Luckless Lions lose again in shambolic AFLW grand final farce

mds1970 Roar Guru

By mds1970, mds1970 is a Roar Guru

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    Someone at the Brisbane Lions must have broken two mirrors, as the club’s rotten run with luck continues into its 14th year, missing out on hosting the AFLW grand final.

    In 2004, contract terms with the MCG saw the Lions cheated out of a home preliminary final that, on ladder positions, should have been rightfully theirs. And although the Lions fell over the line in that game at the MCG, the strain of back-to-back road trips took their toll as they ran out of legs in the next week’s grand final.

    The Lions men’s side have been barely competitive since, only making the finals once in the subsequent 12 seasons. Luck has continually deserted them as recruit after recruit becomes injury-prone, scandal-plagued and homesick as soon as they are drafted.

    And now it’s happened again. Despite finishing top of the ladder after an undefeated season, the Brisbane Lions will not be hosting the AFLW grand final.

    Instead it will be played at Metricon Stadium. As a curtain-raiser to an AFL men’s game.

    A game where the Gold Coast Suns, who don’t have an AFLW team, will have the hosting rights. Where, unlike the free entry that has been part of the AFLW model, tickets will have to be purchased at AFL men’s prices.

    Suns members will sit in the prime seats, if they even bother to arrive before the AFLW grand final is over. Suns sponsors will be on the ground signage and sitting in the corporate boxes. With the AFLW game a before-thought, their fans almost invisible in isolated corners of the ground.

    It shouldn’t have been that way.

    In the football tab of The Roar last Friday, Mike Tuckerman wrote a piece that in part lamented the poor quality of surfaces that the Socceroos have to play on.

    Among the comments, there was talk of the danger to the turf from having a Waratahs game at Allianz Stadium on the eve of a possible A-League grand final.

    It’s not an ideal situation. The world game certainly is a better spectacle on a good-quality surface.

    But at least the Socceroos still get to play. At least Sydney FC, should they qualify, will still get to play a home grand final.

    But for our game, the Brisbane Lions AFLW team are denied even that.

    The Gabba reportedly failed a ground inspection. The surface had been damaged by Adele concerts there.

    But those concerts were weeks ago. Etihad Stadium and Adelaide Oval, which hosted Adele more recently, are fine to host AFL games this weekend. ANZ Stadium will be hosting NRL games.

    The competence of the Gabba ground staff must be questioned.

    But the most bizarre excuse for not wanting to host the AFLW grand final was that they’re worried about what effect it would have on the wicket for the Ashes Test.

    That game isn’t until November! Eight whole months!

    Ground surfaces have been dug up completely and re-turfed into pristine cricket conditions in barely a fraction of that time. That excuse fails any common-sense believability test.

    Yes, I’m sure the Gabba wasn’t expecting to be asked to host the AFLW grand final. The Lions exceeded all expectations to finish top of the ladder.

    Yes, it’s been wet.

    But for any other stadium, the prestige of having this game would be enormous.

    Sadly, Australian football doesn’t seem to be a priority for the people running the Gabba.

    It’s a shame that the climax of the AFLW season has descended into such a farcical shambles. There’s been so much to celebrate about this season.

    From the opening night lockout, we’ve seen some solid crowds. The media has been positive, and the standard of footy has improved as the season progressed.

    There’s no shortage of players who, in the last few weeks, have developed into stars. Saturday night’s grand final will see the likes of Tayla Harris and Sabrina Frederick-Traub taking on the likes of Erin Phillips and Sarah ‘Tex’ Perkins – names that we’ve enjoyed seeing in action over the last two months.

    It’s such a shame that, when the winner thanks the fans for their support, all you’ll see are red seats and the odd early-arriving apathetic Suns fan. While the fans are relegated to some invisible pocket up in the nosebleeds.

    It shouldn’t have been this way.

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    The Crowd Says (43)

    • March 21st 2017 @ 10:00am
      Arky said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

      Obviously a cricket-footy power play where the Gabba ground staff see themselves as putting the interests of cricket first. Made possible by the AFL making policy on the run for this competition generally, and not locking in agreements with alll possible Grand Final hosts far in advance so they had to be ready in case.

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 10:24am
        mds1970 said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

        Fair comment. I don’t anyone expected Brisbane to finish top; and a lot of this AFLW season has been a learning process. A brand new comp that generated a lot more interest than anyone was expecting.
        Why venues weren’t prepared in advance for the possibility of hosting an AFLW Grand Final is an oversight that the AFL has to take some responsibility for.
        But this has been a PR disaster for the Gabba and Stadiums Queensland. It’s just unfortunate that the Lions have copped the rough end of the stick yet again.

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 10:28am
        Cat said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

        How would the AFL ‘lock-in’ dates for multi venues? Just gonna ring them up and say, hold this date we might need it, but if we don’t too bad sorry you won’t have time to book your ground for anything else?
        If anything this shows how farcical it it that some people on these forums think the men’s GF should be played in the highest finishing preliminary finals home state the same week we figure out who that is. The woman’s GF is small in comparision and can’t be done.

        • Roar Guru

          March 21st 2017 @ 12:49pm
          mds1970 said | March 21st 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

          It’s always a risk when you have a system of the highest qualifier getting a home Grand Final instead of a pre-determined Grand Final venue that the ground may not be available.
          If the venue has a definite booking offered to them, that will over-ride a tentative booking. Happened with the A-League at Etihad a couple of years ago, when a communication stuff-up saw an AFL game booked on A-League Grand Final day.

          In this case, there was no other event booked. But the Gabba refused a booking for the AFLW Grand Final.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 10:04am
      Reservoir Animal said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

      Next the Gabba will say they should get the AFL men’s GF in the interests of a national competition.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 10:09am
      Mike from tari said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

      8 months to get the wicket area ready for the Ashes test, tell me when does your season end, when is the last game of AFL at the Gabba & have the AFL made a preliminary booking in case the Lions get a home finals game so all you so called experts how long do they have to get the wicket ready?????? Bloody can’t do your maths.

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 10:15am
        Cat said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

        8 months to grow grass? Sign me up for that job, sounds easy as.

        • Roar Guru

          March 21st 2017 @ 10:27am
          mds1970 said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:27am | ! Report

          My backyard looks like a jungle and I only mowed it 2 weeks ago. Transplant some dirt from my backyard and you’ll get a green-top to make any fast bowler lick his lips in no time.

    • Roar Guru

      March 21st 2017 @ 10:37am
      Paul D said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

      Fair bit of speculation from the usual suspects (I hate women pies, Fussesis) so let’s clear some of this up

      http://www.theage.com.au/afl/lions-rip-gabba-staff-over-aflw-grand-final-debacle-20170320-gv29tu.html

      – Stadiums Queensland was only notified by the AFL “a few weeks before the Adele concerts” that the Gabba may be required for the AFLW grand final. That’s the fault of the AFL for not foreseeing that one. Presumably they didn’t think the Brisbane team was going to be any good and had it already penciled in for another state. Or they just didn’t consider it. Anyways. Mistake. Bit of a fail there from Docklands HQ.

      – The AFL have received a salutary lesson in where they stand up here in Brisbane. Kevin Mitchell Jr is a cricket man through and through and he has done sterling service for his masters at Qld Cricket by immediately proceeding to resow the wicket. The alternative would have been to returf it but because the Gabba has a permanent cricket wicket, removing the soil is not an option. Hallowed ground and all that. The incessant rain we’ve had in recent days did the rest for him. As others have said though, it’s pretty clear both the Lions and the AFL have never invested time in trying to butter up the groundstaff and therefore this rebuke has been a long time coming.

      – MDS – your claim that the grand final will be a ticketed event is false, the article above references the sports minister Mick De Brenni saying that the AFLW game will start at 1pm with free entry and the ground will be cleared between the two matches. So it’s an event in its own right. Lions fans are free to make the trip and pack the ground wherever they like.

      In some respects I don’t mind this decision if only because it has grabbed the attention of the AFL to the third-rate status their code is up here. Their main arena is held hostage by a permanent cricket wicket and the priorities of restoring that for service in 8 months time and if they want to change this situation they will need to invest time and money and politics into doing so. Expect an unholy ‘turf’ war though if they try to move against the cricket wicket and ask about a drop-in. TomC referenced something yesterday about the physical size of the freight entryways into the Gabba prohibiting a drop in wicket and he could well be right. And in any event I can’t imagine the AFL can start negotiating from a position of strength about the wicket until the Lions start pulling crowds again.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 1:14pm
      FARMER said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

      YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWN

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 1:28pm
        TomC said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

        Wow.

        I can’t help but feel that it’s the same people who post this stuff under multiple usernames. It’s really noticeable how some drift in, post something nasty about something they say doesn’t interest them, and then disappear. Then a couple of weeks later someone else pops in and posts something nasty about something they say doesn’t interest them.

        Anyway, whether or not it’s a small or very small group of bigots, all it does is reinforce the need for more comps like this, and the need for them to be even more publicised than it has been. If we can’t change their mind, then let’s drown them out.

        • Roar Guru

          March 21st 2017 @ 1:34pm
          AdelaideDocker said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

          Superbly well put, Tom.

        • Roar Guru

          March 21st 2017 @ 1:41pm
          Paul D said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

          The Roar has only itself to blame – they want to promote discussion but allowing people to comment anonymously without needing to at least create an account and confirm it via email facilitates this sort of stuff

          Would love to see IP addresses of some posters. I think you’d be amazed how many sock puppet accounts are on this site.

          • Roar Guru

            March 21st 2017 @ 1:55pm
            TomC said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

            I’d be in favour of a harder line, but I think the editors feel it would be against the principle of the site.

            This is a great example of an issue that deserves widespread discussion and a range of views, but a small few are only interested in sabotaging that discussion.

            • Roar Guru

              March 21st 2017 @ 1:59pm
              AdelaideDocker said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

              This is a great example of an issue that deserves widespread discussion and a range of views, but a small few are only interested in sabotaging that discussion.

              But, the Roar’s ability to provide these folks the anonymity and throwaway accounts allow them to do this. They don’t need to respect the “reputation” that you and me and Paul (and others) have, and they can do this over and over.

              Ironically enough I just got out of a lecture about identity and anonymity on the internet, so this is all in my mind.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2017 @ 3:36pm
                TomC said | March 21st 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

                I guess no one ‘needs’ to respect anyone’s reputation, such as it is.

                I’m torn. I was quite sincere when I said that this handful of clowns really do serve a purpose; anyone who is in any doubt how difficult things are for women’s sport only needs to read the comments section of this site. Every one of these posts reinforces to me how important competitions like the AFLW are.

                And the right to free speech is redundant without a forum to express yourself. I don’t particularly want to make it harder for anyone to speak their mind, but I certainly don’t believe anyone should be protected from criticism for what they say.

                But all the same there are obviously some people who come to this site for sports discussion whose main interest is the visceral thrill they get out of being unpleasant to people. The Roar would be better without them.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2017 @ 4:04pm
                AdelaideDocker said | March 21st 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

                Yeah, sorry my point about reputation made sense in my head when I typed it. Probably is a bit of a stupid argument in hindsight.

                You make sense though. It is a fine line between blatantly blocking their free speech, and allowing them to rubbish whatever they want, whenever they want, with a aspiration to seemingly annoy everyone else.

                Like you, I’d be in favour of a firmer line, but it would no doubt be difficult.

                This stuff is complicated, aye.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2017 @ 4:18pm
                TomC said | March 21st 2017 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

                Two bits of good news:

                In two days time we have AFL to talk about.

                The anti-AFLW whingers aren’t making headway, and the AFLW is surely here to stay.

          • Roar Guru

            March 21st 2017 @ 1:55pm
            AdelaideDocker said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

            Yeah, I’d prefer to see them require mandatory accounts. It’s bull**** that anyone and everyone can come onto the site.

            • March 21st 2017 @ 3:52pm
              Judy said | March 21st 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

              If the Gabba is run by the cricket club priorities why can’t the AFL invest in our own ground for Brisbane and tell them to go jump. This was partly the problem years ago at Fitzroy [ Brunswick St ] The cricket club ruled the ground and the football club [Fitzroy ] I believe had no say. This competition is run by the AFL,the ruling body of football , with big money and if football is not wanted in Brisbane why are we there.?The girl ‘s football has been great to watch but I think the AFL really wanted Adelaide to finish on top so it could be played at their ground, with their supporters .We get allot of publicity for Adelaide , in Melbourne , not much at all for Brisbane. Our girls on a good day can beat any team on any ground .Good luck LIONS.

            • March 21st 2017 @ 7:57pm
              northerner said | March 21st 2017 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

              Well, I have to confess, I’ve never bothered to set up an account so I guess I’m at fault on this one. In my own defense, I’ve never used any other identity, though. So, when I see individuals who’ve gone through four identities that I know of, and occasionally use two of those identities on the same thread, I kind of think making accounts obligatory is a waste of time unless The Roar is actually prepared to police it.

              Let’s face it, the interwebz is a haven for trolls, and The Roar has its share, though its not by any means the worst website I’ve ever encountered. I do think the AFLW has brought out some real ugliness among a few: not sure why, but I guess weak people can feel threatened by change. Oh, and the cricket thread has caught the virus as well now. What is it with guys who can’t deal with women earning a living playing sports?

              • Roar Guru

                March 22nd 2017 @ 10:20am
                Paul D said | March 22nd 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

                Nemesis/Fussball seems convinced you are AR

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