Eels Blogs

Constitutional reform - vote!

This Thursday could and should be a historic day for our club.

As hopefully, you might be aware, the revised constitutional reforms go up to vote for the Parramatta Leagues Club on Thursday night. If you are a three-year voting member, I can’t stress how important it is to get to the Novotel Hotel in Parramatta at 7pm and cast your vote.

As most of you know, constitutional reform has been the big thing I’ve been campaigning for, for the past five or six years. If these reforms go through, both the football club and Leagues club will have modern, professional constitutions that will provide the best possible platform for moving forward.

I know this is typically a dry topic, but I just wanted to simplify what these reforms mean to the club. Most simply, it’s stability and an end to the circus that has underpinned much of the chaos that I still feels characterises the club,

It should be recognised that in what was a rotten year, we at least weren’t the unprofessional circus ring that we’ve been for the last decade. The scrutiny and focus was where it should be - on the players and the coach, rather than on the various political factions all trying to make hay from the club’s misfortunes.

That said, it is time for members to get their club back. Max Donnelly should, and would, have been out of the joint by now, had it not been for the last scuppering of these reforms. When we get it back - if these reforms go through - it will be under a set of rules that mean the bi-annual election farce is a thing of the past, and the club isn’t unduly influenced by small, organised voting groups.

Can you imagine what the place would be like, if instead of these voting reforms, we’d have been in the midst of campaigning for an upcoming election. As most of you know, Parramatta elections force the club to divide behind what is inevitably two competing factions. These elections are ugly, divisive and embarrassing, and the club is inevitably pitched onto the back pages for a month as the inevitable mudslinging kicks in. And not surprisingly, many good candidates simply don’t bother for fear of getting dragged into the quagmire.

Instead, we’ll have orderly annual elections where only a couple of the board go up for re-election at anyone time, contributing stability. That will encourage good candidates to compete on their own merits, rather than having to organise into “tickets”. And candidates will have to be ticked off by a nominations committee to ensure they have the necessary business acumen to sit on the board of what is a large and important business.

I’m going to do an interview with Max on Wednesday and publish it here. If you have any questions, and please keep them in the context of the reforms, drop them here and I’ll ask them. If you have any questions/concerns about the reforms please ask here. And most importantly if you are a three-year member, or know any three-year members please ask them to get along. Otherwise, those with self-interest in getting these reforms knocked down will be the only ones turning up and the club remains stuck in this ridiculous holding pattern.

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  • I’d like some clarity around the casual replacement scenario. 

    Candidate A gets elected. Decides after a short period they need to resign, how is that Director replaced? 

    Im concerned about popular candidates getting elected then stepping down for their ‘mate’ to step in. 

    • Good question, Matt. It looks like the board would appoint their own director, until the next AGM at which point you elect someone at the next annual election? I've always thought that vacancies should go to the person with the next most votes at the previous election, personally. I'll put that one forward to Max for clarification.

  • Also I couldn’t find a reference to the nominations committee for candidates to even be eligible. Admittedly I did look quickly. I’d just like some clarity on that too. 

  • I suspect it won't go ahead because the factions will come out in force again and do what this club does best and sabotage.
    I can't vote as i haven't been a member for a while
    • From what I've heard I think some of the interested parties, are now satisfied enough following the latest set of changes. The only sticking point I've heard is over the appointment of the first board. I'm sure there are some people out there that think they could pull together enough numbers to win one of the usual all-in elections, but who wouldn't have a chance if they had to stand on their own merits. These will be the people with the motivation to block the reforms.

      However, hopefully even they sit that they're not going to achieve anything. If they block it, Max stays in place. There will be another round of "consultation" but there is no way that anything else is getting watered down. So we'll essentially see the same reform package put back up again in a year's time. It's just going to be a ground-hog day situation.

      The second scenario, is that the government sees that the club truly is disfunctional and they give Max the authority to put in his preferred constitution. If he is allowed to do that all these little concessions he make will be repealed and he'll go with the original version. 

      To me, it really doesn't make sense for anyone to oppose these reforms...

      • "To me, it really doesn't make sense for anyone to oppose these reforms"  damn Phil, are you new to this club? The power hungry cancers like Fitzy and Spags don't care about what's best for the club, they care about what's best for them. This meeting will be another farce. All it will do is once again how much of a joke we are and that the only way anything good with ever happen is if the government steps in like the headmaster and says this is the way its going to be.

  •  Is this for the Leagues Club or the Football club or both?

    • Leagues Club. Football Club was done and dusted. Worth pointing out, that only two directors from the Leagues Club go onto the Footbal Club board, so this isn't really about the footy at all, aside from the fact that we want a strong, profitable club so as to put money back into football and directors who support generous financial backing of the football team.

      • Phil, personally I would love to see something akin to the old football club reintroduced.

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