The Parramatta problems continue

Raymond Nassif Roar Rookie

By Raymond Nassif, Raymond Nassif is a Roar Rookie

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26 Have your say

    Have a bit of sympathy for Ricky, will ya? (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Charles Knight)

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    Out of fear of being labelled small minded, I preface what I’m about to say with both Parramatta and Ricky Stuart will receive criticism in this article.

    However first things first, Ricky Stuart has been disloyal and duplicitous to Parramatta. He waltzed into the Eels to ‘best signing since Jack Gibson’ praise and we all danced the coco cabana in excitement.

    We (Parramatta supporters) nodded in approval when he expressed disappointment with Josh Papalli and Israel Folau for reneging on deals with the club.

    We welcomed his tough-line stance in telling some 12 players that they weren’t welcome at the club past this season, including the man he named co-captain.

    Here was Ricky Stuart making the hard decisions needed to improve the culture of one of the competitions real potential clubs.

    The on-field performance didn’t improve, rather it seemed to regress; repeated 50 point losses hurt, but Ricky claimed it was all to be expected, the club had a young playing roster, this was bound to happen.

    We accepted Ricky’s assertions, more in hope that they were true, held our bated breath, in our desperate hope that he knew what he was doing.

    Yet the moment a new offer is put to him, Ricky packs his things up and leaves.

    Off to Canberra he goes, where I’m sure he’ll be welcomed with open arms, with an infinitely more talented roster than he had at Parramatta, needing only to canvass discipline to take Canberra the next step forward.

    Again as a supporter I feel as if Ricky has played us, that we’ve wasted an entire season, because now as Peter Sterling said, we have to start again from scratch.

    Having said that, Parramatta cannot afford to retreat into its mediocrity. It cannot wallow in its misery and blame everybody but itself for its current predicament.

    It has to wake up to the reality of its situation. It is about to hire its seventh coach since 2006, searching for its fifth CEO and has had three different chairmen in that time.

    Surely there is a link between Parramatta’s administrative instability and their increasingly poor on-field performance.

    Daniel Anderson being sacked twelve months after he lead Parramatta to the grand final, the poor recruitment decisions that year which saw Feleti Mateo and Krisnan Inu leave for what became known as the Nursing Home for players.

    The decision to sack Anderson reeked of the problem with the Parramatta board. The new board wanted to plant its imprimatur on the club and needed any reason to sack Anderson.

    They couldn’t bare the thought of the previous board being credited for any future club success. All the credit had to be there’s.

    It was a gamble that failed miserably; Stephen Kearney inherited an awful roster and in two seasons couldn’t prove his coaching credentials, leading Parramatta to the wooden spoon.

    This current board hasn’t shown itself likely to alter from this path. With-in weeks of taking over, CEO Ken Edwards were shown the door. Apparently it was because they had a different strategic vision for the club.

    Edward’s Five-Year Plan to increase the club’s membership to 40,000, re-develop Parramatta Stadium, build a centre of excellence, and focus on junior development, was something the new board couldn’t agree with.

    Edwards had his flaws, but rather than compromise, negotiate; he was sacked, forced out.

    More instability, more uncertainty, no direction.

    In the AFL, Peter Jackson appointed by the AFL to fix the rabble at the Melbourne Demons has more than delivered thus far. Negotiated a bail-out and hired Paul Roos to coach. All of a sudden there is a different feel about where Melbourne is headed. Parramatta needs somebody like Peter Jackson, a none-sense hard-nosed operator, somebody to run this Football Club as a business in the 21st Century.

    So now we wait, waiting for the next bloke to fill us with hope, the next bloke to promise us the world, and hopefully just hopefully, he won’t disappoint us.

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    The Crowd Says (26)

    • September 15th 2013 @ 5:46am
      Jay C said | September 15th 2013 @ 5:46am | ! Report

      Parramatta are a joke of a club. Gee the AFL must be laughing all the way to the bank. Right when they launch a Western Sydney team Parra, Penrith and the Tigers all pull a Michael Hutchence. Honestly though Parra gotthe better deal. Ricky is poison and the Raiders will wish he had stayed in la la land very shortly. Tell me, how can he possibly tell Milford he cannot go to Brisbane to be with his sick father? What credibility does he have? How can any of the players trust him at his word? Parramatta need need a Bennet or a Bellamy who can instill pride and build culture. Henry is mad if he takes it on. Anyone would be mad to take it on. They will end up settling on a first time head coach desperate for a shot. They will get 18 months, and then the rabble will continue. How do you solve a problem like parra?

      • September 15th 2013 @ 2:00pm
        Allan said | September 15th 2013 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

        The AFL isn’t laughing, they’re struggling.

    • Roar Guru

      September 15th 2013 @ 6:05am
      Sleiman Azizi said | September 15th 2013 @ 6:05am | ! Report

      You’re not small-minded.

      Your club is. Hopefully they’ll grow up sooner rather than later.

    • September 15th 2013 @ 7:36am
      oikee said | September 15th 2013 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      Sacking Anderson was the beginning of the end. Kearney got no help to guide the club through tough times while the board cared little and was eating itself alive. Where was Sterlo, ? Sterlo cares about Sterlo and his job at nine and stats and his job on Fox, why would he give a bullocks about a club in turmoil, Sterlo will turn up when someone turns them around.

      It is funny Jay C that when the AFL came waltzing into west Sydney, all the NRL clubs were finally exposed, as the worst run clubs in Australia and all left with their pants down and on life support. The Pathers, the Tigers Balmain, and the Eels, all run like basketcases and what can you do,? Has the code removed any of them, have they cleaned out the deadwood, maybe in the process, who knows what happens behind these dinosaurs closed doors.

      Yes they are turning on Smith, because they are exposed, naked in the face of bad deals, bad leadership and infighting over scraps of whatever is left of these once mighty clubs.

      More Attacks will be aimed at Dave Smith, the truth hurts and being exposed is not what these clubs want you to see.
      You only have to read about the mess the Panthers got themselves into to understand what is happening at the other two clubs.
      The Emperor will do anything to keep it secret.

    • September 15th 2013 @ 7:55am
      Marldon said | September 15th 2013 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      Look at it this way Raymond, Stuart is a very poor coach. He was probably right to have a clear out but the way he went about it was awful. But, longer term I sincerely believe that the Eels will be better off without him no matter how much turmoil the club is currently in.

      The management of the club is poor, the structure of the board needs a massive change and as you say, led by business headed individuals but in business, there is a theory that the best way to turn a failing business around is to create a big crisis, not one that will damage business fundamentals but one that shocks the business to the core. Stuart leaving could just be the crisis that your club needs.

      • September 15th 2013 @ 1:13pm
        Steve said | September 15th 2013 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

        Correct Marldon,
        the Eels have all sorts of problems, but getting rid of Sticky has at least got fixed one of them.

    • September 15th 2013 @ 7:57am
      The Koomz said | September 15th 2013 @ 7:57am | ! Report

      They have a good roster for next year, you can thank Ricky for that.

      • September 15th 2013 @ 1:02pm
        The eye said | September 15th 2013 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

        The only decent player they bought was Hoppa who has been a long time out of it and will be surrounded by B graders..who else could you be referring to Peats,can’t make the top 20 at the Rabbits..Norman ? nah..the untried in the NRL Pommie forward?

    • September 15th 2013 @ 10:35am
      Zero Gain said | September 15th 2013 @ 10:35am | ! Report

      Your better off without Stuart. It is a blessing he is gone. Now watch Canberra spiral downwards.

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