Brendon Gale, the current CEO of the Richmond Tigers AFL club was made available to the public today via a live chat on www.richmondfc.com.au. Representing Pen & Paper Blog were myself and JW and we had our questions in thick and fast, which to Brendon’s credit he answered honestly and with great length.
We thank the Richmond Football Club for allowing access to Brendon and also allowing us to put up the questions/answers from our point of view on Pen & Paper Blog.
PPB: What did you think of the TIO Stadium? Is there a future of more footy in Darwin?
BG: I thought the oval and stadium were fine, it mightn’t provide the creature comforts of the MCG, however it’s absoloutely fine for the playing of AFL football.
PPB: Alot of people haven’t understood why the Tiges played the game in Darwin and are criticising the club for doing it. Do you just wanna scream out at those people and what would you say?
BG: With a young, developing list that is eager to learn and improve, it’s crucial that we continue to invest in our football program now and give Craig Cameron and Damien Hardwick the tools needed to work towards realising this group’s full potential. With high debt levels and low revenues (for the time being) the selling of interstate games give us the ability to continue to make prudent investments. Further, as an iconic national sporting Club, there are other important brand and marketing benefits for us, as there are for the communities in which we embrace.
We fully understand and acknowledge the feelings of our members and supporters with respect to the selling of home games, especially after a performance like the one we produced in Darwin last Saturday night, however, this is the situation we are in right now. The match return enables us to invest vital funds in our football program at a critical time.
And, just on last weekend, to blame our performance on the selling of a game to Darwin is a cop-out, which we simply won’t accept. Our performance was extremely disappointing. We were beaten by a better side on the night, we take full responsibility for our performance, we will learn from it, and we will continue to improve.
I can assure all of our members that through improving on-field and commercial performance, combined with other initiatives such as the Fighting Tiger Fund, we are hell bent on re-establishing Richmond as a leading Melbourne AFL club, which we feel will be a powerful force in projecting our brand nationally.
Question asked by another member of the public: Hi Benny, I see the FTF figure is looking good. Are you confident of knock the total off?
BG: The Fighting Tiger Fund is going well, at this stage we are at about $2.5million and over the next month we will escalate activity in this area. Currently we have a scratch ‘n’ win $200 raffle, with all proceeds going to the FTF along with a $20 members raffle, both these activities are expected to net around $200,000. Importantly we have a whole campaign revolving around Round 15 v Carlton. This will be a FTF acknowledgement of appreciation day, and we have a range of fundraising activities planned leading up to and on the day.
Watch this space, and please be there on the day.
PPB: Do you prefer playing footy or the administration side of things like you are doing now?
BG: I loved playing footy, and looking back whilst it’s a tough game, you just have to worry about preparing together and winning. It’s a privelage to be able to come back in my current position but clearly it’s a very complex job.
Sometimes I’d love to press a fast forward button to 3-4 years down the track but unfortunately you don’t get handed success. I really respect and enjoy working with my colleagues. I value the support I got from members and really believe in the journey we’re all on together.
Those were the highlights of the session with Brendon Gale, the questions we put forward were mainly to do with the Darwin game as that is what is covering the news, it also gave him the chance to respond and show people why they sold the game to play in the Northern Territory. There were other questions we had put in about the team makeup and the younger players beginning to show their true colours, unfortunately those didn’t make it through to be answered by Brendon.
Again I wish to thank the Richmond Football Club for their generosity in organising this and allowing us to do this writeup. If you wish to keep up to date on news from the Tigers please go to www.richmondfc.com.au or follow them on Twitter (@Richmond_FC). If you wish to donate to the Fighting Tiger Fund please follow the link below; http://www.richmondfc.com.au/FTF/tabid/17103/Default.aspx