Gil's To Do List (The Chosen One)


Welcome to the cosy world of AFL politics. Where various parasites & hangers-on compete for relevance. Enter Gil McLachlan, the anointed son of this grubby world. More important than Gary Ablett or Buddy Franklin? You be the judge.

What is a lad/lass to do to stand out amongst the muck? Do something. It's pretty simple, but these corporate types often have little grasp. Copping a hefty pay packet for sitting around a table, tossing in occasional opinion seems pretty wacked out. Gotta envy those private boxes with the fancy meat pies though. No queues for the dunny either.

The Chosen One has a few things to do. Credit must be given for publicly addressing the first issues already. The appearance of action is damn important. At least he can blame hold-ups on the fat guys around the table if need be. Nothing better than ruffling a few feathers on the first day of work.

1) Buy Docklands Stadium

The creation of Docklands Stadium was always a crunching stomp on suburban football. Waverley & Princes Park shown the door. Yeah, yeah. Progress is fine. Not with the ridiculous contract blockers the miserly Ian Collins helped put in place. The 'quality of stadium' clause was a great way to churn some cash out of the AFL clubs. Big ups for pocket-lining, thumbs down for the AFL.

The Chosen One, being a man of this obscure world, sees the negotiations over Docklands in dollar terms. If the AFL must pay too high a price - he has stated it would be better giving the cash directly to the tenant clubs. True that.

What is the right price? It's worth buying Docklands now at a price above the right one. How far above? A little bit. For the AFL's brand power, appearing decisive and a friend of the clubs is vital.

2) Variable Ticketing

On paper it does appear a good plan. Would have sailed through the boardroom with barely a ripple. The problem is when it comes across as a wallet scrape at big games. It's too hard to work against that impression, because it's spot on. There are going to be angry punters, particularly when some pay extra and others don't.

Where variable ticketing should be highlighted is at the smaller games. Melbourne vs GWS at the MCG for $5 - I'm in. The Chosen One needs to give back more. Let the clubs have a greater role in pricing. That avoids the central role the AFL often poorly plays.

3) Good Friday

What a nothing issue. A boring day with no football. Put a game on. Let it be North vs Bulldogs. Debate over.

4) Go Long Term

This one needs a heck of alot of patience. The AFL is 18 teams, 10 from Victoria.

Sydney needs to play GWS twice. Adelaide needs to play Port twice etc. There are known, and accepted, bumps that will never be smoothed as things stand. For crowds & cash, Collingwood needs to play more games in Melbourne.

Kick a team from Victoria. Or plan for two new teams. Do it within 10 years. It's messy either way. If the rewards are pitched far higher than what North recently refused - it's possible to do without hatcheting another club like with Fitzroy.

Fixtures and possible divisions can all be sorted later.

The other issue is equalization. A necessary evil. Just don't overdo it. The big clubs will pay. Be careful not to push them into 'creative accounting'.

The ball is in your hands, Chosen One.
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