This week saw the Board of the NRL Club Parramatta Eels removed and replaced by an administrator to oversee the club’s affairs. On what authority did this happen?
The answer lies in the intertwining of the NRL Club with the Parramatta Leagues Club, its licensed premises. The Leagues Club owns the Parramatta Eels NRL Club. Although separate Boards, the members of each were the same individuals, and directors must sit on the Board of the Leagues Club to be able sit on the Board of the NRL Club. A removal of the Leagues Club Board, then, would effectively prevent those individuals from also running the NRL Club.
The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has the ability under its relevant legislation to appoint a person to administer the affairs of a club should it deem it necessary. To do so it is required to reach the opinion that the governing body of the registered club has “ceased to be effective as a governing body” – which it did.
The Australian newspaper* reported that that the preference of the NRL was for an administrator who was astute in the area of corporate governance rather than football operations. This is yet another reminder that at the end of the day a Board of a sporting organisation is a Board. A successful Board of a sporting organisation is required to display the same principles of ethics, governance, leadership, strategic decision making and financial management as any other Board, in any other industry.
Hopefully this appointment will enable a line to be drawn in the sand and will assist the Club to move towards the positive future that its fans and stakeholders deserve.
* The Australian, July 19, 2016
See what I blogged on the affair back a couple of months ago.
(This blog is also published on http://www.macdonnells.com.au)