1Eyed Eel

Parramatta Eels Supporters Website

Last night, the constitutional reform proposal failed to proceed with the Yes vote getting only around six five per cent of the vote.

I say 'only' because while that is a clear majority, it is not the required 75 per cent you need for constitutional reform.

The vote was maddening because of, what on the surface, looks like completely irrational thinking.

Those against the vote continually criticised Max Donnelly, expressing their desire to see him leave the club. However, by voting against the reforms, they ensured he would have a further tenure at the club, probably for another 12 months.

Those against the vote repeatedly called for the club to be restored to member's hands, yet voted against a scenario that would see the almost immediate hand-over to a board made-up of three-year member, selected via a merit-based process. Instead, the club will remain in control of the administrator, with members once again powerless. Donnelly cannot be removed while the status quo exists, regardless of how many signatures the agitators manage to collect.

The reality is that a Yes vote, would give rise to an election within 18 months. After the orderly transition of power to qualified members, the membership would have the option of booting out those selected to run the interim board and choose whoever they like.

So it makes no sense, right?

Unfortunately, it does, because those campaigning for 'no', realise that constitutional reform will effectively end their board ambitions. These little blocks of fifty votes carry no weight when the entire membership base of tens of thousands of eligible voting members are able to use postal or proxy voting. Nor will the tried-and-trusted strategy of using former players to pull the rest of a ticket over the line succeed when every candidate will be voted upon based on their own merits.

The No vote is once against just another example of the factionalism that has plagued this club for close to a decade and which the reforms are specifically designed to break-down. As Paul Garrard said prior to embarking on his disgraceful, racist rant, 'this process has brought the factions together'. You know what, we don't want any factions. We just want seven, independently-minded, well-qualified members to site on the board and oversee good governance.

Unfortunately, the reality is that we're never going to get seventy-five per cent over the line. While the factions can dig up 75 votes, it means the Yes vote needs the support of 225 members and 300 people are required to turn up to one of these meetings. I don't think I've seen 300 people at any General Meeting.

However, what last night delivered Max Donnelly was a mandate. With well over sixty per cent of the vote, it was a clear majority that voted for constitutional reform. Donnelly must now push ahead with the reforms. He does not need that vote to put in place an initial board. Even if he puts in place an advisory board that effectively operates in lieu of an official board, the club cannot remain in a holding pattern for another 12 months. We must move forward.


In 12 months times, meet again. Pass the postal/proxy voting, and then re-start elections. Ideally, legalities will have allowed the initial seven to exist as an official board and the triennial process can start immediately, but if not and we must suffer a seven-man election, I think it's reasonable for that to occur under the new regime and where there is some incumbency from the advisory board.

Because what was once again clear last night, is the factions still exist, albeit in smaller numbers. But our Leagues Club must ensure that no longer will the broader membership of tens of thousands be held hostage to the self-interested actions of the factions. Given the clear majority vote last night, Max Donnelly must push forward with the reforms using whatever means is available to him.

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Yes Phil, it was a disappointing result. I was there last night and witnessed once again what a small fraction of our voting membership can do.
It's such a shame that our current constitution can allow us to be controlled by so few members.
I hope Max now does what is necessary to make change happen. Otherwise we'll keep revisiting groundhog day.

Phil i to was there and  Paul Garrard, Mark Pigram  and the name of the 3rd person escaped  me  all 3 carried on like  utter fools  . 

Ah, the Pigster.... good to see he's still keeping it real. I miss his misanthropic ravings.....

At one point I thought Pigram was going to be forcibly removed. 

Should have been

Did he go on about the "cigar smokers" ?

Supper did you see at the end when pigram was talking to fitzy  (fitzy said  to him to f*** off at which time  security came in and moved piggy on )

The majority said yes but the minority rule. It’s a sad truth. 

To be fair there were some who voted no who spoke very intelligently and thoughtfully and I applaud those members. We don’t all have to agree all the time. Most agreed with almost all of the new constitution however the sticking point for those people who disagreed was around the Administrator selecting the initial 7 member Board. Unfortunately no amount of reasonable argument would dissuade them. However as I argued last night such sentiment is based on emotion rather than practicality. 

The very fact we have an Administrator running our club is a stark example that members have a very poor track record of selecting Directors. We’re so bad at it that the Government had to step in. Paul Garrard’s ridiculous and somewhat racist speech is yet another example. I mean we actually elected that guy. That’s just embarrassing. 

The club needs to be returned to members. No one is arguing otherwise. But there needs to be an orderly transition of power, not another factional driven, three ringed, election circus that will have the Eels on the back pages for all the wrong reasons. 

For those arguing that the Administrator must leave immediately and that he’s costing us millions.....you just voted to extend his stay. There are no words. 

Well said Mutt. To make matters worse, Paul Garrard was also Lord Mayor of Parramatta - how?? I'm glad we seem to have much more responsible Councillors now.

It seems the only way these constitutional reforms are going to be voted in is to enable postal and/or online votes, though no doubt the constitution will need to change to enable that to happen. We could could be here forever unless the government steps in.

I agree with most of that Muttman.

I certainly feel vindicated that I did not vote for Paul. I reckon some on here were a little disappointed that they did now since ofcourse the Sharp led ParraFirst that he stood with was heavily promoted and endorsed by the 1Eyedeel. It may have even had a victory blog published on here also post election.

If you scratch the surface though you could find the catalyst for that support may well have been related to a suspension imposed some time before the election.

Back to the result from last night, personally I'd be happy with a majority rules outcome.

Thanks Mutt for that post, also those who went last night and endured what went on, the racism talks as said by a former board member of the club and Parramatta Lord Mayor really shows how much class he has, how on earth someone of his ilk could be mayor who had jurisdiction over a council area that has such a huge ethnic grouping of people is beyond me, I guess it shows his true colours since out of the public arena and what he really thinks.

I wonder why Max or whoever chaired the meeting did not pull up and call for him to be put out of the meeting.

It shows to me that those opposed to any reform in reality do not deserve to be heard let alone really to have a say in the future of the club, while they may have gone away from last nights meeting feeling a degree of satisfaction that they blocked things, one can only hope that their walk away will be a permanent one.

Paul fecking Garrard.

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