Money, socialism and interference [in sport]

‘Authorities’ in various sports have issues to sort out, not least organising umpires and referees.

But as we know, they then take on vastly more than their brief allows and start ordering clubs around like Lord Muck, assuming powers they really should not have – sounds like politics.

They get away with it because people become indoctrinated over time, accepting that there is no viable alternative – one example is the National Draft in the AFL downunder, held in November, plus an allowed trading period of a few weeks before that.

This chart is useful in being able to bring you some specifics at last, it’s the order in which clubs are allowed to have a pick at the annual meat market for new players, shades of a Muslim slave market in days of yore:

1. Gold Coast
2. Melbourne
3. Adelaide (tied to Carlton)
4. Sydney
5. St Kilda
6. Fremantle
7. North Melbourne
8. Carlton (tied to Adelaide)
9. Port Adelaide
10. Hawthorn
11. Greater Western Sydney (tied to Essendon)
12. Western Bulldogs
13. West Coast
14. Gold Coast (tied to Brisbane)
15. Brisbane (tied to Collingwood)
16. Geelong
17. Greater Western Sydney
18. Richmond

17 and 18 are the two finalists for the premiership next week, you’ll notice Geelong at 16.

Trying not to over-complicate this, just looking at Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne, Gold Coast is one of those invented teams trying to break into the Queensland market and Sydney have been in the NSW market for a long time. Those two states are rugby states and so it’s always been a hiding to nothing, like trying to start a major American football league over here. Money has been poured in to keep the unsustatinable afloat.

Melbourne though are interesting in that they were a powerhouse until the early 60s, the MCG their home, and then it fell apart and never recovered, except for blips at the top on and off, but no premier title.  For quite a few decades now, they’ve languished and yet, as you see, they are given prime picks in the draft and all sorts of incentives by the AFL, which means other clubs’ money.

When the socialist system was imposed, the idea was that every year, picks would go in reverse order, the premier getting last pick – no club may negotiate contracts by itself, the opposite of the EPL where the same 6 or so clubs always have and always will dominate.

By rights, Melbourne should zoom up the ladder and clubs like Collingwood – not even on that list in the first round and yet they were top four this year – should languish.  So should Geelong languish by rights under this socialist rule.

That Collingwood and Geelong don’t languish but end up around 3rd or 4th shows two proud clubs who say to hell with being last or even lower half, we will get around it by all sorts of strategies, including bringing in mature age recruits.  Both have good club cultures, Collingwood the largest membership of any club.

So by dint of pure class, they stay up around the ‘thereabouts’ area, not actually winning, in some sort of eternal twilight zone.

And the favoured lowest clubs?  Their club cultures are so bad, their management so bad, that even given everything on a silver platter, they never get anywhere for long.  There then starts this ‘go to’ and ‘get out quick’ rating of clubs which further complicates it – no player wants to go to Gold Coast, many want to go to Collingwood, Hawthorn, Geelong.

What I’ve touched on before is that the last really good draft Geelong had was in 2002/3 – some of those players now are of that vintage. Old champs.  Then there is this huge gap in the middle because the AFL would not let them have good picks for a decade. Then some reasonable youngsters.

There was a headline yesterday:

Pies had all the luck ‘yet they couldn’t deliver’

And another:

What now for the Pies? The tough choice confronting Collingwood

Same goes for Geelong and Hawthorn, two proud clubs.  Therefore, not only do the also-rans never get up and win a title, the powerhouses don’t either because they’re artificially held back.

The middling clubs win but then go back down again for a decade. It’s really quite hopeless and a good example of how socialism operates, never achieving that which it sets out to achieve, at least on paper. It’s fought out by the middling clubs, for mediocrity’s sake.

The directors though still have their champagne fundraisers and trips.

I was asked the question – how can Geelong break out of this and win? Answer is they can’t – they’re condemned forever to be near but no prize. Unless there is some sort of revolution, less and less likely as the years pass and new, indoctrinated, Eloi generations get into power.

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7 comments for “Money, socialism and interference [in sport]

  1. ivan
    September 22, 2019 at 14:12

    Out of all that stupidity how much say do new players have? What happens if a very good new player only wants to play for his local club?

    • September 22, 2019 at 18:15

      Can’t be done – it’s a national bureaucratic draft. Heavy fines if he tries it.

      • ivan
        September 22, 2019 at 18:38

        So you are saying that potential good players that don’t want to move are excluded – total stupidity.

        • September 22, 2019 at 18:56

          They’re either forced to go to a designated club who picks them up or stay in lower leagues. That’s the draft, mainly for young/new players.

          The trading period is different, that’s by negotiation for anyone out of contract. This might be two or three players per club in a good year, the draft is hundreds vying, maybe 60 or so actually passing muster to be on the list.

          Thing is, it’s still the ultimate test for a young man in that country, to make it that way. It’s also fame, kudos etc. For a working class boy, it’s massive.

  2. grumpy
    September 23, 2019 at 08:10

    Having said all that there is a lot of horse trading around draft picks (that’s why pick 15 is Brisbane’s because of a deal they did with Collingwood to transfer an ex-Pie back after several seasons with Brisbane).
    Players also nominate themselves for the draft in the hope of getting picked up by their club of choice. There is probably some backroom deals done by club list managers to bypass some kids so they can get picked by their preferred club as well but no-one talks about that.

    • September 23, 2019 at 09:20

      Cheers.

      Just saw this:

      “Geelong has taken just one top-10 pick since Selwood in 2006, and reportedly wants top-end draft picks if Kelly is to depart.”

      13 years with no top player coming in.

  3. September 23, 2019 at 15:15

    Zozchialist Footbol (vis ver little feetwerke). Ve heff vays of makink you play bol.

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