A Ã¢Â€Â˜newbieÃ¢Â€Â™ on the site but a long time Manly fan and reader of both the MWSE Forum and Silvertails and even back to the time when, correct me if I am wrong, but Aaron actually ran a separate site that was them amalgamated with the MWSE site. I thought, finally, after seeing so many Ã¢Â€Â˜passionateÃ¢Â€Â™ posts (Mark, you got me) in the last month or so and apparent frustration, IÃ¢Â€Â™d throw my 2 cents in for what itÃ¢Â€Â™s worth. As a CEO of a multi national organisation, I completely understand why the club stopped the forum. Communication as to why may have been better but thatÃ¢Â€Â™s history now so letÃ¢Â€Â™s move on and we do have another site for Ã¢Â€Â˜free speechÃ¢Â€Â™. I canÃ¢Â€Â™t see any benefit in revisiting negative criticism about their decision of cessation of the MWSE Forum other than thanks Dan and the moderators here for providing so many Manly fans with the opportunity to vent their spleenÃ¢Â€Â¦ so to speak. It can be a great read and humorous on many occasions. But, thankfully it is dissociated (to some extent) with the Manly brand that we all love. Communication is critical to the success of any organisation and Manly RLFC management as an organisation may be perceived by many on this site to have done so less than you expect. Unfortunately thatÃ¢Â€Â™s a sign of the times where communication is now almost instant and obviously MRLFC management need to address this in some way and come to terms with fan expectation. I think when Aaron was there they managed it quite well but in his absence they have struggled. My organisation actually works with MUFC and Chelsea FC so I have fair understanding of the changes in fan expectation with the new communication technology but, you need to bear with MRLFC management as they come to terms with it, it can be quite frightening and unexpected by all us over 40Ã¢Â€Â™s, but we need to adapt and so to does MRLFC management. This is not a Graeme Lowe love fest that follows but I think at least he needs some sort of compliment for what he has done to date even though many appear disaffected by the lack of communication. So we are after a new sponsor to commit somewhere in the vicinity of $1 million a year and what do they see at the moment in a due diligence review of the potential value of the sponsorship? (some figures may be inaccurate to some degree but bear with me) 1) Manly has a home ground which is probably rated the worst of all home grounds in terms of quality in the NRL 2) Attendances at Manly home games is one of the lowest of all Sydney NRL clubs 3) Manly ticketed membership is the lowest of all Sydney NRL clubs 4) Manly has the lowest incidence of free to air television games 5) Manly has recently cancelled its own website forum due to disaffected fans and members 6)Manly is one of the most disliked teams in the NRL by fans of other teams 7) Manly has supposedly one of the highest fan bases of any teams but this cannot be quantified accurately Graeme Lowe to my mind has been doing quite a good job for his first year and given his lack of experience in a similar role, he seems highly respected by the media as I certainly havenÃ¢Â€Â™t heard anything negative about him and player managers, in the main, seem quite content. He has screamed loudly about the quality of Brookvale Oval and made threats to a seemingly dysfunctional council regarding the quality of the facilities and playing surface which has now been widely reported in the media. Although nothing has happened to improve facilities to the standard we all would like and MRLFC would like, at least noises are being made and I am sure, well hope at least, that something will happen and potential sponsors may also feel the same. Given the low attendance at Brookvale Oval, Lowe has sought out other venues where income could be forthcoming but clearly the club needs to try and attract additional fans to home games at Brookvale and all this talk about the poor facilities may also be impacting on the clubÃ¢Â€Â™s ability to draw fans to the ground so too is the scheduling of games by the NRL. So, maybe his tactic of taking Manly games elsewhere, although disliked by many on this site may actually contribute to the survival of the club financially. I donÃ¢Â€Â™t know what GraemeÃ¢Â€Â™s doing about Manly ticketed membership but it seriously is an issue that needs to be addressed and comments on this forum seem to indicate that it will be lower next year which makes it even a worse proposition to a potential sponsor. I am sure many of you have wonderful ideas how the club can add value and make membership more attractive and how we can attract new members so why not start a separate heading on Ã¢Â€Â˜Building the membership databaseÃ¢Â€Â™ on this site. I am sure Graeme realises that every input no matter how stupid it may sound in original concept can potentially turn into a brilliant idea. Graeme Lowe has also screamed loudly to the media about the low incidence of Manly free to air television games and in reality it was not for the fans but for the sponsors, the clubs bread and butter. To what effect this has had on Channel 9 will be seen in the next 6 weeks but at least he has been seen by potential sponsors to be doing the right thing. There was obviously a conscious commercial decision to cancel the website forum as no potential sponsor would like to be associated with disaffected fans and members. You may not like it but, if it was your company and your brand I am sure you would do the same. Sure, it could have been handled better. As for the fact that weÃ¢Â€Â™re probably the most disliked team in the competition (well aside from Melbourne now)Â I am not so sure that Ã¢Â€Â˜No one likes us we donÃ¢Â€Â™t careÃ¢Â€Â™ really helps the brand. I canÃ¢Â€Â™t imagine Pespi being too thrilled with Ã¢Â€Â˜Pepsi.. no one likes it we donÃ¢Â€Â™t careÃ¢Â€Â™, but it is good as a tongue in cheek and it was fun for a while but itÃ¢Â€Â™s not really attractive for a major sponsor. MUFC is probably the most hated club in the UK but they certainly donÃ¢Â€Â™t boast about it. Lowe has tried to expand ManlyÃ¢Â€Â™s fan base by expanding it to NZ and PNG thereby expanding the potential reach for a potential sponsor which would certainly also make it more attractive. I donÃ¢Â€Â™t know what strategies he is trying to implement to entice ManlyÃ¢Â€Â™s supposedly high passive fan base but thatÃ¢Â€Â™s obviously an objective he has to try and address. Ideas I am sure would be welcome. Graeme Lowe has a huge job to do and he hasnÃ¢Â€Â™t been helped by what happened in 2009. Whoever let what happened in 2009 at the launch party at the Wharf Hotel should be sacked and I sincerely hope they were as they contributed to a massive destruction in the value of a brand that will take quite some years to build again, not from a fan perspective but from a sponsorship value perspective. I believe this event was the most destructive event for the brand in the ManlyÃ¢Â€Â™s history aside from the merger with Norths. Manly in 2008 was a benchmark for other clubs. They had the personal security manager, the flat where players used to retreat to, to do whatever, Poker, drink etc, I used to be so proud that our team were never in trouble, that weÃ¢Â€Â™d taken steps to provide them with a separate venue, that from all reports they enjoyed. They were the ultimate model for the NRL. They set the benchmark and that was all destroyed in one crazy day. Player signings also seem to be a major concern at the moment among a lot of posts here, particularly Steve Mattai but please letÃ¢Â€Â™s try to be a little realistic. None of us know what SteveÃ¢Â€Â™s manager is asking for in a new contract and it may be totally left field. If I was Steve, I would be asking for a 3 year contract at $200k+. But, given his potentially limited life in the game due to his injuries and taking into account his suspension history, in terms of due diligence, those that decide his new contract have to decide how many years does Steve have left to play in his current value status. DonÃ¢Â€Â™t get me wrong here because I think Steve has been one of our best, if not our best player this year but, heÃ¢Â€Â™s already missed several games due to suspension and injury. So, relative to other players, how much per game are we prepared to pay him? LetÃ¢Â€Â™s now benchmark others who we have in Toyota Cup or Sunshine Coast (in terms of potential) or those that are available off contract from other clubs. Is Steve affordable at his asking price? Maybe not! But all due credit to Steve and his manager, he has to look after his life because what is he going to do after Rugby League? The guyÃ¢Â€Â™s less than 30 and out of a job and most companies, given his medical records, will not touch him with a barge pole! IÃ¢Â€Â™d rather he didnÃ¢Â€Â™t leave but if he has to look after his family, I wish him the best in the future and thanks for the enjoyment youÃ¢Â€Â™ve given all of us and your commitment to the club in the past. So what is Manly missing in 2010 that has us 2 points outside of the top 4 at this stage of the competition? Yes everyone, thatÃ¢Â€Â™s right, we are just 2 points outside of the top 4 and while the sky was falling at Parramatta last week all of a sudden itÃ¢Â€Â™s back to the Hayne Train and they are 2 points behind us and the mediaÃ¢Â€Â™s talking about Grand final again. I donÃ¢Â€Â™t know any of the team members but from everything I am aware of from 2008 and before, it seems to be the player management between gamesÃ¢Â€Â¦Beaver andÃ¢Â€Â¦. The Kennedy culture is missing. Certainly, the best coach in the competition is still there even if you donÃ¢Â€Â™t agree with his selections or even think he's qabout to be sacked, heÃ¢Â€Â™s still achieved what most coaches aspire to and have never achieved and will continue to do so. So, thatÃ¢Â€Â™s my 2 cents worth, well may be quite a few dollars more but certainly much less than most of you post in a week from what IÃ¢Â€Â™ve seen. I hope you take it in the context it was meant in trying to take a balanced view. Graeme Lowe may not be the best administrator we have ever had but I feel he has been unnecessarily criticised by many who know as much as I do about the objectives he has been asked to achieve by the owners of the club. Manly is a brand, like it or not, and the major part of that brand is the team. Manchester United and Chelsea recognised that they are brands many years ago and as a result it has created extreme wealth for the clubs because they have managed it well and they recognised they not only need exposure in the UK but also throughout the world. It looks to me that Manly are not so much expanding the brand throughout the world but now trying to expand in Asia Pac which augurs well for the brand and the future of our club.