Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Con Harismidis, Tony Ising, Chips Rafferty and Online Petitions From Days Of Yore

A twitter discussion earlier this year on the greatness that is Con Harismidis got me searching for whatever was left of his internet presence. I didn't find much that wasn't already on this blog - if someone can find his mainstream press appearances that would be good.

What I did find was this petition from an unknown pre-A-League date. It was a simpler time, when people still believed that online petitions could make a difference.

Dear Soccer Australia or whichever body of authority this petition may concern in the future,
We, the undersigned, the fans of Australian soccer, are excited about the prospect of a new, quality premier national competition.
We believe that an independent, quality and fully professional premier national soccer competition is essential to the success of Australian soccer, both on and off the field.
The creation of such a competition is critical if the game's most important stakeholders, the fans, are to truly embrace Australian soccer.
You owe it to yourselves, to the players, to the fans, to all Australians past, present and future, to thoroughly consider the hard work and efforts of the Australian Professional Footballers' Association and go about implementing the appropriate strategies in order to establish a league that truly embodies the gigantic potential for soccer in Australia.
We wish to express our support for the PFA's proposed Australian Premier League by signing our names to this petition.
The future is in your hands, we sincerely hope that you take full advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity and make your decisions carefully and wisely.

There are 225 signatories to it. Rather than include all of the submissions, let's take a look at some of the more worthwhile entries.

  • Make of this post what you will.
The NSL club you currently support: Pert GloRi
The International club you support:Engerland
Birthplace: Oztraliya
Comments : I waiting 26 yr 4 a fu.c.king no ethnik klub in melboun!!

  • It was followed hot on the heels by this:
Birthplace : Melbourne
Comments : Soccer just isn't an Aussie game. Get over it.

  • Younger audiences of Australian soccer forums may not remember when the poster known as Chips Rafferty was all for draining the pond.
The NSL club you currently support: Northern Spirit
Comments: The wogs hijacked the domestic game in 1957 . Now it's time to take what's rightfully our back.

  • This person was more interested in self-promotion.
The NSL club you currently support: South Melbourne
The International club you support: South Melbourne
Birthplace : Australian Soccer
Comments : I love

  • Cropower sums up the discussions that were happening at the time, in both tone and content.
The NSL club you currently support: Sydney United
Comments : Whats wrong with the NSL ?? Too many wogs is that it ?

  • I think you'll pick up the problem with this post without too much help.
Daniel N
The NSL club you currently support: South Melbourne
The International club you support: Red Star Belgrade
Birthplace: Melbourne
Comments : APL should go ahead only with non racial backed teams. Soccer is a sport for all nationalities. Good to see scum like Melbourne Knights out. HELLAS OLE!

  • Anyone ever been to Bollawonger Canyon?
Australia S
The NSL club you currently support: Butt munch
The International club you support: Liverpool
Birthplace : Bollawonger Canyon
Comments : Lets face it guys we're crap at soccer. Leave it to the English.

  • The man himself, Con Harismidis
Con H
The NSL club you currently support: Hellas
The International club you support: Hellas
Comments : Hello everybody. I am Con Harismidis. My favourite player is Con Boutsianis. My other favourite player is John Anastasiadis. Hellas is best team in league. There is no Hellas there is no league. Hellas is best.

  • Jason, born in Melbourne, supports Liverpool, but didn't feel welcome at NSL games. How do you argue against things like this?
Jason F
The NSL club you currently support: none cos i didnt feel welcome at any
The International club you support: Liverpool
Birthplace : Melbourne

  • Simun has a few ideas on what should have been done.
The NSL club you currently support: MELBOURNE KNIGHTS & SYDNEY UNITED
The International club you support: HAJDUK SPLIT
Birthplace : perth
Comments : ..what this country needs is a competition not an auction, I thought that the best team was the one that always won, not had the most money..if this APL is going to succeed it needs to have more advertising , I hate to say it but like the AFL, turn on any channel and theres a AFL add right there, thats why AFL have 40,000 spectators to an everyday round game not just at a final..we need to start showing the people of AUSTRLIA why its called THE WORLD GAME and why we can travel all over the world to play it unlike AFL where you need to learn a totally new sport verse another nation(aka IRELAND)

  • John sounds like a charming fellow.
Comments : Soccer is a poofs game AFL RULES

  • Chris sees a difference between people and stakeholders. What odds he has a job at the FFV these days?
chris p
The NSL club you currently support: Northern Spirit
The International club you support: Glasgow Celtic
Birthplace : Sydney
Comments :soccer belongs to the people not stakeholders.

  • Manny supports Olympic, but doesn't want Olympic in a national league. I wonder if he's still following them in the NSWNPL?
manny k
The NSL club you currently support: Sydney Olympic
The International club you support: Man U & Leeds
Birthplace : Sydney
Comments : can't wait for the new APL to start....i've waited for over 15 years for the ethnic clubs to disappear so that the comp could be city vs city..just remember...more kids play soccer than league, union & afl put together

  • Bryce nails down not having the NSL on console games  as the burning issue.
Bryce M
The NSL club you currently support: Brisbane Strikers
The International club you support: Arsenal FC
Birthplace : QLD
Comments About time that a change happended in ozzie soccer. Im sick of being ashamed of our australian league. There is a reason why console games forget to include our league.

  • Not the first time Tony Ising used a less than orthodox manner of promoting his Melbourne Victory idea - but that story's for another time.
Tony I
The NSL club you currently support: Melbourne Victory
The International club you support: Socceroos
Birthplace : Melbourne
Comments : Let's all support the APL.

  • I'm with Nick, I still don't consider it a real league. I just hope Nick is still around South somewhere.
Nick S
The NSL club you currently support: South Melbourne
The International club you support: Celtic
Birthplace : Melbourne
Comments : It wouldnt be a real league without the most successful Australian side, its like the premier league without ManU, Liverpool or Arsenal


  1. Chips Rafferty the double crosser...LOL

    1. The demise of the old TWGF got rid of almost all the evidence, but this little piece managed to survive.

  2. What happened to Mattifff, forget the exact spelling of his name.

    1. Matttif, no idea who he was or what happened to him. Or Powered Toast Man or Phil Cleary Is VFA for that matter.

  3. Not suggesting Chips didn't share those sentiments, but back in the day of TWGF forum/chatroom/petition invasions he was often impersonated by others.


A few notes on comments.

We've had a lot of fun over the years with my freewheeling comments policy, but all good things must come to an end. Therefore I will no longer be approving comments that contain personal abuse of any sort.

Still, if your post doesn't get approved straight away, it's probably because I haven't seen it yet.

As usual, publication of a comment does not mean endorsement of its content.