Monday 21 February 2005

Take the money and run

Are there people out there who actually need to see a big pre-season campaign mounted before they'll buy memberships? Are these the same people who give tin-foil to their kids as Christmas presents?

From the Herald-Sun,

MELBOURNE coach Neale Daniher expected nothing less than a victory over the depleted Brisbane Lions in Cairns and says his side's determination to win the AFL pre-season Wizard Cup is financially driven.

The Demons are hoping to push deep into the Wizard Cup finals to drive their membership campaign.
Last year the club was able to announce a profit, but only after it received a $1.5 million cash injection from the AFL's competitive balance fund.

"It's important, particularly for selling memberships, that we perform well in this competition and give our supporters hope," Daniher said.

The 45-point win on Saturday night provides the club with some unexpected cash.

Brisbane collected $16,000 as a first-round loser but Melbourne will receive at least $27,500, even if its loses to Carlton on Sunday.

The pre-season champion receives $200,000, while the runner-up is paid $100,000. Semi-finalists earn $50,000.

Daniher said there was no boardroom pressure on him or the players to make an assault on the pre-season competition purely for prizemoney.

"No one from the board has come to me and said we need the prizemoney," he said.

"That is not the motivating factor for us. Memberships are important, though."

If it takes a 45-point win over the Brisbane 2nds (1991 reserves Premiers, lest we forget) for people to decide that they're going to jump on board we may as well fulfil every other stereotype fantasy about MFC fans and drive our 4WD's to Mt. Buller on Grand Final day whilst simultaneously beating our butler about the head and planning our annual holiday to Majorca. Shambolic. Drag your wallet out and sign up NOW - they're threatening to play more games interstate and that's never a good sign. Fitzroy started off with some 'experimental' games in Canberra and Hobart and now they're a few letters on the back of another club's jumper and a D-Grade amateurs side. I fully expect all the tightarses to sit at home contributing squat until we end up as the Auckland Demons or something - and then they'll start whinging.

Of course we all know what the best way to boost memberships is. Start talking up a merger and watch the numbers go through the roof as everyone tries to stack the vote. See, for example, 1996 and the "sign your entire workplace up to vote YES" campaign. I'm still wondering why we didn't round up the yes voters and shave their heads French Resistance style.

Harsh? Yes. Justified? Absolutely.

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