‘Sack them all’: Explosive letter rips into Eels

Eels legend Ray Price among members to endorse vote of no confidence in Parramatta board

The Parramatta board has been served a vote of no confidence in a letter endorsed by two club legends which accuses it of ‘failing its supporters, members and players’.


Parramatta legend Ray Price and grand final-winning prop Terry Leabeater have endorsed an explosive letter which includes a vote of no confidence in the current administration and board.

The letter, which was formally sent to Eels chairman Sean McElduff this week, has also been supported by former sponsors, members, junior league officials and business owners.

McElduff fired back on Tuesday, strongly disputing the letter’s contents.

Fan discontentment still runs deep despite some solid recent finishes. Pic: NRL Imagery.
Fan discontentment still runs deep despite some solid recent finishes. Pic: NRL Imagery.

Described as a “letter of demand” and compiled by several perpetual members, including former sponsor Andrew Eagleston, the five-page document is strongly-worded over multiple issues inside the club.

It details an “unacceptable and ongoing situation relating to the PNRL operations, and the results delivered by the organisation. This letter serves as a vote of no confidence for the chairman and selected members of the PNRL Board.”

“The Parramatta board and management are failing its supporters, members and players and this trend will continue unless significant changes are made to the structure of the board and management,” it continued.

The letter claims Parramatta’s Junior Rugby League has been “neglected” and questions the Eels’ recruitment and retention policy while identifying the junior players who have excelled after leaving the club.

Never one to back down from a fight, Price spoke passionately about the letter on Tuesday, while expressing disappointment additional former Eels players had elected against signing the letter for fear of repercussions.

Speaking with News Corp, Price said: “These blokes (the administration and board) are ******* with the whole club.

Club legend Ray Price wants changes to the Parramatta board. Pic Action Photographics.
Club legend Ray Price wants changes to the Parramatta board. Pic Action Photographics.

“They’ve all got to be sacked. They haven’t got a clue. When they get a good person there, they do their darnedest to get rid of them. The part I can’t understand is why we have so many of our juniors playing for other clubs.

“And I’m really dirty I haven’t got the support of my fellow players. Some said they didn’t want to get involved. You can’t do anything or succeed in anything if you don’t get involved. We can’t fix the club if we don’t all get together.”

Eagleston claims he has the support of hundreds of members.

The letter reads in part: “The club has people in positions that are not delivering results for its members, nor are they able to deliver strategic and targeted solutions, this has resulted in a distinct lack of structured leadership within the organisation.

“The culture within Parramatta does not encourage nor welcome open communication with its members. The shortfall of rugby league knowledge on the PNRL board is reflected throughout the organisation, the members would like a concise and unfiltered financial summary of where Parramatta are positioned financially.

“The current board and management structure is disrupting the growth of the organisation and undermining the performance of the team.

Eels chairman Sean McElduff has hit back at the dissenters.
Eels chairman Sean McElduff has hit back at the dissenters.

“There needs to be a significant increase in suitably skilled Parramatta people involved in the Parramatta Eels. The chairman of the PNRL is a self-admitted soccer fan and a staunch St George Dragons supporter.

“The identification of talent within the district is a major issue. The club is ignoring its junior talent and is making no effort to stop the exile of many talented juniors to other rival clubs.”

McElduff questioned the letter’s accuracy and sought to dispel much of its contents.

“From 2010 to 2016, we never made the finals once. We got busted for cheating the salary cap five times. We (the board) have been in for five years and made the finals four times. We lost $12m in 2016 and over $30m in the previous six years. In 2016, the club lost $12m. Last year, the club made a profit and this year the club will make profit,” he said.

“We had four juniors make their NRL debut this year – that’s the largest number of debutants that Parramatta have had in more than 10 years. Last year, we had two. We were number one in terms of membership in the NRL this year. This year, the NRL gave a women’s licence.”

“We have established a new facility at Kellyville where we have a 20-year lease, five playing fields, new office and training facilities and we have a plan and funding in place to construct a new Centre of Excellence and a community centre, which is going to cost us $60m. If we were a bunch of misfits, we wouldn’t have been able to arrange that.”

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  • Thank God for all those wonderfully intelligent, common sense members for voting in constitutional reform. It's the single biggest achievement this club has made in the last 35 years.  This unhinged manifesto from the usual suspects is elegant proof as to why changing the club's constitution was so very necessary. Now instead of this cabal of ill-informed zealots being a genuine threat to our club's progress, they are little more than an unfunny punchline. They have been permanently resigned to irrelevancy. Good riddance to all of them. 
    Being a legend on the field does not automatically make you one off it. What a sad demise from one of the greatest players ever to pull on an Eels jersey. I hope one day he realises his error and can see the bad advice he's getting from others. 

    • Amen Mutts. Very sad to see Price tainting his playing legacy with this utter stupidity. 

      Unfortunately I don't think Eagleston is any smarter given his multiple attempts and complete failures to try and influence anything. At first I thought he was manipulating the lack of brains of folks like Price, now I'm not so sure that they're all not in the same IQ bracket.

      Dumb and dumber.

      Hopefully one day they realise that all of this noise just distracts and diverts from our success. Differing opinions are great if they have a basis in any tangible logic, but this is just a bunch of old men yelling at clouds.

      Please guys, you're embarrassing yourselves.

      • It just reeks of desperation to me. Three blokes suffering from Relevance Deprivation Disorder.

      • The arguments are just beyond stupid. Everything they say is virtually a lie and easily disproven. 

    • So elequantly put Muttman. 

  • Bloody hell, I'm sorry but Price is an idiot here and Leabeater is worse. They're morons and completely out of touch with what is happening at the club these days.

    As McElduff points out, the club is in the best financial position it's been in, in over a decade, we have a new junior system set up and operating, we have the most memberships in the NRL, we have a new facility being built at Kellyville and we have played finals four times in the last five seasons.

    Who cares who McElduff supports or where he's from. He's the chairman of the board, not a cheerleader. He's supposed to just be running the club, which he is. 

    This seems like some sort of bid by Leabeater and Price to surface ahead of next year's elections. 

    Nothing will come of this. This shit is the reason we ended up in administration in the first place. And Eagleston can get in the bin too. He opposed the reforms. If these guys were truly concerned about the club, they'd keep well away from it.

    Vote of no confidence my arse. There is no vote of no confidence because there's nothing to vote on. The elections aren't until next year and, as is the norm now, it is a rolling period with only part of the board going up for election. 

    This is another reminder that for those Leagues Club members who are eligible, to get out and vote and support the board.

    • McElduff's comments says it all really. Since the club overhaul following many years of impcompetence, the club board have achieved a lot, and have set the club up for future ongoing success. Will the same board be applicable into the future to maintain the course? Probably not, but that is a function of their success in putting the club in a position to transition into a high performing club.

  • Honestly , Ray price post footy is a bitter old fool who should stay the fuck outta club politics. He's about as qualified to be on the board as the bloke who cleans the shitters and has less brains than his statue. 

    Just fuck off Ray. 

    • Ray is passionate and no administrative genius. His comment are cringe worthy but I'll forgive him. 

      Sadly off the field he appears easily led.

  • As soon as I read Ray Price I knew that the letter was all rubbish. Then I read Andrew Eaglestons name and I instantly fell into a coma.

    Thank god I woke up enough to write this comment

This reply was deleted.

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