Thursday, January 28, 2016

Op-Ed: An Open Letter To Central Coast Mariners Membership

Dear Central Coast Mariners Membership:

The Webster's Dictionary defines the term "petulance" as "the quality of being childishly sulky or bad-tempered." Such is the case of all of you as a supporter group. Now, this past weekend, Mark Rudan, who I have respect for as a broadcaster and expert on the game of soccer in Australia, is, to put in vulgar terms, "taking the piss" for a hot take on the sending off of Nick Montgomery during the Western Sydney Wanderers' 2-1 win over your side. The Telegraph had this to write on the matter...

THE sending off of Mariners captain Nick Montgomery has sparked an angry row between the Central Coast and A-League broadcasters Fox Sports, with the club making a formal complaint about comments made in the wake of Saturday’s defeat to Western Sydney.

Montgomery was dismissed late in the game for an ugly, studs-up tackle on Wanderers winger Golgol Mebrahtu, a challenge described as a “terrible tackle” by Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic after the game.

Though Mebrahtu wasn’t badly injured, Fox analyst Mark Rudan said during the post-game broadcast that it was “about as bad a tackle as you will see, especially against a fellow professional who’s just come back from a long-term injury”.

Asked on air if Montgomery would know about Mebrahtu’s injury history, Rudan replied: “Absolutely he would.”

So, here is the response from you, and I quote...

On behalf of our Members, players and staff the Central Coast Mariners have today issued a formal complaint to Fox Sports Australia and Football Federation Australia in regards to inappropriate comments against our Club and players following our most recent match against Western Sydney Wanderers.

The Mariners have been inundated with Members expressing their concerns and demanding that the Club takes appropriate steps to ensure that the integrity of the Mariners and its players are protected against unwarranted and totally unfounded comments.

This was also raised officially by the Club’s supporter groups who recently held meetings with Mariners Chairman, Mike Charlesworth.

The Mariners will be updating our Members on any formal response we receive from Fox Sports Australia or Football Federation Australia on the matter.

Any Member wishing to express their views are encouraged to contact the club via email on so we can contact you directly to discuss your concerns.

Here's my thoughts on this: Mark Rudan's hot take on Montgomery's tackle on Mebrahtu is the last thing you should worry about, Central Coast. You mates are at the bottom of the A-League ladder, facing a Wellington Phoenix team that is desperate to stay in the race for Finals Series football. I strongly recommend you focus on this week's match and leave Mark Rudan out of this.

Mark Rudan is not Rebecca Wilson, a journalist that I personally give you clearance to go after. This petulance from you and the entire Mariners organization is wasted energy that will diminish you as a relevant organization in the country going forward. This is where you should just let the media do their job because in this instance, they aren't going after you. They're going after a harsh challenge that resulted in a well-deserved red card. In short, a football play.

So, drop your complaints, on behalf of The Stoppage Time, Central Coast and steady on. Wellington will love a distracted team because that's akin to going upstream on a semi-inflated raft without a paddle. Don't pay the price for your petulance. Worry about the trip to Christchurch, or, quite frankly, dare I say it, you will be feeling the aftershocks of another defeat away all the way from the South Island of New Zealand, to the cozy confines of Gosford. Just so you know...and that, mates, is the bottom line.


Jo-Ryan Salazar, columnist, The Stoppage Time.