Students of the Adelaide Oval redevelopment proposal will recall that at its core is agreement between the SACA and the SANFL about jointly operating and managing the Adelaide Oval, redeveloped by the taxpayer.
As the SACA information booklet revealed, there has been no formal agreement between those parties other than a ‘term sheet to record in principle arrangements’ about the Adelaide Oval redevelopment signed in November 2009.
As much as SACA bent over backwards to accommodate the AFL and the SANFL for fear that the massive debts President Ian McLachlan and his board had run up in the $45m overspend on the new members’ grandstand would bring it down should no deal proceed, the SANFL was always more reluctant and circumspect about it all.
Its bottom line was simply that it would finish in no worse a position with the deal than before and that, one may recall, was predicated on control of the precinct and car parking revenue, a reality that only became apparent to geniuses at places like the Adelaide City Council when the actual legislation was introduced.
But a part of that also was the maintenance by the SANFL of its income stream from its two AFL licensees, Port and the Crows, from playing games at its ground – whether that be Football Park or Adelaide Oval redeveloped.
As the vitriol now spilling forth in every segment of the media attests, nothing has brought the Power to its knees more than the losses it has sustained from playing games at Football Park.
Well, it is now up to the AFL to bail Port out. Given its antipathy towards the SANFL over its stadium deals, there is no way any rescue package of whatever proposed duration will also accommodate the continuation of those usurious stadium terms.
It is also hard to imagine how it will not also involve the transfer of the licence.
Whatever, now the deal for Adelaide Oval will need to be a tripartite one of sporting entities – SACA, the SANFL and AFL or, as contemplated in our earlier article, the SACA, Crows and Port.
That will need to be negotiated and announced and any deal will mean a far less beneficial one for the SANFL than at present.
How the SMA gets restructured is also up for grabs. Presently the SMA constitution provides for four directors from each of the SACA and SANFL. Now the arrangements will require three parties to be represented.
With this scenario, the Government will also faces a major dilemma – will it be politically acceptable to spend $535m on a stadium that is owned and controlled at least in part by the Victorian based AFL. Rann went ‘all the way’ to the High Court against the Vics on water rights and we have squealed for years about losing our Grand Prix. And now we are going to pay for them to take over our only sporting stadium?
But will the SACA members’ Yes vote, based on a 50:50 joint venture with the SANFL in the SMA and use of the oval, also cover any arrangement with the AFL and / or where the SACA is no longer a 50% player? It shouldn’t but McLachlan and his SACA board will be so desperate no doubt they will countenance no dissent and pretend that nothing much has changed at all.
But with the returns from Adelaide Oval to the SANFL greatly reduced as a part of the ‘new deal’ that saves Port will they wish to be a part of it all? It took a lot of money and cajoling to get them as far as they did at the start of this month. Now that it is about to blow up in their faces, will they wish to back out and plough on with the Crows only at Football Park?
Kryztoff has long proposed that Port could play its games at Adelaide Oval as it is presently configured, starting this weekend, with the Government stumping up some gate guarantee to ensure the SACA and Port survive and the SANFL is compensated. This makes every party a winner, except of course the Government and The Advertiser and their cheer squad which never allowed any such alternative to be even discussed.
And while on The Advertiser, did anyone else note that they put out two ‘Final’ editions this morning with only one covering this story? Was the great Michelangelo Rucci blissfully unaware or was he totally unwilling to dump on his own club and was forced into it late in the night because it was being posted on The Age’s website.
Great work Ruc! You keep hammering away at Neil Craig and promoting Chad Cornes and let the interstate press tell us what is really going on in this town.