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A letter to Ray Dib

Dear Mr Dib,


Despite having left numerous messages expressing an interest in meeting to discuss some of the pertinent issues around the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, I have not heard back from you.


As a passionate Dog’s supporter for over forty years, a few things have concerned me in recent times and I felt assured you would be able to address them considering your role as Chairman.


I am a journalist and educator in the Hills area of Sydney, occasionally writing articles on our great Club and felt even more inclined to do so, after watching the team unravel on the field over the last couple of seasons.


At first I was a little angry, thinking you were doing a poor job. A collection of strange recruitment and retention decisions seemed illogical to me, the dealings with the coach appeared sloppy and unprofessional and in truth, I questioned whether you even understood what we once stood for as a Club.


Despite the doubts, I then realised that you are the professional administrator and I am just a hack journalist, using click-bait headlines and sarcasm to sell my work and perhaps it was best for me to sit back and let you do your job.


So from this point forward I won’t be leaving any messages seeking clarification and explanation. I will just trust your leadership and stewardship of the Club in the full knowledge that there must be more bulldog in you than me.


I had thought that the Tony Williams experiment, as I like to call it, was the worst acquisition I have ever seen made by the blue and white. Moreover, the coaches refusal to drop him for three years drove me nuts, however, the pure genius and acumen behind the decision was surely far too clever and shrewd for an amateur like me to comprehend.


I’m sure you had it under control the entire time.


I was also a little concerned about some of the beefed up back-ended contracts that seemed to be limiting the Club’s activity on the open market. Picking up Kieran Foran and Aaron Woods were big buys, however, initially I was concerned about our backline depth, speed and potency.


All I saw was excellent players being let go, Dale Finucane really got to me, and a strengthening of our forward back at the expense of scoring points. As Facebook memes mocked our impotent attack and the rugby league community realised that the Club was scoring at a slower rate that Hazem El Masri was able to achieve on his own, I felt deflated.


However, acknowledging that the grand vision you had concocted with Des Hasler was obviously something far too intellectually advanced for a hapless fool like me, I decided to just let you continue with the sterling job you had been doing.


Some fans were upset with your re-signing of coach Hasler and the seemingly strange decision to then terminate him months later. I must admit, at first I too, thought it to be a little weird.


Luckily, I now see that the termination and subsequent legal proceedings that will probably cost the club more than a million dollars were all part of a brilliant ruse to lure Dean Pay to the Club and re-invigorate our culture.


On that point, many people were cynical about the recent appointments you have made around the halls of Belmore. Bringing ‘Turvey’ back, redefining Andrew Farrar’s role and dropping Hazem’s name every five minutes, were seen as cheap stunts by some and I must admit, I doubted you.


Yet your words were no doubt part of a sophisticated plan of which I was naively unaware. This naivety was never more on display than when I heard you on Sydney radio mid-year, with Bulldogs legend Graeme Hughes discussing the state of the club and fielding questions from callers.

Your insistence that the playing group was capable, crowds were good and the spirit of the Club was great, convinced me completely, despite the remainder of the season proving the total opposite.


Maybe I just couldn’t see the big picture.


I guess you must be upset with this new ticket challenging you in the upcoming Football Club elections. With over a thousand games playing experience and a long history of corporate and sporting governance, they certainly are an impressive lot.


The fact that the Bulldog spirit runs both in their blood and through their hearts must be a scary thing. It is almost enough to make you think they are actually doing this for the right reason.


If only they knew the masterplan and your reasoning around all the externally appearing odd decisions at the club. It is a bit of a shame you never explained things to us, even though we wouldn’t be able to understand it anyway.


It would, however, have given us a better appreciation of the blue and white in your veins and stopped some people looking at you as an egotistical man, hell bent on maintaining power at the expense of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Football Club.


It would be awful if people thought that about you.




  • Laura Northam

    01.01.2018 at 07:10 Reply

    Well said Stuart. That’s it in a nutshell

    • Stuart Thomas

      02.01.2018 at 03:30 Reply

      Thanks Laura,

      We have to move on from the current Board. They are weak and not really in tune with what the Club means to us.

  • Big Jim

    02.01.2018 at 05:32 Reply

    Sarcasm, but well-deserved sarcasm. Onya Stuart!

  • Stephen Mortimer

    12.01.2018 at 02:02 Reply

    I’m absolutely convinced that my vote for the ‘rebel ticket’ will not be wasted. However, I’m also convinced that Mr Dib will, by reason of accumulated proxy votes, retain a position on the Board. I believe that it will be short lived however. I expect him to resign in April, citing a need to refocus on his business interests. I find it incomprehensible that there are still some Bulldog supporters who accept that his recent antics are purely for the betterment of the Club. The man is just unbelievable and needs to be eradicated out of the Club.

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