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Archive for April 2010

Storm punishment too harsh

The Melbourne National Rugby League(NRL) team, the Melbourne Storm have been stripped of two championships for breaching the NRL salary cap rules.

The Storm have also been fined $500,000 and ordered to return the prize money they took for winning the 2007 and 2009 titles and above that they will play for no points this season.

I think it was bad for the Storm to breach the salary cap rules because its actually cheating and cheating is not good in any sport but the punishment given seems to be too harsh.

In particular I don't agree with the team playing for no points for the rest of the season. What does that actually mean and what will that achieve?

I think the Storm must be allowed to sort out their finances and make sure they are they operating under the salary cap and once that happens they should play for points like anybody else.

I think its correct for them to lose the eight points that they have gained so far operating outside the salary cap, but I also think once this is corrected and can be proven to the NRL then they should be allowed to earn points.

They may start from zero points and maybe finish last in the competition but at least they will be playing competitive matches. That's why its called competition.

Making them play for no points for the rest of the season does not make sense, I think. Who is going to go and watch a match where the other team is just playing to fulfill a fixture?

With the AAMI Park Stadium opening next month this would have been the year for the Storm to get more fans to come and watch them but if they are not playing for points I don't think many will be bothered.

The NRL could also deduct further points if they want and let the Storm play for something. I wonder who will be bothered to put all the effort if all you are doing is playing for nothing.

Also what about the other teams. I think its unfair to them too to play a Storm team who are just playing and if they lose will they get no points? I think the NRL should think more about the Storm's future and make sure that is secure and whatever punishment they give should not jeopardize that. Stripping minor premierships and championships is good because they were won unfairly but then the team must be allowed to move on.

Its either the team is banned altogether from competing or the punishment is realistic in terms of future matches. I will go for the latter.

Melbourne Heart goes North

I was surprised to read that the new A-League Melbourne team, Melbourne Heart was going to base itself at La Trobe University.

All along I thought that the Heart would be based somewhere in the council of Casey but it seems like they got a good deal from the La Trobe Uni and also Darebin council.

The good thing about having two teams in Melbourne is that we will get at least a match most weekends at the new AAMI Park or Etihad Stadium if they use for a few matches.

I don't know how Heart will try to get its membership and how it will target its supporters given that Melbourne Victory is firmly established in the Victorian capital.

But I think there has to be a distinct supporter base for Heart to differentiate itself from the Victory.

Now that they are based in the Northern suburbs, will they try to target the footballing public in the region?

They could make themselves popular by going into local schools and by helping the local football teams through football clinics etc but I am not so sure what their strategy will be.

Baggies get automatic promotion

I was excited to see West Bromwich Albion promoted back into the English Premiership and I hope that this time the team will stay in the top flight for at least more than one season.

One frustrating thing being a Baggies fan is seeing the team getting promoted one season and then soon after seeing the team getting relegated.

I hope that there will be enough money to strengthen the team so that it can at least avoid the bottom three places come May 2011.

I was disappointed when Tony Mowbray decided to leave the Hawthorns for Celtic Park because I thought we had a very good chance of getting promoted under him.

But I have liked Roberto di Matteo's approach this season. It will be Matteo's first time managing in the Premiership but that doesn't worry me a lot as long as he strengthens the squad with the right players.

The team has been playing good football and not just grinding out results. The Baggies have scored a total of 85 goals so far and with only seven losses so far it looks its been a good season.

For now I will just enjoy the automatic promotion

From 560 to 902

From the 5th of April the bus route from Greensborough to Broadmeadows, route 560 was replaced by route 902.

Route 902 is a much longer route and the bus starts from Airport West and ends in Chelsea.

For some of us who have once in a while used route 560 in the past, this looks like a good development because the route 902 buses come every 15 minutes during the day.

Route 560 wasn't even available on Sunday which gave a lot of problems to people who relied on it for transport.

Also route 902 is a smart bus which means that on certain bus stops along the route you are able to get information on the approximate time the bus will arrive.

I don't know the advantage of having such a long route though and I don't think it would be a good idea to sit on that bus for the whole time because a train would be a better option.