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Tigers ready to take on AFL's big spenders

Date

Martin Blake

DAMIEN Hardwick calls it footy's ''arms race''. Richmond has been outgunned for years in football department spending, and knows that it matters. The club sees a clear link between that figure and success, as presented by football director Craig Cameron in The Age a few weeks ago.

So when $5.5 million is raised over two years in a fighting fund (albeit mostly to retire debt), and the club hits 50,000 members for the first time ever, it can only be good news for the Tigers.

''It becomes an arms race with regard to our football department spending,'' said Hardwick yesterday. ''To eradicate some debt with the Fighting Tiger fund, they raised another $2.5 million and that's brought it above $5 million. To get this facility we're standing in today, we're going to get the [Punt Road] ground done in the not-too-distant future, it'll allow us to bring in more coaches, spend more resources in our football department.''

According to figures published recently, Richmond was 13th in the AFL last year for football department spending at around $15 million, about $4 million behind the top-spender, Collingwood.

Hardwick thinks of Richmond's improved stocks as an ability to go with the pack. ''It certainly helps us to compete because we're probably only at the level now where we break even with a lot of clubs,'' said Hardwick. ''A lot of other clubs are above and beyond. I read today the Magpies are going to Port Douglas [for the break]; we're heading down to Port Melbourne for our break! Those things make good clubs great and that's where we've got to get to. We've got to increase our spending in our football department to play with the big boys.''

Hardwick was in a jovial mood yesterday, appropriately for the head coach of a club on a roll as it confronts Fremantle at the MCG this weekend. Don't believe him if he utters the old cliche about one week at a time; Richmond's players actually operate in four-week blocks. The coach says it's easier to do it that way. ''This is week three of a four-week block. We're two-and-zip at the moment. We're looking to go four-and-zip.

''Fremantle would be exactly the same. Maybe [it's] a step back if we lose, depending how we play there might be some positives from it, there also can be some learning lessons. We're five-and-five sitting 12th or 11th on the ladder, whatever it may be. We're not in the eight. We're a long way short of where we want to go, a long way short of where we want to be.''

The bandwagon may be rolling but Hardwick is not trying to stop it. In fact, he embraces it. ''It's relatively easy because nothing changes for us. We go about our preparation and our review process, we speak about the way we're going to attack the game. Nothing changes.''

2 comments so far

  • It is a credit to all involved from Gary March the appointment of Brendon Gale and the vision with the appointment of Damien Hardwick, there is a little way to go however as a platinum member (33years) i can see some light with some very good management decisions.
    Keep up the good work

    Commenter
    tiger of old
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    June 08, 2012, 8:36AM
    • Great to see a grand old club on the up-and-up... they have the most passionate supporter-base in the League, bar none.

      Commenter
      Crows fan
      Location
      Qld
      Date and time
      June 08, 2012, 8:44AM

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      AFL 2015

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      GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
      ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
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      NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
      STK vs HAW 16:40ES
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      WCE vs ESS 16:35Domain Stadium
      NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
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      RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
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      ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
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      PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
      STK vs RIC 16:40ES
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      ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
      RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
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      MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
      WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
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      Round 18
      Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
      HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
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      GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
      COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
      SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
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      COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
      WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
      BRI vs GCF 16:35G
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      WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
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      Round 21
      Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
      HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
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      GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
      GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
      STK vs GEE 19:20ES
      ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
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      CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
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      HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
      NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
      ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
      GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
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      Round 23
      Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
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      RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
      HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
      GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
      SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
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