Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 95 Official Organ of LaborNet 11 May 2001  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

The Locker Room

Jim Maher - Stressed Out

Coaching a footy side is now grounds for stress leave. But our resident League-watcher wonders if this is not a symptom of broader problems with the Super League vision.


DID anyone else read the back page of Wednesday's Tele and think - hmmm, wonder what's really going on here?

The sometimes hard-hitting tabloid ran the story of NRL coach Tim Sheens turning in his warrant, allegedly just for a week, under the headline - "STRESSED OUT - Why doctors advised Cowboys coach Tim Sheens to step down."

The article was co-authored by Peter Frilingos, the man responsible for a sporting back-flip, with pike, after his employers explained to him just what they really thought about Super League.

Backed by a full inside page detailing the stresses on rugby league coaches it made it clear, presumably for the benefit of other news organisations, that health problems had forced the coach to move out of home and go to ground.

Sheens' wife fronted to talk of stress, strain and chest pains.

Some facts that weren't given prominence in the article about the "three-time premiership winning coach" included the following ...

� Sheens had been a key advocate for News Ltd-driven Super League, otherwise known as the Coaches Superannuation Scheme.

� While the game's credibility nose-dived he profited handsomely, possibly to the tune of millions, although his club kept losing.

� Under his leadership, North Queensland had something approaching a vice-like grip on the competition's wooden spoon.

� Rumours about his future at Townsville have circulated widely and publicly for years

� News Ltd are in the process of resuming ownership of the franchise

� Sheens' position is further complicated by his being, apparently, a shareholder in the Cowboys operation

The News Ltd tabloid's sympathetic handling of the Sheens situation was somewhat uncharacteristic but this columnist is certainly in no position to suggest it was either soft or inaccurate.

That, though, is hardly relevant. The point is that the credibility of News' Sydney flagship is listing badly because, almost daily, it faces gigantic conflicts of interest, at least on its sports pages.

Were we reading the views of an activist organisation beholden to Tim Sheens; the positioning of an employer preparing to cut ties with a high-profile employee or, just maybe, something in the same ballpark as the truth?

Who knows? Certainly not the majority of Tele readers.

And their fears could only be fanned by putting down the paper and switching across to Fox.

There they could watch a scrum of former footy players, turned presenters/commentators - Andrew Ettingshausen, Laurie Daley et all, whose major qualifications seem to have been that they went out on limbs to spin for News' vision and the and vastly-inflated pay packets that went with it.

Switch on the radio and hear NRL boss Malcolm Noad, a former union player who doubles as a News Ltd's executive, laying down rugby league policy and describing the game he himself played as "the enemy."

You might even catch up with Mal Meninga, another outspoken Super League champion, who took over the coaching reins at News-aligned Canberra without any discernible experience, on hanging up his boots.

The experiment has not been a happy one and it would not surprise if a sympathetic "scoop" announcing Big Mal's departure was just around the corner.

It's like one giant mystery in which every person and each appointment may be tainted by favours owed or backs that need scratching.

It's not good for league supporters but it's even worse for a community entitled to ask whether or not a major news source has become motivated by considerations other than truth and fair comment.

Oh and, just for the record - sheen - according to the Australian Concise Oxford means, amongst other things, "gloss. on surface".


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 95 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Geek Guys
Two of the union movement�s pioneers in new technology, Peter Ross and Mark McGrath, chew the fat about wired unionism and virtual politics.
*  Compo: Costa�s Angels
Behind the spotlight of the workers comp campaign four women trade union officials have been burning the midnight oil to protect injured workers.
*  Legal: View from the Bench
Compensation Court judge and former Attorney-General, Frank Walker, argues the Della Bosca workers comp reforms are a threat to judicial independence.
*  International: Timor: Time for the Truth
HT Lee was in Dili when the militas ran rampage. Now he wants the truth to come out.
*  History: True Believers
Frank Bongiorno looks at the origins of the Australian Labor Party, which celebrated its centenary of Caucus this week.
*  Corporate: Trust Me, I�m a Multi-National!
BHP unions have united across the factions to urge �No� vote on the planned Billiton merger.
*  Unions: AWAs � A Doomed Future?
ACTU Assistant Secretary Richard Marles plays clairvoyant and predicts a dismal future for AWAs.
*  Satire: Bush Defends One China Policy - Then Another China Policy, Then Another ....
President Bush today announced a major change to the United States� policy of �strategic ambiguity� towards the status of Taiwan and its One China policy.
*  Review: Surviving Survivor
Workers Online's Reality TV correspondent Mark Morey rakes over the coals of the Survivor II result.

»  Carr Government Avoids Own Safety Laws
»  Phantom Employers Face the Flush
»  Primus Suspect? Unions Seek Answers
»  Big Australian�s Merger Faces Rocky Road
»  Happy Hour for Heineken with a Half-Price Dollar
»  Arnotts Workers Call for Consumer Boycott
»  Asian Women at Work: Daring To Act
»  Academic Sacking Sparks Global Row
»  Labor Councillors Feel Childcare Heat
»  Rail Workers Win Maintenance Security
»  Knitwear Company Stitched Up Over AWAs
»  Three Stripes and You�re Out
»  Unions and Students Move on Harvard
»  IT Workers Alliance � Last Call for Comment
»  Our News Feed Hits 1000
»  Activist Notebook

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  The Great May Day Debate
»  Questions for Macca
»  Qantas on Impulse
»  Compo: The Great Tradition

What you can do

Notice Board
- Check out the latest events

Latest Issue

View entire latest issue
- print all of the articles!

Previous Issues

Subject index

Search all issues

Enter keyword(s):

Workers Online - 2nd place Labourstart website of the year


Wobbly Radio

[ Home ][ Notice Board ][ Search ][ Previous Issues ][ Latest Issue ]

© 1999-2000 Labor Council of NSW

LaborNET is a resource for the labour movement provided by the Labor Council of NSW

Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

[ Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Credits ]

LaborNET is proudly created, designed and programmed by Social Change Online for the Labor Council of NSW


 Labor Council of NSW

[Workers Online]

[Social Change Online]