Good governance doesn’t come cheap or easy

Web-image_ParramattaAs the dust begins to settle on the Essendon Football Club saga, the Street Swags founder rolls up her mattress and the storm continues on for Greyhound Racing, we continue to see the importance good governance and culture plays within community based organisations in Australia. As of yesterday, the Board of Parramatta Leagues Club have been officially been removed as the governing body of the club and administrators have assumed control following an independent review by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA).

Strong Committee or Board policies and procedures and a pro-governance culture has never been more critical for organisations operating gaming authorities and community based services. If you would like more information about your club’s constitution or corporate governance structure, please contact Geoff Wohlsen (geoff@dws.net.au) or John Dickson (john@dws.net.au).

The below article by ABC News delves deeper into the removal of the Board of Parramatta Leagues Club.

Parramatta Leagues Club board sacked, administrator appointed after officials accused of misusing funds

The Parramatta Leagues Club board has been sacked and an administrator appointed after officials were accused of using inflated invoices to make under-the-table payments to players.

The Parramatta Leagues Club, which provides entertainment and leisure services to members, owns the Parramatta Eels NRL club.

But the decision to remove the Leagues Club board effectively removes the Eels board as well, as the two boards shared the same seven directors. Directors must sit on the leagues club board to be on the other.

A spokesman for the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority said it resolved to replace the board with a temporary administrator, Max Donnelly, of Ferrier Hodgson.

He said the authority was of the opinion the club’s board had ceased to be effective as a governing body.

A statement from the authority said it “wishes to make clear that the appointment of a temporary administrator does not relate to any suggestion of insolvency”.

Mr Donnelly is expected to remain in place until the authority decides otherwise.

Eels officials were accused of using merchandise sales and inflated invoices to make payments to team members.

Earlier this week the leagues club’s chairman, Steve Sharp, wrote to the New South Wales Government asking it to appoint a temporary administrator.

In a letter addressed to Deputy Premier Troy Grant, Mr Sharp said the club had “deep-seated political issues” and conceded leaking, gossip and speculation had made it “impossible for the governing body to be effective”.

The move came in the wake of five Parramatta Eels officials being deregistered and the NRL team being docked competition points for salary cap breaches.

The board of the Eels has blamed its former chief executive for the salary cap breaches, which cost the club $1 million and 12 competition points.

‘Our only interest to is help Parramatta become strong’: NRL

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has welcomed the appointment of the administrator.

“Our only interest is to help Parramatta become a strong and successful club again,” Mr Greenberg said in a statement.

“This decision paves the way for the Eels to get back on the right path for the fans, coach and football team.

“The NRL will work closely with the administrator to make that happen as quickly as possible.”

The Deputy Premier said he welcomed the authority’s decision, saying it was in the best interest of the club and the fans.

“This decision is not one that would have been taken lightly, however it now means Mr Donnelly can immediately begin the process of cleaning up and restoring the Parramatta Eels to a functional and effective club for its members and fans,” Mr Grant said.

He added the decision would “draw a line under this saga and restore confidence in the club’s administration”.

Eels fans supportive of board sacking

Chris Losco, a member of the Eels Members Council, said he and many other fans had lobbied for the board to be removed and most thought this was a positive move.

“It’s going to allow the club to quickly move forward. It will take some of the heat out of the situation at Parramatta,” Mr Losco said.

“We need the best possible people running what is a huge business in western Sydney and a huge contributor to Australian sport

Another fan, Phil Sim, who publishes a fan website about the Eels, said the sacking of the board would allow a leadership vacuum at the club to the filled.

“And that’s really what most supporters have wanted for a long time,” Mr Sim said.

“I think it’s just about the club moving on, what’s done has been done and Parramatta has paid the penalty and it’s wiped out what would have been a very promising year.”

Click here to view the original article.

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