One of the areas of the Football West Constitution that differs from the old constitution is the area where it stated that no board member was allowed to sponsor a club or the league. Which if you think about it makes sense as their company could be seen to be favouring one club, which could impact on decisions of a general nature.
There was also the added issue of that accusations could be made that the Board member could have brokered a deal that benefits his or her company more than an outsider due to inside knowledge of the workings. On more than one occasion nationally under the Soccer Australia regime this proved to be regrettably the case
This is a condition that we believe should be re-constituted.
There is no questioning that the board members who have invested financially in the game are doing so for the good of the game and we applaud them for that, but the games history requires them to be above suspicion of any bias or undue influence.
Mr. Luke Martin’s company has very generously come on board and is a sponsor of the WA State League and all divisions that fall under that umbrella. Which is a very large slice of the footballing cake in Western Australia. Yet the value of the deal has not been disclosed. Surely as a board member you would want that in the public domain so that as stated above any petty allegations?
We have witnessed Mr Paul Kelly serve on the board and at the same time have his previous company be a key sponsor of the game. Some may ask whether that was a proviso of his sponsorship, a place on the board. This we are sure was not the case but by allowing such deals to happen between board members and their companies, can cause Chinese whispers to start, and arm your detractors.
Another board Member Mr. Liam Twigger is a sponsor of his old club, Inglewood United, and to be fair has been for a long time, but is this good for the game? In this case it is in that is shows loyalty to a club that he served as a player, but is it appropriate for a board member to be so publicly favouring one team.
These are the issues that the standing committees, who are charged with policing the game, should be raising. It is fantastic that these individuals want to support the game financially, but should they be doing that while holding an official office within the organisation?
With the new CEO, Mr Peter Hugg about to commence it will be interesting to hear his take on such matters, as he is bound, judging by his impressive Resume, to want everything done properly and beyond suspicion. It is also a shame that the current deal was not held in abeyance until he commenced his role, as he may well have had potential sponsors lined up amongst his many corporate contacts. If Football West is to be able to stand alone financially as the board wish. The bigger the sponsorship deal the sooner they can achieve that goal.