You’ve got to hand it to Liverpool for getting the Wests Tigers to express an interest in the Carnes Hill sport centre of excellence.
It’s still not a done deal because Liverpool’s centre of excellence may not be a starter at all if the council isn’t successful in getting the $10 million from the state government. Indeed the club has just issued a press release saying they are have a short list of two council proposals for a sport centre of excellence to replace Concord.
Either way, Liverpool has won the media war, once again.
Take no prisoners – that’s the strategy from Liverpool, and good luck to them because it seems to be working so far.
As far as Campbelltown is concerned it is entitled to feel disappointed, especially since it was only a few weeks ago Wests Tigers said they were still considering all their options for a new home as their administration and training centre.
The comment from them was published here, in the South West Voice, which published a story about Campbelltown’s planned sport centre of excellence.
Mayor Paul Lake said in the article that the Wests Tigers would have been welcomed to use the centre but it would not have mattered either way.
This hasn’t helped things and it’s easy to see how Liverpool recognised the realities and swooped.
But let’s all calm down for a second and take a reality check:
Firstly, it’s worth remembering that even if the Liverpool sport centre of excellence gets up and running and the Wests Tigers are major tenants, they will still need to play four NRL games out of Campbelltown Stadium.
So it will mean the south west of Sydney – Liverpool and Macarthur – get to share the spoils of having an elite football club based in the area.
In a lot of ways the Tigers – and the Western Suburbs Magpies before them – should have adopted Liverpool a little more in the past 15 years.
It would have given them a much bigger catchment area in terms of a fan base and sponsorship potential.
Maybe this new board can finally see what the architects of the original joint venture could not, so this could actually be a very good move for the long term.
So let’s see past the momentary disappointment, which will no doubt be fuelled by a media frenzy, and cast an eye to the next five to 10 years.
The scenario may look something like this:
The Wests Tigers training centre is at Carnes Hill, their administration office is at Oran Park and their boutique, 25,000 seat, all weather stadium is at Leumeah. Most of the players now live locally and fans bump into them in shops and cinemas. The team makes the finals every year and has finally fulfilled its destiny to become the Brisbane Broncos of the Sydney metropolitan area. Once a year the club schedules a match as part of a Back to Leichhardt day.
If the new Wests Tigers board has a long term vision surely the above would be part and parcel of it.
Maybe this controversy over going to Liverpool is a good time for the board to let everyone else know what their vision is for the mighty Wests Tigers.