By Stephen Mayne

Richmond is today reported to be close to signing a new sponsorship deal with the Wendy’s ice-cream chain, just as the Transport Accident Commission faces a new test of its hardline approach to sponsoring organisations that step out of line on the roads.

The Herald Sun today reports that the Australian Grand Prix Corporation could lose TAC sponsorship because of the behaviour of recipients of its sponsorship dollars:

The TAC is furious it was not told before this year’s race that Grand Prix general manager of operations Jonathan Caughey had lost his licence for drink-driving. The TAC board will review its sponsorship of the Grand Prix, believed to be worth several hundred thousand dollars a year. Mr Caughey’s blood-alcohol reading when tested by police is believed to have been .10.

This will really test TAC chairman James Mackenzie, a politically active businessman if ever there was one, because he gets along well with the all-powerful GP chairman Ron Walker.

Richmond is just another football club, but the Grand Prix is politically contentious because it costs Victorian taxpayers about $10 million a year, even though Ron Walker originally predicated it would run at a profit. Any TAC sponsorship withdrawal would simply increase the size of the taxpayer funded loss reported by Mr Potato Head and his ever optimistic Grand Prix board. It would be interesting to know exactly how many millions the government-owned TAC has pumped into the GP over the years, thereby cost-shifting within the public sector.

The TAC might have dumped its Tigers sponsorship last week after defender Jay Shulz got done for drink-driving, but one supporter has come up with a new sponsor and slighty reworked version of the “We’re from Tigerland” theme song which is good for a laugh:

Oh we’re from Liquorland
Drive in a hurry
We’re from Liquorland

In any weather you will see us with a gin
Booze dribbling down our chin
If we’re behind, it’s coz we’re blind
Then in our cars get in

Oh we’re from Liquorland
We never stop until the copper’s siren blows.

Like the Tigers of old
We skull Toohey’s Gold
For we’re from Liquor (“Blue label not Black”)
We’re from Liquorland.

Oh we’re from Tiger Land,
A bunch of p#ss heads.
We love Liquorland.

In any weather you will see us with a grin
Drinking Scotch or Gin.
And when we drive we blow point 05
And our sponsor chucks it in

Oh we’re from Tiger Land
We never weaken ’til the final pub is closed
And like the Tigers of Old
We love our beer cold
Oh we’re from Tiger (I’ll shout you back)
Oh we’re from Tiger land