A Wests Tigers fan and member vents her spleen with a letter to the most consistently incompetent club in Australian sport
4 hours ago August 27, 2015 2:01PM
A MONTH ago on this website, we ran an angry, somewhat unhinged rant about Australia’s most consistently pathetic, disorganised and incompetent football club, the Wests Tigers.
You can read it here, and this reporter offers no apology to those who may have been offended by it.
Today we offer something no less passionate but much more structured and coherent. It’s a letter addressed to Wests Tigers club chair Marina Go, which Mrs Go will likely receive tomorrow. Its sender, Sydney-based marketing manager Linda Tadrosse, has kindly allowed us to publish it first.
Linda Tadrosse has followed the Wests Tigers since the club’s inception in 2000. Before the merger with Wests, she was a fan of the Balmain Tigers and used to go to games with her dad from a young age.
For those who don’t follow the NRL, the Tigers on Wednesday invited long-serving club captain Robbie Farah to seek work elsewhere next year, despite still being on contract for another two years. Farah was told that he’ll play reserve grade if he stays. Way to treat a club legend, eh?
The Tigers have stumbled from one disaster to the next in recent times. Their CEO resigned in June and they still haven’t replaced him.
But for many Tigers fans like Linda, the Robbie Farah news was the moment she couldn’t hold her anger in anymore. You can read her thoughts in full in the letter below.
Dear Marina and the Wests Tigers board,
I am writing this letter to you as a fed up season member. I was a season member with Balmain and I have been a season member since the beginning of the joint venture, buying five tickets every year. However, for the first time I am seriously considering not renewing my membership in 2016.
Once again I see the team which I invest my money in and give up my time to support being headlined in the papers for all the wrong reasons. Just to refresh your memory I would like to remind you of some of the headlines that we have had to endure in the last several years.
• Tigers sack Tim Sheens
• Tigers let go of Heighington, Ryan and Gibbs despite players wanting to remain at the Club
• The longstanding saga that was Mick Potter’s position at the Tigers
• The Club letting Benji Marshall go
• The Club not offering James Tedesco a decent contract
• The Club releasing Blake Austin
• The board fighting and the resignation of Grant Mayer
• And now the icing on the cake, the Club telling Robbie Farah he is no longer wanted.
The consequences of your decisions have been unbelievable
• The Tigers look set to receive the wooden spoon for the first time in their history
• Blake Austin is one of the most in form players in the competition at the moment. A shame it is with another team
• Tedesco is by far the Tigers best player this season. I shudder to think the position that we would be in had he actually gone to the Raiders
• Our current coach has been given all the flexibility that he has asked for, yet it is obvious to any observer that he is trying to create a game plan that is not suitable for the team he is coaching and is falling flat on his face
• You are yet to announce a new CEO and disfunctionality is continuing
• The Club is relying on loans from the NRL to stay functioning and fans no longer wish to invest in the team
• You are incapable of managing the salary cap in a manner which creates a competitive team
• We win less than 10% of games without Robbie, yet we are releasing him or playing him in reserve grade if he stays
• We are already fielding the youngest team in the competition and this year you have announced that Keith Galloway and Pat Richards are leaving the club at the end of the season. Alongside Robbie there will be a serious lack of experience in our team that has already proven that they don’t have what it takes to be strong in the competition.
Admittedly, I thought letting Benji go was a tough decision that had to be made, and I was extremely happy to see Mayer go as I honestly felt that he was the one making these ridiculous decisions that kept hurting the Club, but I can no longer accept the nature that the Club is being run.
If this was a publicly listed company shareholders would be calling for the immediate sacking of all of you right now. You are not profitable, the business (team) does not perform and the investors (fans) can see no clear strategy to improve the Club.
Everyone knows Robbie has not been in the best form of his career and that he has always been close to the controversy at the Tigers. However, he has tortured his body and mind for this team and he deserves more decency then he was receiving.
The pathetic way that the Tigers have handled the situation makes me wonder how the NRL does not intervene somehow and completely sack the board for once again bringing the game into disrepute. You make a total farce out of player contracts and you bring unwanted attention to the game and the Club. You obviously don’t manage the finances of the Club in a constructive manner.
I have always been proud to be a Tigers supporter, but I can no longer say that and that’s thanks to the way the Club is being handled. Players are no longer wishing to sign with the Club and the ones that do the fans cannot get excited about as God only knows if the Club will actually let them see out their contract.
Practically every player (with the exception of Benji) that has been released in the last couple of years has been let go prior to the end of his contract… what is the point of it? We lack stability and it shows in the results that the team gets.
So, I ask this of you. Your current membership was built around the marketing message of “Unite. Commit. Achieve”. As a Club you have proven that you have no intention of standing by this message, yet in a couple of weeks’ time you will be sending me my renewal package for next year.
I have witnessed some amazing things as a Tigers fan. I was there when Skandalis scored the team’s first try. I was there when Benji Marshall debuted and the ground announcer couldn’t contain his excitement. I was there when we rocked the defending premiers, the Bulldogs, in a great win. I was there when players were unashamedly crying during the minute’s silence for Robbie’s mother. I was there when Tedesco debuted and was heartbroken when he got injured on that debut. For the first time I no longer wish to be there.
Why should I renew my membership?
Why should I continue to put my faith in a Club that doesn’t perform, doesn’t entertain and doesn’t stand by its players or fans?
I look forward to receiving your response.