This will be the last of my Watercooler blogs on the SKINS website.
I’ve written quite a bit about governance of cricket in Australia – and I’m pleased to see the former Chairman, David Peever, fall on his sword along with others – as well as football at a global level, but I want to turn briefly to football in Australia.
Back in April, an occasionally wise man wrote this:
There’s been a fascinating story rolling out from my home town of Sydney in the past couple of weeks, which has fairly much consumed local media for that time. But on reflecting on it, I think it’s worth sharing with those of you who read this because it has an important lesson for all of us.
If you’ve read my previous blogs (mostly here) and search ‘Nike’, you will know that I have been one of the first out of the blocks to criticise them in the past. And rightly so as part of the elite corporate sportswear companies that keep the Olympic and other sporting bodies ticking in the manner to which they have become accustomed.
He’s such a giant of the game of rugby league, and someone we’ve been proud to be associated with, for so long, it would be remiss of me not to mention the retirement of one of the game’s greats, Johnathan Thurston.
It was good to see the Australian Government release its ‘blue sky’ plan on sport in the form of the National Sport Plan released by the Sports Minister, Bridget McKenzie, last week.
Last week I had the opportunity to speak on the theme of ‘trust in sport’ at the Mumbrella Sports Marketing summit in Sydney. One of the areas that I talked about was the role of brands in supporting organisations or activities that align with their values. I said that one of the issues that I find disappointing about some other brands is their willingness to just sit on the sidelines when it comes to something that matters.
My word, FIFA picks them, don’t they?
A hot topic that has struck me in the short time I’ve been in Sydney is the issue of stadiums.
Wow. What was the ‘leadership group’ of the Australian cricket team thinking? What planet did they come down from where they thought any part of what they were involved in was actually appropriate?
Three years ago, I went to Doha to look at what all the fuss was about for myself when it came to workers’ conditions in Qatar.
I have to admit I am really into the Winter Olympics. It’s a bit strange in light of growing up in Australia, the driest continent on earth, surrounded by ocean and beautiful beaches, blessed with pretty good weather and lots of sunshine, the Winter Olympics have, in a weird way, always been front of mind every four years.
Excuse the radio silence in January! I’d love to say it was because I was having a long break, whizzing down some ski slopes somewhere, or even back in Australia taking in the cricket and the tennis, but no – it’s been work. Quite a lot is happening and I’ll be happy to share more about that later in the year.
It’s been another big year in sport – unfortunately, for as much as the bad things as the good.
Two months ago I wrote about how Qatar could start to improve their battered image in the world. The battering started with the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to them seven years ago, and hasn’t let up.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that the gender pay gap is no more apparent than in the world of sport.
About seven years ago, the wife of the former Emir of Qatar wowed a global audience when presenting her country’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup with a simple question along the lines of ‘When will it be the right time for the Middle East to host the World Cup?’