Excerpts from “Back on the Block”, published 24 August 2014.
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Election, Election…I’d been reading about a few of the promises being made by both main parties in their Australian election campaigning. Of course, there were a few that related to sports clubs and sports facilities, especially in marginal seats. I read of Concord Soccer Club, which lies within the bounds of the Canterbury District Soccer Football Association, being promised $500,000 dollars by Joe Hockey, speaking for the Liberals, and then Bill Shorten, Federal Education and Industrial Relations minister, came in with a $1 million promise. This is for club of 1,200 junior players. Talk about pork-barreling in the marginal seats.
So as I was about to try and bring a number of such promises into focus, the Australian Financial Review, ‘gazumped’ me and no doubt used much better sources than I’d reach.
Given the parlous state of some sports, clubs and athletes around the country, this makes interesting reading. It seems that Labor sees more advantage in fragmenting the money available and salting it carefully into targeted local campaigns. In one week, Labor rolled out almost 70 local announcements for ‘grassroots’ targeting…costing $450 million.
Sport related pledges have been collated by Phillip Coorey and Joanna Heath of the AFR. Labor has promised at least $100 million over 27 projects/programs/facilities/clubs, 17 of these in marginal seats. Add to that the $1 million for Concord. The largest is for the Rabbitoh’s high-performance centre, $16 million.
The Coalition has promised some $43 million over 10 projects/programs/facilities/clubs, 7 being in marginal seats.
The Australian Rugby Union is to develop a world-class training facility in Sydney's North West following a $20 million funding commitment from NSW Government and the Federal Coalition.
Is it in the water…?
Why is it that some major sports governing bodies so often really ignore or worse, ‘declare themselves paramount’ to, the basic learnings of business, including communications, respect and courtesy ….how often do we see it with FIFA, IOC and others … and now, taking insidethegames’ ‘exclusive’ about a proposal to move the headquarters of Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) from London to Kuala Lumpur …we see it yet again, it seems.
A controversial plan was hatched, which would have seen the CGF move house from London, after more than 80 years. This plan, for a move after the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, was presented at the CGF General Assembly. But a majority of the 71 delegates opposed the plan, angry that it had been presented as a fait accompli by Prince Tunku Imran, the Malaysian President of the CGF, and the rest of the ruling Executive Board.
The six staff who work for the CGF in London had already been advised and given notices of redundancy. These were later withdrawn. The London staff included Mike Hooper, chief executive of the CGF.
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