Cove boycott of alm finals

As many of you saw in January of this year, the active protests against the APL and the Grand Final decision reached an indefinite ceasefire as long as they followed through with the targets agreed to collectively. It was made clear that regular updates would be provided to the groups regarding these targets to show a steady progress towards real change within the APL to bind fan consultation to the constitution of the governance of the game. Many were upset and angry at the temporary resolution made. However, at the time, we felt that implementing these changes would protect supporters in the future from being blindsided by such decisions that are unanimously despised.

Unfortunately, since then the active groups have been provided with no further communication regarding the search for an independent APL chair, the establishment of a constitutionally-bound supporters committee within the APL or any affordable packaging for fans around the finals series to make it accessible for those travelling far. For the Cove, the trust in those in charge has evaporated. Any action made after this statement would be both reactionary and disingenuous. It’s clear that the APL sought to promise anything that would silence supporters for the time being, and hope that everyone would’ve forgotten the agreement made by the time finals came around.

Let us not forget the sitting representative from Football Australia on the APL board who had the constitutional power to veto any decision, including the grand finals decision, if it went against “the spirit of the game.” They too have failed supporters massively in their position. Clearly, to the FA, we aren’t considered part of that spirit.

It is with a heavy heart that we feel that the Cove’s only course of action is to follow through with the promise we made to our members and the footballing public as a whole - a total boycott of the entire men’s finals series, acknowledging that our team’s place is not yet secured. For the women’s finals, following the advice of those most informed within our membership base on the state of the women’s game, we feel as though they are being made collateral damage in a decision they had very little control over. We will therefore continue to support the women through their home semi final which they have earned on merit.

We have been exceedingly reasonable, rational and patient with the APL to the extent that we as a supporter group have been openly criticised by many for stopping our action earlier this year. No one can claim that we are being emotional. The continuous treatment of supporters as commodities for promotional material and financial gain must stop. We are stakeholders that deserve more recognition when decisions are being made for the league. This is bigger than our own club, this is about the greater good of the league and supporters moving forward and that is why we feel it is necessary to miss the entire men’s finals series.

We are sending a strong message to the APL that they cannot continue to make empty promises to appease fans short-term. They cannot continue to take advantage of supporters as being something that is expected rather than earned. We deserve more than being the 6th or 7th priority on a checklist when decisions are made. We, like so many of our members, want nothing more than to just enjoy supporting our own team, and put all this bullshit behind us. But there is a larger issue here that requires supporters’ sacrifice and stand up for themselves yet again.

Whilst we would love the support of all Sydney fans, we understand that everyone has the freedom and right to make their own choice. If you stand with us, please, DO NOT purchase any tickets or attend the men’s finals series. We will be looking into demonstrations around the finals that don’t line the pockets of the APL or give them any metrics to measure this decision as a success. If you disagree with us and want to go, please, out of mutual respect for your fellow supporters, leave the active area empty. Sit anywhere else you please.

Let’s send a strong message together that our voices matter and that supporters should not be taken for granted.

#OurVoicesMatter

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Any similar commitment from our RBB “friends”? Given they definitely are in finals, almost definitely have a home qualifier, and have a tendency toward boycotts.

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I’d like to point out that the “indefinite ceasefire” was at least partly triggered by the supporters of a club who definitely are not in ALM finals.

Excellent communication, Cove leadership take a bow. :clap:

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I don’t agree with the decision to move the GF to Sydney. Having said that, I’m against any boycott that hurts the competition

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I am hoping all active supporters groups are putting out similar statements with similar sentiment?

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If the APL’s response is “you’re hurting the competition by not purchasing tickets for finals” when they moved the GFs to Sydney, they can get in the bin and the bin chickens can eat them.

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Namely, from other Sydney-based teams who are definitely in finals.

Edit: Who we might be playing in said finals.

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I think this is the right response, it would be BS to drag an already struggling women’s league into this.

I was on the fence about going to our elimination final if we do finish sixth, given it is hosted on merit same as it ever was, but I’ll support this boycott.

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Given that if we make finals, our EF game will either be in Western Sydney or Gosford, this is actually a big action. Given the shit we got for initially planning a silent protest rather than a walkout in Gosford, I would be glad for the Yellow Army and/or RBB to take a similar position.

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Great communication and I agree with what has been written.

I left weird that after the first week of boycotts that everything seemed to go back to normal, we could have a home semi final leg and an away derby so important now that every supporter understands the motives and the situation.

Couldn’t care less if other groups don’t boycott but surprised RBB haven’t already tbh, agreeing to the APL and just letting them treat supporters as customers and metrics isn’t apart of the ULTRAS bro code.

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Be interesting to see if there’s any further statement if our women do win tomorrow. We would have qualified for the GF indirectly, and it’s in Sydney, not on merit. I guess the silver-lining of losing tomorrow is we don’t have to make a call there and/or look like hypocrites and the APL looks thick AF with an all-Victorian GF in a Parramatta 30K seater.

I’m obviously never going to be able to make an unbiased assessment of the RBB, but from exposure over a decade, they usually boycott when it’s something specific to them. They’re less enthusiastic when it’s a league-wide thing, though the anti-Wilson statements back in the day were spot-on.

Boycotting finals, whether you’re home or away, is quite a deal more impactful than boycotting regular season. In the regular season, home games are covered by full membership and it’s only really the active and potential travelling fans boycotting which has potentially big impact (For CCM away, I had already purchased my game ticket.). With men’s finals, we pay for each game, so it would have noticable financial impact on the APL for both active and non-active, home and away, to boycott. Was what they got from the NSW Gov really worth the loss of finals ticket sales?

It’s a good statement but I disagree with 2 points:

  • The women apparently need the support but the men don’t - neither fair or accurate. I understand the sentiment but let’s face it without the men’s team the women’s team doesn’t exist either. The ALM isn’t exactly in some comfortable state of existence. I am all for supporting the women’s game as well fwiw, not a men vs women thing.

  • That The Cove be empty or the whole ‘if you stand with us’ aspect - I think it’s every fans’ right to do what they want in terms of active support, if 100 people, or 1,000 people, or 1 person wants to make their own decision as a grown adult and actively support, they should be encouraged to do so (to be fair The Cove can’t really police this and have asked for it not to happen out of ‘respect’, so that’s fair).

EDIT: while it’s not said, it’s implied in the message, that the women’s GF final will be boycotted but the home semi will be attended, which I do agree with if we want some consistency.

Boycotting ALM finals vs. ALW finals will be much more impactful given expected numbers and ticket sales, particularly of there’s a derby or all-NSW game.

agree with everything except the fact that the women’s finals series. They have power and should have a say in how the club is run too! It dilutes the message and essentially says to the powers at be that the men’s team is crap any way, so there’s less to lose…

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Fine, but I’m not skipping out on women’s finals games, especially not the prelim which is, as pointed out, in Sydney on merit, when a boycott would barely be a blip on the ALM’s radar. Whether we like it or not, the men’s teams and their players have higher profile positions and much more power than the women’s teams and players, and boycotting would have far more impact. The men’s sides are also the main commodity for these clubs. Additionally, I paid squat for my ticket tomorrow, because the APL and clubs can afford to give away tickets to women’s games.

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I think a better statement would have been to get everyone to go to the women’s games instead of the men’s. Show them what they could have had. But that wouldn’t work with the current scheduling. If it was next year when the finals were concurrent that could have worked.

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Given the number of people who were already at the game on Sunday who left before the ALW game, when entry covered both games, I doubt there’s that significant a number of potential ALW finals ticket buyers who would boycott and cause much of an impact.

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