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!