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Doust, Price, Recruitment Theory

hardbaby

Coach
Messages
13,670
Like many supporters I am pretty disillusioned by many elements of this season. My main concerns centre around the management, coaching and recruitment strategies. And I have a theory.

It seems like the Dragons are under the salary cap but don't really have money to splash around. Now we know they spent a bomb on Bennett for 3 years. Did we spend too much?

Historically teams struggle after losing a grand final. I wonder if Doust hasn't decided to go with Price for 2 years, thus saving at least $1 million on the coach. Price was endorsed by the master so if it doesn't work out he can apportion the blame. And Price would be bargain basement price. Maybe he needed a cheap coach. Maybe he even expected him to fall on his sword. That's how Boards work.

When Bennett took his core training team with him to the Knights, they were certainly replaced at a lesser price - maybe a saving of $500 000 over two years.

Then we spend under the cap for 2 years - it sounds like about $350 000 this year and seemingly more next year. Maybe we have saved $1 million there as well. We have just saved $2.5 million and that's pretty conservative in my estimation.

We also have long term and well paid servants retiring at the end of next season. With plenty of front loaded contracts we will have opened up space to build an awesome side in the future. That's the advantage of going "unders" in consecutive years.

In 2014 we become financially sound (new tv revenue flows in + 2 years of fiscal prudence). Remember there is a difference between the salary cap and our actual ability to pay. Anyone can spend up to the cap...provided you have the money. I don't think we do. But in 2014 that should have changed.

The nuts and guts of it all is that Doust may have thought we were f**ked one way or the other. Let's take some pain now and hope our senior players and young coach can pull us through. The core nucleus of a great side was still there and the coach was Bennett's protege. Then go hard in 2014 with a new coach, new captain, marquee players etc.

Of course, no one would ever admit to this strategy but the more I look at the situation we are in, the more I think this is exactly what has happened.

Thoughts?
 
Messages
1,223
Hmmm..... you raise some interesting points in your theory and you may be not far of the mark, but how would you know? My questions are,

a) We have without doubt have the most famous and marketable sporting brand in Aus. We never have any problem attracting sponsors yet we have a cash problem. How can this be? and

b) If there is an issue or a reason why recruitment is slow for this reason or that, FFS tell us the fans. We hear constant retoric claiming our fans and Red V members are our most valuable assest from Dousty yet he tells us nothing except, "it's a work in progress' or 'organic growth' . I think when he refers to organic growth he means us the fans, because he keeps treating us like mushrooms............kept in the dark and fed Bulls..t.
 
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Hoekstra

Juniors
Messages
265
Are we saying that the club went into debt to get Bennett and his supporting staff? Or are we thinking our current thrifty look is a covert strategy to reduce costs in preperation of increased revenue into the future (2014).

If it's the latter and we are indeed cutting costs to build momentum down the track, I dont see any tactical advantage from such a strategy. As the team would currently be losing ground to clubs who arent cutting costs and already investing sufficient funds in coaching/staff and player development.

I also cant see us hiring a coach that we think won't be competitive. As you mentioned Bennett, and even the players talked of Price's credentials for the role. Player morale would die on floor if they thought the club hired someone who was not up for the role.

As for the cost cutting due to debt I think Rev previously posted a link to the League's Club's annual report and it did not look to flash on first glance. The football club could be suffering as a result. Difficult to gauge.
 

hardbaby

Coach
Messages
13,670
I don't think they went into debt intentionally by hiring Bennett but maybe the results on the field didn't translate into results off the field. It is very difficult to know but I truly believe that both the leagues club and the footy club are doing it tough. Asset rich. Cash poor. Welcome to Clubland.

I don't think Doust intentionally signed a coach who couldn't cut it. It was (in some aspects) a win:win strategy. If it works he is a hero. If it doesn't it was a financially prudent strategy (maybe a necessary on) that was endorsed by the man who should know: Bennett. And it has significant long term benefits down the track. Take your medicine now. Be fit and well later.

The whole point is that we, as supporters, don't know and probably never will. It's a feast or famine strategy that may have been forced onto us by external events e.g. losing Moltzen, pressure from the banks. Who knows? Not me.

But I do see a silver lining to what is a very dark cloud.
 

hardbaby

Coach
Messages
13,670
a) ... yet we have a cash problem. How can this be?

b) If there is an issue or a reason why recruitment is slow for this reason or that, FFS tell us the fans.

a) Because, like many Clubs, we are still run by dinosaurs that probably shouldn't be there in the first place. I am almost positive that we are not cashed up.

b) Because sadly, honesty does not always pay. Once you admit these things, you accept that they exist and you become liable. I have been the Secretary Manager of a Club and been involved in countless board meetings. Rule Number 1: cover your arse!!
 

Joey_dragons

Juniors
Messages
362
our recruitment is terrible. surley we have heaps of money from the salary cap and we cannot buy any players. other clubs do it with ease and have superstars. we lost so many superstars in smith,gaz,boyd and losing scott so wheres the money.
why cant we buy decent players what is doust doing.
is doust up to something or is the recruitment terrible...
 

The Nick

Bench
Messages
2,660
Hmmm..... you raise some interesting points in your theory and you may be not far of the mark, but how would you know? My questions are,

a) We have without doubt have the most famous and marketable sporting brand in Aus. We never have any problem attracting sponsors yet we have a cash problem. How can this be? and

b) If there is an issue or a reason why recruitment is slow for this reason or that, FFS tell us the fans. We hear constant retoric claiming our fans and Red V members are our most valuable assest from Dousty yet he tells us nothing except, "it's a work in progress' or 'organic growth' . I think when he refers to organic growth he means us the fans, because he keeps treating us like mushrooms............kept in the dark and fed Bulls..t.

This.
 

Mr Red

First Grade
Messages
6,193
it would be scary to think that one of the most marketable brands in australian sport has financial troubles, whilst teams like the sharks and gold coast are recruiting left, right and centre..
 

silverfox

Juniors
Messages
787
we also have alot of upgrades and back ended deals to contend with. And we did spend a motza on bennet and his crew. but it worked - he got what we wanted. if we have to have a few lean years instead of a premiership i know what i want!!
 
Messages
4,002
If this was the case why don't the dragons just simply bring through the juniors like stockwell cummins green and give them game time if the season is such a write off I don't care what anyone says price is the problem and needs to go he didn't have the balls to say to cooper hornby fien that it was time to go it will be a good two to three seasons till this mess sorts itself out
 

64 Dragon

Coach
Messages
11,249
If this was the case why don't the dragons just simply bring through the juniors like stockwell cummins green and give them game time if the season is such a write off I don't care what anyone says price is the problem and needs to go he didn't have the balls to say to cooper hornby fien that it was time to go it will be a good two to three seasons till this mess sorts itself out

I have said in other threads that I heard that if we bring in any more players it will put the club over the salary cap. Some of the players have deals where they are entitled to more pay if they play a certain amount of 1st grade games. It happened to us a couple of years ago.

And Cummins is out for the season.
 

grouch

First Grade
Messages
8,393
There is no financial problem. They simply back-ended a shitload of contracts in 2010 to make room for Gasnier. Morris, Creagh, Hornby etc. The club risked a lean year or two down the line to win it all in 2010.
It's also why Hornby is reluctant to retire - the bulk of his $$ are due next year.
 
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64 Dragon

Coach
Messages
11,249
Give Ben a job behind the scenes where he is not paid out of the salary cap. Then we can spend his money on someone new (and younger, and better, and quicker). That is smart management. Oh sorry that is Doust's responsibility. No chance then.
 

Wayne's World

First Grade
Messages
5,376
You have to spend the salary cap year to year or you lose what you didn't spend, so you would have to assume that some players would of been front-loaded. They went after Cooper Cronk did they not and missed out maybe they are waiting for next year until someone they want is available, goes for every other player they missed out on.
I don't understand how the club wouldn't have money as 2010 they made a profit, not sure on last year and in 2009 they got an extra $100k for the minor premiership.I think there would be alot of other clubs who would be worse off and the only thing that would save them is the impending TV rights deal.
 

64 Dragon

Coach
Messages
11,249
The Leagues Club grant to the Football Club has diminished over the last few seasons. The "Taj" is not the place it used to be, and is probably not making as much money, if any, as it has in the past. We've all heard how the Steelers club is going. Badly.
 

FlameThrower

Bench
Messages
3,490
Yeah, but if we did have financial issues, then why would we go off and sign-up a bunch of fringe players, most who have not played for us in 1st grade anyway? I don't buy it, we've just stuffed up and held onto playerds for 1-2 seasons too long. And missed on buying un-wanted but cheap players like Carney and Mason when we had the chance. Hornby,Cooper, Fein should all be retiring this year, not next - what's equal to $750k? The board is stuck on chook raffle/meat trays days and the game is 20 years ahead of that - it's a big business and we have one of the best BRANDS....yet we can't attract players and are playing like reserve grade reject's.
 

possm

Coach
Messages
14,370
Short of cash for sure. Blame Doust for that. It's his job to make sure there is enough funds available each year to run the footy team.

Poor recruitment for sure. Blame Craig Young, Steve Price and Doust in that order for that. These guys should take a leaf out of Des Hasler's book and dare I say, the Sharks recruitment this year.

Poor team performance for sure. Blame only Price. He gambled with an attacking plan to replace the one designed by Bennett to suit the talant in his player roster. Price tried to make a name for himself even though all through the pre-season he said he would not be changing much at all. As a result player confidence is down and individual players are not taking responsibility for their errors. What was Bennett's secret?
Safe ball carry out of your red zene.
High discipline - low penalty count.
Low errors - don't push the pass unless you are way ahead on the scoreboard.
Defend for your mates and take ownership of your job / zone in defence.
Self belief and belief in your mates.

Doust your fired!
Craig Young your fired!
Steve Price your fired!
Hornby, Fein, Cooper you guys can retire.

All is well.
 

mmap dragons

Juniors
Messages
998
it would be scary to think that one of the most marketable brands in australian sport has financial troubles, whilst teams like the sharks and gold coast are recruiting left, right and centre..

My sentiments exactly. I think you will find that both the Gold Coast and the Scum are relying on guesstimated salary cap increases from next season onwards that will include broadcast revenue allocations and are back-ending contracts with this purely in mind. Mind you though, If this were the case it could massively backfire.
 

hardbaby

Coach
Messages
13,670
My sentiments exactly. I think you will find that both the Gold Coast and the Scum are relying on guesstimated salary cap increases from next season onwards that will include broadcast revenue allocations and are back-ending contracts with this purely in mind. Mind you though, If this were the case it could massively backfire.

Exactly. There are clubs in far worse positions than us. The Gold Coast will probably go under despite the fact that the club side of things is going well. They are crippled by debt and it is all because of Searle. The Sharks are in dire straights and have adopted a feast or famine strategy but bear in mind they just went through three years of not spending their cap and having a streamlined back office. That obviously helped.

I think many rugby league clubs are not in great positions. Many of the comments raised above talk about "tradition" and "brands" etc and they are totally valid points. We definitely should not be in this position and yes Doust is absolutely responsible. But you look at the crowd figures this year and on average, they are poor. So this tradition doesn't seem to be helping us where we really need it...money. When the tv rights are worked out, the money won't be distributed according to tradition. All 16 clubs will get an equal amount. It's unfair but that's the way it is.

It's a very difficult sporting landscape. I think we got in a hole, made some mistakes with long term players and risked a lot on an aging side and a young coach. Screwed us this year and will probably screw us next year. But in 2014 I think we will see a very different lineup, some marquee players and an experienced coach. Cream always rises to the top.
 

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