Red & Black Football

Vague and non committal letter from the chairman blows hot air into a furnace

Chairman Paul Lederer has written a letter to the Wanderers faithful which was full of slogans and dreams neatly wrapped up in cliches and packaged with the clubs crest.

In reality, it is light on substance and almost a preemptive strike before the Victory come to town and show us how a professional football club is run.

It first goes into some detail talking about the multimillion-dollar training facilities that have been constructed at Blacktown, truly a feather in the cap and one that comes up repeatedly in the text.

It is as if the reason we are not spending on the team is that we are building a place for them to train.

Lederer then goes on to say “for the past three seasons in the truest sense, has created some hardship for our club – the members and fans that are so integral to the club have had to endure this most noticeably.”

This beginning of an olive branch is quickly pruned when instead of apolagising for heavy-handed policing, power drunk security, nanny state rules not found anywhere else, a media hell-bent on destroying peoples livelihoods to sell papers, unfair banning procedures, broken promises to active fans, no commitment to improving the first team or ladies squad and aloof leadership is actually to say that the extra travel to Homebush has been a struggle.

Given the events of the weekend whereby 5 RBB members were banned for showing their frustrations, the following sentence is in fact an opportunity for the bluster to give way to some action, Mr. Lederer has plenty of power in the game, if he is going to use the words fight and forum together then let is see him do that for these banned members.

Western Sydney football people through-and-through who fight and advocate for this club at every turn in any forum.

The facts are that our club isn’t advocating much other than to pick up bargain buys other clubs don’t want, they are not fighting for the fans and they are not using their positions in any forums for those aggrieved with the club sinking on and off the field.

Out of all the self-serving propaganda within the statement which comes across as a pep talk to a terminal patient, the best is saved for last:

It is my absolute belief that what we are doing will create a future that will reaffirm your loyalty to this club and the promise that was made at its foundation, to be the club that truly represents the people and football culture of Western Sydney.

Evocations of the clubs foundation, where the tribes were united, the colour and passion released and the nation stopped in its tracks looking at this strange new world of song, colour, displays and football which this man and his board have done everything within their bounds to turn into a NRL crowd.

That his absolute belief is that this will reaffirm our loyalties goes a long way to explaining what is wrong at the club. The RBB are threatening to disband, as the NT, Melburnians and Squadron have already done and from this possibly seismic moment in the support of Football not just in Western Sydney but in Australia he thinks his ethos is going to make us reaffirm loyalty to a club that is unrecognisable from its roots?

If he wants to set things straight then he doesn’t need a speechwriter, buy a decent marquee, bring some big names to the club from other A-League clubs on pre-contracts, plenty are available as we speak, leave the RBB alone, let them spread their wings again and bring the noise and when everything is going wrong don’t give us your resume, don’t tout your achievements, say the one thing we have never heard from the board for all of its mistakes.


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