When Peter Hugg appeared on “Not the Footy Show” soon after being appointed CEO of Football West he stated that he would take time to settle in and then assess changes that may be required and that he intended to make the changes he deemed necessary.
Mr Hugg was announced as CEO on the 4th of May 2010 and commenced in his role on the 17th. He has cautiously gone about his business and is to be credited with being far more visible at games and Football West organized events than his predecessors.
One thing that he established was that Football West needed restructuring, a fact that we tried to highlight to the board over two years ago; the structure that existed having been perfect for the set up phase but having failed to evolve as the game has since Football West was created in 2004.
The appointment of a General Manager of Football this week was a move that is a good for the game itself as long as the new structure of the organization is revealed. To appoint a General Manager and keep the same structure is quite simply committing commercial suicide.
Football West is already top heavy in its structure, with – including the new appointment and the CEO – nine managers overseeing twelve staff, two of whom we believe are part time. That is not a healthy organization, and this is no way a criticism of those in management positions, just of the organizational structure.
Anyone with any business acumen can see that you are not only top heavy in staff ratios, but your salary requirements are also going to be extremely lopsided; which in a not-for-profit organization is a serious concern. Usually in such organizations there is plenty of work to be done and that is why the staff that do the day to day operations outweigh the management.
There were many in the football community who were upset yesterday to read of this new position in the West Australian before an announcement came from Football West. Even twenty four hours after the article in the paper there is still no news of the appointment on the governing body’s website. It is poor communication such as this that causes unnecessary friction between those running the game and the stakeholders.
Equally unsettling is the fact that such a vital position in the rebuilding of the organization was not advertised. If the incoming employee was head hunted, -which would appear to be the case – surely it would have still been beneficial to have advertised the position to see who applied and the qualifications they possessed to fill the role. The board were painstaking in their search for the right man to fill the CEO role, so surely a similar search would make sense as the General Manager, one would assume, would be the CEO’s right hand man or in this case woman.
Sadly when it appears that the game is making a move in the right direction, the lack of expertise in how that move is executed and communicated once again rocks the game back on its heels.