Chill Out!

It seems that panic has set in with some supporters. The only player who can get us that winning feeling and fire on the field is out for about four weeks. He will miss the first two weeks of the 2022 season as he recovers from a syndesmosis ankle injury that requires surgery.

The rate of doom and gloom bombarded social media, and some have said it will take three months for him to recover fully. For them, let’s throw in the towel now because, without this player, we are nothing. Carlton will never succeed. I call it ‘bullshit’.

If we are a team that relies solely on one player and one player only, then we will never be a successful side. If any sports team pins their success on one player only, they will not succeed.

If a team has no depth in their playing field of players, they do not deserve success. No team can achieve what they want without depth in their playing group, no matter where or what. Will the absence of Sam Walsh create a hole in the side? For sure. But is that hole unfixable…nope! I can assure you that Sam Walsh being Sam Walsh, knows that no-one is indispensable and will support the team from the sides until he can get fit and ready to take the field again.

Any logical sports supporter of any sport knows that even great players will suffer an injury at some point in their career. It is how they attack their recovery, and their focus will determine how they will come back to the sport and the team with a vigor and strength that will make the hole they left one that only enhances their success.

Stop with the panic. Understand that if we are a club that only believes that without a great player such as Sam Walsh, we are nothing, what does that say about the rest of the team and players?

We have to have depth in our playing group to allow that it is inevitable that top players will get injured, and it is up to the club to ensure that we have this depth that will, for now, fill in the void left. Sure it will be hard to fill, but that makes a great team even more incredible. The knowledge that a fringe player or new recruit can step up and step in and try and be that player who, for now, play the role that Sam Walsh plays. Without a doubt, it would be what he would want. He is only 21 years old. He is a team player and not out for his own selfish needs. This is shown in how he has re-committed to the club for another four years and not sought out other clubs, more successful clubs. He believes in this club and the players, and we should as well.

Also, it is not better to have this sort of injury now rather than in the middle of the season?

Stop running around as if the world has come to an end because one of our players has an injury, which means that we will falter at the bottom once more. Sure, he will be missed, but does this not give others a chance to show why we choose them to represent our club? That we can be a successful team even if a star player is out injured for a short while. That we have depth in our playing group. That is what makes a successful team, not focusing on one player to ensure that success.

Speedy recovery Sam Walsh! Looking forward to you burning up the field when you get back!



Respect & Equality!

This week’s game is the AFLW Carlton Respects match against Adelaide. The club will be doing a Walk for Respect and Equality before the game.

I applaud the club for this initiative, which is a vital message across the board in every facet of the game and our society as a whole. But the message of respect and equality has to be voiced by those who promote this and are seen to be doing so in every aspect of their being.

In the news this week, ex-Carlton AFLW player Tayla Harris and other AFL and AFLW players have stated the very toxic nature that is permeating social media. How the effect this has on the player mentally and how this affects their very being and their game. This can also translate to those players, coaches and others who in the past may have left to another club or just left the game altogether because the very toxicity of social media has left them broken, shattered and depressed.

I don’t blame them. But what should the Respect and Equality campaign really promote if it doesn’t promote this concept in every facet of the game and society, including social media? And should not the faces that are virulent on social media also promote this in its entirety and not just ones that suit them?
Respect means that no matter what, each person should be respected no matter who they are, even if you disagree with them. This is, of course, not relevant to those who use violence or aggression of any kind towards anyone.

There are many times that I might disagree with someone, but I will still respect them even if I think they are wrong. If they disagree with valid reasons that I may not agree with, I will respect their viewpoint. For is this not the pure underlying definition of respect? Is not respect one that must be encompassing everyone, male or female or gender fluid? Should the voice of the club’s respect and equality be stated by those that actually action those words and not just because it gets them in the spotlight? Should not respect and equality be one that no matter if someone disagrees, you can still respect their right to disagree? Should not respect be one that is not conditional based upon whether you agree with some or not?

These questions should be the underlying basis of what the respect and equality round must stand for and not just lip service. It should not be promoted by those who do not uphold this very concept of respect and equality; otherwise, the club is looking very hypocritical.

I have the utmost respect for those who rise from adversity and do so with integrity, humility, and respect, and I treat everyone equally. I have no respect for those who use social media to promote toxicity and believe that their words won’t hurt, or is that their aim? How can those people encourage the club’s message when they are not respectful at all?

I love the message of the Respect and Equality round and what it stands for, but it must stand for more than just a promotion purpose. It must ensure the integrity of the cause and those that are the faces and voices for this. Otherwise, the message will never get through, and it will be seen as nothing more than a marketing tool.

Too many lives have been lost, too many people are suffering because of the toxicity in our society where there is no respect or equality. Too many are voicing their lack of respect and equality on the pages of social media and want their words to get through to their intended target. For the club to mark this round to highlight the need for the message of respect and equality, it must look carefully in the social media pages and stamp out the toxicity that is running riot.

Respect and Equality…promote it, act it, speak it! Don’t just do it for some things and not others!


It Starts…

Photo courtesy of Carlton FC

Tomorrow night we see footy back on the fields and on our TV’s. Tomorrow night St Kilda v Richmond kick-off a tenuous AFLW season. I say tenuous, given the situation around the country with regards to the Omicron strain of COVID-19 and the significant rise of cases. Given last season was cut short due to the increase of COVID cases, I suspect that every club, every player, administrator, coach, supporter and the AFL mechanism as a whole will be crossing every finger in the hope that it doesn’t get cancelled again.

The competition has been growing steadily since the AFLW started as a viable and dynamic part of the AFL world. We are seeing skills and abilities grow with each and every season. We are seeing girls who once had nowhere to go to in terms of their footy goals to be able to, if lucky enough, get selected to play for a club in the AFLW world.

For Carlton, we have seen players move away from the Navy Blue and seek new teams and new environments. I’m not here to discuss their motivations or their seeming bitterness towards a club they started with. I want to concentrate on the upcoming season and the club’s possibilities currently in front of them.

One of the most significant things that came out so far has been the very emotional video by our very own Darcy Vescio. I applauded and shed tears with Darcy as they declared themselves to be non-binary.

The raw and deep-seated way they announced to the world who they want to be seen deserves our respect, admiration, and understanding. Yet it seems that some just do not get this and resort to sinking into a gutter of criticism and ridicule that is, well, simply, showing the level of empathy and understanding that some just do not have. Some people believe that it is better to voice a nasty side instead of saying nothing (and this includes our men’s team).

I am a huge, huge, huge supporter of someone being who they are and what they want to be seen as, so long as it does not hurt or affect others. Darcy should be recognized for giving a public voice to those who feel the same way and are too scared to say anything. I want to concentrate not on their statement, but on their skills in the field and their leadership in the team, and I sincerely believe that across the AFLW world, they are a force that every player wants to contain.

I am looking forward to seeing the growth in skills and general “grunt” on the field with familiar players and seeing how much they have developed over the year. I am also looking forward to seeing our newbies and what they will bring to the team.

Season 2022 begins this Friday, and I cannot wait. I cannot wait to see how the team is fairing and how much we have grown and become a better, stronger and more determined team. I believe this starts not with the game on Sunday but started with a fearless and determined player who began the year on their terms and their identification. The strength in their statement should be the start of voicing the team’s intention of being nothing but themselves on the field and off and putting their passion into the game they love and the team they represent.

Can’t explain it, but I do feel a tinge of excitement about this season in the AFLW. I just hope that it won’t be interrupted or cancelled this year.


See link below for Darcy’s video.

Seasons Greetings to All!

“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure? Measure a year?” (Lyrics Seasons of Love, Rent)

Powerful words, and given the year we have had, they have a very significant meaning, especially as a Victorian and a Carlton FC supporter. So how do we measure 2021, given what has been played out in the media and on social media, regarding what has transpired at our club?

I can honestly say that I have learned a lot about many who spout words that carry no real meaning. I have learned that some steep to online name-calling, bullying on social media then turnaround and insist on equality and respect. I have learned that if you have a different view or opinion, you are not a true Carlton supporter.

The most wonderful thing about our society is that people can have differing views and opinions without being arrested, jailed or beaten up (in most cases). Yet, for some, the very difference is what irks them, and they cannot and do not accept this. They resort to a low that is similar to the low that we saw when protestors literally desecrated the Shrine of Remembrance in Victoria. I have no issue with anyone’s right to disagree, but it must be done with integrity and respect, any other way, and you are no better than the countries where speaking out could cost you your life.

Our club this year went through a significant overhaul, and some were excited about this; some were not. Some embraced it, some did not. Some were adamant that the club had got it right; some were skeptical. No matter what side you sit on or what you believe, it will take five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes to measure the success or failure of 2022.

As for me, I have been skeptical and hesitant, but it does not make me any inclined to not support a club I love. I don’t support a club based on a person or persons. I base it on the club as a whole. People come and go, but the foundation of what makes a club is the one that should be supported. It should also be nurtured and strengthened by a culture that includes everyone, no matter their views (regarding the club).

So for the last time in 2021, may the season be one of togetherness, happy times and a feeling of what the club and footy must stand for – community.
May 2022 measure our year that sees us close the door to the last ten years and open it anew with a sense of hope and promise of possibilities. May we embrace our differences with respect and understand that we all want the same thing – a successful club in the end!

Merry Christmas to all that celebrate it, and a happy, safe and keep well, New Year.


Have Respect! Good Luck Liam Jones!

Liam Jones has called time on his AFL career amid the issue he has had with his reluctance to get the COVID-19 vaccine. After the announcement and the release from the Carlton FC that neither will make no further statement on his decision, the huge dichotomy between supporters and the media makes me ask…what the hell is wrong with people?

I do not understand those that spout respect and the rights of people to choose the life that is for them, then do a 360 and berate and call him names that are anything but respectful. Let me be perfectly clear. I am fully vaccinated! It is my choice, my educated choice not based on conspiracy theories or those spouted on media platforms, but based on a discussion I have had with my GP, whom I have been a patient of his for over twenty years. He knows me. He knows my stance on medication, and he knows my medical history. It is his information and advice that it is the only one that I took on board. He went through the pros and cons, and I made my decision. It was not based on “following the sheep pack”, as some have said those vaccinated are doing.

I am pro-vaccination, but I respect everyone’s decision based on informative knowledge and not websites that promote one way or another, nor those so-called “experts” who are not. No matter who you are, everyone has the right to choose a path that is theirs and theirs alone. If it means not getting vaccinated, then it is their choice. It is also their choice to live in a way that is not steeped in violence but one that, for them, right now, is the only way they can live. It is their choice, and if that means they don’t mix in the community as they would have liked, then so be it. Yes, it would put others in the community in harm’s way, but then again, walking past a person who smokes puts others in harm’s way with the proliferation of secondary smoke inhalation.

But this is not the point of this, well, rant. The way some have treated Jones’s decision shows that they may talk the talk but do not walk the walk in terms of what it means to have respect. Is it based on their limited parameters of the definition of respect? That it is their definition and only theirs that is correct? Has anyone thought that maybe there is more to the story than just a reluctance to get vaccinated? Why should a person, no matter who they are, have to tell us their reasonings? If they want to walk away, then logically, there has to be more than what is being alluded to, doesn’t there?

Social media has become a place that does not “share the good” but displays a nastiness that borders on bullying, harassment and disrespect. Given what the world is experiencing now, shouldn’t we all have more compassion and empathy? Shouldn’t we work together to mend our world rather than fractionalize it even more with the vitriol others spout on social media? What is wrong with people?

I have been appalled by some who post sarcastic and bullying posts directed at our players and supporters on social media. I have chosen not to reply to their posts because I refuse to sink to their level.

I am a Carlton FC supporter, and while in the past year, the club has seen a fracture that I hope in time will mend, and even if I have been critical of how this year has transpired, I have not sunk to a level of name-calling. I have been criticized for my views, but I accept that others have different ideas, but on the whole, I have total respect for their opinions, as long as it is based on logic and not insults.

The tirade from others about Liam Jones’s decision is not respectful, and neither are others’ disregard for his decision. I disagree with it, but I accept it because it is his and his alone and to be honest, I think there is more to this than meets the eye, and whether this is revealed or not, makes no difference to me, and it shouldn’t to you. Accept it. Respect it and move on!

Good luck, Liam Jones!


Time To Draw The Line…

Every year since 2001, every Carlton supporter has gone down a dark and gloomy road from the scandal that rocked the club to the turning over of five coaches in ten years.  We have played out the demise of this great and one of the oldest clubs in the AFL world in the pages of history that have not been that kind to us.  We have seen amazing players who should have more to their resumes than what they left with and while we have seen some success, there has not been much.

We have seen how each and every time a coach gets tossed out, there is a promise that the next one will get this club to where it needs to be.  And through all of this, supporters, real, true die-hard, bleed blue, supporters have stuck by the club. For the past twenty years, we have played as a victim of a circumstance that was not of the supporters doing, and it is they who have suffered the most in this regard. I am tired of playing the victim as it is not one that I subscribe to in my life in any way shape or form, and the club as a whole, in its entirety, also needs to stop playing the victim and stop with the talk and get with the action.

This year, we have seen the club succumb once more to being in the realm of the media in all forms, not for the right reasons, and the club has again had the dark clouds loom over Ikon Park. We have been fractured and split. Yet we have seen maybe a glimmer of sunshine amongst the dark clouds with the change of a CEO, a President, some of the Board and more importantly, the Head Coach and the assistants. Yet even though we have once more gone down the road of sackings, and they were massive ones, the glimmer lies in that maybe, just maybe, it is right this time. But no one, not even Luke Sayers, can comfortably state that all of what happened in the past, is now behind us, with any firm commitment. For some, it is words that have been said before, and there needs to be action, not rhetoric.

Sure, there have been massive changes at the club, and hopefully, they will be for the better and get this club back to where it belongs – at the top. Sure, we have the playing depth that can hopefully garnish success but saying it is vastly different from actually showing it. I am not someone who will go along with the crowd that state that the changes made will ensure success when there is not one person in the world who can guarantee that in this sense, with absolute certainty. And those who do hold some scepticism are fully entitled to harbour that. Does that mean they are any less supporters or supportive of the club and the team – absolutely NOT! They are still fully paid-up members, supporters, fans, die-hard, bleed navy blue people. But they want to see the change, not just hear it. They want to see that the Board will do precisely what it must do – support the players, the coaches and those around them to ensure that one thing and one thing only must be achieved – success. They want to see that even if obstacles and bumps in the road thwart this journey, that they will back all those involved to the very end. You can talk the talk, but you need to walk the walk to garnish any real credibility, and that starts with drawing a line in the sand of our past and say “ENOUGH!” Right here and now, the rise of the Carlton FC begins, and we will not allow our past twenty years to dictate our future. Do that and show that, and I can guarantee one thing – those hesitant supporters will not be anymore. Only then can we stop playing the victim of our past and become a success for the now and the future.

A video on YouTube has summed up the past twenty years of our club, and if you watch it, you could be sad and angry with what has happened, but now we have a chance to put that back into the basement of history to gather dust, where it belongs. We now have to cross that line from the past and look ahead to the future. It does not come with concrete guarantees, but it will come with a chance to heal and move forward with pride in the Navy Blue. This has to be something that everyone at the club, from the Board to the grounds people, have to get behind, fully and completely. Because without that, we will keep running on a wheel that just does not stop. We have to stop and stop now.

We have to step over that line of the past and concentrate on the possibilities of what the future could hold for the club. It starts not with words, not with changes within the club, but with a determination that these changes will be the foundation of eventual success. It begins with action on the field and the culture within the club. Do that, and our past will gather dust in the realms of history. If not, then the cycle will continue, and all that would have changed would be just the changing faces of people.

I am hopeful, cautiously, but hopeful. But never doubt for one second that I will not continue to support the club or pay my membership or go to games wherever they may be, but I am one of those who is tired of words and want to see action. Not in particular areas, but across the entire club, which means action in changing our culture to one of pride of representing the Navy Blue no matter if you are a player or an administrator.

The heart of our club lies in its history of success, not in the history of the past twenty years, especially the last ten. It’s time to reignite that and collectively walk over that line of being a victim to being a success. That is what I want to see.


Congratulations Mr Voss…but…

Image courtesy of Carlton FC

The announcement that after weeks of speculation and posturing, Carlton FC has now confirmed the appointment of Michael Voss as senior Coach. With the appointment of Brian Cook as the new CEO and the sacking of some of the assistant coaches, it seems that on the surface, Carlton has come out and made a statement that should lead them into future successes.

While I congratulate the club for getting Brian Cook and the appointment of Michael Voss, I will not be one of those people who will jump up and down right now. I have been down that path before, and I will reserve my judgement and excitement until mid-way next season when we should hopefully see the fruits of what has transpired since the Bye this year.

I will respectfully support the new coach and get behind him to achieve what he and the club want to achieve, but I will not be one that will be thrilled. I need to see results. I will not listen to anyone who says they can guarantee that we will get better because I’m tired of talk. I want to see action. I will not be one that will blindly follow rhetoric for the sake of it.

I have the right to support the club, and I will with the same passion and vigour that I always have done, but it will be with some trepidation. If I’m proven that the changes made at the club will ensure success, then and only then will I get excited. But the process of how we got to where we are has shown me the true nature of some, and I cannot forget that.

Over the past months, I have seen how what has transpired has seen ego’s being stroked and blind following without rationality. I have seen and read those who just cannot accept that others have a right to a different view and opinion. Irrespective of where you sit, everyone has the right to disagree. It is how this disagreement gets communicated that shows the true nature of someone.

I would like to say congratulations to Michael Voss for becoming the coach of Carlton FC. I wish you nothing but success, and I really hope you can turn this club around. I will not pressure you to insist that in 2022 you have to take the team to the top 8. Work through the issues, come up with solutions, and ensure that together with Brian Cook and whoever is there to support you does just that – support you. I hope in season 2022, the club turns a corner for the better, but given what has transpired over the past ten years, I am entitled to reserve my final judgement.

Congratulations Michael Voss.



This episode is also available as a blog post:

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!


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.