The Roar
The Roar

Warren Cooper

Roar Guru

Joined May 2014

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Warren Cooper lives in Wollongong and grew up in country NSW (Goulburn). He is a music writer and is currently writing a series of novels based in the independent music scene, which he has been apart of since he was 16 years old. He is also a member of the Sydney Swans Football Club. Whilst growing up in a rugby league heartland, the VFL captured his imagination as a six year old kid in 1985. He has a passion to see the great game of AFL to continue to grow and become more established in non-traditional AFL states. Cricket is just a filler until the next footy season. He does follow the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks as his generic NRL interest and believes there is no shame in enjoying both codes - however the AFL has his heart.

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That’s incorrect. Geelong were one of the clubs that supported the Swans having the COLA – Cats president Colin Carter has been on record as saying so. He is a close personal friend of Richard Colless’, but so is Eddie McGuire – the COLA’s biggest critic.
Carter has had his own battles the Magpies supremo. The Cats also did not support the trade ban imposed on Sydney. Neither did Collingwood. You keep going on about how the Swans abused the COLA, but offer up no evidence to support your claim. Yet, in return, there is more than enough evidence to show how Sydney were able to sign both Tippett and Frankin with various player movements and retirements. I’m more than happy to list the names of those players. Also all clubs signed off on COLA when it was implemented, no one had a problem with it until 2012. Eddie McGuire was on record as complaining about how expensive Sydney is to live in when he was the boss at Nine.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Wow, how did I ever let that piece of info elude me? Beats me. It’s about 50 / 50 each way in the Riverina with Aussie Rules and rugby league. Some of the biggest names of both codes have come from there – GWS were handed that region because, well it’s apparently relative to Western Sydney, just like Canberra.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

What you are alleging is pure fantasy: one, the Swans books would have been watched heavily by AFL auditors: two, the simple fact of the matter relating to COLA is that it had to be paid to each player on the list. And because your not privy to the Swans books, all you can rely on is fantasy. Which is funny because Andrew Ireland opened the Swans books to show how the COLA worked and how Sydney were able to recruit Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett. There were numerous player movements and retirements that occurred to make it happen, but no, don’t let the truth get in the way of fantasy and hysteria.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Rubbish – Melbourne have been a basket case, as have the Bulldogs. And are you admitting the AFL gave little to no help to South in their initial relocation years, and then in early 1990’s as Sydney when the club nearly folded?

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Maybe not in your eyes, yet history presents the case itself. A book could be written about it. All I can say is what I have experienced as a Swans supporter and an AFL supporter who has lived in a non-traditional AFL state all his life. Leigh Matthews would have a different view regarding the state of AFL in Queensland – it’s not just an admin problem.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Which is a point I raised – why didn’t the AFL just raise all salary caps to accomodate Cost of Living issues in Sydney and player retention problems in Brisbane?

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Same rules? Thanks for the laugh. There was no real problem with COLA until Sydney won the 2012. Had they been just making up the numbers, there would have been no problem, apart from maybe as being seen as being ineffective – like they were in the early 1990’s.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

The “anti-Swans” sentiments have not just been reduced to forums like this. It started the day after Sydney won the 2012 flag and Jeff Kennett began crowing over Sydney being able to chase Kurt Tippett. Meanwhile, Hawthorn could win flags and recruit whoever they liked. It was almost like there was a hidden rule with COLA the Swans weren’t aware of – you can have it, just don’t win premierships.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

The bottom line is the AFL needed to have a better plan in place – it’s main problem is there are too many teams in Victoria, which has been an issue Leigh Matthews has highlighted. In the long term, how will the game be able to sustain all these clubs in such close proximity to each other, considering the costs of running a footy club? (The NRL has the same problem in Sydney.) This is the very issue which brought about the farcical problem with the equalisation plan – fining rich clubs millions and handing over the money to poorer clubs. An issue Eddie McGuire is not happy about, and should the Bulldogs get on a flag role at the expense of Collingwood, he’ll be singing from the top of Mt Kosciusko.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

I was there the night Goodes did his war dance; the SCG went off! It was great theatre and should have been treated as such, in a game that was played during Indigenous Round, which used an Indigenous design on the Sherrin, and the Swans playing in a jumper with an Indigenous design. Goodes did the war dance because well, he’s Indigenous. He wore his heart on his sleeve; had he not made the stances he did, another Indigenous player would have.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

In answering your question, when the NSWRL expanded to become the ARL in 1995 – introducing Western Reds, Auckland Warriors, North QLD and South QLD – it sparked the Super League War. They expanded far too quickly without a plan of what to do with the established clubs – hence North Sydney, Western Suburbs, Balmain, South Sydney, Manly, St George and the Illawarra Steelers were suddenly in danger of folding or needing to merge. Then in 1997 a split competition happened with the ARL and Super League, which effectively killed off North Sydney after disastrous merger with Manly failed; Balmain merged with Western Suburbs and won a premiership, however that merger is fractured; South Sydney were kicked out temporarily, causing a court case, and St George Dragons merged with the Illawarra Steelers, and in the process, reducing the NRL’s presence in Wollongong. As a result of the peace talks, the Adelaide Rams and Western Reds folded, hence why the NRL has been reluctant to expand since. That’s what the AFL could have learned from the NRL – don’t expand without plans for established clubs and without ground work done in non-traditional areas. This is where the NRL is marginally in front.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

The NRL has been reconsidering Perth. The West Coast Pirates have submitted bids to join and have been doing a lot of grassroots work there. There is a heavy ex-pat NSW and QLD over there due to the mines. Rugby league has a far better chance of working out there due to it having a reasonable history in Perth, stretching back to the end of World War Two.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Yeah, because prior to the equalisation plans, the Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne, Melbourne and St Kilda we’re going great guns weren’t they? Bulldogs boss Peter Gordon was having kittens over the Swans and the richer clubs like Collingwood in 2013. Four years later his club wins a flag – go figure. Before that, both North and WB were looking at interstate options, playing games in Sydney, Gold Coast, North QLD, Darwin and Canberra.

I say if any club, including interstate clubs: if relocation is a better option for survival, then why not? It happens in American sports. If the Giants do not workout in Western Sydney in the long term, move them, the same with the Suns. If it was good enough for South to do it – what’s is good for the goose, is good for the gander, so they say.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

What attitude? Staging for free-kicks? Name a player who doesn’t. Nah, the booing started to happen in 2014. We all know why.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

If I may add, the request for the COLA was valid. Sydney always features high in the most expensive cities in the world lists. Apparently, according to a national survey, I live in Australia’s third most expensive city, Wollongong – behind Melbourne and Sydney.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

“Not sure what your point is re American cities.” Hence that there is more to Sydney than Bondi Beach. 😉

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Oh I enjoyed those flags – especially 2012, that was the sweetest. Meanwhile Geelong fans can keep dreaming about beating Hawthorn in the game that counts.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Of course you could, it’s amazing what you can do in your sleep! That Lions side was a mix of the old Fitzroy and Bears teams from 1996. They finished with the spoon as the Brisbane Lions in 1998.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Are the Illawarra, South Coast, Hunter, and Central Coast regions of NSW whole strong AFL areas”, compared to Ballarat and Bendigo? Eddie McGuire, for one, would know they’re not. The strongest AFL areas in NSW is the Riverina, which used to a South Melbourne recruiting zone prior to relocation to Sydney – the Swans lost that zone when McGuire starting jumping up and down about it in 2002.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Oops, oh well.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Incidentally, Swans CEO Andrew Ireland said he hoped the Academies would mean the academies the teams list 90 percent NSW based and not the other way around.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Let the Dogs fold? No. But but weren’t other struggling Victorians given the ‘merge, move, or die,” options like South Melbourne or Fitzroy?

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

I really wanted the Saints in the 1997, 2009 and 2010, to win those grand finals. I have a soft spot for the Saints.

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Yes, it all stems back to 2016 and the horror start of the season; this article didn’t build a case based upon the preceding years, did it?

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL

Why would have Colless cried foul? He would have been over the moon, as it meant Sydney had extra to room to move with the cap. Don’t the Americans have New York, Chicago, L.A, Florida, Seattle and Portland as options – just to name some. There’s more to Sydney than Bondi beach!

No love for the northern states has me disillusioned with the AFL