Wednesday, 18 August 2010

South loses appeal in second go

After months of angst, court proceedings, and another six long hours at the appeals tribunal, we're basically in the exact same position. I'm not going to repeat every word of every step of the process - so here's a summary, aq look back through an amazing journey.

To not completely short change my public, I will include some new material. I, amongst others, was asked this very valid question on the Victory forum, by a poster I believe Teo Pellizzeri, a local football journalist (apologies if my attribution is false).

So what exactly should be the outcome/reprimand from the original case South was cited for? Or should it have not even gone that far in the first place?

It's a good question because it cuts right to the heart of the matter, moving well away from the increasingly incoherent anti-FFV babblings of several people - that there was a pitch invasion and several other instances of improper conduct, and that something has to be done in these situations to discourage future incidents. It took me at least an hour to craft what in the end was a very short response. The chief requirements were that I did not excuse or lessen the behaviour; that I was not inconsistent with comments I had made previously; and that I offered some sort of alternative.

Personally, I think the club was foolhardy in appealing at all, but it has the right to do so and to be treated fairly. The rules apparently say that you can't be penalised competition points for a 'first offence' - which this was - but the appeals board can make up their own penalties.
Your question is difficult to answer TP, because I think there is a legitimate question of how much a club can be held responsible for the actions of its supporters who are not performing official duties. South (in large part due to the Major Events Act), was required to have more security and police than other clubs. If it complied with all the regulations, and things that it otherwise can't control went wrong, what else could it do? It got on the front foot and dished out bans to the relevant individuals. What happens if a twice a year attendee screws up?
I'm not excusing what happened - a lot of the friendships I've have at the club have been messed up because of this situation. And I think point deductions are a legitimate direction to consider - but there should also be some methodology that people can see and say, yep, we got exactly what we deserved and we know exactly why.

The situation now is, that Dandenong and Northcote are replaying their game tonight at the Veneto Club at 8:30, after their original meeting was abandoned due a lighting failure a few weeks ago - with Northcote leading 4-1 at around the 50th minute mark. The only suitable result for us to make the finals now is a draw - a win for either side sees that team through and us out. The winner of this Mexican standoff plays Heidelberg. For a previw of tonight's game, see the special edition of the Kiss of Death. If I can make it out there tonight, I will. If nothing else, it'll be an exciting end to the regular season.

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