Mark Harvey was a well loved and loyal coach of the Fremantle Dockers for the past 6 years.
This week an emotionless and pragmatic Club CEO Steve Rosich sacked him. He only did this when he found out he could hire Ross Lyon, a well credentialed coach and someone who has probably extracted every last ounce of success he could out of St Kilda.
The pragmatic and soulless leadership Rosich has displayed betrays his lack of footy background, or understanding that he is not leading a business, he is leading a community.
The Fremantle Dockers is much more than a business, for whom a premiership means financial sustainability. You don’t choose a club to support, they choose you. Whether it is an affinity with the port, with the Italian heritage, with the much maligned but moving team song and the loyalty and passion of its fans….all things Harris is systematically dismantling.
Talk of members discarding their membership is expected, but not realistic, and Harris in his cynicism, knows this. He knows the ‘rusted on’ members who have seen the high and lows of the erratic Dockers will lay down their hard earned next year, in hope of the elusive success. They, unlike Harris, are loyal.
Harris has finally done something which if it does not come off, will surely dispel his demise. This leaves me in a quandary. I so much want to see my team finally play in that last game…in October. But I would also like to see my club regain its soul, something which Harris has taken away.
Either way, there will be no credit for Harris when we do succeed. No statues or monuments…or even a kind word. He has divided this community. Whatever your opinion on the song, the colours, the new coach….no one can deny Harris has divided the Fremantle. community. He has not brought us with him, in fact he does not care about us, because he knows we will pay up.