FFA de­ci­sion will leave north­ern tal­ent to wither

Townsville Bulletin - - Affleck -

I WORKED on a news­pa­per o n c e wh e r e t h e f o r me r own­ers made the coura­geous de­ci­sion to take it from a five-days-a-week pub­li­ca­tion to seven days.

Things went swim­mingly un­til about a year later, when there was a down­turn in the econ­omy and in real es­tate in par­tic­u­lar, lead­ing to a drop in ad­ver­tis­ing.

The own­ers funked it. In their panic, they dumped the S u n d a y e d i t i o n a n d d e - manded heads.

Had they hung on un­til the econ­omy bright­ened a year or so later, well, who knows what might have been. Cer­tainly, all those bright young peo­ple forced to leave town to find al­ter­na­tive jobs might still be there, work­ing for an or­gan­i­sa­tion that has since made hun­dreds of mil­lions.

There are par­al­lels with that and the story of the Fury and its ax­ing this week by Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Aus­tralia, only the sit­u­a­tion in Townsville is much worse.

There’s a se­ri­ous lack of ticker at FFA. There has to be. How can a ma­jor na­tional prod­uct be man­u­fac­tured and then dumped in such a short time, with­out giv­ing it time to put its roots down and build a se­ri­ous cul­ture of sup­port and com­mit­ment within its com­mu­nity?

The pa­per I worked for lost one edi­tion a week. North Queens­land has lost an en­tire sport­ing prod­uct.

Ad­vi­sory board mem­ber Peter Brine was scathing this week when he took the FFA to task for ‘‘ never once’’ of­fer­ing the Fury ‘‘ any­thing, any ad­vice to go out and do some­thing for the club’’.

Un­for­tu­nately it’s a fa­mil­iar story in this coun­try. How of­ten do we read of or­gan­i­sa­tions that be­come Syd­ney-cen­tric and for­get to nur­ture the branch of­fices?

Brine says that in busi­ness, if he doesn’t spend time build­ing it up and putting in the hours with staff, then it’s go­ing to fail.

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