Last Monday the Blues announced that after an exhaustive head hunting program, Adelaide Chief Executive Officer, Steven Trigg, would take over the role at Carlton recently vacated by Greg Swann.
Steven Trigg has most recently been the a twelve year Chief Executive of the Adelaide Crows, but his most widely remembered achievement is his suspension for breaching the salary cap in the Tippett Affair.
Given the Blues history with the Salary Cap hasnt always been a harmonious match, some questioned the wisdom of appointing Trigg so soon after the Tippett affair, others have lauded it as a victory for second chances. The Blues say he came approved and recommended by the AFL.
For Adelaide fans, most are relieved he has gone. The Advertiser saying that Trigg probably overstayed his welcome in the eyes of many. For Blues fans, the overall reaction has been positive, but not all see the appointment in the greatest of lights.
I love second chance stories, and I truly hope that Trigg can effect some changes at Carlton, where Trigg will no longer have to be involved in the cesspool that is Adelaide football politics, and a club that has had one hand tied behind its back due to constant interference from the SANFL politically and financially.
There are however issues that are more in line with his CEO role that have been ignored by the media and the general public, and these are the reasons why i believe he is a less than stellar candidate for the role.
- At a time that club memberships were trending up, the Crows remained a stagnant force in Adelaide, neither rising nor falling, and gone from an extensive waiting list to none in 2011.
- Adelaides crowds dropped from 39,000 to 33,000 last year, although the move to Adelaide Oval will fix that.
- Adelaides sponsorship program lost 2 million between 2011 and 2012, and is at the same level it was at in 2009.
- Adelaide went from being a financial powerhouse to requiring a a million a year in grants from the SANFL just to make it profitable, without the grant, Adelaide would have been loss makers in five of the last six years.
- Adelaides revenue increases over the last five years have almost solely been to do with increases in TV rights funding.
So maybe we live in hope that the old adage “a change is as good as a holiday” comes to fruition here. Make no mistake some of the issues above are connected to the oppressive regime that is the SANFL, but this should be tempered with the knowledge that Adelaides only competition for the football dollar in Adelaide was the basketcase that was Port Adelaide before the arrival of David Koch and company.
For the Blues, growing memberships, attendances and revenues is a very big deal as these are areas many believe the Blues lack in despite a huge supporter base. Whether Trigg can pull this off where the highly rated Greg Swann failed is another story.
Trigg is going to have to walk the internal political tightrope that is Carlton’s boardroom, and deal with the clubs benefactors, in particular the likes of Mathieson and Pratt, as well as a new President.
Carlton have to negotiate new stadium arrangements at the end of the year, with many Blues people wanting a shift of more matches to the MCG from Etihad. This will be Triggs first major test.