Just on two months ago the Warriors cut their coach Matt Elliott loose. In this column we suggested that for the embattled club to progress, Wayne Scurrah needed to be next to go.
This morning we discovered that Scurrah has indeed resigned, and will be out of Penrose by November.
And in a media double whammy, we also learned that the Warriors had given up the ghost (for the time being anyway) on their ill-advised plans to house the team at Eden Park. Gut feeling would suggest that the two announcements may not be completely coincidental.
As we alluded to in the above column, Scurrah was apparently the prime mover in the Eden Park saga.
Unless a CEO is delivering Premierships, nine years at the top of a sporting organisation is a long time to survive, and for Wayne Scurrah, it has been a bumpy ride. To be fair, a lot of these bumps (prior salary cap breaches, owners competing in self-absorbed pissing contests etc) were well and truly out of his control. But a lot weren’t.
The ludicrous number of jerseys created throughout his time at the club has been well documented – although a couple of seasons back we lost count at 19.
There have been positives, of course. Scurrah’s frequent pointing to the healthy balance sheet suggests that he has left the club in a far better financial state to the one he inherited. And when you consider the Warriors have no Leagues Club, and the huge windfall via the pokies attached to it, he is quite right to state his case in that area.
Yet on the other hand, we were also told that the club failed to spend up to its salary cap limit on several occasions.
A healthy bank balance is great for a football club – provided the results on the park match the results on the spreadsheets. And they simply haven’t.
But ultimately, Scurrah’s legacy will come in the form of two words. Ivan Cleary. In allowing Cleary to escape, a domino effect was created, resulting in the loss of such talent as John Hart, John Ackland, Elijah Taylor and Lewis Brown to name a few.
The fact that some of those names were replaced by the likes of Brian McClennan, Matt Elliott, Todd Lowrie and, errrr, Harry Siejka (don’t worry, you’re not alone – very few remember him) only made the situation worse.
Jim Doyle is a no-nonsense kind of guy. He did a great job as head of the NZRL before jumping in to get some experience in the NRL, where he is highly regarded. He is a more than able replacement for Wayne Scurrah, and just the kind of man the Warriors need to take the club forward.
Has Wayne Scurrah been a disaster for the Warriors? Absolutely not. But after nine years at the helm, the clubs fans were right to expect more from the team’s on-the-field results.
Ultimately, that’s what running a football club is all about – results. Under a fresh approach from Jim Doyle, the Warriors may just start to see some decent ones.
And not just in the bank account.