It hasn't been a great season for the Blues. The Auckland franchise have two wins to their name from 12 games and the failure continued this week when they couldn't attract Tabai Matson to the coaching staff.
Coach John Kirwan was left to fend off queries from the media regarding Matson while little was heard from the Blues higher-ups.
Patient Blues fans could be excused for expressing frustration, and one staunch supporter has done just that, contacting the Herald with an open letter to Blues CEO Michael Redman.
I am 39 years old and one of the biggest rugby - Auckland and Blues rugby - fans I know.
I played first XV and age-grade rugby from under-15s through to Auckland Secondary Schools, under-19s and Colts, for the University Club and the Barbarians. I have coached school teams on the North Shore and rippa rugby at the College Rifles club. I volunteered my own time and expertise to help out the New Zealand Rugby Foundation. In short, I love the game, Auckland rugby and the Blues.
My earliest memory of Auckland rugby is listening to them take the Ranfurly Shield from Canterbury in 1985. It was my great pleasure to attend Eden Park regularly through the great, late-80s and early-90s era. Unfortunately, I was also there when we lost the Log to Waikato on that cruel day in September 93!
I was a staunch supporter of the Blues as Super Rugby was introduced and marvelled at the skill of the side in their first three seasons. A lean time followed but my support never wavered. I never missed a game.
This year? I regret to say I have watched only three games. All on Sky. Two of them I swapped channels part way through the second half. Any resistance to my wife's appeals to watch Grey's Anatomy on My Sky on Saturday night has long since vanished.
The subject of the Blues came up at home last weekend. My 10-year old stepson, who goes to primary school in Mt Eden, said to me: "No one likes the Blues - aren't they embarrassing? Some mates like the Hurricanes and Chiefs." Honestly, if he had gone on to say Reuben Thorne was the greatest modern captain of the All Blacks, I could not have been more forlorn.
Blues CEO Michael Redman. Photo / Greg Bowker
I was going to lecture him on the great legacy of Auckland and Blues rugby. But I realised how hollow that would be.
Every sporting organisation has lean years. I accept it takes time to rebuild. I accept that the new ownership and governance structure is probably still settling in. I also accept the team are working hard and doing the best they can.
What I don't accept is the apparent lack of accountability being displayed by the organisation's executive and board. How can you justify your continued silence on team performance and the unfolding coaching debacle?
Leaving it to your media manager and coach John Kirwan to front on Thursday was naive in the extreme. At least I hope it is naivete, because the alternative is complete abrogation of your roles and responsibilities. In changing room parlance, it was, and continues to be "gutless".
Front up. You may be doing the right things behind the scenes, but who would know? You need to demonstrate your leadership to the disgruntled and dwindling number of fans.
In your absence, this is turning into a car crash. In fact, that is the only reason I am paying any attention. Morbid curiosity. My interest in the fortunes of the team faded many weeks ago.
I worry, too, that this butchery of commonsense leadership is leaving a legacy that will disenfranchise the next generation of potential fans.
Poor, really poor.
Blues fan Steve Fisher.