“This was written on 20/06/2011, to Angus Johnson
Dear Mr Johnson,
It has been with great joy I have watched the club re-engage its Victorian members, listen to its Queensland members, and show real signs of getting back to what it really is to be a footy club. Whilst there are business realities to deal with in this world, the emotional aspect of football can never be ignored, as with any member based organisation, it’s members are it’s heart and soul. Our rich history, from the Bears & Fitzroy, is something I cherish, and as a Bears man originally, have a deep respect for.
It is this respect, and where our heart is as a club, that finds me writing this now. Last year, over 2000 signatures were collected by the saveourjumper petition, and the absolute, overwhelming majority of Lions supporters I know, or have met on game days, detest the “”paddlepop”” symbol. It is soulless, associated with an abject failure, and the administration that acted like the current political parties, by asking a tiny focus group for their opinion, rather than those emotionally & financially invested in the club.
To do so, when the merger agreement clearly stated the Fitzroy lion would be used “”in perpetuity”” was disgraceful. Being so high and mighty as to challenge our merger partner in the Victorian courts, publicly throwing up the spectre of financial ruination for the club for daring to challenge a corporate decision, when plenty of Brisbane people were onto Fitzroy, begging them to help us fight this autocratic decision, well, I don’t have words to describe adequately how disgusted and empty I felt, that the club I love, and back to the hilt, could pull such a dog act. For the first time in my life, I hated my footy club. I was utterly ashamed, and to this day cannot find any reasonable excuse for what happened.
I utterly refuse to purchase anything with the “”paddlepop”” lion on it, as it was made clear by the Bowers/Kelly regime that money was all they would listen to. I know many people who feel exactly the same. More importantly, the conversations I have on bus rides on the way home from the Gabba, with patrons on game day, I can honestly tell you 99% feel like I do.
Please, do not do a half job on fixing the guernsey. The members and supporters overwhelmingly want the proper Lion back on our jumper, and not as some small token on the back, or a little chest patch above a giant “”paddlepop”” Lion. I urge yourself, and the rest of the administration, to have the courage to admit past failings, at least internally, and to rectify them.
“”Character is much easier kept than recovered.”” ~Thomas Paine
If the road the previous administration went down is continued upon, we stand to lose so much. It will make things nearly impossible to recover, and I believe in my heart that this is what the previous admin wanted, to cut our Melbourne ties loose because they couldn’t be stuffed working as a two town team. This is why the work your admin has done thus far has been so encouraging, and why I write this. I have hope my footy club has rediscovered its heart, and will have the smarts to never stop listening to it again.
Unfortunately, since that day, we have seen this administration fail to act on the issue. Another, far more comprehensive, survey was taken at the Gabba in 2012, and duly ignored by the administration. I have been paid lip service on the matter when asking both Mr. Holmes & Mr. Johnson directly. It is time for the admin to grow a pair and admit they made a mistake, and more importantly, to fix it.”