An Open Letter to Jim Carmichael and the QRU

Dear Jim Carmichael and Board Members.
Each year the UK press puts out a list of the funniest one liners from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As always, there’s some crackers in the potential best of the 2015 event.

My cat is recovering from a massive stroke. — Darren Walsh
I was vegan for a while. I lost 6lb, but most of that was personality. — Pippa Evans

By far the funniest act of this year though, is the performance ensemble piece coming out of the boardroom at Ballymore. Some of the jokes you’ve come up with are just hilarious.

Richard Graham will be the coach of the Queensland Reds in 2016 — Jim Carmichael, QRU CEO

After scouring the world to find a replacement, conducting independent reviews and considering more than 20 CVs, you came to the conclusion that Richard Graham was the best guy to take the team forward next year. I may only be finding this uproariously funny now, after the concussion I gave myself by repeatedly smashing my head against my desk when I read these words, but I haven’t been able to stop giggling all afternoon.

As an aside, can you let us know what those twenty CVs must have looked like. How many spelled their own names wrong? How many were sent through written in crayon?

What we will be measured on next year is winning football games and having sustained success. — Jim Carmichael, QRU, CEO.

Another classic. You really are at the top of your comedic game. I suppose it’s good that this is how next year will be judged, given that it’s sport. It will help to be on the same page as the rest of the competition. But Jim? I’ll let you in on a little secret, that’s how us fans judged this year too. And the year before that. And those 24 games at the Western Force. We can count too, and we barely need to take off our shoes and socks to get to the 16 wins from 56 matches that Graham’s teams have won with him in charge.

You clearly don’t trust him either, having appointed him for just one year.

We need to deal with the fact that we’ve made a decision that will be seen by some as unpopular. — Jim Carmichael, QRU, CEO

A wonderful piece of understated irony.

I go to most Reds games with a couple of friends I used to play the game with myself. We go to have a few beers, eat some unsupervised fast food and complain about our jobs. We get a couple of hours every couple of weeks away from the responsibilities of home, wives and children.

The last couple of years have been rubbish. It’s not fun to go to the Reds. We can see the players don’t like it. The crowd, thinning every match doesn’t like it either.

Go have another crack at this coaching appointment Jim, stop abdicating your responsibility to the game here in Queensland, find a coach that can deliver results. Find one with whom the the team can get along. Watching James Horwill deliver world class performances for Michael Cheika’s Wallabies is just heart breaking for us Reds fans. That legend’s last year in Red will be remembered for red cards and missed tackles and then he goes and plays like he has in Wallaby Gold for a coach who knows how to raise his team’s performance.

I have a few more suggestions as well. I realize I’m a nobody sitting in the stands yelling at the wind, but some of this seems pretty self-evident.
You don’t appear to have any plan. What’s happened to Knuckles? Why was he brought in in the first place? How can a board member be part of and deliver an independent report? Why is Dan Herbert sitting in this new GM role of rugby performance. As far as I can tell he has no coaching experience or qualifications, and he’s been appointed internally? No better CV for that position either? Sort this out. Give us some hope that you know what you’re doing instead of just reacting months too late every time. Your professional rugby team is a joke at the moment.

Sort out the jobs-for-the-boys and nepotism at all levels of the organisation. Could we try and appointment on merit instead of just slinging another role to an ex-player? Looking at the personal relationships some of your board has just makes a mockery of your governance model.

Stop taking me for granted, as well as my mates and the other 25,000 or so fans that want to turn up and enjoy ourselves at Suncorp on a Saturday night every couple of weeks. I’m not buying a membership this year. Sorry, I know that will make your finances look a bit shabby at the start of the year. I’ll come to most matches, probably, but you’re not getting my money up front. The sort of tomfoolery and buffoonery that is happening at Ballymore over the last couple of years has consequences.

As the CEO who was parachuted in after the last crises (Berrick Barnes leaving/Phil Mooney sacking) you of all people should know this.

Kind Regards etc etc

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