Will NRL fans keep trusting Searle?

34 Have your say

    Kade Snowden fends off Mark Minichiello : Round 25 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks V Gold Coast Titans National Rugby League match at Toyota Stadium, Cronulla, Saturday August 28th 2010. Digital Pic by Robb Cox © Action Photographics.

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    I never really bought into the Searle brilliance; if every person with an accounting degree was a business genius then the world would have 30 million Apple corporations.

    I think he is, unfortunately, just a man found out of depth, someone who took on too much risk without really realising what he was doing.

    Searle has since proven himself worse than that a snake-oil peddler extreme.

    He’s a liar who designed the blue print for rugby league going forward.

    Yes, many will argue that some very smart people lost money during the Global Financial Crisis.

    But the most common loser was the punter with a high-risk tolerance but no appreciation for risk management.

    Storm Financial was a great case; the intellectual equivalent to a Lego block with a financial strategy that even cursory analysis saw was flawed.

    But they were great salesmen, convincing people with limited financial knowledge to follow them off the cliff at a higher cost than any other financial adviser I’ve ever heard of.

    This is the common thread they hold with Searle.

    Coming into the collapse of the Titans he repeatedly said that the property trust and the football club were different legal entities.

    His implication was that the separation of legal entities meant a separation of commercial consequence.

    Of course, both he and anyone with a month’s experience with debt arrangement knew this was at best furphy, at worst outright fraud.

    Even Ken Lay at Enron was more upfront than Searle about commercial relationships.

    Searle convinced the ignorant layman that in no way would the failure of the property trust affect the football club.

    That fairytale was fun whilst it lasted.

    Now it has played out that the commercial relationship between the two entities, which was clearly known to Searle at the time of his comments, leaves the Titans on death’s door.

    For this act of deception I firmly believe he shouldn’t ever be allowed to be the director of a company again.

    But given the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s stunning inability to even pin decent charges against the worst offenders in corporate Australia I think Searle feels relatively comfortable about his future potential to fleece people on the Gold Coast.

    When coming into then-NRL Searle delivered a soliloquy on how the Gold Coast had changed and how it was the best city in Australia for spotting a fraud and shutting them down.

    I wonder how much he was laughing on the inside as every journo and footy club CEO swallowed it whole.

    Not only did they let him into the inner circle but they gave him the keys to the clubhouse.

    Remember this fine upstanding moral pillar was the architect of the Independent Commission. A structure which just so happens to deliver owners of clubs disproportionate amounts of power and representation.

    Now tell me, would one Michael Searle be one of those owners of a football club? Oh, what a coincidence.

    Once again Searle is taking liberties with the English language with the word “independent”.

    But hey, I’m sure rugby-league fans will continue to buy it, given how we’ve lapped it up to this point.

    The very odd part for me is that those baying for Gallop’s blood over the whole Titans fiasco are the same blind sycophants that lauded Searle’s brilliance.

    They suggested he’d be the best guiding hand for rugby league in the first place.

    Gould and co. are like petulant teenagers blaming their parents for not teaching them common sense, rather than thinking that perhaps we are over matched in our current positions.

    But hey, long live “independence” and the brains trust of the NRL.

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    The Crowd Says (34)

    • April 11th 2012 @ 4:37am
      oikee said | April 11th 2012 @ 4:37am | ! Report

      Hold on, i was baying for Gallop’s blood because he let Seale get away with as much as he has done. And how he ever let Seale run this club single handed is beyond belief. The reason i am so annoyed, this should never have happened in the first place, and under Gallop’s watch, he has made a total cockup of this club. Now he has to sort it all out, and i for one are rooting for the vultures circling to take over.
      Look, lets get one thing straight, right here, rigth now, the coast is full of shonks, it wont change, it will only get worse.
      Every person in Brisbane knows, like it was born into you, if any saleman rings you from the coast offering a deal to good to be true, hang up fast, even if he is trying to sell you a water cooler, run., you will end up owning and having to pay off Wivenho dam..
      I am all for Seale falling on his sword, the man has lied open faced to everyone, only the suckers and 5 year deal (Cartwright) believe anything he says.Gallop will redeem himself if he puts Seale to bed, and drops him like a hot patato.
      The guy oozes goldie shonkiness, the slick black hair, the smooth talk, the properties which you cant touch because he has done what every shonk does, puts them under a different bracket, probably in John Pope Pauls the second’s name.
      He is the guy who is right all the time, in the long line next to him are the ones who have to go to court to see any money.
      Their is only one way i will be happy out of this whole mess, and that is for Gallop to cut the head off the snake so no more magic snake-oil gets processed. 🙂
      Oh, and i will write a piece about Cartwright on the other blog, but he needs to be sent home to Penrith. He is not really a coach, he is just another make believe coach. I call them Freddies. I dont think he has a clue actually.

    • April 11th 2012 @ 4:47am
      Gaz said | April 11th 2012 @ 4:47am | ! Report

      Great article Mushi and I guess the 11k at the last home game may have answered your question. If not the lowest patronage last weekend it must have come close.
      Think you may be a little too harsh on Searle though, he may have ended up being the man you have depicted here but I believe he did get the Titans up and running and you can only assume his heart was in the right spot at the beginning.
      A desperate man over his depth will do anything to make good and that appears to have happened in this case.
      The Titans, players, fans and sponsors don’t deserve the goings on and Rugby League in general can’t afford to lose the club and I can’t see that happening despite all the rumblings coming from other CEOs about a possible ARL hand out. Sending Bruno Cullen down to straighten out the mess is a great result if that happens and will no doubt put this club on the straight and narrow.
      As for Searle, that’s anybody’s guess but he can’t continue in the manner he’s been accustomed to that is for sure and certain.

    • April 11th 2012 @ 8:16am
      Runningrugby said | April 11th 2012 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      Great article! There was obviously a reason this was done. Take away his licence, the club is doomed with him there!

      There is a stink about the club, Searle won’t even talk to the media!

      Gallop should go as well. He presided over and colluded with Searle over this massive debacle!

    • Roar Guru

      April 11th 2012 @ 8:30am
      The Cattery said | April 11th 2012 @ 8:30am | ! Report

      a pleasure to read such intelligent analysis.

    • April 11th 2012 @ 1:26pm
      Rob said | April 11th 2012 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

      We need to start a campaign to stop calling this organisation a “Football Club” it is a private enterprise majority owned by M Searle. What can it be called, it definitely isn’t a football club but what is it ?

    • April 11th 2012 @ 2:27pm
      mushi said | April 11th 2012 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

      Agreed. It really is a Football Company not club. but it seems common phrasing both here and overseas is to still call them clubs

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