Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dear Gareth...

A reader has left a lengthy comment on our Tweet of the Day thread about Gareth Morgan. With Jeff's permission, it is repeated here:

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. 


Quintin Hogg said...

That is a very good comment from your communicant (to use a Cramnerism).

Like your correspondent I have played soccer all my life starting at age 8 continuing now even though it is reduced to the indoor game.

I watch the IPL and other leagues as often as i can.

I watch the phoenix, even though that has been difficult of late.

My indoor team recently celebrated it's 1000th game. The senior members of the team (we have some sons playing for us) are all 50+. a number of the team still play outdoors as well. As well as stupidity above and beyond the call that I suggest shows a bit of passion for the game (as well as the odd libation afterwards)

All of us are passionate soccer players. We are professionals and tradesmen.

We are definitely not pathetic or unsophisticated.

We are all supporters of the Phoenix and are intending to go to their forthcoming game at Eden Park.

What we don't like is bein abused for our passion, enthusiasm and enjoyment of a game.

Gareth should realise that passion is part of the beautiful game and accept that. If he can't well, Gareth needs to take a long hard look at himself and consider whether the Phoenix are for him.

Knicker said...

My God... It's a piss-take right?
If I were Gareth, my first words after reading this would be..
"I rest my case"

jabba said...

well said Jeff

Morrissey Breen said...

Morgan knows next to nothing about soccer.

Keeping Stock said...

That's pretty evident Morrissey. He is deluded if he thinks that professional soccer in New Zealand will ever be a cash cow.