Do the right thing – an open letter to the Sporting Community of Queensland, The State Government and to Football Federation Australia (FFA)
Last week the FFA announced that Suncorp Stadium would not be available for a possible Brisbane Roar home A-League Grand Final and the preceding week’s home semi-final, should the team be fortunate enough to earn it. The reason given was the stadium being booked out for the NRL’s planned ‘Magic Round’.
Firstly, we the acknowledge there is a long season ahead and Roar’s place in the Finals has yet to be earned and not taken for granted. Equally, stadiums in all other cities have been reserved for this particular weekend and Brisbane should be no different.
Secondly, we acknowledge the importance of the NRL’s Magic Round, not least because many of our members are also Broncos fans, and recognise this event’s significance to the Stadium, local economy and the sporting environment of Queensland.
However, the RSF believe there is still time for everyone involved to do the right thing and to find a suitable compromise.
To the FFA we say this: an alternative stadium is not an option. Suncorp Stadium is our home and a move away will inconvenience supporters and disadvantage the team. We urge you not to underestimate the anger that fans are feeling, and we request you revisit this situation urgently.
To Alan Graham, GM of Suncorp Stadium: this season will see Roar smash the 2.5 million spectator mark at your stadium. The importance of BRFC as a tenant cannot be minimised and we politely request that you work with the FFA to resolve this. There are millions of reasons why you should.
To the State Government: The national importance of the Hyundai A-League Grant Final is significant, bringing both prestige and commercial benefits to the State. Suncorp Stadium was built with public money and should, within reason, be made available for the hosting of all significant sporting events.
To the Broncos and The NRL: whilst this is not a problem of your making it is nonetheless a problem for the Queensland sporting community. Too often rival codes spend time “competing” without realising many of their supporters share a love for multiple codes. We would urge you to work with the above parties on finding a solution.
The Roar Supporters Federation, as a properly constituted NFP Organisation under Queensland law, is duty bound to speak for our members and supporters of BRFC. We find this situation disappointing, and quite frankly embarrassing for the State of Queensland.
We acknowledge football supporters can sometimes be quick to jump to protests so, despite the obvious anger amongst our members, we are asking all parties involved to collaborate on finding an appropriate solution to this rather than risk, and we appreciate risk is all that it is, a national embarrassment come May.
All it will take to resolve this is a few good people to do the right thing.
For and on behalf of the members of The Roar Supporters Federation.