JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.



Dees lack method in their madness

Date

Chief sports columnist and associate editor with The Age

View more articles from Greg Baum

Email Greg

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Are the Dockers the real deal?

Rohan Connolly and Greg Baum review round ten of the AFL season, including Fremantle's gutsy win over Adelaide.

PT0M0S 620 349

COMMENT

Melbourne announced only what is patently obvious anyway, that it is in an unholy mess.

Nearly half-way through a season that has been an unmitigated disaster, following yet another 15-goal defeat, as the fans desert in droves, the Demons could say only that they were having a good, long look at themselves, and that new chief executive Peter Jackson would have an even better and longer look.

Concerning beleaguered coach Mark Neeld, Melbourne announced only that there would be no announcement. The ''full confidence of the board'', as everyone knows, is bad enough for a coach, but this was even worse: neither full confidence, nor the total loss of of it, but ''ongoing assessment''. The procrastination becomes its own mute announcement.

Of course, Melbourne is not obliged to act on ghoulish public interest, nor at the whim of media that spent most of Monday peering under the door and over the wall of the embattled club. It should not be panicked into acting precipitously.

But this crisis did not just spring upon the Demons. From the 13-goal defeat to Port Adelaide on opening weekend, it has been staring the club in the face.For more than two months, the Demons have been looking into it.

By now, the committeemen must know whether they take Neeld at his word, that there is method somewhere in this murkiness, that even as the losses mount, incremental gains are being made, that this is all part of the plan. If not before Monday's board meeting, then certainly after it, they must have known whether they thought this was vision or delusion.

I agree with Neeld that you have to be on the inside truly to know. The board is on the inside. And instead of either backing Neeld or moving on, it could say only that it wasn't not backing him.

The committee will say it has its reasons. President Don McLardy's statement is rich in bureaucratic jargon, but otherwise hollow. It leaves the impression the redrawing of a few flow charts will solve everything. But how about the one so conspicuously missing, with a line linking the centre circle to the goal square? A football club is a business not quite like any other. It trades chiefly in hope, a perishable commodity. Such hope as it ever has is invested in the senior coach. He must either be fully in, or fully out.

It is incomprehensible that Neeld has been left hanging. Melbourne's next match is its biggest of the year, the Queen's Birthday clash with Collingwood. Unless another announcement is imminent, it will be played in a void.

What are the players to make of it when Neeld stands before them at the whiteboard this week? What are the fans to think? Melbourne's membership department shingle was out pre-game at the MCG last Sunday, and extraordinarily, it looked to be doing a trickle of business. If only the Demons' board would do the same.

5 comments so far

  • The Melbourne FC is being let down badly by just about everybody involved. Neeld is doing the best he can, but it's pretty obvious the players are not buying it. The players look disinterested and should be handing back their pay. The Board, led by a hopeless president, appointed a newbie coach and expected him to change the club's culture. That says everything right there. This is the Board that turned down some of the best current coaches, oversaw the deliberate losing of games and then sacked/reappointed a devisive CEO. It now procrastinates on the coach. Perhaps it is mindful that sacking each coach makes finding another all the more difficult. The first thing this board should do is sack itself. It has shown the football world that it hasn't got the foggiest idea of how to run a club.

    Commenter
    ApplesHK
    Location
    Collingwood
    Date and time
    June 04, 2013, 9:58AM
    • Melbourne might, just might, make a good VFL side! They haven't got any AFL standard players.

      Commenter
      GeorgeV1
      Date and time
      June 04, 2013, 11:27AM
      • It's like watching a sinking ship, only the captain of this ship is staying true to the plan. It would appear, from the outside looking in: the business model has changed from the end of last year to now. REBUILD, rebuild REBUILD was clearly the call. But now, let's not rebuild as we can't handle the pain!! So lets change what we're doing, let's go for short term wins at the expense of the criteria we set-out collectively prior to last years draft, yeah?? The Hawks were brave enough, Tigers did it, west coast and others have done it and now Gold Coast and GWS are doing it.. Why can't they just bear the pain for one season or even two?? I know it hurts, that's what pain does but it will subsided and success will come.. STICK TO THE PLAN or sack the board with coach and start AGAIN!!

        Commenter
        shaun
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        June 04, 2013, 11:46AM
        • The difference is that clubs like Hawthorn never tanked or started telling their players that losing was cool. It would take a big player cleanout to get rid of all the Melbourne players who were involved in tanking (although some have left already).

          Commenter
          andyl12
          Date and time
          June 04, 2013, 12:36PM
      • I know the perfect way for Melbourne to increase its membership and create a better financial position. Anybody want to hear it?

        Commenter
        andyl12
        Date and time
        June 04, 2013, 12:34PM

        Make a comment

        You are logged in as [Logout]

        All information entered below may be published.

        Error: Please enter your screen name.

        Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Please enter your comment.

        Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

        Post to

        You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

        Thank you

        Your comment has been submitted for approval.

        Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

        Related Coverage

        HuffPost Australia

        AFL 2016

        Round 1
        Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
        RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
        Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
        MEL vs GWS 13:40MCG
        GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
        NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
        SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
        Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
        WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
        PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
        WCE vs BRI 19:40Domain Stadium
        Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
        GEE vs HAW 15:20MCG
        View All Fixtures
        Round 2
        Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
        COL vs RIC 19:50MCG
        Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
        ADE vs PTA 13:45Adelaide Oval
        ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
        BRI vs NTH 16:35G
        STK vs WBU 19:25ES
        FRE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
        GWS vs GEE 13:10SO
        HAW vs WCE 15:20MCG
        CAR vs SYD 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 3
        Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
        PTA vs ESS 19:50Adelaide Oval
        Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
        STK vs COL 13:45MCG
        RIC vs ADE 14:10ES
        SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
        GCF vs CAR 19:25MS
        WCE vs FRE 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
        NTH vs MEL 13:10BA
        WBU vs HAW 15:20ES
        GEE vs BRI 16:40SS
        View All Fixtures
        Round 4
        Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
        WCE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
        Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
        ESS vs GEE 13:45MCG
        HAW vs STK 14:10AS
        BRI vs GCF 16:35G
        CAR vs WBU 19:25ES
        ADE vs SYD 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
        GWS vs PTA 13:10SO
        COL vs MEL 15:20MCG
        NTH vs FRE 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 5
        Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
        HAW vs ADE 19:50MCG
        Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs WCE 13:40SCG
        GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
        WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
        PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
        STK vs GWS 13:10ES
        FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
        MEL vs RIC 19:10MCG
        Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
        COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
        View All Fixtures
        Round 6
        Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
        NTH vs WBU 19:50ES
        Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
        MEL vs STK 13:45ES
        ADE vs FRE 14:10Adelaide Oval
        GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
        RIC vs PTA 19:25MCG
        GEE vs GCF 19:25SS
        Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs SYD 13:10G
        CAR vs ESS 15:20MCG
        WCE vs COL 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 7
        Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
        RIC vs HAW 19:50MCG
        Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
        COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
        GEE vs WCE 14:10SS
        SYD vs ESS 16:35ANZ
        GCF vs MEL 17:10MS
        WBU vs ADE 19:40ES
        FRE vs GWS 20:10Domain Stadium
        Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
        STK vs NTH 15:20ES
        PTA vs BRI 16:40Adelaide Oval
        View All Fixtures
        Round 8
        Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
        ADE vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
        Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
        ESS vs NTH 13:45ES
        HAW vs FRE 14:10AS
        GWS vs GCF 16:35Spotless Stadium
        BRI vs COL 19:25G
        RIC vs SYD 19:25MCG
        Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs PTA 13:10ES
        MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
        WCE vs STK 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 9
        Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
        HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
        Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
        COL vs GEE 13:45MCG
        GCF vs ADE 14:10MS
        PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
        NTH vs CAR 19:25ES
        FRE vs RIC 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
        MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
        GWS vs WBU 15:20Spotless Stadium
        STK vs ESS 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 10
        Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
        Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs HAW 13:45G
        MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
        STK vs FRE 16:35ES
        ESS vs RIC 19:25MCG
        ADE vs GWS 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs GEE 13:10ES
        COL vs WBU 15:20MCG
        WCE vs GCF 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 11
        Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
        NTH vs RIC 19:50BA
        Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
        HAW vs MEL 13:45MCG
        CAR vs BRI 14:10ES
        GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
        GCF vs SYD 19:25MS
        FRE vs ESS 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
        COL vs PTA 13:10MCG
        WBU vs WCE 15:20ES
        ADE vs STK 16:40Adelaide Oval
        View All Fixtures
        Round 12
        Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
        ESS vs HAW 19:50ES
        Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
        PTA vs WBU 13:40Adelaide Oval
        BRI vs FRE 16:35G
        GEE vs NTH 19:25ES
        WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
        STK vs CAR 13:10ES
        RIC vs GCF 15:20MCG
        GWS vs SYD 16:40Spotless Stadium
        Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
        MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
        View All Fixtures
        Round 13
        Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
        NTH vs HAW 19:50ES
        Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs WCE 13:40G
        FRE vs PTA 16:35Domain Stadium
        WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
        Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs MEL 13:10SCG
        ESS vs GWS 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 14
        Thu, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
        ADE vs NTH 19:50Adelaide Oval
        Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
        COL vs FRE 19:50MCG
        Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
        RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
        GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
        STK vs GEE 19:25ES
        Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
        HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
        View All Fixtures
        Round 15
        Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
        WCE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
        Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
        PTA vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
        Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
        GCF vs STK 13:40MS
        SYD vs WBU 16:35SCG
        CAR vs COL 19:25MCG
        Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
        MEL vs ADE 15:20MCG
        View All Fixtures
        Round 16
        Thu, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
        PTA vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
        Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
        GEE vs SYD 19:50SS
        Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
        GWS vs COL 13:40Spotless Stadium
        GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
        WBU vs RIC 19:25ES
        MEL vs FRE 19:40TIO
        Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs ADE 13:10MCG
        WCE vs NTH 15:20Domain Stadium
        ESS vs STK 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 17
        Thu, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs HAW 19:20SCG
        Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
        FRE vs GEE 20:10Domain Stadium
        Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
        RIC vs ESS 13:40MCG
        NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
        WBU vs GCF 19:25CAZ
        ADE vs COL 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs WCE 13:10MCG
        STK vs MEL 15:20ES
        BRI vs GWS 16:40G
        View All Fixtures
        Round 18
        Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
        COL vs NTH 19:50ES
        Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
        GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
        WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
        WBU vs STK 19:25ES
        GEE vs ADE 19:25SS
        Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
        ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
        HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
        PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
        View All Fixtures
        Round 19
        Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
        GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
        Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
        GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
        HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
        COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
        BRI vs PTA 19:25G
        NTH vs STK 19:25ES
        Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
        MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
        FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
        ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
        View All Fixtures
        Round 20
        Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
        RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
        Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
        MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
        GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
        WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
        ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
        GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
        FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 21
        Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
        WBU vs COL 19:50ES
        Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs CAR 13:45G
        HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
        GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
        STK vs SYD 19:25ES
        PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
        ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
        RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
        FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 22
        Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
        WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
        Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
        NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
        RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
        GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
        COL vs GCF 19:25ES
        PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
        CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
        BRI vs GEE 15:20G
        ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 23
        Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
        HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
        STK vs BRI 12:00ES
        ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
        GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
        SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
        NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
        GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
        ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
        FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        AFL 2015
        Overall standings
        Team P W L D % Pts
        Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
        Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
        Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
        Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
        Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
        Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
        Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
        Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
        View all
         

        Follow Us on Facebook

        Featured advertisers