In this post, we look at the nations oldest elite-level football club, that lurched into a spiraling nose dive during the last two years, that included allegations of 'tanking'. This insidiousness of this on the culture of a football club lead Melbourne to root and branch reform. The fruits of which should be seen in 2014.
The First Club - Melbourne:
Melbourne went about getting its house in order after the tanking allegations were finalized by the AFL.
|The Jackson-Roos Code|
On the Park
On field, Paul Roos has much to do in establishing what stocks he has and then determining the most constructive way to deploy them. The scope of the Melbourne re-build Roos needs to implement is well spelled out in this from The Age.
“With the player group, what struck me again was they were almost crying out for help. Sometimes fans think, not literally, but they think players don't care, but they were almost like the lost boy at the market [asking] how do I find mum? So they were a pretty lost group and searching and wondering where they were heading as a footy club and a group of people. So I was certainly pretty shocked by that.”The playing list is also a reasonably strong one as well, with many early round raft picks, along with experienced heads. If a few key players can get through a year without injuries, the Demons will be a much better team than our current rating suggests.
In the MFC offices, a similar process has been in train. Peter Jackson (above) as new Chief Executive from late 2013, has been implementing new internal structures and policies.
|MFC's President Bartlett on the right.|
The club also has a new President in Glen Bartlett (at right or right). The stability that Bartlett and Jackson bring cant be undervalued. There are no more internal public ructions, or with AFL HQ, nor with other apparent Demons diehards and others with a passing interest.
More is expected as the philosophy both Bartlett and Jackson bring is made evident and implemented over time.
We also believe Melbourne were helped by an internal attitude change, to one of acceptance of the penalties applied by the AFL.
The 2013 season saw the club clean house (fare-welling Schwab, Neeld, McLardy, and eventually Connolly and Craig), often with scars, but nonetheless the cleansing now has Melbourne looking refreshed and ready for a new season.
Kudos should also be given to the AFL for making an offer of support (financial, administrative etc) that has helped settle a club in crisis.
Kudos also to Melbourne for embracing the need for change.
It appears that at least this club has learnt from the past, and are working to build a better culture for the future.
*Special thanks to Supermercado99 for his assistance.