The Members Forum
Parker opened the night saying, despite his lack of experience in the area, the club will have a much larger presence on social media and will engage better with fans. That's good. He mentioned concern about "in-fighting" on social media and wants to see the fans united. He mentioned Twitter and Facebook but hopefully this also spreads into bringing the club site up to scratch. It's a good looking site, it just lacks a few things like stats, current information and correct information eg did you know Mitch Creek and Nathan Crosswell both wear #23?
Some of us hoped we might get an exclusive. Far from it. My hopes for the credibility of the night were dashed when it was mentioned Clarke's position would be reviewed at the end of the season. Hopefully that review goes for all of 5 seconds. He did state though that financial and environmental concerns played a key part in letting Clarke see the season out.
I was stunned when Parker announced the coaching situation hadn't been discussed at board level for several months. Apparently people have contacted the club regarding the role but the club will not look at prospects until the end of the season.
I was surprised to learn two players have "opt out" clauses on the roster- Adam Gibson and Mitch Creek. I had been led to believe Creek was fully signed. I doubt he'll walk but I'd rather be certain. If he left it would make a lot of his social media statements of late look pretty hypocritical.
The club will be sending out membership renewals in "the next 1-2 weeks". Doubt they'll get a huge response back immediately. Going by tonight's turnout (approx 150-180) and nature of the questions and comments , it's fair to say the older crowd will be back regardless and will support the club even if we put out a team of ten Scott Christopherson's. The 18-35 bracket though certainly wants to see a quality team and be more intimately involved in the decision making (more on this later).
The Ken Cole offer was unlikely to ever happen and the club was for the most part "not for sale". The club will look at several options including a community model (where a certain numbers of members kick in a large dollar amount) but this is still under review.
The club "didn't make a profit" and when Parker went through the numbers it was clear why. If the club doesn't get 6000+ at games with the set costs it has it will never run a profit. The club's unfortunate run with business dealings hasn't helped either
All in all there was little to get fired up about from the night. Parker seems competent but was quite measured in all he said. Time will tell whether he'll gave success in the GM's chair. It seems certain Parker will have more of a presence with fans and will work hard to make things happen.
It was a good initiative by the club and was well appreciated by those who came. The crowd seemed split with people who will just trust and support the club regardless and those who are clearly frustrated from the last five years. In my opinion you need both. Some supporters seemed quite adamant that you just trust those in charge and know they'll do their best. Others seemed legitimately concerned we may not have learnt from our mistakes. A few of the younger members went as far to ask for an involvement with the selection of coaches and game style. That's a strecth but just showed their desire for their voice to be heard.
I only threw up one question which was about what priority the club placed on finding a gun import. I was less than enthused by Parker's response which was basically "we'd all love a Cedric Jackson but they are hard to find" and "player selection is largely up to the coach". I'm stunned that Parker hasn't seen the parallel with good imports and finals contenders. Pretty much each champion of the last 15 years has had one or two dominant imports. The only coach who had great success without imports was Brian Goorjian. He has a history of success on court but many of his teams struggled offcourt. Most fans want to win AND be entertained. It seems clear to me that in this league you need a point guard who can control a game or a scorer who can takeover in the crunch. Oh and they put bums on seats.
The next three to four months will be very interesting for Sixers fans. We face the prospect of a new coach, large player turnover and a new look club. Is it the dawn of a new era? We'll find out in October.