Posted: 9 August, 2011
by Ronny Lerner
North Melbourne President James Brayshaw Accuses Eddie McGuire And Jeff Kennett Of Having Short Memories
James Brayshaw accuses fellow AFL presidents of having short memories.
North Melbourne president James Brayshaw has accused Collingwood and Hawthorn counterparts Eddie McGuire and Jeff Kennett of having short memories after they both criticised the AFL for financially assisting poorer clubs.
The Herald Sun revealed on Tuesday that the league would audit all clubs and could give as many as seven of them enough cash to remain competitive with their richer opponents, prompting Eddie to tell Triple M’s Hot Breakfast that dishing out welfare would actually be detrimental to the recipients.
Listen to what Eddie had to say on The Hot Breakfast (6m 06s):
“Have a look at what welfare has done for Aboriginal Australia - it's been fantastic hasn't it? And this is what we're getting with the AFL,” Eddie said.
“If you've got clubs who think the only way they can prosper is to meekly put their hands out and maybe get a few crumbs off the table of the AFL, they're never going to fight their way to the top.”
Kennett backed up Eddie’s sentiments, telling Melbourne radio that handouts bred a culture of fear.
“When you have as many clubs as we do dependent on annual support from the AFL, very few, if any, of their presidents of administrations are prepared to speak up because they're fearful of the ramifications and intimidation that will follow,” Kennett said.
But Brayshaw, speaking on Triple M’s Rush Hour, suggested neither Eddie or Jeff would be making those kind of statements 10 years ago when their respective clubs found themselves in financial trouble.
Listen to what JB had to say on The Rush Hour (2m 47s):
“If (former Carlton president) John Elliott turned around 10 years ago and said ‘you know what? These clubs that are a drain on the competition, see ya later’, how would that have looked,” JB told Triple M’s Rush Hour.
Brayshaw said it was vital that the AFL had 18 strong clubs over the next five years if it had any chance of topping the record $1.25 billion broadcast deal it recently penned.
“If we allow half our clubs, and by extension their teams, to fall away – which is what Ed and Jeff want to see apparently – how likely are we to see $1.25 billion next time round? Highly unlikely,” Brayshaw said.
The Kangaroos chairman labelled the comments made by Eddie and Jeff as ‘ridiculous’ and said if they had it their way, the AFL would run the risk of becoming a predictable competition.
“Do they want an EPL (English Premier League) model where every year only two or three teams are capable of winning it?,” Brayshaw posed.
Should the AFL dish out financial assistance to the poorer clubs?