THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE

HOW LONG BEFORE TVN IMPLODES?

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 1
(Source: Fan Pop)

The jungle drums are beating louder and louder about the basket case that is TVN, and from what we are hearing, Oz racing’s broadcaster is about to implode, thanks to the intransigence and litigation launched by, wait for it, one of its own Board entities.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 2
(Source: Social Media Design)

It beggars all belief that one of your own would resort to legal action for what they term a “material breach”, which when translated into layman’s language, basically is a claim that this particular entity wants a bigger slice of the cake from the Seven network media rights as their dividend for an Autumn carnival which is light years from returning even a fraction of what the spring racing carnival delivers to racing not just in Victoria, but the rest of the Australian racing industry.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 1
(Source: Fan Pop)

So fractured, divided and dysfunctional is the Board of TVN that it has resulted in a prominent and well-respected Board member from the ATC looking to parachute out of the business. And the Victorians Board are on the brink of tearing up the TVN structure and going it alone.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 1
(Source: Fan Pop)

The litigation is a carbon copy of the debilitating TVN/Sky wars over broadcast rights which nearly brought the racing industry to its knees when Racing NSW took its own metropolitan race clubs – the AJC and STC- through the courts only to end up with a Randwick-sized omelette on their face when Justice Patricia Bergin delivered her famously scathing judgment on Racing NSW.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 3
(Source: Quiz As Unexpresioning)

The Victorians and the ATC have clearly had enough. TVN is still in a prolonged comatose state, organizationally. It has no Chief Executive. It has an interim Chairman. It still does not have the NSW provincial and country broadcast rights. It’s bloody Fawlty Towers, Manuel.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 4
(Source: Link Swarm)

In the business world and in media circles, it is held up to ridicule. It has no direction and leadership. It’s a disaster happening right in front of the eyes of the racing industry. It’s the Titanic, Basil.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 5
(Source: Case)

The solution is blindingly simple. The Victorians and the ATC must demand Racing NSW change its Board representation and have another of its own Board join Chairman John “the messiah” Messara on the TVN Board.

And for the good of Australian racing, TVN and the Race Clubs, Racing Victoria and Racing NSW must make Peter “the not so great” V’landys an offer he just cannot refuse to parachute out of racing.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 6
(Source: Herald Sun)

Surely our mate Pete can find himself a desk at Tabcorp? Or maybe the horse racing industry does a deal with their Harness Racing counterparts and have them roll out the red carpet welcome mat for our mate Pete’s return to where it all started for him? And to make it even more worthwhile, the combined racing industry can reimburse, in total, whatever Harness Racing negotiates in a substantial transfer deal?

It will be the best investment the horse racing industry can and has ever made.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 1
(Source: Fan Pop)

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DOES THE AL ZAROONI REPORT GO FAR ENOUGH?

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 7

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 1
(Source: Fan Pop)

One could quite easily be forgiven for assuming that the findings of the recently-released British Horse Racing Authority Report into the steroid scandal involving Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni represent little more than a well managed and well-crafted conclusion apportioning him as the sole culprit of a blatant conspiracy which succeeded in trashing the Godolphin brand and landing a truckload of eggs on the face of Sheikh Mohammed.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 8
(Source: UK Student Life)

The BHA report wasn’t exactly fast tracked. The spin would say that to be thorough and get to the bottom of the scandal, it had to,of necessity, take it’s time.

But time can always be the ally of any inquiry which seeks to play down or dilute the potential impact that most scandals are capable of delivering.

The BHA Report “feather dusters” and French tickles Godolphin.

It recommended that Godolphin improve the work practices at their Moulton paddocks stables with proper reporting lines, accountability and oversight of the stables and its operations.

Really? It’s hard to believe, although not implausible, that for a major worldwide and professional operation such as Godolphin headed by Sheikh Mo, they would by-pass such basic principles of corporate governance.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 9
(Source: Vision Help)

To date, and to the best of our knowledge, apart from Al Zarooni, no other Godolphin management, or senior executives or staff have been given their marching orders or failed to return from a trek through the deserts of one of the Emirates.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 10
(Source: Cagle)

With all the huffing and puffing and outpouring of outrage from Sheikh Mo and his Godolphin executive team, it seems a tad strange that, apart from Al Zarooni, no one else fell on the scimitars gifted by their employer.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 11
(Source: Print Activities)

Perhaps Godolphin had a seniors moment and failed to implement the ”proper reporting lines, accountability and oversight of the stables and their operations” when Al Zarooni’s horses had returned positive urine tests last year?

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 12
(Source: Patently Queer)

There must have been an electrical fault for alarm bells not to ring and for red lights to have started flashing.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 13
(Source: Photo Bucket)

Consider these excerpts from the BHA report quoted in Racenet: “Essentially Mr Al Zarooni was doing what he wanted with no meaningful accountability to anyone. Many junior members of staff would unquestioningly act on instruction, and senior members of staff were not given any visibility on certain matters.”

Who’s been running this Ship Of Fools? Basil Fawlty?

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 14
(Source: YT Img)

It’s mind boggling that a so called professional organization such as Godolphin would tolerate such appallingly lax work practices in an industry which has had a long and tainted history in integrity matters.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 15
(Source: Neilytics)

And it goes further. “The structure in place, and the lack of accountability and transparency enabled him to do that”.

A damning indictment on one of the most recognized names in world racing and arguably the biggest.

Despite the career ending eight year disqualification handed out to Al Zarooni and the terminal damage to his own name, there is the inescapable perception that somehow those whose responsibilities it should have been to implement the very basic principles of corporate governance have comfortably slipped through the net. Right, Basil? Basil?

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 16
(Source: Mj Travlife)

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KEY SPORTS GOVERNING BODIES FEELING THE HEAT

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 17
(Source: Guardian)

The Australian media just cannot believe its luck. The Horse Racing Governing Bodies, Cricket Australia, the AFL and the NRL are under siege.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 18
(Source: Seagalology)

Individually and collectively, the blowtorch is well and truly being applied to their bellies. Their images and brands have been severely tarnished as they struggle to fend off one scandal after another.

The common theme with all their problems are the twin Integrity issues that they have failed to confront and resolve, with the required degree of competence and professionalism that is incumbent of high level sporting governing bodies.

Drugs and Match Fixing have compromised just about every sport all over the world. And 2013 has been an annus horribilis for sport and corruption.

While horse racing has battled corruption and Integrity scandals associated with drugs and race fixing ever since its conception, sports like cricket, soccer, football and rugby, to name just a few, have, until recent times, escaped the odour and scourge of corruption and criminality.

What was once the golden age of innocence is long gone. The “real world” of sport today has been ambushed by corruption.

Drugs and match fixing are so rife, it is increasingly being greeted with a helpless shrug of the shoulder by sporting governing bodies, who while publicly making all the right noises reminiscent of those emanating from some of the despots who run racing in NSW have all but conceded they are fighting a losing battle.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 19
(Source: Frye Cattle)

While horse racing no longer commands the news headlines, the NRL and the AFL and Cricket still does. These sports operate from a much bigger supporter and participant base. The impact on their image and brand is akin to that of a sledgehammer.

In a purely opportunistic way, it “gifts” Australian horse racing with a once in a lifetime opportunity to get its dysfunctional house in order and seize the day.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 20
(Source: Z Gallerie)

Racing must abandon the out dated “cops and robbers” approach that is still its signature response to tracking down corruption. The crims will almost always win.

The western justice system ensures, and quite rightly, that you are “innocent until proven guilty”.

In racing, getting a guilty verdict to stand up is like climbing Mount Everest.

What racing must concentrate on, and this is backed up by the thinking of the Australian Crime Commission, is to invest heavily in criminal intelligence and R&D.

Criminal intelligence, identifying the manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and users of illicit drugs, the entry and exit points for these substances is the key to confronting the problem head on. And puhleaz, let’s stop harassing the trainers and vets when horses return positives to the equivalents of headache powders, antacids and the host of therapeutic medications which are neither sinister nor performance enhancing.

Ditto with match fixing. The recent farce in Victorian racing where a swag of races came under intense scrutiny for race fixing only to draw a golden duck, merely validates the perception that gung ho approaches of the racing police, in particular in dealing with this issue, is also completely out dated.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 21
(Source: Michael Brown Today)

Not once were the races scrutinized on the day of the race or within a week or even month. Some dated back a year or more, and were flagged by Victoria Police arising out of their infamous phone taps and investigations, which not only drew a blank but succeeded only in further tarnishing the image and brand of racing.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 22
(Source: The Stranded)

Stewards in Victoria and NSW have so often demonstrated they are reactionary, unless jolted out of their lethargy by a John Singleton type outburst in a very public area, which they have no option but to call for the fire hoses to douse the flames.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 23
(Source: Accountany Age)

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Stewards need to be much more proactive on race day. Blow torch jockeys for their rides and trainers for form reversals which run parallel with betting fluctuations.

In Sydney, metropolitan form is almost laughable with some of the biggest stables being the biggest offenders and some of the rides by top jockeys contributing to the widely held perception that racing is crooked and fixed.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 24
(Source: The Age)

Racing is also perhaps fortunate that it is no longer the only game in town which attracts organized crime. Sports betting has long left racing languishing in the scope and turnover in wagering. The criminal syndicates have turned their attention to the bigger fish that lie in the murky oceans of these sports.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 25
(Source: Fishead Tackle)

It makes the job of identifying and driving organized crime out of racing that little bit easier. But to that Australian racing must change its modus operandi.

Boost up the criminal intelligence and the R&D into the new designer performance enhancing drugs and substances and in particular the synthetic replicas, so that the cheats and organized criminal syndicates find refuge elsewhere.

THE FAWLTY TOWERS ISSUE 1
(Source: Fan Pop)

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About Lance Armstrong

“I think it is just terrible and disgusting how everyone has treated Lance Armstrong, especially after what he achieved, winning seven Tour de France races while on drugs.

When I was on drugs, I couldn’t even find my fuckin’ bike.”

Willie Nelson

This entry was posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing, Peter V'landys, The horse racing industry, Victorian Racing Club and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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