A bold 10-year plan released by Richmond in 2010 has eerily almost completely come to fruition as the Tigers sit on the verge of another AFL premiership following several years as a top team in the league.
After Richmond progressed to their third AFL grand final in four years with a narrow, six-point win over Port Adelaide on Friday night, a 10-year-old video was posted on social media which quickly went viral.
The video clip was from an episode of Nine’s Footy Classified that featured CEO Brendon Gale explaining the club’s long-term goals as part of their 10-year ‘Winning Together’ vision.
Back in March 2010, Gale’s speech laying out the blueprint for the club was presented to the team and released.
“Together, our entire club is motivated by the vision of our future in 2020. It’s a vision of greatness and leadership that we describe as THE POWER and THE GLORY. By 2020, we aspire to have won our 13th Premiership; consistently provide the most exciting and powerful match-day experience in the competition; once again have the strongest support base in the nation, and enjoy the strongest emotional connection with our members and fans,” a transcript of the presentation read.
The plan also included the club aiming to have zero debt by 2020, as they struggled being approximately $4 million in the red in 2010.
At the time the Tigers were a young team in a rebuilding phase with a frustrated fanbase. They were desperate to play finals footy, had just signed coach Damien Hardwick and they were still yet to reach their full potential. In 2010 they had just drafted seven fresh-faced players too, including one Dustin Martin.
Gale’s audacious plan was met with near mockery at the time, and his appearance on Footy Classified having to staunchly defend the club’s lofty goals highlighted this.
“Absolutely, we’ve got to make the right decisions in the most competitive sport just about in the world, and one of the most competition eras in the history of our game,” Gale said.
“I make no apologies we want to be the best football club. We want to be the greatest.
“It starts with a vision. We’re not here to just compete, no-one does.
“You may as well pack up. No, I’m not embarrassed, I’m proud of that and we’ve got a vision to compete and be the best.
“The best on the field and off the field. If we are not locked into that, we might as well pack up and go.”
Fast forward to 2020 and the Tigers are on the verge of claiming their 13th VFL/AFL flag, should they be victorious in the grand final against either Brisbane or Geelong.
They’ve also well and truly surpassed the 75,000 membership goal, with the club tallying 100,000 members for a third consecutive season this year, despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
And as of last year, according to the club’s 2019 financial results which were publicly released on their website, Richmond are debt free with cash reserves of $24.4 million.
They’ve also developed their Punt Road Oval training facility in the last 10 years and in 2019 the Tigers had the highest average home crowd in the AFL for the third year in a row with 59,987.