The turmoil at the Brumbies has been incredibly unsettling for those who have invested emotionally in the team.

In the early years they were regarded as our team; they tested our patience a couple of times, the sackings of coaches David Nucifora and Andy Friend are two instances that come to mind. Yet under Steve Larkham things appeared to be going along swimmingly until the management rumblings began a number of months ago. And it continues.

Caught in the crossfire are the supporters, players and others within the Brumbies’ employ. The players and staff are supposed to go along and do their job without being impacted by what is happening off the field.

Joe Tomane crashes over for a spectacular try during the Brumbies win over the Waratahs in round two. // Photo by Ben Southall.

I have seen it before during the Super League war when there was a perception that sport was simply big business, with little regard for the fans. It has taken years to rebuild the rugby league brand and there are many who walked away from the game, vowing never to return. Part of the reason being they become so disenfranchised by the focus on money and power that their enjoyment of the game was displaced.

My worry with this current episode is that people become so disaffected by what is happening with the Brumbies at a management level that they decide enough is enough. This ultimately has an enormous impact on the team in a small market such as Canberra where you need the majority of people on side for the team to be sustainable.

Many supporters of the Brumbies must feel like bystanders watching the inner workings of an organisation erupt, which threatens to reduce any enjoyment many have in watching the Brumbies on the field.

About The Author

Tim Gavel

Tim is an ABC Commentator based in Canberra since 1988. He has been a commentator at six Olympics, six Commonwealth Games, two Rugby World Cups, Rowing World Cups, NRL Grand Finals and numerous other sports.

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