How can Equalisation get mixed up in Competition?

How does equalisation work in a competition?

In fact the 2 words couldn’t be further from each other.

Equalisation: The act of making equal or uniform; levelling. Surely this is manipulation of the competition?

Competition: Engage in a contest. Rivalry. Engagement whereby a winner is selected from contestants.

Doesn’t this demand zero external influence or manipulation?

Given the AFL have created the mess with far too much manipulation and involvement they now need to “balance” the ledger with some equalisation initiatives to prevent the competition from tipping completely out of kilter.

One high-profile club representative has suggested that season 2014 and perhaps 2015  are mere pipe-openers for a decade of dominance. A claim that he will stake his life on.

A representative from another recently formed club speaks in similar tones.

How does this happen?

How can recently formed clubs have such a pathway to success cleared for them inside a few years of their formation?

I understand the survival story, I comprehend the need for the national competition to have teams that are competitive in all corners of the country.

There is a massive difference between being competitive and having success handed to you on a platter.

The AFL have successfully – apart from Fremantle (there are reasons) – ensured that every interstate club has tasted premiership success at least once. It has been done in a manner that cuts to the very core of competition. It has been unjust and unnecessary. There is no need to guarantee silverware to an interstate club just so that the AFL can accelerate interest, support and membership to that team. For an interstate team to win a premiership inside 10 years of being founded is an extraordinary effort, however nearly all have done it (and multiple times).

Under any criteria the AFL have fallen over themselves to provide an extraordinary level of benefits to recent inductees such as the Suns and GWS in the name of the competition. My call is it’s more in the name of their own ego’s and emotion running rampant to stimulate their desires on their own watch.

The people that run the game have an overly impatient desire to see the teams they founded in receipt of a Premiership Cup as some sort of recognition or validation of “I told you so”.

The expansion of the VFL to the AFL was a historic juncture in the history of the game. Unfortunately some of the decisions along the way have created some problems that are very difficult to undo.

You cannot provide $1m extra to a team in their salary cap and not provide it to the next team that appears in the same state. It was a disgraceful decision. The AFL have fallen over themselves to substantiate the decision – but alas – on the evidence and information must now concede to get rid of it. The problem is the horse has bolted. Teams have had to compete with a decade of dominance from Sydney on the back of the benefits. In an industry of percentage points it makes a big difference.

It’s actually healthy for the competition to have teams struggling. Its cyclical.

I subscribe to the theory that elite teams at one end and poor teams at the other end without handicaps (FIXturing etc) and balancing intervention from the AFL is a REAL competition. Its far more interesting than having handicaps or governors on elite teams and providing benefits to poor teams to ensure we have a thicker middle-ground grouping. The outcome of that strategy is we don’t have absolute superstar teams and we don’t have really bad teams. I want clubs tom find their own level based on their own strategy and leadership.

The one we have at the moment is far from that.

You have some teams with revenue nearing $100M pa at one end of the scale and teams struggling to break through $30M at the other end of the scale. This is disastrous.

The AFL have created a manipulated, orchestrated, match-up type of strategy with their season. It is purely focussed on driving revenue for itself at the expense of, and in competition with individual clubs. Their focus and KPI’s are now eyeballs on screens not bums on seats.

Attendances are falling per capita of population increase along interest and participation also being on the wane, primarily at the expense of competing pursuits such as soccer, playstation and some isolated hazardous pursuit sports (thrill seeking).

Unfortunately the AFL have packaged this sport up into a toy and play with it as they see fit.

The competition previously involved both on-field and off-field. Sadly it is now restricted to on-field with much of the off-field taken out of the hands of the clubs and run by the AFL.

The AFL was once the culmination or compilation of 18 clubs competing brutally on a relatively level playing field for premiership points.

The AFL is now the AFL (City Hall) with 18 playthings to manipulate around at their beckon call to create a farcical and manipulated theatre roadshow.

The gulf that has been created by FIXtering is undeniable, unworkable and not easily dismantled.

By that I mean that the damage created by the prolific branding of “selected” status clubs on key dates (blockbusters) along with FIXturing, match-ups, to support crowd and television support has had an indelible effect on membership, support and decisions our kids are making when they choose a club to follow. It is a self-perpetuating nightmare that is unable to be unravelled. Effectively the horse has bolted and the AFL merely “appeases” or compensates the clubs that have had decades of compromise offset with seducing benefits, which in turn place them in a leg rope of subordinate mentality.

We are now faced with the competition looking for ways to unravel these terribly debilitating decisions of the past under the guise of Equalisation.

On what planet does a serious “COMPETITION” tolerate any semblance of the word or action, equalisation?

I’m baffled.





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