Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Two Great Scottish Names Join Southern Cross Bid Team

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Meanwhile, Schwab's predecessor at Melbourne, Paul McNamee, has been appointed interim CEO of the Southern Cross FC consortium, which is bidding for the second Melbourne franchise in the A-League.

The group, which plans to base the club at the newly refurbished State Athletics Centre at Albert Park if it is successful, but play matches alongside Melbourne Victory at the new stadium at Olympic Park, has also engaged SBS broadcaster and soccer identity Les Murray as "football ambassador".

Meanwhile, the crew at Southern Cross, who have an address and phone number now by the way, are starting to come out of their turtle shells and make some noise. But what kind of noise does the hiring of Les Murray and Paul McNamee make? Les Murray does not command the respect he once did - indeed, he and SBS, in their simultaneous peddling of an anti-A-League and 'NSL, what was that?' party line over the last few years, have just about alienated most football supporters in some way or another. One local football philosopher made the comment that either he's been doing everything right, or charting the only course possible. Personally, I reckon Les didn't know what to do. SBS was no longer the centre of attention, their core 'wogball' audience was no longer being represented, and Foxtel had what the newbreeds wanted, and perhaps more importantly, how they wanted it. Spotlessly clean, and relentlessly upbeat.

And for all the praise that Murray gets from traditionalists, one can't but help remembering SBS's pro-Sydney, anti-everywhere else but especially Melbourne agenda. With Johnny Warren already being beatified by the newbreeds - and it not mattering one iota that the enormous complexity of the man has gone missing in the process - is Murray looking for something similar? To feel loved, or at least respected, as he once was? Because even SBS's centrepiece football show, The World Game, is on at a time when most people are going to or from VPL games, or are watching A-League contests either in person or on the idiot box. What is it exactly that the Southern Cross bid team think he will bring as an 'ambassador'?

As for Paul McNamee's involvement, while that has its more obvious and dare I say, more tangible benefits, in terms of his contacts and networks built over a large period of time, his experience in his other sports administration endeavours don't give me the same sense of peace of mind that others have seemed to have pounced on. For starters, while he did do a good job in managing the Australian Open - particularly in getting the big name players to come down here - it has to be said his job was helped by a resurgance in Australia's tennis playing stocks, which has disappeared now. Not forgetting that the Open is under the increasing threat of being shipped to the more lucrative Asian market, though what anyone would be able to do about that is debatable. And then he had a stint at the other Australian Open - the golf one - well, that was bound to end badly, with even most golfers figuring out that it's deadly broing game to watch, either in person or on tv. His Melbourne stint, all four months of it ended up with him doing not much at all, what with Jim Stynes always seeking to replace whoever was in there. Still, he's been around the block a few times, he must know something; and goodness, football knowledge is hardly an essential quality of the new regime, otherwise would Murray's standing as a icon/commentator/guardian be as low as its ever been?

So is this me just trying to talk down the whole operation? After all, why are we - oops, Freudian slip there - I mean why are Southern Cross resorting to such tactics, especially the heightened public relations campaign, while the other mob, which allegedly includes former South president Greg 'Chaos' Kaias, keeping their cards so close to their chests? As usual, what do they know that Southern Cross don't? Time will be the great judge on all that they do, and time is a harsh and lousy judge most of the time, kinda like those ancient Athenian war veterans who were required to be on juries so they could get their injured veterans money and who mostly fell asleep during the trial of Socrates.

1 comment:

  1. that'd be "either everything *wrong* or charting the only course possible."!!!!


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