"thats all well and good but what's the problem??"
Crowd numbers dropped by 5-6% this season, so there's a fairly significant problem for a start. If sponsorship/season membership drops at the same rate then there could be serious problems.
When you have high profile businessmen on the news questioning some of the business practices of the club, I tend to take notice.
"is it maybe the fan base that needs to down grade its expectations of its community owned team??"
I couldn't disagree with this statement any more. This is professional sport. It's a business. It's not under-10s where everyone gets a prize. If I'm in business and consumers believe my product is not up to standard, should I tell them to lower their expectation? No, I either improve my product to one a consumer wants to buy or I go out of business.
There's no way I will lower my expectations. I expect this team to be striving to win a championship every season. Great teams in any sporting arena despise losing - why should the Taipans and their fans accept it just because it's all warm and fuzzy to have a team in the NBL?? That sort of attitude just breeds complacency and I think that's certainly been an on-court issue for some of the players over the journey - happy to run around and take home a nice pay cheque rather than having that brutal, never-want-to-lose mentality.
I also can't buy into this argument that not spending to the cap is holding the club back. Fearne has had the ability to put together very impressive squads - and this past season pretty much every pundit and expert had the Taipans in the finals given their roster.
But now we're hearing that Loughton, Steindl, Wilson and most probably McCamey will not be back next season, for a start. So it's a rebuild again. Great teams have stability and Cairns doesn't seem to have that atm, either on or off the court.
There's no reason why the Taipans shouldn't have made the finals in the past two season given the roster they had. FFS people were saying Cairns had one of the deepest teams in the league this year!!