Friday, November 10, 2006

Should the Knights Bugger Off?

No, they should not.

Surely after The Knights' win against the Roar last weekend, Les Murray and Frank Farina have some words to eat.

When I first read Les Murray's article (It's time to bone the Knights) a month ago I was a bit shocked. Calling on coaches to be sacked is pretty serious stuff and it has become clear to me that this is part of the game. And obviously pointing fingers at management, players or even fitness coordinators is all fair game, so to speak. But to call for the sacking of a club is very serious indeed, and in my mind should only be contemplated in the case of a serious corruption scandal or something.

The Knights' main crime was to be the worst team in the A-League. Needless to say someone has to bear that burden.

Now to the personal dimension of this. The Roar are still stinging after being held to an embarrasing defeat last weekend. Are we to be denied the opportunity - indeed the right - to vengeance? All of a sudden, not only have the Knights redeemed themselves (certainly in the eyes of their own fans) but we have a brand new dynamic derby between these two clubs. I was there at Suncorp in Round 4 when the Roar whipped them 5 nil. The Roar's defeat last week was classically the burden of hubris. We will meet again, and it will be a corker (Round 18 on their turf).

There is that other crime. The Knights have not been drawing large crowds. Once again, that is the burden of lowest-ranking teams the world over. Winning teams, it seems to me, need the losing teams, and if necessary, darn right they should be subsidised financially. And let's see if a few more kiwis aren't showing an interest now. On that front Jeremy Brockie is probably making the most constructive suggestion: employ some kiwis to play for the kiwis. This will not only give the fans more reason to support the team but will give the team some of that tribal spirit that brings out the best in players. I'll only add, teach them the Haka.

My quite simple, self-evident point is that to sack the Knights is to reduce the base of support for the A-League itself. To replace it with, say, North Queensland would largely be to split the possible support in Queensland for the League as a whole. We can't take our eyes off the fact that the A-League doesn't have an overwhelming following anywhere yet. Sure we can talk about crowd numbers in Melbourne, the dominant team, and that's great, but I suggest that even in Victoria if you went to your local - choose one packed with people - on the night of a Victory game, you would be flat out finding a table of people keen to watch the game on Fox. In Brisbane that is most certainly the case. Scapegoating New Zealand, the weakest team (so far) in the comp for low crowd numbers is just bad taste in my opinion.

Finally, can someone please tell me if there is an independent Knights-supporting blogger out there? James over at Confessions of an A-League Junkie referenced an article which actually referred to such creatures, but as he pointed out, it remains a mystery as to who they are.

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Blogger Wayne said...

Bravo Hamish, this is perhaps the most refreshing point of view i have read concerning the subject, and one most "pundits" are loathe to admit. Your persistant apologies here and elsewhere over your "lack" of expertise on the subject has, I think been exposed by your "cut the crap" attitude and passion for the game and your team (so who does Les go for, eh?)in this piece. Great stuff, and Im not a knights fan by any means.

November 10, 2006 5:12 pm  

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