The AFL has two distinct methods of speaking about itself, relying on what the targets occur to be at any given time.
It’s the individuals’s recreation when the AFL is placating the mugs within the outer or attempting to pry open governments purse strings. Then it’s the AFL group.
When it’s attempting to impress the world with its competence and industrial savvy, it’s all in regards to the AFL “trade”. The “market”. The “model”. The “product”. The sport is now “content material” to be segmented, packaged and bought to clients. It follows that there’s a lot of discuss what’s and isn’t a “good look”. Going ahead, naturally.
At one degree, it’s merely a matter of reasonably certified executives speaking bland company jibber-jabber out of 1 facet of their mouths whereas making condescending noises to the punters out of the opposite.
At a extra profound degree, although, it raises questions on whether or not the AFL has fallen into the traditional lure of being caught in the midst of methods which might be at odds with one different.
There are sensible and symbolic questions that come up from all of this.
If the AFL is the individuals’s recreation, how is it that there isn’t a group or fan illustration on the Fee?
It’s the AFL Fee that’s chargeable for nurturing the sport on behalf of the individuals. Little question the Commissioners are all in it for the proper causes.
Sadly, they’re drawn from the elites. They’re from the company packing containers and never the terraces.
The subliminal message is that what’s good for the AFL commercially is sweet – good for the sport, good for the fan. Consider vainness initiatives like AFLX and the lengthy march via China.
Very like Gillon McLachlan, who bought caught in his crease at his presser, the AFL’s technique is caught within the center.
The AFL can’t proceed to stroll either side of the road whereas speaking out of either side of its mouth.
There are three adjustments the AFL must make.
1. Add the chair of the AFL Followers Affiliation to the Fee as a full member.
2. Create a register of pursuits of all these concerned within the AFL.
three. Require the CEO and the Chair of the Fee to attend public hearings no less than twice a yr to reply questions from the followers. These could be moderated by the AFLFA.
These three steps would make the AFL accountable to its followers.