opinions of the fans regarding why people haven't renewed this year. I feel like you've already been made well aware of the reasons people are feeling so disillusioned but i'll throw in my opinion as well. Starting with some background.

I've been a member for 15 years, first signing up as a teenager when I had my own money to play with and I attended every game even in the dark 2011-2012 era, and you know what? It was great fun. The reason being is we knew we were terrible and it was folly to think otherwise. We were severely under resourced, the list was in poor shape and we were playing out of a concrete bowl in a desolate AAMI Stadium. I'm now a black diamond member and have been since the move to AO. There is only one reason I renewed both our BD memberships this year, and that is to keep my seat dead centre wing of the centre tier. There is no other reason. I am fortunate enough to be able to throw money away for something I may not use a lot right now, but others aren't so fortunate and will readily reallocate their money to other endeavours that actually bring them joy. A completely understandable position to take.

Fast forward to 2019 and the situation is different. We are well resourced, we have a great stadium (Aside from the SMA, who i'll touch on later), we've built a reasonable list we know is capable and the excuses for our poor performances are not there like they were in 2011-2012. I have now attended one of two home games this year, missing the Richmond one simply because I felt like it was going to be a chore, and that I already knew what the result would be before the ball was even bounced. Senior players out for the opposition? Check. They have a undermanned and short defence that we don't exploit with our selections? Check. We went in unchanged after several players put in absolutely droppable (some even don't come Monday) performances? Check.

Our supporters aren't dumb. We've seen it happen many times before. We even have a term among supporter groups for it. We call it a "What Happen Power?". It's the game everyone knows we'll lose despite being favourite to win it, and we'll undoubtably lose it in comical circumstances. Our current plight is a meme among Port supporters. That's right. We're a joke. So it's no surprise that yet again, when our perceptions get proven reality for the millionth time - people lash out at the club, the coaches and the players. So what leads to this animosity between supporter and club? I have boiled this down into six distilled points.

1) The Co-Captaincy Situation. I don't think i've ever felt more distant from my club. This was an issue many supporters would plant their flag and fight to the death on. What sets us apart from any other team in the competition, or the team across the road for that matter? The fact we have (or at least, did have) traditions that bound us, made us unique, made the role of captain a sacred office held by only the greatest and most esteemed players of our once mighty football club. The support base was clearly and unrelentingly against the idea of co-captains, no matter what the messaging or the reasoning from the club may have been. The ruling was clear. We would not sacrifice what we deemed as part of our soul, for a decision that was to be made by an administration that had completely lost the faith of the members. There was, and still is - no way that this decision will ever fly, and I felt immense disappointment and anger when the decision was made. It's changed my perception of the club forever. There is no justification for this decision. None. Even if you felt it would help us win games (which of course there is literally no way of determining that would ever be the case, to say otherwise is guesswork). We don't trade who we are for that under any circumstances. Additionally, in the wake of this decision - Tom Jonas (and others from the club) stirred the supporters on Twitter about the decision and effectively told us to get over it. This turned supporter against player, supporter against co-captain. An irreversible process.

2) Changing Our Motto. Since the dawn of time our ethos, the one thing central to the existence of this football club has always been "we exist to win premierships". When the administration at large decided they would change this, and tack on (Yes - tack on, let's not give it any more respect than that). the term "and make our community proud". Changing this fundamental and resolute motto without consulting the membership was quite frankly disgusting. Another shocking chapter in ignoring the fans, failing to consult them and simply paving your own way. Slowly but surely ebbing away what made Port Adelaide, Port Adelaide. We understand that the community arm of the club is important, but that is what we have Power Community LTD for. Our football arm needs to be solely and wholly focused on premierships and to change that focus, even so slightly as adding words to our motto was perceived as taking the eye off the ball and yet again, fiddling with our soul at the behest of apparent commercial or political gain.

3) The Chairman. David Koch has used and continues to use language to our members that is completely unbecoming of a leader. Language that talks down to us, infers that we don't know better than he does and quite frankly insults our intelligence. His messaging over the co-captaincy situation was an effective example of this. He can construe his points, but he needs to choose his words more carefully. His perceived arrogance has turned large portions of the support base against him, and I suspect it will get to a boiling point within the next 12 months. Furthermore, continually referring to our club as "little" and "working class" and a "battler" makes a mockery of the lion heart that beats inside this club, somewhere. Buried. We are not little. We are one of the biggest clubs in Australia and we damn well need to act like it.

4) On Field Results & The Hinkley Extension. This is the big one. Ken Hinkley has been at the helm for a long, long time. He's built a list, he's bought in recruits and yet we play the most predictable, insipid football i've ever had the displeasure of watching. We have immense talent on this list and yet time and time again we continue to lose games in which we are strong favourites, and worse - in the exact same ways. We always fail to exploit opposition structures, and also hamper our own performances with poor selection. Our penchant for a small forward line has never worked, and will never work. I can't believe we continue to try it. Ken has failed to adjust to all the close losses, and we've also got a savage record of being blown out of the water by Essendon, inexplicably. We've had so much change through the club and yet he remains the single constant. Supporters have seen enough, and crowds are now going to turn their backs on the club. He is a dead man walking and the rage is building to the point that supporters are so angry with Ken that they don't listen to a word he says in press-conferences or otherwise. The things he does say just fan the flames of exactly why we want him gone.

Extending him at the end of 2017 was a bad decision then, and it's even worse now. He was immensely unpopular at the end of 2017, and 2018 only served to enhance that unpopularity. To miss finals from 11-4 is unforgivable and continues the make the club a punch line for football jokes. There is no excuse in the world that excuses missing finals from 11-4. None. That alone was a sackable offence as far as the membership was concerned. We have run absolute legends of the club out of town for far less. If a decision isn't made on Hinkley soon, the backlash will turn into something the club has never faced before. The AGM will be a complete circus and attendances will drop right off.

5) The SMA. I know personally that I and many others are not spending a single cent inside the stadium until we have a position on the SMA board they have taken both AFL clubs for a ride for too long. We as supporters don't care if this reduces the revenue for the club, as we are making our point in any way we possibly can. This relationship has to change and both AFL clubs must get their fair due. The debacle with the amazing Game Day Village is a monument to the disappointment fans feel about this. The fact the SMA muscled in on our enjoyment was a point of no return.

6) The Prison Bars. Bring them back. Enough said.

Happy to have a chat on the phone or in person about any of the above.

Kind Regards,

Penisface
:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:
 

snozulu

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I did not renew my 11 game membership after over 40 years of supporting the PAFC, so did my mate also a 40+ year member.
We got a 3 gamer so at least I can catch up with some buddies a few times this year.
If there seems a good worthwhile game we can always get tickets at the gate.

I have been worn down (again) and last year's collapse was the final straw. I got sick of leaving games angry and stressed.
Even if we won it felt like a loss.

I don't like appreciate being told I'm not a "loyal" supporter because I don't keep pissing money and weekends away when my club is clearly heading down shit creek with no captain and no rudder and as i see it no chance of change anytime soon.
40+ years of paying and attending games is not a snowflake, armchair supporter.

I *will* get my full membership again but only after I see changes at my club, underachieving, stubborn, arrogant, lazy losers booted out, a game plan that is robust, brave and exciting - even if we lose at the end of the day I *need* to know we have tried.

(I guess Richo would not like to hear all that though, and I'm not on twitter)
Amen Brother
 

Doctor Feel

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I did not renew my 11 game membership after over 40 years of supporting the PAFC, so did my mate also a 40+ year member.
We got a 3 gamer so at least I can catch up with some buddies a few times this year.
If there seems a good worthwhile game we can always get tickets at the gate.

I have been worn down (again) and last year's collapse was the final straw. I got sick of leaving games angry and stressed.
Even if we won it felt like a loss.

I don't like appreciate being told I'm not a "loyal" supporter because I don't keep pissing money and weekends away when my club is clearly heading down shit creek with no captain and no rudder and as i see it no chance of change anytime soon.
40+ years of paying and attending games is not a snowflake, armchair supporter.

I *will* get my full membership again but only after I see changes at my club, underachieving, stubborn, arrogant, lazy losers booted out, a game plan that is robust, brave and exciting - even if we lose at the end of the day I *need* to know we have tried.

(I guess Richo would not like to hear all that though, and I'm not on twitter)
Make sure that you email him.

mrichardson@pafc.com.au

It's worth noting that I cc'd keith thomas into my email, as I didn't want it to just stop with Richo. As a result, I don't expect a response.
 
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raptalia

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When Ken was first appointed, a lot was made about how he was the first non Port Adelaide person to coach the club. I never thought I'd say this, but I wonder if it's not time to go back to appointing successful Port Adelaide people to key posts within the football club. Not breakfast TV hosts, Norwood champions, ex state cricketers and back pocket scrubbers from Geelong - Port Adelaide premiership footballers.
I think you have hit it on the head. I agree that we need to get back to having Port Adelaide true believers running the Club but the question is how?
 
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I think you have hit it on the head. I agree that we need to get back to having Port Adelaide true believers running the Club but the question is how?
Hire Schofield as head coach. Get Timmy G and Fiachi or into positions of power, ditto Tredrea, Russell Ebert. Hell put Choco on the board he'd have heads spinning in a week about what is and isn't Port Adelaide. The people are out there, somehow we have to get them into positions of power. How that's done is beyond me bar members demanding it.

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raptalia

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Hire Schofield as head coach. Get Timmy G and Fiachi or into positions of power, ditto Tredrea, Russell Ebert. Hell put Choco on the board he'd have heads spinning in a week about what is and isn't Port Adelaide. The people are out there, somehow we have to get them into positions of power. How that's done is beyond me bar members demanding it.

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Yes, I think some sort of public demonstration is needed. Maybe some signs at the games? I think it is clear that most supporters have had enough and want changes at the top.
 
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Yes, I think some sort of public demonstration is needed. Maybe some signs at the games? I think it is clear that most supporters have had enough and want changes at the top.
Remember that from last year with the sack Ken banner, I forget who it was (sorry to whoever that was) and all the happy/cheery Port supporters whinged and complained about it.

That may be the only way to get the message across. Having said that I follow European football religiously the banners all the club's fans use against UEFA etc seem to have no effect.

What action we can take I don't know. Emailing the club may not work either. Though I'm tempted to send one to get my opinion into the club.
 
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We have come from an extremely successful era - SANFL - and now find ourselves in a higher standard competition where the success and possible riches may be harder to obtain, but that should never be seen as a peak to far away to climb. It should be seen as a challenge we continually strive for.
We should cut ourselves no slack here, even if the competition is hard and the rules are aimed at equalisation. I've followed the Patriots in the NFL from before they were successful. They were a pretty mediocre and unfashionable team but have ended up dominating one of the most difficult and professional competitions in the world for close to 20 years - a league that has a draft, a salary cap, and almost twice as many teams as the AFL. Port had a better history and a greater tradition of success than New England which we took with us when we entered the AFL and won it all within 7 years. No excuses.
 
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The first would be the board. Sacking Hinkley asap would be nice however I fear that may be treating the symptom moreso than the cause. The president needs to be a football person not a media personality. Eddie Maguire is both and has a supporter's as well as a businessman's perspective.
 
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The first would be the board. Sacking Hinkley asap would be nice however I fear that may be treating the symptom moreso than the cause. The president needs to be a football person not a media personality. Eddie Maguire is both and has a supporter's as well as a businessman's perspective.
Yeah especially with a sulky board that loves Hinkley to bits. They're likely to favor a clone to replace him.
 
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Yeah especially with a sulky board that loves Hinkley to bits. They're likely to favor a clone to replace him.
Yeah - we need to be careful what we ask for. I received some good advice once - "Be careful in pushing for an answer to a question until you're confident you'll be happy with [or at least accepting of] the answer that is given".
 

Coobk001

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Winning hides a multitude of sins.
Whilst it does, you've got to remember a lot of us have been unhappy with a lot of our wins too. I mean personally during the preseason I still found myself rewatching the 2015 1st term V Hawthorn and the 2014 1st Term V Richmond, as there really hasn't been any exciting footy we've played since.

Our wins have been scrappy, games within which we've never felt we've hit our straps for so long it's not funny.

So I wouldn't say they've really hidden anything over the last few years.
 
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