The Pale Blue and White

North will go into tonight’s home game against Collingwood in a (lame) pale blue and white strip.

Daniel Harris modelling the clash strip at training

Daniel Harris modelling the clash strip at training

I didn’t watch The Footy Show last night (coz it’s a disgrace), but apparently James Brayshaw copped a bit of shit for it.

It’s pretty annoying that North are essentially forced (through lack of bargaining power) to fold to Collingwood’s demands. But the issue is actually at AFL HQ. It’s a North home game, why don’t they demand that Collingwood wear a suitable clash strip? Or even better, acknowledge that Australians’ vision is not confined to greyscale?

Apparently the AFL are faced with Collingwood suggesting that they will NEVER play an away game against North if they are required to wear a clash strip (an actual one, not this white-on-black vs black-on-white crap). To this I say, call their bluff. Either the AFL is for equity or it’s not.

The problem is, the AFL preside over the most inequitable mechanism in the game – the fixture. And if you think there’s no correlation between North’s willingness to wear a clash strip tonight and the favourable fixture it has received (first 11 games in Melbourne, first 4 home games against Hawks, ‘Dons, Tiges and ‘Woods) you’re deluded.

Which leaves JB in a terrible negotiating situation – either acceed to AFL/ Collingwood’s demands and erode the NMFC brand, or get a crap fixture. Publicly damning the situation will only hurt North’s bargaining power at AFL HQ, publicly accepting it offends North’s supporter base. He’s left to do all the work behind closed doors (in this, he has my complete confidence) and stave off the abuse as best he can.

I think it’s time the AFL took responsibility and gave back JB and NMFC some dignity.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “The Pale Blue and White

  1. cupcake

    It’s so stupid, I hate Collingwood taking their “we are better than that” approach. It’s such bullshit.

  2. magpie

    First of all – everyone should be forced to fold to Collingwood’s demands (just joking).

    You forget that away jumpers are just another way for the AFL (and clubs?) to make a buck from the average punter. If I barracked for North there’s NO WAY I would buy a so-called clash strip – but people do I’m sure. There are plenty of Roos supporters with those white guernseys with the roo on the front. Go figure.

    Re the fixture – are you seriously suggesting that the agreement (or otherwise) of a club to wear a clash strip is linked to their fixture? That’s a long bow to draw. But why does the AFL give too hoots about clash strips anyway (other than selling a few as above)?

    Apart from the “untouchable” games – eg. Coll vs Ess on Anzac Day – in fact many ‘traditional clashes’ the Pies play (and I’m not defending that practice) – isn’t the rest of the draw random? How else can the AFL justify it? More posts more about the politics of the fixture needed.

    Great blog. And may the better team win tonight – and may it be the Pies! 🙂

    • The fixture is based on clubs’ requests and the AFL’s desire to maximise attendance, TV audience and $. Every Melbourne-based club requests to play a home game against Collingwood, coz they make money from it. That’s why Collingwood end up travelling interstate less than any other AFL club EVERY YEAR. So no, it’s not random – it’s randomised with a huge amount of conditional criteria (eg. Anzac clash above, Freo vs WC twice a year, Adelaide vs Port twice a year, etc.).

      And yes, Arroca has mentioned that managing the AFL-NMFC relationship well results in a favourable fixture for NMFC. Piss them off at your own peril!

  3. Ed

    Arocca was great on SEN tonight. Basically said that North weren’t happy with the situation but there was no use being stubborn for the sake of it. He also suggested that North were shaking the meekness out of their system. Hope the Roos smash the bloody Pies tonight….by a point!

  4. Ed

    As for the clash strip, I think it’s fair enough that they are implemented for clash color teams. If they also provide a cashcow for clubs (Arocca commented tonight on SEN on the fact that the clash strip had indeed provided a welcome fillip for his club) so much the better.

    To borrow from Arroca, it “irks” me that Collingwood refuse to wear one as the away side. It doesn’t seem equitable that the home side has to wear their clash strip, on the basis that Collingwood has a somewhat pious attitude towards the iconic greatness of their traditional strip, and uses their once premier clout to labor the point.

    Mercifully though, opposing club presidents, have the good sense to get on with life and let a petulant Eddie & co cherish their sacred strip.

  5. Ed

    Here’s an idea, what about instead of preference going to the home team, preference goes to the team higher on the ladder (either in the current season or the year before)?

    That way, the weighting is placed on on-field superiority rather than backroom jostle.

    Any initiative that rewards the pursuit of the teams gets my not, such as the gold AFL logo for the reigning premiers.

    If Collingwood keep themselves atop the ladder, they wouldn’t have to ever wear a clash guernsey. But lose games they’ve all but won and they can kiss their jumper streak goodbye.

  6. Ed

    Just saw the North banner! Fired up now.

  7. Dean Millson

    On the plus side, the club has had an excellent demand for the strip from a commercial point of view, which isn’t a bad thing i guess. Every side is supposed to have a clash jumper, so we’re doing our part i guess. I honestly don’t see the big deal personally, especially as we’re still wearing blue and white stripes, but yes the principle of it is a bit skewed.

    I was a bigger fan of the idea until i saw them however. I think they need to be a tiny bit bluer and then they’ll look great, at the moment it’s a little too poweder blue imo. I was going to use the voucher I got from the club for selling back my shares to buy a clash strip, but i’m not so sure now hehe.

  8. Roberto

    I hate being bullied. I hate even more being bullied by the misfits and yobbos that are the Collingwood Football Club and its members. But the Rev has a point. We’re not rolling in money and playing a home game against the Pies is a great way to make some much-needed money for the club. If Collingwood must wear their regular strip for this to happen then so be it.

    I think it’s terrible that the Roos have to capitulate like this, but a viable club is more important to me than something petty like wearing a clash guernsey. Don’t get me wrong – I think the situation sucks but things could be a lot worse.

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