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Ok, I realise that Tony and Joe know almost nothing about the AFL, but a lack of knowledge hasn’t stopped them in other areas and I just thought that they may be able to help out the once proud Melbourne Football Club.

For the information of those not interested in sport or the AFL, the Club has spent a number of years near the bottom of the ladder as well as suffering financial losses.

“THE MELBOURNE Football Club has reported an operating loss of $1.7 million for the year ending 31 October 2013.

The driving factor behind this result was a significant drop in traditional football related revenue, including attendances, membership, retail, corporate sales and sponsorship, totalling $4.4million.”

So, it can clearly be seen that the club has the same problems as Australia: Falling revenues, coupled with poor on field performances. (How does Australia have poor on field performances? Well, we had a Labor government – enough said.) I thought that perhaps, the Melbourne FC could apply Mr Hockey’s strategy for getting the Budget back into shape.

Let’s look at how they’ve tried to address the crisis. In an attempt to boost crowds and membership by improving their performance on the field, they have appointed the highly successful Paul Roos as coach. This must have cost them quite a bit of money, and, as everyone knows, the average football fan knows more about football than any of the professionals. You only have to listen to the post match discussions. So why pay a coach when you have any number of supporters who’d be prepared to coach the team for free. In fact, you could even raise revenue by allowing people to bid for the privilege of coaching the team for that week.

If I were elected President of the Melbourne Football Club, I’d immediately appoint an independent group of friends and relatives to investigate the problems and make that suggestion as their first recommendation to me. Their other recommendations would include the following:

  • Members can attend the home games for free. This is unsustainable. Melbourne supporters are all rich – except for a handful and we could have a special arrangement for them – so a $7 payment every time they go to a game is only reasonable. Add to this a $7 payment for using the facilities, going to the bar, sitting down or yelling abuse at the umpire and you’ve gone a long way to restoring the revenue of the club.
  • The President needs to have a VIP jet so he can get to games in any part of Australia. This works out cheaper than rearranging the schedule, building a football stadium in his backyard and bringing the games to him, so it’s a money saver.
  • Finally, there are a number of players who are being paid large sums of money. The really good ones could be sold to other clubs raising millions. For the rest – rather than the club paying them all year round, they could be sold to a private firm and then the club could lease them back when they needed a team.

I made these suggestions to a Melbourne supporter who asked me how this would lead to the side winning a premiership or even making the finals. I explained that the important thing was financial success. But he tried to argue that if they actually won a few more games then their membership and attendance would grow, solving their financial woes. And it was this moment that lead me to the epiphany:

I now understand why Hockey is having so much trouble selling his Budget.

The Australian people are under the mistaken impression that it’s all about “winning games”. The average person believes that if they have a job and are doing well, and if other people have a job and are doing well then the country will ultimately fix its revenue problem and the Budget will go back to surplus. They don’t understand that it’s financial management that’s the important thing and it’s the country as a whole that needs to do well, not particular individuals. And as Joe would explain if he didn’t keep getting distracted by things like how many poor people does it take to change a light globe (None, because poor people can’t afford electricity so they don’t notice that the globe’s blown) – it doesn’t matter how many public servants we have to sack, how many unemployed we need to starve or how many pensioners we need to discourage from seeking medical help, so long as the Budget gets back into surplus, things will be all right.

If Melbourne followed my (and Joe’s) plan, it could be a great success. Imagine if instead of concentrating on the 100 point pounding, supporters could focus on what truly matters:

“How’d the Dees go today?”
“Great. Bazz Williams, the coach for the day, worked out that if he only hired eleven players from the leasing firm, instead of the usual twenty two we could cut the wages bill by half. He saved enough that he even let those eleven shower at the club, instead of turning the lights out ten minutes after the game.”
“Great idea. Perhaps they could try it with a few less next week.”
“Nah, the League says that it’s contravening the spirit of the game and if we do it again we’ll be fined!”
“Bloody red tape. Don’t they know it’s stuff like that that’s killing the game?

Yep, when Melbourne solves their debt crisis, supporters will be happy to flock back to the games. Just like Toyota and GMH and Ford will flock back to Australia…

BTW – Did you realise that “Team Australia” is an acronym of “U rate Islam at A”?
Mm, that could be significant. But given Tony said it, probably not.


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  1. townsvilleblog

    I doubt that anyone could, or would want to save aireal pong pong, but if anyone could, it wouldn’t be the LNP.

  2. Florence nee Fedup

    pot on

  3. Kaye Makovec

    “The Australian people are under the mistaken impression that it’s all about “winning games””

    They certainly are. Over there > the LNP supporters often reply to facts with “Wen are u lefties gunna realise Labour lost?” 🙂

    “BTW – Did you realise that “Team Australia” is an acronym of “U rate Islam at A”?”

    It’s also an acronym for ‘saturate lamia’ which translates as filled with vampires and what a mob of bloodsuckers they are! 🙂

    PS. Great analogy by the way 🙂

  4. aravis1

    Thanks, Rossleigh, you restored my flagging spirits after a traumatic March – traumatic because my GSD who does love marches and people and traffic, decided she would only walk in the road – well, we walked in the road for the March, didn’t we? So it took an hour and a lot of angst, walking in the road amongst the traffic, a broken lift to the parking place, a man having to carry my large dog up stairs, a lost car till we realised it was on the next level…. so it was refreshing to read your clever piece and know that the world is still turning. Now if I can just soak my feet a little more….

  5. John Fraser


    Nice business plan Ross Leigh.

    Sadly Clive Palmer beat you to this ……. "If I were elected President of the Melbourne Football Club, I’d immediately appoint an independent group of friends and relatives"

    The Demons might have a better chance if they have a massive Health Plan …. that would see them getting medical attention quicker than Carlton.

    Pushing Pensioners out of the way is sure to get the jewellry rattling its appreciation.

  6. Anne Byam

    Ross … you have broken my heart, and made me cry !!! Mentioning my beloved Melbourne FC in the same article as this acrid Government. Not to mention reminding me that the D’s are right down the gurgler ( at the moment ).

    But – worse ….. please be ! … that Abbott and Hockey are never permitted within a bull’s roar of the MFC ! That would spell Melbourne’s ultimate doom forever.

    And to whoever said ……” aerial ping pong ” ? You obviously don’t know nuffin, champ. 😉

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