The return of football brings with it not only winter but The Advertiser’s Friday morning football lift out including the return of Ken Cunningham’s weekly spray. This week’s KG included a hand written ‘Plea to SACA Members’ which opens ‘To all my fellow SA Cricket Association members, I am begging, pleading and imploring you to give the green light to the Adelaide Oval redevelopment when it is time to vote in May.
‘If this doesn’t go ahead we’ll be the laughing stock of the rest of the country.’
‘If it is all about drop-in pitches and ridiculous trivialities like not being able to see the Adelaide Hills from the western stand then you might as well turn off the light and forget about making the city and this precinct exciting and vibrant.’
And so it went on, praising the benefits for football.
Well Ken, it is not just about those things and you can see a fuller list now posted on Greg Howe’s website www.saveadelaideoval.com and it includes that other ‘ridiculous triviality’ of a cost of a minimum of $535m.
But that is not the issue here which is that this is the same Ken Cunningham who not once, not twice but three times condemned this move of football to Adelaide Oval in no uncertain terms in his very same column last year. Here he is on 21st May where after describing the redevelopment proposal as a ‘farce’ went on to say:
‘The more I hear and see, the more I am convinced the great plan to get AFL there (Adelaide Oval) … was nothing more than a rushed exercise in political point scoring. The Crows sure as hell don’t want to go there.’
Then again a week later:
‘Even Mr Magoo can see that’s a marriage made in hell and won’t work, so why is there is so much pressure being put on everybody? Sport will be the biggest loser out of this. AAMI stadium goes and then we’re left with only one major sporting venue. We’d be the only major city in the country that doesn’t have more than one stadium. It’s one step forward and two steps back.’
Finally at the end of July, under the heading of: ‘Hands Off Our Oval’, KG writes,
‘There is now a putrid stench surrounding the Adelaide Oval development proposal.
‘It’s all about the AFL and their greedy grab to dominate the landscape and dictate the terms that everybody must play by.
‘Why should we be forced to accept Adelaide as a one major football ground town when all the other cities have at least two? Is that forward thinking for the generations to come? No bloody way!
‘Expecting them (the SANFL) to leave West Lakes is like asking the Queen to move out of Buckingham Palace and shack up in rented digs.
‘If I were in (Leigh) Wicker’s boots, I would be calling Mike Rann, Kevin Foley, Ian McLachlan and Andrew Demetriou and telling them to stick it up their backsides.’
You do have to wonder what has brought about this sudden change of heart that matches Michelangelo Rucci’s front page scorn of Demetriou last year for picking up a $1m bonus for getting football back to Adelaide Oval but then this year trumpets him as the sage of the east we should obey after Demetriou told us it was good for us.
Corporate interests are not far behind and in a much more immediate timeframe.
Last month, Kryztoff (www.kryztoff.com/RAW/?p=2107) broke the story that the Adelaide Casino was the ‘private’ party that the SA Government was seeking to bank roll the shortfall in costs of between $100m and $200m for the Adelaide Oval redevelopment.
In response the Adelaide Casino contacted us and advised that that was not the case, that their development plans were quite separate and their future totally independent of what happened at Adelaide Oval. Further, the Casino’s planning timetable put it at another time of the year beyond when the Adelaide Oval redevelopment gets resolved one way or the other.
Not so it seems given by the coverage in yesterday’s Advertiser where it reported that ‘SkyCity chairman Rod McGeoch said the group would reconsider its investment if the oval redevelopment was voted down.’ Further, SkyCity managing director Nigel Morrison is reported as saying ‘the Oval remained (our emphasis) a key factor to convince the board to back the $250 million facelift’.
Mixed in with not revealing to SACA members the reality of drop in pitches for eight months by SACA President Ian McLachlan, Treasurer Foley forgetting about the $85m cost blow out, the AFL not telling the SANFL about the discussions with McLachlan that went on for a couple of years etc and Mr Demetriou’s bonus, you do have to wonder why anyone would believe anything said by any of the cheerleaders for this project at this point in time.
Indeed Ken, you were right, ‘there is now a putrid stench surrounding the Adelaide Oval development proposal.’ Even Mr Magoo can see that.