Today a story appeared online from the Courier Mail claiming that Brisbane fans should just accept the clubs ownership situation and remove any boycott threats. It’s fair to say the article has gone like a lead balloon amongst the Roar fans on social media.
In an offseason as turbulent as this one, the one thing that shouldn’t be questioned is the supporters loyalty, particularly given the upheaval over the past 5 months.
The Bakrie Group may have outlined their plans to the FFA in recent times, however they are yet to do the same to the club’s supporters, and if they are intent on keeping control of the club for the foreseeable future it’s something they should do.
A fan forum outlining how they intend to restore the club to stability and hopefully the top of the league may ring hollow with some, but it would be a good first step provided it was done right.
The closest that anyone involved in the club has come to this type of engagement since the end of the last season was an impromptu Q&A on the live broadcast stream in the weekends 8-0 win over the NPL Queensland u/23 All-Stars. Craig Moore answered a few questions from social media and issued a rallying cry of sorts asking for more support.
As things stand, Brisbane have a substantial amount of salary cap space following the loss of Brattan, a visa spot free, the full loyalty player bonus, the mature aged rookie spot and the possibility of injury replacements for long term casualties Luke DeVere and Henrique.
Investing in the team, something which hasn’t happened in the off season in truth, would be another way of mending fences and engendering optimism and enthusiasm ahead of the new season.
I should say that as a paid up member for the upcoming season, I don’t support any talk of boycotting home matches, and I look forward to watching the side run out against Central Coast in round two and throughout the season.
However it’s an individuals decision and right to withhold rom purchasing season tickets, particularly if they see that as their best way to influence change.
The argument of those who are holding off purchasing memberships and merchandise this season is that this is one of the few ways they can show their displeasure and not affect the team, and it’s a valid argument. After all, supporters have the right to make their voices heard, and its something we’ve seen in the A-League previously.
Currently the A-League website has Brisbane’s membership tally at just 3,552, which is roughly 30% of last seasons tally when they broke through the 10,000 barrier.
The one point in the article I strongly agree with is about the players and staff, who’ve acted with true professionalism in such a difficult time, and they absolutely deserve and have the fans full support.
The anger of most supporters is aimed at the club’s ownership, not the players, the coaching staff nor those working in the front office.
It is also aimed fairly at the feet of the FFA, whose reluctance to act with anything other than strongly worded statements and deadlines they don’t stick to has left a sour taste in the mouths of a lot of supporters.
As things stand, it’s difficult to see the tide turning for the clubs embattled owners, but if they are intent on doing so and remaining the owners, the best thing they could do would be to make themselves more accessible and heard here in Brisbane, along with some much needed investment in the playing squad.
Even if that doesn’t happen, the majority of Brisbane fans will be at Suncorp Stadium supporting the side this season, and if the weekend’s performance is indicative of things to come another finals appearance isn’t out of the question.