News 2020 Board Elections - Wellman, Sheedy re-elected

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Lore

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Dec 14, 2015
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Two spots on the board are up for election this year, with Sean Wellman and Kevin Sheedy both contesting it as well as two other candidates (Gai Williams and Garry Vistarini) have also nominated so far (nominations close Tuesday). The vote will be held before the AGM in December.

Gai Williams:
While heartened by chairman Paul Brasher's review into the club's football department, Williams – who has twice run unsuccessfully for the board – said she was concerned by the Bombers' on-field performance as well as a perceived absence of grassroots presence at board level.

"I think the board had seriously lost touch with grassroots members," Williams said.

"It's very difficult to get new people on the board that haven't been chosen by the board.

"I know Paul Brasher is working very hard with [directors] Sean Wellman, Simon Madden and Sheeds to get to the bottom of things.

"At least he's acknowledged there are troubles."

Williams outlined concerns with the football department, including the coaching handover between John Worsfold and Ben Rutten. She also took a swing at recently sacked football department chief Dan Richardson.

"The two coaching scenario was a complete and utter disaster," she said.

"Nobody knows Ben Rutten because he hasn't been in front of the press. We don't even know if he can coach.

"Dan Richardson has gone. That was a roadblock. To me it seems like he was trying to keep the fans away from the players."

Williams added that she was concerned the club had leaked and would continue to leak members.

"Essendon's lost 18,000 members this year, and that's not all COVID.

"I'm very much pro-membership, getting involved with people, understanding what their frustrations are. I regularly email the club with a variety of things that people have passed on to me that they can't get any answers for. I just think the members need a voice on the board that's reflecting them. If you look at the board's skills matrix, I fit in there.

"You've got to engage your members and keep them engaged. People have only got so much money to spend."

But Williams said she was mainly out to defeat Wellman, saying that Sheedy had important work to do at the club, including within the football department.

"I wouldn't want to [beat] Kevin, because he certainly needs to be around,'' she said.

"We are a football club, and I just feel that the board haven't had their eyes on the field enough. With all the expansion out at the Hangar, and they bought that stupid e-sports team."
Garry Vistarini:
Vistarini, meanwhile, described the club's performance on and off-field over the past 15 years as "dire."

"I don’t accept any excuse other than poor management. It starts with the board," he said.

"A board should know exactly what is happening throughout the club. If it has to conduct a 'brutally honest review' to find things out then it has failed in its role."

Vistarini pointed to a lack of diversity on the board as an issue.

"Too often boards are populated by the same people across multiple boards. There is a danger diversity of opinion is lacking as a result.

"We need fresh faces, like myself, to challenge board members, management, and the football department. Not accept consensus thinking. To ask the hard questions.

"The Essendon board lacks diversity. Of 10 directors, four are appointed. These tend to come from an inner circle of 'professional' directors. Plus we have two former players in Simon Madden and Sean Wellman. It is most likely we will also now have a former coach in Kevin Sheedy who is up for election. That adds up to seven out of 10 directors, leaving only three positions for ordinary members to have their say.

"Apart from the passion I have for the club, I am an experienced CPA of over 40 years and have held senior finance roles across many organisations. I think this experience will be needed now more than ever to navigate the COVID-normal world that the club will be facing next year and beyond."
 

acm21

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Can't see either getting up. Imo not sure they have done anything wrong over the past 5-6 years. They've had to build the club back from what was a terrible and stupid (and worthless) period. Sponsors are in a good place (amart is reportedly paying 2 mil with many others intersted until it came just too much for the companies interested). The coaching structure has changed when it has needed to change; woosha did his job and now with brasher and truck in charge have the ability (and the skills) to make the club successfull on the field (which really is the only problem with the club atm)
 

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pazza

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Can't see either getting up. Imo not sure they have done anything wrong over the past 5-6 years. They've had to build the club back from what was a terrible and stupid (and worthless) period. Sponsors are in a good place (amart is reportedly paying 2 mil with many others intersted until it came just too much for the companies interested). The coaching structure has changed when it has needed to change; woosha did his job and now with brasher and truck in charge have the ability (and the skills) to make the club successfull on the field (which really is the only problem with the club atm)
You can understand the grassroots push.

Those of us who populate the outer have never really got a look in when it comes to board level. The coterie groups have seen to that and basically been carte blanche to run the club as it sees fit. It's not a thing about Sheedy as such, but, I fail to see what Wellman has brought to the table since joining the board. His place is wide open as Sheedy is a certainty.
 

acm21

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You can understand the grassroots push.

Those of us who populate the outer have never really got a look in when it comes to board level. The coterie groups have seen to that and basically been carte blanche to run the club as it sees fit. It's not a thing about Sheedy as such, but, I fail to see what Wellman has brought to the table since joining the board. His place is wide open as Sheedy is a certainty.
I do understand the grassroots push. Was more being pessimistic that they won't get in because I'm not sure of a recent situation that has worked.

Agreed about Wellman, as sheedy is sheedy.

My other comments were broad about the club itself and how its been run. Cant say either way about what each member of the board has or hasn't done.
 

ant555

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Good that someone is standing. Right now I do not think Wellman needs to be removed. His position on the board needs to be the "football" position so unless there is another experienced football person to run then I do not think you vote him out on a platform of reconnecting to the membership base.

The there is Sheedy who will likely be very good at reconnecting to the membership base.
 

Bombermania

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This makes the candidates in my local council ward look exciting.

Nothing against the four people but I really don't get a sense of inspiration from them. On face value Sheeds needs to be elected but this feels a bit like rearranging the desk chairs on the Titanic.

I am not looking for the club to reconnect with me as a member but to win footy matches and look like a professionally run successful club that it should be.
 

ant555

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You can understand the grassroots push.

Those of us who populate the outer have never really got a look in when it comes to board level. The coterie groups have seen to that and basically been carte blanche to run the club as it sees fit. It's not a thing about Sheedy as such, but, I fail to see what Wellman has brought to the table since joining the board. His place is wide open as Sheedy is a certainty.
Actually Wellman is the best type of board member. Successful business operator and someone who knows the ins and outs of footy. Has only been on the board 3 years and only recently have they expanded his role.
Not sure you want to be moving on your board members who have experience on the footy side to be replaced by a grass roots contender.
You need to be removing a few of the coterie backed business types for a couple of more grass root members.
 

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pazza

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Actually Wellman is the best type of board member. Successful business operator and someone who knows the ins and outs of footy. Has only been on the board 3 years and only recently have they expanded his role.
Not sure you want to be moving on your board members who have experience on the footy side to be replaced by a grass roots contender.
You need to be removing a few of the coterie backed business types for a couple of more grass root members.
I agree but unfortunately it is the Sheedy and Wellman positions available this time around.
 

84859300

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Someone just gave us a follow on Twitter. Hasn’t tweeted yet though...
I want board members to offer more than just a fan's voice at the table - can you imaging some of the sh*t that would be brought up, stopping real work getting done.

"There's not enough sauce in my little packet to cover my quarter time three pies"
 

pazza

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I want board members to offer more than just a fan's voice at the table - can you imaging some of the sh*t that would be brought up, stopping real work getting done.

"There's not enough sauce in my little packet to cover my quarter time three pies"
We have board members either voted in or co-opted by people "in the know" - the fans in the outer are driven by on-field success - not the money the club has. That's their motivation.
 

Lore

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I want board members to offer more than just a fan's voice at the table - can you imaging some of the sh*t that would be brought up, stopping real work getting done.

"There's not enough sauce in my little packet to cover my quarter time three pies"
Well she has qualifications beyond that anyway.

I'm not advocating for her btw, she just followed the bigfooty bombers acc and I got a notification for it :shrug:
 

Godzke

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two boring challengers - need backgrounds that offer something different.

Director of an ASX listed retailer if we want more marketing power
Senior person from ASIC/APRA/ACCC for compliance
Former senior exec/director from another pro sporting club (non-AFL) for cross-pollination
etc.

Brasher and the Essendonians should have stronger pulling power to attract high calibre individuals to this club's board.
 

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