Blue and gold never fold: Eels fans should stick together

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There’s a specter that’s been following me around for the last couple of weeks and I wish it would go away. It’s not always at the forefront of my mind, but it is always there. It follows me to work, it sits next to me on the bus and I most notice it on the weekend when I am watching the NRL. This specter is growing in size as the weeks go on and starting to cause me mild anxiety.

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone all superstitious on all of you just yet.

The specter I am talking about is the punishment threatening my football club following alleged breaches of the salary cap for the last 5 years.

I am not going to go into the alleged misbehavior, because it has been over reported in the media over the last couple of weeks and quite frankly, I’m sick of reading about it.

Despite a much improved Parramatta Eels line up on the field, with every win that the team notches up, I wait with bated breath to see what punishment (if any) will be handed down by the NRL.

I have no idea of when the penalty will be announced. I have no idea of what the penalty will be. It could be 4 points. It could be 10 points. It could be taking our wooden spoons away from us. At this stage it is uncertain.

But this is what I do know.

The Parramatta Eels have a very strong supporter base. We are passionate. We are one-eyed. We embrace players when they come to our club and make them our own. The Eels are a focal point in the community and belong to us. We are there to cheer on their successes and we are there during the failures as well.

No matter what happens over the next couple of weeks, we as a supporter base must stand strong. We cannot let this setback define us and we cannot let this setback set us on the wrong course.

The players had no idea what was going on – this much is clear. Our role as supporters is to back our blue and gold warriors on the field and we can do no more than that.

I hope that regardless of the penalty handed down, that I continue to see a full Pirtek Stadium.

The reality is the team has not looked this strong in years, particularly in defence. The new recruits of Scott, Foran and Gordon have settled into the squad well and with seasoned campaigners like Radradra, Ma’u, Edwards and Norman continuing to go from strength to strength, we genuinely look like a team that couple play finals football this year.

Let’s make sure that the boys know that the fans are behind them and that we, as a club, can overcome whatever challenges lie ahead.

What I also know is that the penalty will give the opportunity to make some real changes at a club level.

Mismanagement has plagued Parramatta at a board level for several years.

There are several layers to it.

Firstly, there are the factions which have been infighting and bickering for several years. The people involved in this bickering do not have the best interests of the club at heart. The club does not belong to these people and these people do not have a ‘right’ to run the club. The media leaks which are coming from inside are harmful and damaging and are not being shared with the media because someone has the best interests of the club at heart. This rot needs to be removed from the club, never ever to return.

This rot is a destabilizing factor and is preventing other clever, bright and talented people from wanting to be involved with the club, lest their careers and reputations be tarnished by the ongoing circus that is Parramatta’s governance.

The sooner it is understood that the Parramatta Eels are a multi million dollar business, the better.

Our club needs to be run like a business. We are one.

Regardless of who you are, if you want to be involved with the Parramatta Eels as a club, there is room for you. Everyone has a role to play whether that be as a member, in social media, as an advocate, as a coach or as a board member. However, just because you are a former player or a former coach or have laced on pair of boots, does not mean you are most suited for a board position. Each person has their place and the sooner that the appropriate people are in positions of power, the better our club will be.

Let’s use this opportunity to draw a line in the sand. Let us keep the past in the past and work toward the future of our bright club. We can all work together to cheer the team on and to insist, that going forward, only individuals worthy of a governance position take one on.

Finally, if you are not a member entitled to vote at elections, become one. Our voices are the voices that determine who takes our club into the future.

Stand with me over the next couple of weeks, even when it’s hard. The future of our club very much depends on it.

Love,

Ladies who League xxx