Last night on local radio show “Let’s Talk Football” the CEO of Football West, Peter Hugg, once again showed he is a masterful politician, dodging and ducking questions, and wriggled off the hook simply because in a live interview the interviewer did not have access to previous statements that he has made and contradicted in this one.
The biggest concern is his lack of understanding as to what a conflict of interest is. In the interview he stated that he had assisted ten clubs with their presentations for the National Premier Leagues (NPL). In their press release dated June 28th Football West announced that they had received 25 applications for the NPL.
Mr Hugg stated that his role as CEO meant it was his job to assist these clubs, which is correct. However if that is his role he should not have been involved in the selection process.
To assist Mr Hugg, here is an explanation of a conflict of interest.
1. A situation that has the potential to undermine the impartiality of a person because of the possibility of a clash between the person’s self-interest and professional interest or public interest.
2. A situation in which a party’s responsibility to a second-party limits its ability to discharge its responsibility to a third-party
With his public admission yesterday the remaining 15 clubs which he did not assist have a right to appeal the process which was used to select the 12 teams for next year’s NPL. As they have every right to claim that they have been disadvantaged.
Other questions any of those 15 clubs, who were disappointed not to be selected for entry into the NPL should be asking their fellow clubs, is how much assistance was given. Was it simply giving clubs the correct contacts within government departments? Or was he or any other staff or board member present at any of those meetings?
As creditable as it is that Mr Hugg wants to have a ‘hands-on’ approach he needs to learn when is the right time to step to one side. Everyone understands that the NPL is to be implemented on his watch and he wants it to be operational at the start of next year or it will reflect badly on him personally and the organisation, but he needs to learn when to step back and let others take over for his own integrity and that of Football West.