FFA guilty of financial decision that just makes no cents
A DOLLARS and cents decision has set North Queensland football back a decade or maybe even generations.
From a business perspective where the bottom line means everything, you can hardly blame FFA for cutting the cord and running – $ 9 million is no small investment, especially when coming off a $ 6 million loss themselves last financial year.
But in truth, the loss for Australian football will be far greater than anything returning the books to the black can muster.
Now for you who are already rolling your eyes, don’t accuse me of being a bleeding heart football tragic whose vision has been clouded by sentiment. Sure, I’ve always followed the English Premier League, but NRL was what I grew up on, and is and always will be a passion of mine.
I am, though, someone who has been won over by the Fury – the passion on the field, the effort off it – after seeing the impact it has had in a rugby league-dominated market and being convinced by what the club had to offer.
There was a pathway for the 10,000 registered NQ junior players to reach the elite level of the game, mums and dads in turn got caught up in the football ( not soccer) hype and there were genuine building blocks for a bright future . . . in time.
Now that has been taken away and the immediate feeling is, ‘‘ that’s it for football’’.
Not because the sport all of a sudden became worse to watch or play after FFA CEO Ben Buckley made the byebye Fury announcement yesterday afternoon. No, because people feel cheated and misled.
And when you feel treated like a pawn, it is hard to forgive and forget.
What reason does anyone have to watch the A-League when the ‘‘ local team’’ is 1500km away?
What reason does a player have for sticking with football when the pathway to elite rugby league and basketball is so much clearer?
E a c h a n d e v e r y No r t h Queenslander has reason for feeling hard done by after yesterday’s decision.
Because whether you’re a Fury fan or not, having the club added to the NQ sporting landscape enhanced the region’s reputation as a sporting mecca.
It was the greatest regional set-up in the country, bar none.
Not any more. Fans have been left feeling like an FFA b a r g a i n i n g c h i p f o r a n eventually failed World Cup bid. Time after t i me t he goalposts were shifted, making it more and more difficult for the club to secure its future.
Then, when it appeared they had achieved the impossible, it was again taken away – people won’t forget that.
Mum and dad supporters burnt and now bitter, won’t be so enthusiastic about their kids going into the sport.
In turn they will take up another code and that gets passed on to their children and their children’s children.
Football won’t die in the North, it’s worldwide brand is too strong, but any chance of it taking a firm foothold is gone.