To the Board of the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Football Club,
I am a former member of the Brisbane Lions based on the following reasons I will explain in my letter. I want to also explain why I am a supporter of the Brisbane Lions and my understanding of it’s history. Ten years ago I become a Brisbane Lions supporter in Canberra of all places because I was in a group of AFL fans and I was the only one not to follow a team. So I decided to follow the Lions because they were the only team in Queensland and I support my home state. What drew me to the club over the years was the unique cultural history of the Brisbane Bears and the Fitzroy Lions. I wasn’t just following one team, I was following two merged into one. The strongest aspect of a member of a club is their loyalty. Not blind loyalty because that can be abused by football clubs and in this case it has been. I was lucky when I started following the Lions I was in the middle of seeing them winning three premierships in a row. Much like Jonathan Brown who started his career with glory and now has seen the years of hardship that a team must ensure to win another flag. My personal following was not ‘Getting on the bandwagon’, it was a simply logic of following a QLD team. If was one of them I would have left after 2005 and yet after ten years I’m still here.
Over the years I did more just watch the matches and support the team. I run a forum board over four years helping and dealing with issues that were out of my hands and defending the indefensible just to keep the supporters calm and sane. Part of the reason I did that web site was the disconnection I felt living in Canberra and never feeling like part of the club because of the distance and the lack of matches I could attend. Loyalty and knowing the history of a club is very important to me. The Fitzroy Lions have a rich history as I have learnt, read, listened, and watched over the decade I have been a supporter. I may have not shed a tear after the 2004 Grand Final but I did in the final round of the 2005 season when we lost by 140 points. It was a clear signal that a great period of our club’s time had ended and I might never see this again in my lifetime. With the rich history of Fitzroy we also saw thew Brisbane Bears who ensured many years of hardship – much worse than we have currently going through at the moment.
The decision by the board to change the guernsey changes the course of our history by turning it into a farce. The Fitzroy Lions guernsey tells you in a instant it’s long proud history, not just of our modern feats but of achievements spanning decades and generations of members and supporters who have watched this club over that time. This new guernsey with this new logo design is nothing but a shadow of what historical value this old guernsey had . It shows no history of the club, no understand or care for it’s supporters, and a clear lack of democracy in what is supposed to be supporter run football club.
The old guernsey must return, it must be restored to it’s former glory outlined and demanded by the supporters of the Brisbane Lions. Our glory days on the field may have ended for now but it doesn’t mean we have to throw out the entire history of those moments. The decision in 2009 not only ripped away my web site helping to promote the Brisbane Lions but also the many hearts of Fitzroy supporters who watched their club’s demise and took the hardest decision ever can be made in the world of sport to follow another club. For these reasons stated is the main reason I’m not a paid member. Blind loyalty only breeds bad administrations and people who lack the vision of combining a football club’s rich history with a solid platform for future success. This is not how you treat the supporters of a club who have stuck by it through a merger and years of bad decision making on the club’s part.
I highly consider to make the change and revert back to the old Fitzroy logo guernsey. The supporters demand it and even supporters of other AFL club majority prefer the Fitzroy look better than the marketing logo that has no history that we currently wear on the field. I know that the voices of the supporters will only become louder if this is not met.
Consider the change and than make the change. Our history and our future depends on it.