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Surface transformation only at Carlton!

What is transformation? What is the essence of what this word means? How does this apply to the Carlton FC and the position it is in at the moment?

Transformation happens when a complete change in the appearance or character of something or someone, so much so that the thing or person is improved.

If you have a run-down or old house and renovate it, you are transforming it from old, dull and worn out to a bright, new, fresh building. When you transform an old car into one that looks brand new, you are improving the car from what it was to what it is now.


The transformation of a person is when that person looks at themselves and say I need to change. They can change their appearance and look, but they must also change who they are for the transformation to be complete and valid. Transforming a house or a car can only be seen on the surface, and that is because an inanimate object is just that – something that has no real heart or soul. Transforming a person must contain two transformations to be legitimately honest and complete – surface and under the surface. Otherwise, everyone can see the outside transformations, but inside, nothing changes and therefore, the transformation is superficial, and while the appearance may change, the core of a person does not.

The same transformation occurs when it comes to the collective in an organization and, in this case, a football club because it is not the building that may be transformed but those that traverse its corridors that is pivotal in a successful transformation.


Peggy Johnson, former Executive Vice President of Microsoft and now CEO of Magic Leap, a company that designs and produces head-mounted virtual retinal 3D displays, stated that ‘when a culture is broken, the cracks show – morale is weakened, but so is profit and performance. That’s why culture has to be at the core of any business transformation.’ She also states that many companies have nice-sounding cultural values like integrity, respect, and excellence, but if those values don’t map to specific behaviors, they quickly get lost. Instead, we see what’s called a halo effect, where leaders tend to overvalue specific attributes and undervalue others.


The Carlton FC in its entirety is under the sharp, blinding spotlight of the AFL footy world, and it has been since the announcement of the review that happened mid-season. It saw the resignation of a President and the coming in of a new one, who brought in four new appointees to replace ones that left, no matter under what terms that happened. On the surface, the changes made, the transformation could be seen as one to enable the Carlton FC to move progressively towards eventual success. But this is surface transformation only, nothing more, as it does not get to the very heart and soul of what has been wrong at the club – its culture. Here’s why.


Luke Sayers has been on the Board at the Carlton FC for some years. In all that time, if he saw that things needed to change at the club, where was his voice then? Is it because he now has a power that he did not have before to make the necessary transformation at the club that is his and his alone? What does that tell you about the person where the only way they afford a change, a transformation, is when they become powerful? That they sat in the background, biding their time. Sure he has made some changes, and you could say that they are transformations themselves, but while the changes may be required, they only address the issues on the surface. They do not get to the real heart of the transformation – the toxic culture at the club. This is because Sayers did not make fundamental changes at the Board level but brought in those he has a close connection to, and therefore, while on the surface, the transformation of the Board could be seen as a good thing. But at its heart and soul, nothing much has changed. The past has been swapped out for the same characteristics that grace the present Board. The changes do not allow the transformation to get to the heart and soul of the issues at Carlton FC – its culture and one that Sayers has been a part of for quite some time.


Dr Jim Taylor is an internationally recognized authority on sports psychology and what it takes to succeed as an athlete and part of a team. He stated that ‘how team members think, feel, behave, and perform are all influenced by the environment in which they practice and compete.’ He also works with organizations, and he states that ‘developing a healthy team culture is as important in the sports world as in the corporate world.’ The culture is ‘the expression of a team’s values, attitudes, and goals about sports, competition, and relationships.’ He reiterates that ‘when a team has a defined culture that is understood and accepted by all of its members, they feel an implicit pressure (in the good sense) to support that culture.’

If Sayers believes that the club needed to be transformed to be successful, which has been done given what has transpired, he is also a part of the problem that has got the club to where it is now. If he felt that transformations needed to be made, where was he before he became President? Instead of looking at the very heart and soul of the issues at Carlton, he, along with others, have decided that transformation comes in the form of throwing copious amounts of money at some, in the hope that this will make the club a better one when that only allows a surface transformation. It becomes an inanimate transformation such as one where the appearance is changed, but the heart and soul remain the same. As with this type of transformation, eventually, the cracks will appear and then once more, there will be an attempt to transform the surface only by those who cannot see past their self-interest, and the Carlton FC will once more be seen as nothing more than a club that failed in their transformation.


The opportunity to ensure that Carlton completes a complete transformation has to start with any organization’s heart and soul – its culture. If that does not change, the surface transformation will be just that, on the surface. Quick, instant and one that cannot be sustained no matter whom they bring in and what they pay them.

#GO BLUES!

This…

This episode is also available as a blog post: https://sportz.blog/2021/09/14/this/

Recently, there has been a spate of posts on social media that those involved in the calling for an EGM will destabilize the club. The vitriol directed at those pushing for this borders on a lack of understanding and hypocrisy, really.
The definition of the word destabilize is to upset the stability of a region or system, to cause unrest. For this word to be legitimately applied to the EGM at Carlton is to assume that the club was a stable environment in the first place. We know, given what has transpired this season, that the club was anything but stable.


Yet those on social media who are against the EGM have stated that the call for this special meeting has caused a destabilization of the club, especially since the new President, Luke Sayers, has called on its members and supporters to get behind what is now taking place in the restructuring of the club when the governing Board have been instrumental in destabilizing the club. A club that was already destabilized.


According to Luke Sayers in one of his press conferences, he said that those involved in the EGM have the right to do that, as we live in a democracy. If we live in a democracy, isn’t this the right of the members of that democracy to question and protest? If those spouting destabilization argue the right to question and protest, does that not apply to those who simply disagree?
In a democratic country, people, the members of that society, have a right to have a point of view that may not align with that of the governing body.

It happens when a union movement protests in the streets about their members work rights. It happens when a group of people protest about the treatment of others. This is what happens in a democracy. Franklin D. Roosevelt stated that ‘the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.’ It is the members of a democracy that has the right, every right, to say they disagree, and it is the right of members to say they don’t. But it is the concept of democracy to allow those voices to be heard and listened to. It does not mean that democracy is a destabilizing force. It means that it is the people, the members exercising their right to, well, disagree.


Carlton has been in 2021 a club that is not in any way, shape or form, stable. To lay the blame on a group of people exercising their rights in a democracy (as Sayers has stated) is well petty and ignorant. You may disagree, but to go down the path of name-calling and use swear words, is saying that, sure, we live in a democracy, but this right does not belong to you. It doesn’t belong to you because, well, you are not aligned with our way of thinking.


The EGM did not cause any destabilization at the club; it was there all the time and has been for a long time. To say that those involved in the EGM should blindly go along with what is happening at the club without questioning it or allowing the club members to question it means that, again, nothing has changed at all. Abraham Lincoln stated that ‘democracy is government of, by and for the people.’ Then isn’t the EGM a democratic right of those members who disagree with what is happening at the club? It doesn’t destabilize the club since the destabilization was there already.


Those on social media who profess to see the glories in what Luke Sayers has done for the club and do so without question should look deeper than how their egos are being stroked.


Look and research more about how Carlton has got to where it is now. Look and research the ‘six degrees of separation of those on the Board. Shannon L. Adler, an author on relationships, stated that ‘most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask – what else could this mean?


Instead of posting ridicule, name-calling, and misinformed social media posts, try looking at what else the EGM could mean for its members. Ask what is it that you are afraid of if this EGM proceeds and becomes successful? What is it that you are worried about if the members exercising their democratic right as stakeholders in the Carlton FC vote in a way that sees the current Board taken down? Will that cause destabilization, or will it be just a matter of the democratic rights of the members exercising their right to disagree with what is happening at the club? Is this not our club that belongs to the members? Can we not state that we disagree without it being called destabilization? Must all members, irrespective of where they stand, have to conform and fall into line with those who are afraid that what they are pursuing could possibly be wrong? Are they then worried that they could be removed from where they are because of the democratic right of Carlton’s members are saying, enough and the Board is wrong?


A Belgium painter and author wrote that ‘now is the moment, and the now is the stepping stone that allows us to forge ahead, with abundance of awareness and understanding, without obtrusive egos.’ There are many ‘obtrusive egos’ who believe that those members who favor the EGM are destabilizing the club when it could be themselves and their need to push an agenda that follows the same pattern that has been followed for the past twenty years.


It is every member’s right to disagree with what is happening now as being the same process and in-house self-interest that has plagued the club for too long. It is every member’s right to have a say in how the club is governed and run. You can disagree with the EGM, or you can agree. Either way, there is no destabilization that wasn’t already there in the first place and seems to be still there now.

Members have the right to question, to disagree without petty, disrespectful name-calling social media posts. It is not destabilizing, but completely democratic. Time for the club to recognize and accept that the club belongs to the members, not the Board, and the members want to be heard. All of them!

#GO BLUES!

Changes? Nothing has changed!

I read a comment on social media that is succinct, direct and on point. The basic premise was that at Carlton, all members and supporters agree that a change is needed. However, that while change has occurred within the football department, at Board level, the issue is that those who have now stepped in still have links to those behind the scenes at the Carlton FC. So while there is a “change” in this respect, it is a change that is linked to the premise of “job for the boys/girls”. Excellent point and, well, spot on!


If you look at those who have been a part of the “change” at Board level, you have to see that nothing much has changed. You have a major sponsor of the club, Lincoln Indicators, while has done a lot for the club, is this seen as a “paid” Board appointee? Is the person there because of their financial influence? Are they there because the Board feel this person deserves it because of financial sponsorship? Is this the same scenario as previous Board appointees, being money talks?


Then there is a person who was appointed to the Board who comes from JP Morgan Australia. Again, this person’s background seems to be steeped in “jobs for the boys” because their ties with Luke Sayers. This person is the Australian Business & Community Network co-founder, and Sayers is a Council Member and Director of the same network. Again the questions have to be asked, was this person appointed because of this connection?


Another person appointed to the Board runs their own media company and has a direct link to those on the Board and past Board members. This person is also part of the group called Assembled, where Carlton ex-President Mark Loguidice is a Director and where Craig Matheson, current Board member, is also a Director. This person is a part of a business group called, Assembled. This group, if you look on their website, has as one of their clients the Carlton FC. Again, the question has to be asked, given the connections, were they appointed because of these connections?

An article was written that what is happening at the club is like A Game of Thrones plot and given the connections each protagonist has on the Board now, you have to think that each person is there because of a connection to each other and not because they could possibly be the best person to move this club forward.


Besides the appointment of Greg Williams, it seems that the changes made on the Board are those who have a connection not only to Luke Sayers but each other. Does this make it a change for the club’s good, or does it smell of not what you know but whom you know? The changes seem to be one where nothing much has changed, really. Those who are making the decisions at our club, and it is our club, the members, seem to be based along the line, of the same old principles not of diversity or the best talent to best serve the club and make cultural changes, but of those who have a historical or current tie-in with Luke Sayers.


Some have said that discord between what is happening now regarding the search for a senior coach and those who disagree with what has transpired over the months has hindered the possibility of acquiring one of the greatest coaches of the modern era- Alistair Clarkson. If you believe that, then look deeper. Why would Clarko come to a club with serious, very serious cultural issues far greater than the talented players at the club? Why would any senior coach want to go to a club that is so fractured that news is being leaked everywhere before members are informed? Where a Board announced a mid-season review not of the entire club, but only parts of it, instead of waiting until the end of the season? What does this say about any club, anywhere? Why would any coach want to come to a club that has gone through three coaches in the past ten years, two sacked mid-season and one knew mid-way through the season that his time was up? What does this say about how the club treats its people? What does this say about the culture of our club? Then you ask yourself, do you not think that two other coaches of our club, Brett Ratten and Brendon Bolton, would not have informed Clarko about the toxic culture at the club given how they were treated? Then seen how David Teague was then treated. He would have seen how the culture of this club has been fraught with a toxicity that just does not seem to end.


For any sporting club, anywhere in the world, culture is paramount to ensure consistency and the outside view of being a club of choice. A player will want to come to a club that, well, has its “shit together” off-field. It will be an attractive place for a player, a coach, and an administrator who wants to move clubs because they can see consistency, respect, encouragement, and progression in an environment that will make them a better player and person, making the team and the club better. Do we have that? Nope, and I believe that Clarko could see that. Why on earth would he even want to contemplate becoming part of a club with the club’s culture now?


Then the Board sought to get Ross Lyon. He arrogantly said that his thirteen years as a coach would be the only thing the club should consider. Would he be a good fit for the club? No! He has been out of the game since the end of 2019, and while this is not a long time between then and now, the game has changed, and it would beg the question, is his coaching style suitable for the game today? I don’t think so. Now he has come out and says he is taking himself out of the process. Why? He says after a few conversations with Sayers, after much thought, he withdrew.


So now the Board is in a quandary as they seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel in its search for a suitable senior coach. It has dug a deep, smelly hole for itself that could have enormous ramifications for the club long-term. If the Board aimed to get Clarko, then the sacking of Teague has proven that he wants to go nowhere near this club that treats others with such disrespect and cavalier attitude of an arrogance that it now has.


Look at who is on the Board and where their connections lie and tell me that the change made is fresh and in-line to make the club one that every player, coach or administrator wants to continue their career. Because it is not, and until the members take back the club, away from the same old people who have taken this club to where it is today, total disarray, nothing will change.


We need fresh, well suited and experienced people on the Board who can turn this club around from the ground up and instill a culture that is admired and respected on every level. Changing board members for the same type and connected people do nothing to progress us forward. We need a change, a dramatic change, otherwise, in two years, we will be in the same position, and we could lose players in the team who just do not want to be a part of a toxic culture at a club that promotes respect, but does not act on that.


I am a member of the Carlton FC, and I insist my voice be heard. You should as well.

#MAKECARLTONGREATAGAIN #TIMEFORCHANGE

P.S There has been talk that we should all get over the sacking of Teague. The point that many cannot, is that it showed the true culture of a club, total lack of respect. So, for me, I cannot get over how the club handled it, and this in on the shoulders of the current members of the Board.

A Fractured Club!

Over these past days, what has transpired has cut all Carlton supporters to the core, irrespective of where you stand. Yet social media and people’s positions are rife with mixed views and thoughts met with vitriol and nasty comments. It seems that if you don’t believe in a viewpoint, you are either “stupid”, “a dim wit”, “crazy”, or “self-centered”. You are seen as someone who is out for their own gain and not for the good of the Carlton FC. It has become clear to me that for some, having a view or an opinion that is different means that you are not a true Carlton person; that you don’t have the heart to make Carlton a great club again because it is all about you and your needs and wants. I don’t understand this.


No matter who they are, everybody has a right to a view or opinion, not one steeped in violence or derogatory tendencies, but based on their perspective and opinion. You can disagree, you can argue, but to say that someone because of their differences are not genuine Carlton people, is not a society that is supposedly one of democracy. We all have the right to say we disagree and not be called vicious names, nasty commentary or labelled as acting in self-interest.


The EGM that has been in the media and social media seems to be, for some, tantamount to a spill of the Board. Incorrect. It seems that for some, the EGM is where others who are not on the current Board will be replaced by incumbents that so far, no one knows who they are. Incorrect.


The definition of what an EGM is, and this is not from Wikipedia, is an unscheduled meeting of an organization’s members where that organization wants to make a decision that requires the shareholders (members) approval. It does not mean that those who have petitioned for a call for an EGM are therefore automatically elected, in this case, to the Board, but it forces the Board to allow its members to make a decision. What the EGM does is give the organizations members the power to make a decision.


This is our club, the members, and we have a right to be a part of what direction we want our club to take. If you are content to allow others to do that in the hope that they will steer the club in the right direction, then that is your right to do so. But if you are not and want to make the club accountable for the debacle this club has been in for a long time, then as a member, you have the right to say that. And you have the right to do that without being called names, have nasty comments directed at you.


Some have stated categorically that members must allow Luke Sayers and his new Board to make the necessary changes to get this club back to being a success. They have said that anyone who sees otherwise does not have the club’s best interest at heart. That they should go and support another club. That they are only in it for their self-interest. That these people do not have the right to voice their view or opinion as it is not the correct one; that is what some say. They say that we need to give the current Board time and a chance to make the changes.


Luke Sayers has been a part of the Board for some time and, he along with others, have been instrumental in making the decisions the club has made in the past. If they and he disagreed with the club’s direction, then why didn’t they say anything? I am supposed to support and agree with a President I know nothing about and have never met. I am supposed to support a person who says that changes will now be made at the club when he was a part of previous decisions that included hiring and firing coaches! I have the right to disagree and do that without being called names, have vitriol directed at me or that I disagree out of self-interest.


I have been in the past a huge supporter of the Carlton Board. I have defended it and the decisions it has made. I have supported David Teague and probably always will be, but that is not the issue. The issue is not whether he should have been sacked or not, but how the club has handled it under Luke Sayers. I have been involved in business for a long time, and in my profession, which is an HR Manager, no employee of any company would be treated the way David Teague has without a case being sent to Fair Work. Some will say this is the nature of the business of sport and then say sport is a business. Correct, it is a business and their staff, including the senior coach, is an employee of that business. To be treated the way he has, shows a complete lack of respect for anyone involved in that organization, including some members and supporters of the club who have bullied and degraded him on social media.


We are a fractured club and are relying on a group of people who have been a part of our issues to now lead us to success. We are being asked to allow them time to make changes when they have been a part of the fracture. We are being told that if we don’t support them, we are also a part of the problem. We are being told that we must unite now for the club to grow, and if we don’t, we are only doing it for self-interest.


I am proud to be a Carlton supporter and member and always will. But I am not proud of what has transpired this year. I am not proud of the way this year has been handled and who it now affects. For a club that purports to support respect, they have done nothing that resembles respect, including some on social media.


We are a fractured club, and I do not, right now, believe that we have the right people within the organization to heal this fracture. I will not bow down to those who say that this Board will now do what it was supposed to have done in the past and accept that their changes will be the right ones.


You don’t have to agree with me, but you have to respect my right to voice my opinion as I respect yours. But don’t tell me it is out of self-interest because it is only out of a love for a club that has been a part of my life since I came to Australia. My ego will not be stroked by those who seek to influence my view and push me in a direction I do not ascribe. I am tired of where our club is now and it seems the continual cycle that it has been, and the depth it has sunk to in its treatment of others. As a member, I have the right to say enough and make those accountable, well, accountable.


Always – GO BLUES!

Enough!

I have not seen the Carlton FC be in this position since the salary cap issues. We are a divided group. We are not one that comes together to ensure that Carlton will be a successful club, but we are at a point in our journey that is fraught no matter what transpires, with so much uncertainty and division, that I don’t see a way out for a long time. The reason is that some treat those issues that divide us with disdain, disrespect and a sheer lack of empathy. How an organization, and we are an organization, deal with conflict is tantamount to the very culture of that organization. Keeping silent by the powers at that organization creates even more discontent among its members and shows the true character of those very powerful people. Let me explain a bit.


Since the bye, Carlton members in Victoria have not been able to attend any games. Last year, when we could not attend any game in Victoria since the beginning of the season, we were contacted by the club and given a choice of whether to keep our memberships or not. We were given options, we were communicated to throughout the year. Where has this been since the bye? What has the club told us, the members of what options will be given to us since we have not been able to fulfil the packages that we have signed up for and paid? Where has there been any communication to reassure members that the club understands what is going on and will be letting us know their intentions with regards to their memberships? We have heard nothing. Irrespective of whether the review was being held from that time on, the club has a duty to its members to keep them informed in this regard; they have not.


The polarizing opinions on who should coach the club is emotive and passionate. Nothing wrong with that, but here is a dilemma. Apparently, some on the Board do not want Ross Lyon based on what he said this month about a “hypothetical” question he answered and his proven issue at Fremantle that resulted in him leaving. There are those supporters who believe that Ross Lyon is the man for the job, irrespective of what he has done in the past, as he would have learned from his mistake.


Here is my issue. As a commentator, Wayne Carey has been accepted into the fold in that regard because surely he has learned from his past. His past saw him arrested in the USA after kicking a police officer after a complaint was made from his girlfriend that he smashed a glass on her face.


Before that, he pleaded guilty to an indecent assault. Has he changed? Has he become a better person because of the lessons he has learned from his past? I don’t know. But the point is that some believe that he should still not be in the media as a commentator. Yet these very same people want Ross Lyon as senior coach at Carlton, and he was implicated in a sexual assault by a Freemantle ex-employee. A settlement was reached between the parties, and the question is, whether you believe him or not, there has to have been some essence of truth in the accusation for a settlement to have occurred. So we don’t want Carey in the media, but we want Lyon as a coach?


Then there is the question of David Teague. Irrespective of whether he stays or goes, do you really think the way the media and the club have treated him is a great cultural look for the club? He has been treated abysmally by the club. There has been no support from the club, and in his last press conference, he has come out and said this. In yesterday’s On The Couch, Nick Riewoldt said that irrespective of what happens, you don’t treat people in your organization like that. I agree.


Then there is the issue of those pushing for David Teague to be sacked and bring in either Alistair Clarkson or Ross Lyon. Now, if Clarko said no, and Lyon is not even considered, will those who bagged Teague now support him? And what happens to those who do not want Lyon, but he becomes the coach, where will they stand? If David Teague stays, will the Board and the club support him? Or will we see another season of a culture that is rampant at our club?


I have spoken many times about the club’s culture and how it is eroded because of the lack of leadership from those that should, well, lead. It is time for the members of the club to put their foot down and say enough! It is our club. We are the stakeholders and what is going on is just not acceptable anymore. It can’t be if we want a long-term goal of success. Changing one small part of a group that has been a part of what has happened at our club over the years will not change the club’s culture.


We are unfortunately heading towards a time at the club that occurred after the salary cap issues. We are governed by those who are taking us, the members, for granted and are not prepared to see the issues on every level, including the Board. For the most part, we, the members, need to get our voices back and let the club know that we are not prepared to once more sink this club into a quagmire that occurred all those years ago. We have to say enough! Because we have to do better than what is going on now.


In any organization, conflict will always occur, but it is how it is dealt with that illustrates the culture of any group. It is how those that disagree can still stand together as a group and show support. I have not seen this at the club. It is enough!

GO BLUES!

Respect, humility = Eddie Betts! Not Carlton!

With heavy hearts and tears in our eyes, we all watched Eddie Betts, the best small forward in the competition, leave the game as a player. What struck me more was not how good a player he is but as a person. He is that rarity that has this underlying charisma that draws people to him without him ever being arrogant or disrespectful. He is well loved and respected because of this. He doesn’t go about believing the hype that is being piled upon his shoulders. He is humble, and his integrity is one that everyone should aspire to emulate. I believe that he will go on to become a great Australian not just because of his footy but because of what he will achieve after the game has ended for him. He will become a voice against racism that could change our culture for the betterment of our society, and for that, I am excited to see what he will do.


But this morning has got me down for reasons that have put our club front and center of not only the media but those on social media who pay lip service to causes they purport to stand for. I am saddened that our club is at a crossroads where some believe the spin they are told by the Board and do not see below the surface of a culture in our club that is toxic and detrimental to eventual success.


Let me be perfectly clear here. Whether David Teague continues or not is not the point. What is, is the sheer bombardment of hate and disrespect aimed at a person by those who should know better. I have saved social media messages and posts from those who say one thing and blatantly call out those who disagree with them, but then go ahead and bully, harass and put someone down. The continual posting of some of the most horrible posts I’ve seen from some has been an eye-opener. It has shown me who they are, really who they are, and I have lost respect for them for this.


This is the same with the Board at Carlton. It is not about what will happen; it is about how they have gone about it. How can any culture of any organization believe that this is the way to go? The way to handle any situation? I have no faith, respect, or belief in what this Board is doing and will do in the future. I cannot support a Board that sees treating a person the way they have as being anything but a good thing. No organization anywhere becomes a successful group unless the culture is one that Eddie Betts himself lives by – respect and integrity.


The Board at the Carlton FC has not done anything close to this. But what has made me sad is that no matter what the decision is and will be, we will not achieve the success that others believe we will by changing a coach. Because you have to answer the question – if this Board does this with David Teague, what’s to stop them from doing the same with any other coach? I don’t care who it is or who others believe will be stronger, better; they can’t succeed because the very culture of the club is far too toxic. If treating someone who is at the club in a way they have been treated this year will change how they treat another who steps in will ensure a change at the club, then they are wrong.


I am bloody angry at how the Carlton FC has handled this, and the sheer notion that some believe that everything will change once a new coach is appointed is astonishing. It is naïve to believe this and accept this. A fish rots from the head, the head at Carlton is the Board, and it is time they become accountable for what they have done this year and in the past. The majority of the Board has been a part of our toxic culture for the past ten years; what’s to say they are going to change or make things better when for some, they have not been a working part of the Board for the past year or so?


We, the members, have to decide what type of culture we want at the club and what our future will become. We have to use our rights as members to say – enough! The Board must be held accountable for what has transpired this year and how it has treated one of its own, irrespective of whether that person stays or not. Louis V Gerstner Jnr, who was a CEO of IBM stated that, ‘Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization’s makeup and success – along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like…I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.’ We have none of this at Carlton, and it is the Board that must accept the responsibility that their actions and inactions have fostered this. Can they change? No. Because if they have not done so beforehand, why now? They are far too entrenched in their self-belief that they are above what is wrong at the club.


I am sad that this great club has sunk to this level, and those that hold power to shape our club has not done so in the past, present, nor will in the future. I fear unless a change, a big change is made from the head, Carlton will not achieve any semblance of success for quite some time. No organization can or will unless it starts from the top, the very top.
I will always be a Carlton member, and I want a club that has the philosophies that Eddie Betts lives – respect, humility and loyalty to those around him. Right now, the Carlton FC does not have that.


GO BLUES!

Enough!

When I flipped channels after the Hawthorn match to ready myself for the Carlton game, I knew we were never going to win, but what I wanted to see was heart. A determination that with every second of every minute of the game, a will to do the very best you could do would be forefront. Sadly, it was not during the second quarter, and we got thoroughly – whipped! Now I don’t like dissecting the game as others do. My intention is to look deeper into the game and the club as a whole.


All last night I kept asking myself what has happened to this once great club? What machinations are involved in sinking this great club into the depths that it is floundering? Seeing Adam Saad bent over on the bench distraught made me choke up. Now I do not pretend to assume why he was like that, and no one can except him – no one! But whatever it was, I felt it, and I got angry, not because of him being upset, nor really about us losing. No, I was more upset at what got us there to that point.


For me, and for many others, what has got us here is the sheer lack of respect from the powers that be at the top of the club – the Board and the senior administrators. Lack of respect towards its members, its staff, its coaches. This once great club is governed by an arrogance that is not indicative of the Carlton FC. What has got us to where we are now is because those that should be developing a culture of success are instead creating a culture of arrogance and blindness of what makes a great club both on the field and off.


Someone posted on social media that Carlton lacks those with football knowledge on the Board. Being on the Board of a sporting club does not make you a better representative if you have any football knowledge or not. It is about the mix, the right mix of people working together. We do not have that. So to prove my point, I went through some clubs Boards, and each of them proves my point. The calibre of the person and what they can bring to a club is paramount, and it matters not whether they have had any football experience.


What they have done is have utter and total respect for the members and what it will take to make their club a success. Cohesion, consistency, respect and support for each part of the club are their main aims.


Richmond’s Peggy O’Neal has had no football experience but is seen as a beacon for leadership in all that she does. She is approachable and respectful. As a Board, Richmond has ten members, of which four besides Peggy are females, and three have been ex-players. What makes this Board work is diversity and respect. They work together to create a culture of success within the club, which in turn breeds success on the field.


Richmond had a toxic culture that was rampant in their club, which has now been turned around. They have done this by ensuring that all facets of the club work together and support each other to achieve what they have ultimately achieved. Damian Hardwick contacted David Teague and told him that he was in the same boat once, but the club supported and backed him.


Without a doubt, Hawthorn’s Jeff Kennett is arrogant, and even though during his first stint as President he wanted Alistair Clarkson gone, he has never put his differences with a coach who is the greatest of our era get in the way of ensuring success at the club. Two of the Board have been involved in the AFL, one as a player, one as an umpire.
What they have on their Board is a diverse range of people who work together to make the club the success it has been and will be in the future. It has a culture forged by the strength of a belief and support of its coach despite its initial failures, no matter what. They supported their coach.


I could list other clubs, but the point is that if you look at the Board’s of other clubs, Carlton’s lacks something vital in its makeup because it is based on entitlement and arrogance. On our Board are members who have been a part of what is wrong with our club. They have been a part of the hiring and firing coaches in succession, breeding a toxic culture in the club both on the field and off. I cannot see it any other way. On our Board, we have the very people who were a part of the “intense and detailed” search for the correct senior coach. Yet, once this coach does not live up to the Board’s immediacy timeline in getting any success, they do what they have done in the past few years – sack yet another coach. There is no support, or if there is, we, the members, the stakeholders of the club are not privileged to see this. We are not entitled to see this because there is no respect.


There is no instilling pride to play for the navy blue in our players because there is no pride in our culture in our club. We don’t have it, and the only people who should take full responsibility for that is the Board. It is they who determine what this club stands for and whom they get to make that stand in the administration of the club, and getting the right coach and supporting them to fulfil what they have been hired to do. They have not.


I know some want to burn their membership to protest what is happening at the club, and I don’t blame you, but that is not the solution. By doing that, you lose your voice and your right to change anything. Being a member gives you a voice as you are a stakeholder in a club with a history that few sporting clubs can claim. Don’t lose your voice. Don’t lose your right to make a stand.


We cannot keep going down this path that we have been going down for the past seven years and more. We cannot be a success if those given the task of achieving this simply jump off the train when the going gets too bumpy.

Whatever happens to David Teague, I will be probably one of the few voices that actually believes he can achieve what we want. However, we will never become successful without the support from inside the club and without the need to stay on the train for the long haul; I don’t care who is brought in. Because if they can do that to one person, who’s to say they won’t do it again?


We, as members, have a right to say to the Board, you have failed. You have failed the players, the coaches and us, the members. It’s enough! You have been given a chance, and you have failed. Step away for the sake of the club and its soul.


I will always be a member of the Carlton FC and will now start pushing for accountability where it is needed. I have my voice, and I urge other members to do just that – use your voice to say enough! Carlton Now!


GO BLUES!

Dear Carlton FC


I am more angry than you can imagine and it is not solely directed at the players and the coaches; it is more directed at those that believe in their own hype that they are the heartbeat of a club that has a history that is bigger than us all. They are the ones that are damaging this history with their self-importance belief that it is they who have the best interests of the club at heart and, with that, the members. They don’t. Not now. Maybe you never did.


Culture is pivotal in determining what an organization stands for and whether it will be a success or not. It is the very essence of all components of the organization working and supporting each other to ensure that success is not only forthcoming but maintained for a long time. This consistency in every element working together makes for a culture not only of success but breeds a mentality for success. We do not have that right now, and it makes me think that maybe we never did, and this makes me angry, very, very angry, and for the record, for those who really know me, I don’t get angry very often. But this has sent me across a line I rarely step over.


I was asked a question over the weekend, purely hypothetical. If David Teague was sacked and Alistair Clarkson was hired, and the current Board apologized, the CEO apologized and assured us that things would change, would you accept it? My answer was and still is categorically – NO! I am tired of platitudes, of verbal confirmation of supposed actions that just don’t happen. I have been supportive of those that should know better even if they strut around with an air of arrogance and have ignored the very essence of what our club is – the intelligence of its members.


You, the Board and those in charge at the Admin level need to take full responsibility for what is happening at our club. You have failed the stakeholders of this club, the members. Here’s why. You have constantly gone down the path of quick fixes based on appointments and decisions you have made. You have ruined the growth of this club because you have assumed the persona of arrogance and bullishness rather than humility and respect. You arrogantly believe that you hold the club in the palm of your hands to mold and shape as you see fit. We have no culture in our club that could propel us to success, only a culture of arrogance and quick fixes that only leads to failure, which you have delivered.


You cannot honestly believe that what you have done over the years has been anything short of successful on the field? Sure, you have managed to get the club out of debt, but you have taken this arrogance of your success in this area to the department of football at the club, and you have failed abysmally.


If you decide to get rid of yet another coach, what makes you so sure that the next one won’t suffer the same fate should that coach’s abilities prove not what you are looking for? Do we believe you when you say it won’t happen? Do we still support you when you say it won’t happen? I, for one, cannot.


I knew that after the first few minutes of the game, we would not win. There was no real heart to play this game that was on display last week. Does this have to fall on the shoulders of the coaches? The players? In some respects, yes, but you, the Board, the Admins must take responsibility for creating an environment that is not what the Carlton FC’s history has been. You have damaged the brand to the point where I don’t believe in your ability to change that. Because you don’t have my trust, and you don’t have my faith.


You have created a disconnect between the members and the club at a time when a connection is vital in our community. You have broken this connection because you have taken us all for granted and believed in your own arrogance.


I will say this again – I do believe in David Teague I always have since I first had a conversation with him a few years ago. I do believe that if we want to fix the underlying culture in our club, you, the Board and the Admin’s have to take full responsibility for what has happened this year and step away. No coach, whoever comes in, will ever achieve any semblance of success if they know that the same people who have given the club many quick fixes could go after them.


This year has shown me that there are those who say and do and those that just say. I’m going with the say and do and will fight for this club to regain its culture of success and stand with those who also want this. I can no longer stand with those who have no interest in speaking to its stakeholders, who have no interest in meeting with their stakeholders, and who believe in their own arrogance.


I love this club and always will, but I won’t do it in silence anymore.


Yours sincerely
A Member of the Carlton FC.

#GOBLUES!

Dear Carlton FC Board & Admins, Members & Supporters.


I read somewhere that fate is always open to negotiation and that destiny is just what you run into when you run out of willpower. It got me thinking about the rumours, the various diatribe emanating from so-called “experts” and media “commentators.” Here, right now, the Carlton FC will determine its fate for the future. It is here and now where the Board will determine what our destiny will be, and it beggars the question: will they run out of willpower?


I know for a fact that I will get lambasted, laughed at, ridiculed, and for some, they will resort to name-calling. To be perfectly honest, I don’t really care what they think or say. I’ve seen people say and post one thing, then post and say the complete opposite a week later. I’ve seen people post and say what they know as fact, which turns out to be anything but fact. So, here goes…


I am sick and tired of the constant need for quick fixes from the Carlton FC and the need for the Board and the Admins to believe that this will make the club successful again. Let’s put this scenario here…we get rid of David Teague, get someone else (and it won’t be Alistair Clarkson), and they, in turn, don’t turn the club around, so we go through the same process again, and again, and again. This becomes the culture of our club and, for that matter, a true reflection of who we are as an organization. We become a club that is a culture of being obnoxious, arrogant and a deep-seated belief that one day we will get the success we want; we just have to keep hiring and firing when our fate and destiny become too hard to overcome. We are not and will never, ever be the club that we were during our glory days! We cannot and will never go back to that time because the world has changed, the footy world has changed. So we have to now re-write our fate and destiny, and that involves a willpower that we don’t seem to have – on many levels.


I have stated and will continue to say that David Teague will be the coach to get us to the point that we want – success. But, and here is the but, he needs to have the support of assistant coaches that will assist him in this, and right now, except for Luke Power and Mathew Kreuzer, we do not. But if the Board decides based on the review that we will once more go down the path of sacking a coach before his time, given that they decided to hire him, they will show their weakness as they will have run out of willpower and believe that quick fixes are the culture of the club.


Categorically you cannot say that what happened over the weekend is all on the coach. I don’t care what others say; none of them has a direct ear or line to the club. They never have, and they never will. The players have to and must take full ownership of that performance. To say that Teague got out-coached is ridiculous. The players got out-played. There are players on the field who just did not step up or step in. They reverted back to displaying a fear of, well, the game. That is not on the coach!


I am angry, very angry, but not at the coach or most of the players. I’m more infuriated that there is a suggestion that we will once more go down the path of quick fixes and determine our destiny once more on this. Alistair Clarkson did not come into Hawthorn as a guaranteed successful coach. It took him two whole years to mold the team and those behind him to turn the team around and become a success. It took Damian Hardwick eight years to win a Premiership. After his first three years as a coach, he was given a two-year extension. In all that time, in 2010 they finished fifteenth. Over the next two years, they continued to improve. Their first finals since 2001 came in 2013. That is four years after he was hired and he didn’t win the club a Premiership until 2017, yet we are asking David Teague to achieve this in just one and half years!


The suggestion that the players have lost confidence in their coach comes from those in the media, those commentators who think they have an insight into a club when they do not. Jacob Weitering said after the game against Collingwood that the players are behind the coach and do not focus on the noise outside of the club. I would suggest we should, but that is something that, for some, won’t happen.


If we continue to have these knee-jerk reactions when the team is not going the way we expect them to go without considering other factors, then we will never be a successful club. We will never become what we all want the club to become because we just don’t have the willpower to shape our destiny. After all, when the going gets tough, the weak just walk away or, in this case, push aside and look once more for a quick fix.


Our fate is open for negotiation, and that depends on the strength of our resolve and willpower to not let quick fixes determine our destiny. I will lose respect for those who believe that this is the path to go down continually, as we have done over the past twenty years or so. I will lose confidence that those who should know better just don’t.


I am 100% behind David Teague and allowing him to run through the process he has been hired to do. I understand that there will be times when what happened on the weekend will send us spiraling down, but I also know that there will be times when we are up against the wall, and we turn it around. But I will not and never will subscribe to negotiating our fate on quick fixes. Our destiny is in the hands of the entire Carlton FC, and we should have the willpower to determine what that will be by not continually looking for quick fixes and hoping that others will be more successful.


Always #GOBLUES!

Read, Watch, Listen!

Photo courtesy of AFL

The point of my blog is not to heap accolades or criticism on specific players or the coach. As stated before, there are plenty of voices who do just that. The point of my blog is to look at the game from a different angle and perspective, which is why this one is called Read, Watch & Listen.


While I could go on about some in the team, who stepped up over that line between losing and giving up, persistence and winning, again, that is not the point of this article. The point of this piece is that over the weekend, I read, watched and listened, and all of those things have solidified and clarified my view.


Last week I wrote about the benefits and results of what a difference a mindset can achieve. I gave an example of that win from Ash Barty, who has a mindfulness coach who has helped her achieve a lifelong dream. I was told that the article was crap, that I have no idea what I am talking about and that I’m delusional. Then I read an interview with Jack Riewoldt, who has achieved a milestone in his career. Whether you like him or not, he has been a part of a very successful club and a team that has achieved three Premierships in four years.


In the article, he said that one of his teammates was going through a difficult time, and he told them to speak to the club’s mindfulness coach. That’s right, the very same type of person is part of the culture of the Richmond FC. Irrespective of what is happening now, they have seen the immense benefits of a person who takes the players on a journey that enables them to achieve their goals by utilizing mindfulness. Her name is Emma Murray, and it makes no difference of whether you think this is “crap” or not, the fact is that it works, and it is not just footy players that utilize this, but international sportspeople, including Ash Barty.


Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, the USA Women’s Soccer team are just but a few. Lindsay Shaffer, Head of Sports and Fitness for Headspace in the USA, has stated that ‘it’s time to change the mindset about sports training. We need to start at the head, where all of the decisions we make on the court on the field begin.’ BOOM! A successful, a very successful sportsperson is not just one aspect, being skills, but also having a mindset of success. For some players, that just doesn’t happen.


A prime example is Tom Boyd, a very talented player who left the game for mental health issues. We cannot and should not underestimate the enormous benefits of mindfulness and what it can achieve. For those who rubbish it, step aside and look at the facts and how it is a massive component in the success of not just a person, but a club and a team and how this can and will benefit the Carlton FC. Their mindset after halftime was not to give in or give up, and this showed when we came from a 24-point deficit to a 29-point win.


This mindset spurred on the performance and determination from one player who had just experienced an emotional and heartbreaking life event. The death of a great player and person, Sergio Silvagni, affected every person involved in the Carlton FC family. From supporters, players, coaches and administrators. On a personal note, I had the privilege of speaking with Serge and his wife a few years ago while outside the MCG, waiting for the gates to open. I was so glad that I got to the ground early because it was an experience that I have never forgotten.

We talked, laughed, joked and connected in a way that I still today cannot get over. When the gates opened, we did not even know this as we continued to chat. I don’t think he knew how much this meant to me, but it did. Which is why on Sunday, when Jack Silvagni took that mark near the goal square and kicked that goal, I cried. His grandfather, who was so damn proud of him, would have been jumping around in sheer pride and joy.

The way the team got around him, was inspirational and you could see that he tried to keep his emotions in check. But he did not stop there. Watch the game again, and you could see him re-focus on the game. Directing others where to be and putting all of his efforts into the centre when taking the role of backup ruckman. Then the mark, that mark he took that resulted in a goal from Harry McKay, was one that was reminiscent not only of his grandfather but his father as well.


At the end of the game, the raw emotion that Jack Silvagni showed still makes me tear up. The way that Liam Stocker had his arm around him. The way that Eddie Betts gave him that heartfelt hug. Zac Fisher who delved deep into his chest to hug him. The players who understood what this win meant for Jack and his whole family and how he honored the memory of a great Carlton man – Serge. The photo of David Teague leaning in and speaking to Jack after the game and the look of joy and respect that Jack gives to his coach leads me to the ‘listen’ part.


Jacob Weitering took over the Captaincy as both our co-Captains were out injured. Interviewed after the game with the Peter MacCallum Cup in his hand, he said that the team, Teague and the other coaches, do not pay attention to what is being said outside of the club. They have great respect for each other, Teague and the other coaches, and know the journey they are taking together. He also said that the players themselves take the blame for the performance against Geelong. Those on social media who posted during the game that David Teague needs to be sacked, that we are a rabble of a club and that we will be getting Alistair Clarkson or Ross Lyon simply have no idea.


The players believe and support David Teague. They understand what it is going to take to make the club successful again. They do not want to continue the path of knee-jerk reactions perpetrated from outside the club who insist that David Teague is not the coach to make the club successful. Let’s be clear here. Alistair Clarkson will not be coaching another club when he leaves Hawthorn. He has stated this for years. I have heard him say this at private functions. He is a man who is proud of his words and stands by them. He clarified this at the press conference when the club announced the succession plans. He said that he owes it to his wife and family to step down. Do you really think that means he will coach another club? He has been at Hawthorn for eighteen years! He will not coach another club.

On another note, after two years at Hawthorn as coach, there were calls for him to be sacked as they had not performed the way the club hoped. Did they sack him? No! The players believed in him and what he could achieve, and he did just that. We have to do the same because I believe in David Teague and what he can achieve. As for Ross Lyon…no!


Going back to read, unfortunately, I went on social media at halftime and read what some posted. I understand their frustration, but what I don’t get is their knee-jerk reactions to a game that had not yet finished. They blasted players, the coach and called for the immediate sacking of Teague. Then when the game did, they did a 360 and glorified and praised the players and the coach!


Most supporters have stood by the club through its darkest days and knee-jerk reactions irrespective of where the club was positioned. They have not burned their memberships. They have not called for another sacking. They are tired of this lack of continuity in the club; it does not breed consistency, nor does it bring success. The game on Sunday was one filled with raw emotion and clarity. Stop with the nonsense of getting rid of a coach who has been here for over one-and-a-half years and has the backing and support of the players and the other coaches, who must have our support.


After reading, watching and listening, I support the Carlton FC. I support David Teague. I support the players. I always have and always will.

#GOBLUES!

Image courtesy of Carlton FC via Instagram