It was George Bernard Shaw who is credited with saying “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Frequently in today’s world it pays to check when something was communicated as with so many modes of communication you may find that you have missed it or it had not actually been announced.
Last night on the “Let’s Talk Football Show” hosted by Eamon Duffy and with State League Standing Committee Chair Maurice Oteri in the studio it became clear that Football West Board member Henry Atturo was still on the Football West board. This was in spite of Mr Twigger being given the right to stay on beyond his two four year term, as he had not spent the entire time as Chairman.
The scenarios were explained in Starting Over in 2017
The reason for the confusion was another breakdown in communication from the game’s governing body.
The Football West Constitution states in section 10.7 Rotation of Directors
(a) Despite article 10.6, at the annual general meeting relating to the financial year ended 30 September 2006 and at each second subsequent annual general meeting one-half of the Elected Directors must retire from office.
As the Constitution was set up in 2006, every two years means that in 2016 half of the Directors had to step down. However the AGM was not held in 2016 but in March 2017.
A search of the appalling new Football West website should reveal that two of the Directors stepped down in December of 2017, but a search of Archived News reveals no such information. It turns out that ASIC were advised that appointed Director Rob MacKay stepped down and so too did elected Board Member Gary Adshead on 17th December 2016.
This meant that the Board was in fact down to six members rather than eight, four elected Members and two appointed. With Ms Janette Spencer having served her two terms, she had to step aside. Then with Mr Adshead and Mr Mackay going there was no longer a need for anyone else to step aside.
Of course this is a fairly important detail when trying to keep tabs on the election, but for some reason that information was not communicated. The reason why it was important being that 10.7 b states:
b) If the number of Elected Directors is not a whole number which is a multiple of two, the number of Elected Directors is to be rounded down to the next whole number.
So with the number of Board members being reduced and Mr Twigger being given special dispensation to stand again, the path was now clear for Mr Atturo to see out his full term as a Board member, which will come to an end on 15 December 2018.
Had we missed the information that that two Board members had stepped down? A google search cannot find any announcement. Maybe Football West were under the illusion that they had communicated that information. Certainly the Football West website was still listing them as Board members too, so maybe the Board forgot to tell the Communications department?
Finally what is still hard to accept is that the two appointed board members remain, both having served well over their two year maximum terms. Football West’s interpretation of the Constitution is that appointed members can stay as long as they like. If that was the case then rather than changing the Constitution so that Mr Twigger could stay on, why did the Board not simply appoint him to the board?
As Mr Twigger wrote to Not The Footy Show in February 2015 and which was published as A Response From Football West he felt that Appointed Board members could remain ad infinitum, whereas our legal advisors felt that was not the case. In 2015, as stated when we published the letter from Mr Twigger it was agreed that there may be some ambiguity. Sadly when the Constitution was changed at the General Meeting, no changes were made to eliminate that ambiguity. Two years on Football West continue to stick to their interpretation even though it differs from many other legal minds.
If in four years there is still no Home of Football or A-league team being run by Football West will we see this loophole used to gain another term for a Board member?