An open letter to Doctor Morgan
Dear Doctor Morgan
I listened with some interest to your recent comments which were broadcast on Radio Sport this morning wherein you described Phoenix fans as a mixture of Pathetic and unsophisticated.
Gareth, I take a great deal of umbrage with those comments. I have been a football fan now for at least 40 of my forty five years on this planet, with the first game I can recall watching, being the 1972 FA Cup final between Leeds and Arsenal. I have played football to a fairly high level in New Zealand, in both the Central Leagues and Northern Leagues before a series of injuries stopped my playing days. I have coached junior teams and now coach a senior team in Wellington. My passion for football has left me at the point where as a forty five year old I have had a total replacement of both of my knees. Two and a half weeks after that operation I was in the stand at Westpac Stadium supporting the team that you and others own but I regard as my team. That Gareth, is what 'pathetic' football fans do.
I have been the holder of 4 season tickets since the second season. The only reason I was not a season Ticket holder the first year was because I was living in Queenstown at the time and simply could not get to enough games. Over the years I have bought every Shirt available, have lost count of the scarves, hats beanies and other bits of merchandise I have purchased. This is nothing unusual amongst the unsophisticated football fans. That again is what Pathetic football fans do.
This season, I like a number of others have wandered up and down Lambton Quay, stood outside the Railway station, stood waving flags on Motorway overpasses to drum up support for the team, in an effort to bring along more fans to the game you now consider to be pathetic and unsophisticated. There are many others in the supporters group who do an immeasurable amount more. You call us Pathetic and Unsophisticated, I call it Passionate.
Do you remember that word Gareth? I recall you using it as a reason why you and the other members of the ownership group took over the running of the Phoenix.... It was the Passion of the fans that you loved. Now you wish to use that passion as a stick to beat the major stakeholders in the club.
I and many others, are extremely grateful for you stepping in and buying the Phoenix. I love the fact that I am able to watch professional football in my city every fortnight, although it seems you are intent on diluting that too. It is a far cry from watching Stop Out play in the National League in the mid seventies, so once again thank you for carrying on with the dream started by Terry all those years ago.
Perhaps us Pathetic and Unsophisticated fans do not understand the "vision" you have for the club. Is that a surprise with the mixed messages that come from the club?
Passion Gareth, is what sets apart football fans from just about any other sports fan in the world. It is passion that leads us to wrenching off our beloved Phoenix Tops from our less than athletic bodies to celebrate what we hope to be a looming win. It certainly is not the tropical Wellington Weather. It is Passion that has us singing and supporting our team to the point we can barely talk the following day. It is passion that has us travelling to Auckland and Dunedin and beyond to support our team away from the Ring of Fire.It is passion that has us wanting our team to perform week in week out. It is passion that will have us back supporting our team despite watching a humiliating performance last week.
In summary Gareth, I think you have taken that passion to be an indication of being Pathetic and unsophisticated. Perhaps someone who has been a football supporter for more than two years would understand that.
Yours in unsophisticated patheticness
This is an excellent epistle from Jeff, and should be a wake-up call to Gareth Morgan and the fellow owners of the Wellington Phoenix, the Welnix Group. Yellow Fever has supported the team through thick and thin, and their unsophisticated presence with occasional pathetic chants (generally those directed at the team owners!) enhances the atmosphere at Phoenix home games. They should be encouraged, not denigrated.
In fact one of the other owners ought to take Dr Morgan aside, and tell him in unsophisticated terms to pull his head in before he destroys the Wellington Phoenix brand completely. But that's just our pathetic, unsophisticated opinion.