Proof footy fans hate Peter V’landys’ failed bid to bully the NSW Government into stadium spending

Daily Mail Australia readers SLAM Peter V’landys’ failed bid to force the NSW Government to spend $800million on stadiums – and prove footy fans DON’T care where the NRL grand final is held

  • Story condemning V’landys’ campaign drew very strong reactions
  • Readers were adamant stadium money should be spent elsewhere 
  • Almost 80 per cent of poll respondents don’t care where grand final is held 

The votes are in and the comments make it clear: NRL supremo Peter V’landys’ bid to browbeat the NSW Government into spending a fortune of taxpayers’ money on stadiums by threatening to move the grand final out of Sydney has got footy fans offside. 

Daily Mail Australia columnist Mike Colman’s story slamming V’landys’ campaign drew angry responses from readers, who slammed his efforts to get the government to outlay $800million on suburban grounds by using the grand final as a bargaining chip.

Our poll asking whether readers cared where the year’s biggest game is held produced clear-cut results, with 79 per cent of people saying they ‘couldn’t care less’, just 14 per cent keen for the match to stay in Sydney and seven percent wanting it switched to Brisbane.

V’landys has spent weeks threatening to take the decider to Brisbane after he claimed NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and his sports minister reneged on a deal to refurbish suburban stadiums including Leichhardt Oval and Manly’s home ground. 

Those threats came to nothing on Thursday afternoon when V’landys announced the grand final will stay in Sydney despite the fact he hasn’t got a single extra cent out of the government for the suburban grounds.

The government reacted to his campaign by explaining the money is desperately needed to fund relief for victims of the floods that struck northern NSW earlier this year, pointing out the disaster had left more than 1300 families homeless.

A furious V’landys accused the government of using the natural disaster as a poor reason for not stumping up the money.

‘It is appalling that they are using the human tragedy of the floods as an excuse to renege on an agreement, especially when you look at the billions they have just spent in the recent budget,’ he said.

Fans couldn’t disagree more. 

‘The NRL can pay their players less and use their own money to fix up the stadiums they use. People are homeless, hospitals and aged care homes under staffed. I want my tax money spent where it is needed the most. NRL gets millions form advertising use that,’ wrote one fan.

‘Spot on. About time the press said this!!! No-one cares about the game and stop spending taxpayers monies on useless stadiums,’ wrote another.

‘Almost $1billion demanded to rebuild rugby league stadiums! At the same time NRL pay their players, staff & clubs $hundreds of millions EVERY YEAR! The tax payers money should be spent of helping the flood victims and the 1,000’s damaged homes and businesses,’ commented a third.

‘If a football club in the UK wants a new stadium, they pay for it themselves, not from government handouts. WTF!’ said another.

They all illustrate a common theme among readers: the money is badly needed elsewhere and if footy wants improvements made, a business that big should look at finding the funding itself.

In his story, Colman pointed out that V’landys has ‘badly misjudged the mood of the people’ by not picking up on the fact that not everyone is a diehard footy fan – and those who are don’t care if the grand final is played in Sydney, Brisbane or any other Australian city.

Many of them hate this year’s venue, Accor Stadium in Sydney’s west, because it’s hard to get to and hard to get home from.

Above all, he made it clear that vast majority of the state’s taxpayers don’t stand to benefit from the huge outlay – while footy teams and the governing body do.

One of Colman’s parting shots was a reminder that the grand final is now a TV event first, and something fans attend in person a distant second.

‘Far more sit at home and view the games on TV, which is why the NRL is paid billions of dollars for the commercial rights,’ he wrote.

‘Billions of dollars, the non-rugby league community believes, that should go towards upgrading the grounds.’