In this current world of capitalism and chasing the almighty dollar, you’ll find companies and organisations that will do just about anything to make a quick buck.
This is no different for the AFL and its clubs.
And for the most part, it’s a good thing.
Retaining a strong fiscal standpoint is fundamental to any business succeeding, so gaining multi-million dollar sponsorships from large corporations and selling memberships and merchandise to fans is universally acceptable.
Hell, it’s what makes an AFL club tick, right?
One thing I strongly oppose however; is the selling of home games away from the traditional supporter base.
Hawthorn, North Melbourne, GWS, Melbourne and Richmond are all guilty of this.
I believe that it not only alienates the supporters, but it shows certain arrogance and a lack of integrity and dignity.
The fact that clubs are so willing to do this to their supporters while knowing that playing one, two or three games a year in the alternative location will never gain them a significant following in the given region is simply ridiculous and it reeks of tackiness.
Hawthorn has Tasmania as their major sponsor and they play four games a year in Launceston. They make a significant amount of money for this commitment and they have a good following in Tasmania. However, four out of eleven home games away from Melbourne is simply too much.
North Melbourne and Melbourne are cash strapped, GWS are trying to appeal to the broader area west of Sydney (Canberra) and I’m not quite sure why a massive club such as Richmond is playing a game up in Cairns apart from the money factor.
Whatever the reasons are, clubs need to sort out their identity crisis, fixate on their supporter base and not whore games around for financial gain.
GWS have impressed me so far, but it was a big mistake selling games to Canberra. They should play every home game at Skoda Stadium which will go a long way to entrenching them into the psyche of Western Sydney.
I agree that Tasmania and Darwin need AFL games. Maybe that’s where the 19th and 20th teams should be based?
But then again, that’s a story for another time. What do you think, Roarers? Does it make any sense, other than financial, to sell games to different location? Are teams selling out the regions they are supposed to represent?