The below was sent to the club on 24 September 2010.
My view has not changed.
12 months ago I completed a similar survey to this which expressed satisfaction in almost every aspect of the club and it's direction.
A few weeks later, rumours started circling regarding a logo and jumper design change, which gained such momentum that I found myself signing on-line petitions and e-mailing the club directly attempting to have members formally heard before the administration took such a radical step of altering the only jumper design the club has ever had since the merger, and one of the few remaining links between the club and some of it's Victorian members.
Despite these protests being obvious warning signs of potential difficulties, there was no consultation with members as to the change. The club sent an e-mail to its members that day, marginalising those that had protested, claiming them to be the minority, albeit that members had not received any formal notice of the jumper change, or opportunity to speak, until after they had received the club's e-mail and the decision set in stone. With respect, the e-mail was little more than self serving spin, and a blight on the club ever contending that membership consultation and input is something that it places any value in whatsoever.
I attended the AGM, hoping to be heard with respect to the issue. The man next to me asked Mr Kelly "In hindsight, would you have handled the jumper change any differently?" - "no" came the defiant response. Interestingly, Mr Kelly also gave a speech at that meeting, claiming the expression "if it ain't broke, fix it anyway" was reason enough for the jumper change.
12 months later, Mr Kelly has resigned and there is plenty to fix.
I can only hope that those in charge can learn from the last 12 months. With an available choice now in South East Queensland, please embrace input from your members, both local and Victorian. This year we've been told what we should associate with in our playing strip - we've been told what our logo is – we've been told why our old logo holds limited value – we've been told who our new board members are – and we've even been told what to chant.
Please, please, please let us have a voice:
“The only real difference between football and business, I suppose, is the emotional aspect. The board not only has the governance of the club and the setting of direction of policy as responsibilities, but it really has a role in terms of the emotional welfare of the club.
We are representatives of the members and sometimes the full-time staff of the club aren't totally connected with members, how they feel, what guides membership, what keeps members happy and I think that the board can play a very important role in football clubs in providing that link.
And that is probably one area which is certainly different from business. I don’t think too many directors spend too much time worrying about the emotional needs of shareholders.” - Graeme Downie 2006
I could not have said it better.
C Nicol Member no. xxxxxxx