Essendon's main goal isn't on-field success

The club a couple of years ago was very outspoken about their on-field goals. I think it was finishing in the top 4 by 2018 and contending for a flag over a 3 year period? Something along those lines. You can find articles about it if you dig for them. We obviously failed miserably and nothing ever came from it. The club acts like it never happened.
They shifted goalposts in an almost gaslighting way by telling us that 10 other clubs would love to be in the position of being obliterated by West Coast in the EF last year. “We should be happy we even made it” apparently.

They communicated their goals, but didn’t communicate progress. A huge sign of incompetency is the lack of accountability…

But was that ever the goal? Why in the world would a club coming off a wooden spoon with so much uncertainty set such an ambitious goal? The answer lies in what we DID communicate in the past couple of years. Off-field progression.

Hear me out. This may be taken as a conspiracy theory, but I believe that our number 1 goal was to rebuild from the financial impact of the saga. That’s obviously straight forward and understandable. We were brought to our knees after the worst scandal in AFL history. Our debt was I think over 10 million dollars at a point. There’s no way on-field performance is prioritised over our financial position and rebuilding our brand. I actually think the club was very smart in how they handled the off-field aspect of the club.

The shifting of goalposts and abandoning of projections indicates that on-field performance was never the real goal. Think of it as clickbait. What did we actually achieve though? We cleared our debt and smashed membership records. We had the same memberships as successful teams like West Coast, Collingwood and Hawthorn. Those ambitious goals around top 4 and contending generated hype and money for the club. I don’t believe they ever expected us to achieve those goals. Supporter engagement is the key component to financial stability. The best time to profit is in the off-season because on-field performance won’t hold the club accountable. By the time the season starts, most of the money is made.

The constant communication from the club over the last 2 years is “be patient, we’ll be a very good side”. I think Woosha even said exactly that recently. From a business perspective, it makes sense. It’s the only way you can sell hope. Deflect away from now and paint a picture of what it will be like.

In fact, everything we did makes complete sense if we only look at it financially. Making huge trades to smash membership records, keeping Daniher instead of trading him to sell hope, the succession plan to provide “stability” etc. The club is still very much in “survival mode”. Think of the following: What happens to memberships if Daniher is traded? How will we sell the hope of a premiership when our best player, a father-son from an Essendon family, leaves the club for a couple of speculative picks? The only way Daniher was ever leaving is if he left for an established player we could use to sell hope. Pick 9 or whatever wasn’t going to do that. Another question to ask is: what happens to memberships if we concede the mistake of re-signing Woosha by sacking him? Here comes the perfect plan of selling hope: the succession plan.

The succession plan essentially guaranteed at least two years of supporter engagement. If 2020 goes to ■■■■, well Woosha is out the door. If 2021 goes to ■■■■, well it’s Rutten’s first year. We’ll hear plenty of “the gameplan takes time to implement” and “Dimma took 7 years”. Essendon supporters are still actually blaming Woosha for our on-field perfomance this year even though Rutten is basically the coach lol. Succession plan probably worked exactly how they envisaged it. Just another contingency plan.

Focusing on finance was smart in the short-term, but will it be in the long-term? What happens in a couple of years when we’re faced with the reality of needing a rebuild? Generating hype can only last for so long. On-field failure means you cannot attract quality players. It also means that memberships and attendances eventually stagnate. Then they’ll stop receiving prime-time slots and start accumulating debt. It has a flow on effect.

So many of our decisions do not make sense from an on-field perspective, which is why I believe it was never the aim. My theory isn’t farfetched either because Richmond before they won the premiership explicitly stated they didn’t intend on winning a premiership in one of their plans. My memory is a bit clouded, but it might have either sparked the internal review at the end of 2016 or it might have been discovered during that review.

TL;DR - Essendon click-baited the supporters.




Luckily this is something we’ve never discussed before and could lead to serious changes


Not true.

I remember my Richmond supporting mate bringing a members report in to work one day around 2010ish (I think) where Brendan Gale wrote something along the lines of aiming for 3 premierships and 75,000 members by 2020.

And I laughed.


How many of these threads do we need?


l blame it on the pandemic and isolation.




When Vinnie starts one of these threads we will have hit peak Blitz

Is Dusty still in the fridge?

So Essendon is being run like a Ponzi scheme.?
We all know what happens to them eventually.

It was 5

Jokes on them


I’m not really on Bomberblitz very often. Apologies. We can delete the thread if it is possible.

Mods please delete the thread.

Richmond set out a 10-year plan in 2010 that by the end of the decade they wanted to win 3 flags and have 75,000.

They got 100,000 members (I’ve never bought into the bullshit that is membership numbers anyway) and won only 2 flags.


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Don’t delete the thread. You obviously put in a lot of time and effort into the OP, and we have jumped on it. Not your fault that Blitz has had a few similar threads recently, but also no reason the delete the thread. Better value to merge it with another thread.


I think alot of what was said is accurate, not so much the comparison to Richmond.

And he/she actually touch on something that hasn’t really been mentioned, in that we (the club) creates the illusion of wanting to contend for top4/premiership to get in members and sponsors but doesn’t really aim for it as its main goal, more of a secondary.
Did they honestly think that Daniher would be playing many games this year? Would equate to 3 years out by the end of 2020.
We are doing the handover because if we are going to pay for Worsfold in 2020 then we may as well get something out of him, but sometimes it would be better to just cut the cord, take the L and move forward. It is a gap year now.


Yep. Guarantee they’re prioritising the illusion of wanting to succeed over actually wanting to succeed. Who actually wants to be successful anyway, am i right? The illusion is more important.

All clubs claim that they want on-field success. Many know that that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Some are even prepared to say they’re rebuilding. We won’t. The trouble is, no-one really knows what we’re trying to do. All we get is Woosha saying something like ‘we’ll stick with it’. What does this mean? I don’t know; most members and supporters don’t know; and, I reckon, most players don’t either.
We obviously need change. Fifteen years of mediocrity is 15 years too many. With a ‘new’ coach and at least one new assistant, we can only hope that that change will happen. I won’t hold my breath, though.