Time to Find A Voice

If you listen to the show you will have heard last night that the Chairman of Football West Bob Kucera finally replied to my letter dated 11 February, it only took him 68 days! Then again maybe my letter asking where the response was may have prompted him to actually show some courtesy.

His reply was pretty much what I expected once again advising that the position of CEO of Perth Glory being on the board is not a conflict of interest. We know the current incumbent has resigned from the board but the situation needs to be resolved for the future, but he and his board do not see a problem with this.

The second issue raised in my original letter was the terms of office that our board members are elected for, four years. This was fine in the initial setting up period but I believe should now come back to three or two year terms in line with most boards, a move the former Chairman was in favour of, but never implemented.

At the 2009 AGM when this was raised the response from the board was that they could not change the constitution without consultation with the FFA, which seems ridiculous as the FFA couldn’t give two hoots about the game at grass roots level. However at that time, with the World Cup Bid on the table FIFA had said that they had to ensure that all state constitutions were the same, so that was the plan. A Year passed and all of the state bodies continued to have different constitutions.

Mr Kucera stated in his letter “as re-affirmed at our Annual General Meeting, we will be undertaking a review of our Constitution – again in line with the FFA and other federations throughout the country – and during this process, members will have the opportunity to make comment on appropriate changes which there are many.”

There are many who believe now the World Cup bid is dead in the water this will never happen across the country. Football fans better hope that it does and need to show a great deal more notice than when the current constitution was drafted.

It flies in the face of many of the Crawford Report’s recommendations and sees power handed to a group of people who run rule over the game for a possible eight year term, and once elected there is very little you as stakeholders can do to remove them.

The current constitution is one of protectionism, and a lack of accountability. Many boards publish their minutes – or edited versions of them – for the stakeholders to see what is being discussed. Has anyone involved in football here ever seen the minutes, or even been allowed to see them? The new video clip with the Chairman was created to try and abate the clamour for minutes to be made available and the stakeholders to know what those charged with running the game are discussing.

People have asked for “extra” expenditure reported in the Annual report, but no response is forthcoming four months down the track. Why not?

The Standing Committees and Zone Representatives were recommended by Mr Crawford for a reason, but good people have walked away because their comments are ignored by the board. In other words they are not listening to those representing the people in the game. These representative bodies were however allowed to fall over or not have correct accounting procedures of their own, because that suited the powers that be who saw them as a hindrance rather than a help.

If the football players, administrators, parents, referees and all other facets who fall under the auspices of Football West want to have a say in how the game is run they need to be involved in the drafting of the new constitution. They need to demand a Special General Meeting where the majority can have their say on the future of the game. The key is issue is one will have to be called to pass the new Constitution.

If we allow a similar document to be passed and approved then it may be another seven years before another such opportunity arises.

Time to Find A Voice

5 thoughts on “Time to Find A Voice

  • April 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Most of it, is indeed very basic managment, yet it doesn’t occur ?

    Those with large Ego’s dont want it to occur for if we end up with a transparent and fair system, they may not get their way !!

    I remember a certain FW ” development ” person saying ” we need to get rid of all these old dinasaurs that exist within our sport ” (what makes him so different ?).

    I still cant help think that a new organistaion is the only way…..unless Peter and a few of the other board members speak out and show that they are indeed serious about bringing change and giving power to the people

  • April 24, 2011 at 11:25 am

    EXZR you raise some very valid points. Thank you for expressing them

    The Zone Reps and Standing Committees were set up for the very specific reasons you state, so that individuals and individual clubs could not get “favours” from the administration and the board. As this has failed these people go straight to the board. The problem once again – and I actually feel for both CEO’s on this issue – is the board do not have the courage or the ability to tell these people to go through the right channels and they therefore undermine the CEO and the administration. A strong board will tell people to use the correct process. Why do they lack that backbone, I fear some of them crave the power and the popularity as well as the perks, and therefore want to be sure they are voted in again.

    I would actually advocate that within the FW admin there is a staff member assigned to assist the Zone Reps and Standing Committees with the distribution of information etcetera, rather than having your own assistants.

    Used correctly, and this cuts both ways as some Zone Reps and Standing Committee members have never passed back any information to the clubs they represent, the system can be a very strong foundation, but currently its appears to suit the powers that be to have a dysfunctional structure.

    The structure within the operational office is simply the wrong model, and when I resigned nearly three years ago I wrote and advised the board of this fact, yet nothing has changed. It cannot operate effectively under the current structure, and yet noting changes, we do not evolve, learn or improve.

    Most of it is basic management.

  • April 24, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I am going to go out on a bit of a limb here (also, i dont fully understand constitutions)

    For us to make a fist of FW in its current state, the constitution needs changing.

    To change the constitution enough members have to vote the changes ?

    For there to be enough voting members they need to be assured they will be listened to, both by clubs and Board (and regional associations)

    If the SC’s and ZR’s are to be given this right (which they should), they deserve to be on the books if we are to take this set-up seriously. By this i mean that all clubs and Associations should be instructed go through their SC’s and ZR’s regarding all matters, before it reaches the board or office.

    I know of an Association who refuse to accept that ZR’s should play a part. I also bet there are many Clubs and Associations who feel the same way and continue to deal the office (and Board) in their own way….because it suits their vested interest.

    FW know this and they like it that way. ” Divide and Conquer ”

    Lets be honest, for the SC’s and ZR’s to be the conduits they are supposed to be for this system to work, they need paying as the time involved would be huge. At least then they too will be accountable….as they should be. This system will also get to the stage where each one needs a paid Admin along side them.

    This system would of course then thin the office staff down, but at least we will have everyone concentrating on their tasks and not for ever chasing their tails. Also the anger wouldn’t be there as the Board, CEO and Office would only be carrying out the members wishes.

    If all of the above is minuted, we will have the transparency we so richly deserve

    For this to happen though, the Board need to send out a memo to all clubs and associations to use the proper channels, how to use the proper channels and when to use the proper channels. This is known as communication, something FW dont do well…..in fact their time to date should have been spent perfecting the communication and protocol channels instead of muddling in the elite side of the game.

    When the term ” Development Dept ” was first introduced, someone should have explained to them that development is a very big word and it doesn’t just mean coaching…..in fact the Admin side of it is much more important.

    For what its worth

  • April 23, 2011 at 11:09 am

    As I said the people have to find a voice. I believe the people have to drive the game. In relation to Football West as long as the board don’t listen the CEO has to follow the path they set.

    We all thought the past CEO let us down, with a new CEO having been in the role for a year now I think we have to look to the board as maybe they are the ones not allowing the CEO to do his job.

    I agree with you if the Constitution is not changed to reflect what the people want we will see the game splinter again, and those who caused it will simply walk away and blame everyone else.

    I believe that as a generation we have to stand and find a voice for the future of the game, and make that voice heard.

  • April 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    The new CEO and Chairman have been in for quite some time now, yet i have noticed no real change.

    People said – give them a chance as they are new and finding their way.

    To put it bluntly, they will not change the costitution the way it should be changed because they do not want to lose power. You are correct in that FFA dont give two hoots and they certainly will not want to lose power.

    Once again our sport is being run by Ego’s

    Give the sport to the people it should belong to….the members.

    Get the juniors, seniors….grass roots, elite….Men, Women sat around the same table. Let them decide a united future

    If the constitution can not be changed to reflect this….then its time for a new organisation

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