Faith No More?

We have all read the quotes about fish rotting from the head when it comes to leadership and the consequences of bad leadership, yet sometimes it is hard to comprehend just how lacking in leadership our world is today.

There is a motivational quote that is frequently used that says “Leadership is action, not position.” There is another attributed to former NFL coach Tom Landry which states “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.”

Football has shown globally a lack of leadership for over twenty years and only now is there a glimmer of hope that change is on the horizon for the game as a whole. While the fat-cats on the FIFA Executive Committee were lining their own pockets there were other ill practises being carried out by administrators of the game all across the world, and very little was done by the regional Confederations let alone FIFA.

As a result this has filtered down to an even lower level, Football in Western Australia.

On january 8th 2016 we ran a story on this site called “Another Fine Mess” In which we revealed that Football West the game’s governing body in Western Australia had been in breach of the Corporations Act by failing to hold an Annual General Meeting in 2015.

Having contacted the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Not the Footy Show was advised that this was “very serious.” They also advised that Football West had not requested an extension and that these were only issued in “very extreme circumstances.”

There were a few people in the football community who were public spirited enough to lodge complaints with ASIC over this failure to comply with the Corporations Act, under which Football West is bound to operate as per its constitution.

It now transpires that Football West requested an extension from ASIC on the 11th of January 2016, three days after we published the story exposing their failure and the seriousness of the offence.

Incredibly ASIC responded on January 25th 2016 advising that Football West had been “granted an extension under section 250P(2) of the Corporations Act 2001.”

Yet ASIC now is at fault, as the Corporations Act states in section 250P that an extension can only be granted if “If the company applies before the end of the period within which the company would otherwise be required to hold an AGM, ASIC may extend the period in writing. ASIC must specify the period of the extension.” Football West were bound by the Corporations Act to hold their AGM before the end of the calendar year 2015. They did not apply for an extension until after 2015 had ended, therefore ASIC does not have the power to issue an extension under the rules laid out in the Corporations Act.

Remember the fish rotting? It does begin to smell.

Not the Footy Show has approached ASIC for an explanation as to how they can grant an extension when the criteria has not been met, but as yet has not had a reply.

ASIC has advised that the extension that they gave – legally or not – was for Football West to hold their AGM on or before February 16 2016. As yet there has been no public announcement from Football West of the said meeting and every person who pays fees to Football West is entitled to attend the AGM, so as in previous years a public notice on their website and on occasion a Press Release has been sent out. So far nothing has been seen.

This raises another very important issue. It means that if Football West do indeed convene an AGM on or before the 16th of February 2016 they are once again in breach of the Corporations Act.

Football West’s constitution states that it is governed by the Corporations Act and section 249H states that an AGM can only be held if “at least 21 days notice must be given of a meeting of a company’s members. However, if a company has a constitution, it may specify a longer minimum period of notice.”

With no notice having been given, and the extended deadline being 16th of February, the 21 days notice requirement cannot be met. Once again Not The Footy Show has contacted ASIC for an explanation and what action will be taken for a second case of the Corporations Act being broken. No reply has been received at this point in time.

This is not a minor incident. This is a massive failure on the part of the board to ensure that Football in Western Australia is being run according to the laws of the land and in a professional manner. Questions need to be asked and answers need to be given. Incredibly since our first article no statement has been forthcoming as to why no AGM was held in the first place. It would be interesting to know if any of the Standing Committees asked this question, and also what answers they were given.

Just to show how serious these offences are, the penalty for failing to hold an AGM is a Criminal Act and a fine or three months in prison is the penalty. For not giving the required 21 days notice is again an offence that falls under the Criminal Act and the penalty is a fine and the possibility of a further three months in prison.

When you consider that for the last two years Player registrations at all levels of the game has seen Football West receive $2.3million from individuals playing the game and a further $300,000 in club registrations, that is a vast amount of money that they are duty-bound to administer responsibly. The failure to hold an AGM and present the accounts should be setting off alarm bells at every club and amongst all players; once again this is no oversight. This is a breach of the Corporations Act and is punishable under the Criminal code.

Will anything be done about? Will others speak out and contact the relevant authorities? Or will everyone simply continue to bemoan the running of the sport and do nothing to make sure it is administered to the level it should be?

Ultimately in the end it all comes down to leadership, leadership at every level.

Faith No More?

One thought on “Faith No More?

  • February 12, 2016 at 9:24 pm
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    Seriously how do they get away with it. I hope every club has registered a complaint with Asic and the Minister for Sport as these are public funds hard earned money from parents and players and this mis management is unacceptable. The whole board if they had a conscience would resign at an Extraordinary General Meeting. It is time for wholesale changes and a new CEO and a restructure. This is embarrassing to the game and totally unacceptable.

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