Victim culture key to football’s future
Like I said a couple of month’s back, Frank Lowy’s legacy is worse than it looks and it’s probably not a bad time to be getting out the instruction manual now there’s smoke pouring out of the back of it.
Mark Arbib agrees and has called for an independent review, which is a bit embarrassing – I don’t know him personally but if there is anyone in the known universe I wouldn’t want seen to be agreeing with me, it would be Mr Arbib.
That’s what I get for dabbling in unqualified awareness-raising unqualified, I suppose.
On the bright side, Arbib’s intervention will get a few football politicians wondering – being the meanest Machiavellian sons of bitches in the valley they normally feel no fear.
Arbib? He does over Machiavellian prime ministers!
I can’t tell you who my money is on because I don’t want betting plunges on my boys, but ‘Bibs handlers only think he’s fought at this weight before.
They don’t know the scales were out when he fought know-all-Kev.
Kev was a lightweight next to the “we know footballs” from the state federations masquerading as representatives of the football community.
Truth is, brave pollies normally don’t get past the weigh-in, not after angry soccer powerbrokers look them square in the eye and threaten to marshall their football clubs’ considerable support in certain definable segments of the community and cause havoc in the branches and at pre-selection.
The sombre formalities first though.
To those unelected club powerbrokers and politicians from the states who without visible support exploited the backdoor vulnerabilities of the new-football constitutions and were rubbing their hands together in anticipation of their assuming control of FFA upon Lowy’s departure and whose claims to being legitimate representatives of the football community are about to come under the cold light of independent scrutiny – we are sorry.
About as sorry as Mr Arbib was about what happened to Mr. Rudd.
As an aficionado of sports governance, I love the smell of burning constitutions in the morning.
It’s a sobering thought though, this burgeoning awareness in recent months among our football commentariat that the Lowy regime played fast and loose with the Crawford report
For eight uninterrupted years football discussions serious and stupid proceeded as if we were indeed living in a post-Crawford era.
How many times did we hear from Les, Fos, Harps, Shill, Mick, Mike that Crawford’s key reforms were yet to deliver but give them time?
Crawford’s key reforms were never implemented!
It’s all the same, I suppose. Like night and day.
A lot of commentators are now alluding to Lowy’s lack of adherence to Crawford advice.
Don’t be fooled, it doesn’t mean they’ve been staying up all night boning up on Crawford and football governance to make sure this kind of thing never happens again in their lifetime. We’re all just back running as a pack again.
The orthodoxy a few months back was that Lowy may have made a hash of the World Cup bid and the A-League was struggling, but football was going from strength to strength otherwise.
The orthodoxy today is Lowy has made a mess of it from go to whoa.
The conversation has changed and the new accepted “truth” is that Lowy ignored Crawford. And if everyone else is saying it, we can and will say it too.
That’s ultimately the problem football in Australia cannot get over and it’s nothing to do with the A-League’s lack of promotion or its playing standards, it’s about the standard of the discussions around football; about what you can and can’t say without it being seen as political.
Challenging the orthodoxies around football, even when they’re wrong as they often are – every one I’ve looked at is – means running a gauntlet of allegations about AFL-bias!
Football culture looks to have painted itself into a corner with its inability to cop criticism from without or within. That doesn’t have to be a problem, just so long as its denizens can live with themselves when no one else will.
Fair cop though – it’s not selective blindness the extremists are exhibiting; they’re blind to what’s going in their own sport too.
It ought to be laughable but it’s not – unless there’s some rapid cultural maturing going on, it is going to be difficult for football to have the considered conversations it has to have, not when it only takes one unhinged persecution complex to derail discussion by polarising debates into the passionate and loyal soccer extremists versus “AFL supporters”.
Football has dozens of fundamentalists scoring own goals for their code – in effect, willfully arresting their own code’s cultural development until such time as the rest of the football community gets behind them and helps destroys the evil AFL: not hockey or cricket or fishing, just footy – it stole our name!
Religious wars are always a bad move. The losers cop it alright but the winners get to inherit the fruits of their extremism, which in this case is a great game tormented to its back teeth by a dysfunctional culture they’ve fostered with great passion. Doh!
A dysfunctional culture is what it is though when the temptation for the commentariat to tag along with the accepted views and propaganda is overwhelming – think North Korea.
It ultimately doesn’t matter what a Crawford, Smith or Jones thinks, or a Booth or Stewart or Bradley.
Contrary to popular belief, reports don’t actually do anything – they’re meant to inform subsequent action.
If the football community doesn’t take the time to learn what their inquirers think and why they think it, the findings and recommendations of Smith’s review will impact on football the way the national curriculum has impacted on juniors whose coaches still think Han Berger is a foodstuff – not a shmick.
Budweiser Hosts the FIFA World Cup Draw: London
On December 6th football fans come together for the first major moment of the 2014 World Cup: the final draw. In five cities around the world, Budweiser hosted local community events around the World Cup Draw to reveal the fans' experience of this important night.