I’d Support Penrith If They Wanted To Change Their Name

Penrith is in a strange position when it comes to the battle of the Sydney clubs.

They have the biggest and best junior Rugby League setup of any Rugby League team in the world. Its an embarrasment of riches and the production line of talent in the area between Blacktown and Penrith is good enough to service probably three or four NRL clubs.

The Panthers also have the backing of Australias biggest group of Leagues clubs. Something other clubs could only dream of.

The problem is, even though they are a Sydney based club, the Panthers are run like a small market club such as Canberra or Newcastle.

They hardly do any promotion outside of the immediate Penrith area. They don’t make an impact as far as corporate support goes and are a step behind other Sydney teams. You have to wonder if people are turned away by the small minded approch Penrith managment takes to the club.

So why not make some changes and look to grab a bigger market share?

Would there be anything wrong with the club changing their name to the West Sydney Panthers? What if the club looked to make a major push at the Blacktown area? Would sponsors jump on board if they felt they could also tap into that wider Western Sydney market?

With a new stadium being built at Blacktown for the AFL, why should the Panthers not look at playing a copuple of games there every season? It would cement support for the club in Blacktown and would be a crushing blow to the fanciful ideas the AFL has of making any impact in the area.

Blacktown I’ve found is much more of a Parramatta supporting area then a Panthers area. The silly thing is that its Panthers territory.

The reason people in Blacktown support Parramatta though is because the Eels go out of their way to promote themselves to the area. When you couple that will a few die hards that are still hanging on to the Eels glory days of the 1980’s, you get a lack of support for the Panthers.

The Panthers need to be pro-active when it comes to ensuring they survive any rationalization of Sydney clubs. They should be making a stand and trying to attract as much support from Western Sydney as they possibly can.

If that means a name change, I’d be all for it. People can talk about tradition all they like, but tradition doesn’t pay the bills.

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