James Thomson Editor

James Thomson is the editor of BRW. Previously he was editor and publisher of SmartCompany and a senior editor at Business Spectator. He writes regularly on Australia's wealthiest entrepreneurs and has deep expertise in small business and the mid market.

View more articles from James Thomson

Star-studded footy club boards face tough questions

Published 11 February 2013 12:02, Updated 13 February 2013 11:40

+font -font print
Star-studded footy club boards face tough questions

Facing tough questions ... Essendon chiefs (left to right) CEO Ian Robson, president David Evans and coach James Hird speak at a press conference following the uncovering of the doping scandal that has enveloped the club. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Eleven current and former Rich List members. Current and former frontbenchers. At least two QCs. Executives from some of Australia’s biggest corporations. Enough law and accounting firm partners to start a standing army.

The list of directors of the 16 AFL clubs and 16 NRL clubs reads like a who’s-who of Australian business. For many, these board positions represent a chance to indulge their passions outside the office and give something back to the sports they love.

But as Australia’s sporting scandal deepens by the day, the pressure on these directors is likely to increase. What did the directors know about what was going on inside their club? What should they have known?

Sports law experts and corporate governance experts agree that director responsibilities at a football club do not differ from those at a major corporation, and football club directors need to think carefully about what they delegate and what issues they must stay across.

Melbourne University corporate law academic Ian Ramsay told The Australian Financial Review that directors “must put in place systems so that information is provided upwards to appropriate executives and where appropriate to the board itself”.

He cited the issue of drugs in sport as a example of a hot issue in the industry and a “clear example where boards need to ensure there are systems in place and where it’s closely monitored”.

Last night, the AFL confirmed that a group of players from Essendon are under investigation, as is another player from an as-yet unnamed club.

Essendon’s board is a good example of the high calibre of directors that footy clubs can attract.

Chairman David Evans is the son of former Rich 200 member Ron Evans and a well respected stock broker. It was a shocked Evans who called in the AFL and anti-doping agencies to examine claims that supplements taken by the club’s players may have been illegal.

Fellow board member Paul Little was the long-standing chief of transport group Toll and remains a Rich 200 member.

There is no suggestion that these board members, or any of the board members listed below, have failed to do their duty as directors.

However, with the Australian Crime Commission yet to divulge which clubs have been tainted by the drugs scandal, boards are sure to be examining their internal processes and systems in the coming weeks and months.

The directors:

Adelaide Crows

  • Peter Hurley
  • Bob Foord
  • Greg Moulton
  • Deb Miller
  • Jim Hazel
  • Andrew Payze
  • John Sutton
  • Steven Trigg
  • Rob Chapman
  • Nigel Smart

Brisbane Lions
Angus Johnson
Cameron Milner
Linda Nash
Mick Power
Peter McGregor
Paul Williams

Carlton
Stephen Kernahan
Jeanne Pratt
Richard Newton
Marcus Clarke
Zac Fried
Raphael Geminder
Adrian Gleeson
Ahmed Fahour
Greg Lee
Mark LoGiudice
Craig Mathieson

Collingwood
Eddie McGuire
Jack Kennedy
Alex Waislitz
Alisa Camplin
Mark Korda
Paul Leeds
Ian McMullin
Gary Pert

Essendon
David Evans
Paul Little
Daryl Jackson
Ian Robson
Chris Hefferanan
Kevin Egan
Greg Brown
Paul Brasher
Jo-Anne Albert
Phil Pryor

Fremantle
Steve Harris
Ben Allan
Grant Donaldson
Jenn Morris
Brian O’Donnell
Stephen O’Reilly
Dale Alcock

Geelong
Colin Carter
Gareth Andrews
Nicholas Carr
Craig Drummond
Bob Gartland
Alistair Hamblin
Hugh Seward
Dianna Taylor
Brian Cook

Gold Coast Suns
John Witheriff
Dr Alan Mackenzie
Bob Gordon
Bob East
Paul Scurrah
Janelle Manders
Dale Dickson

Greater Western Sydney
Tony Shepherd
Christine Cawsey
Gabrielle Trainor
Gus Seebek
Peter Taylor
Joseph Carrozzi
John Webster

Hawthorn
Andrew Newbold
Geoff Harris
Jason Dunstall
Richard Garvey
Andrew Kaye
Martin Ralston

Melbourne
Don McLardy
Guy Jalland
Peter Spargo
Stuart Grimshaw
Karen Hayes
Greg Healy
Russel Howcroft
David Thurin
John Trotter

North Melbourne
James Brayshaw
Mark Brayshaw
Carl Dilena
William T Houghton
Julie Laycock
Geoff Lewis
Brady Scanlon

Port Adelaide
David Koch
Kevin Osborn
John Auld
Cos Cardone
George Fiacchi
Ross Haslam
Jamie Restas
Richard Ryan
Trevor Thiele
Amanda Vandstone

Richmond
Gary March
Maurice O’Shannassy
Carl Walsh
Malcolm Speed
John Matthies
Robert Dalton
Peggy O’Neal
Tony Free
Rex Chadwick

St Kilda
Greg Westaway
Nathan Burke
Russell Caplan
Paul Kirk
Ian McLeod
Michael Nettlefold
Danni Roche
Jack Rush
Peter Summers
Andrew Thompson

Sydney Swans
Richard Colless
Jason Ball
Robert Campbell
Andrew McMaster
Rob Morgan
Greg Paramor
Robert Pascoe
Andrew Pridham
Lynn Ralph
Brian Tyson

West Coat Eagles
Alan Cransberg
James McMahon
Terry Agnew
Trevor Nisbett
Graeme Yukich
Julie Bishop
Peter Carter
Russell Gibbs

Western Bulldogs
Peter Gordon
Ian Veal
Susan Alberti
Barry Hall
Geoff Walsh
Gaye Hamilton
Gary Kent
George Pappas
Chris Grant

Brisbane Broncos
Lawrence Brindle
Tony Joseph
Katie Bickford
Paul White
Dennis Watt

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Ray Dib
Paul Dunn
Phil Charlton
Arthur Coorey
Anthony Elias
Andrew Farrar
Peter McMahon
Todd Greenberg

Canberra Raiders
John McIntyre
Dennis Richardson
Michael Lightowler
Allan Hawke
Paul Whalan
David Thom
Paul Powderly
John Mackay

North Queensland Cowboys
Laurence Lancini
Francis Standon
Trevor Cowling
Sandra Harding
Ben Ikin
Lewis Ramsay

Gold Coast Titans
Darryl Kelly
Graeme Connor
David May
Michael Searle

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Scott Penn
Bob Reilly
Darrell Williams
Phillip Sidney
John Walstab
Kerry Chrysiliou
Peter Peters

Melbourne Storm
Stephen Rue
Frank Stanton
Dennis Watt
Ron Gauci

Newcastle Knights (Advisory board)
Paul Harragon
Stephen Crowe
Michael Hagan
Peter Corcoran
Nick Dan
Troy Fletcher
Trevor Crow
Matthew Gidley
Parramatta Eels
Roy Spagnolo
Sid Kelly
Joe Saad
Robert Sassen
Mario Libertini
Lyn Wallace
Eric Grothe Snr

Penrith Panthers
Don Feltis
Terry Heidtman
John Hiatt
Keith Rhind
Kerry Lowe
Denis Merrick
Greg Alexander
Brian Fletcher
Steve Robinson

Cronulla Sharks
Damian Irvine
Keith Ward
Jim Barnett
Craig Douglas
Ricky Surace
Paul Walker
Phillip Tiernan
Peter Kerr
Jonathan Docking

St George-Illawarra
Sean O’Connor
Peter Doust
Robert Millward
Harvey Lockwood
Brian Johnston
Andrew Gordon
Peter Black
Graeme Gulloch

South Sydney
Nicholas Pappas
Martin Crowe
Anthony Bell
Thomas Larkin
Nikolas Hatzistergos
Keith Rodger
Angela Clark

Sydney Roosters
Nick Politis
Mark McInnes
Mark Bouris
Mark Fennessy
Brien Samphier
Peter Newton
Luke Ricketson

New Zealand Warriors
Bill Wavish
Wayne Scurrah
Owen Glenn
Eric Watson
Justin Davis-Rice
Mark Flay
Donna Grant
Tony Holt

Wests Tigers
Dawn Fraser
Raymond Corkery
Dennis Burgess
Steven Lavers
Leslie Glen
Michael Bailey
Danny Stapleton
Michael Luibinskas
Tony Andreacchio
Nicholas Di Girolamo

Comments