Opinion Collingwood Board Nominee Sean Callanan talkback.

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Pie eyed

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I have invited as many of the board nominees as I can contact to contribute personally and directly to the Board Elections discussion.

Sean Callanan is the first to respond and he has agreed to join this thread to put his case and to answer any questions.

I trust you will show the correct amount of decorum.
 
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SeanC

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I have invited as many of the board nominees as I can contact to contribute personally and directly to the Board Elections discussion.

Sean Callanan is the first to respond and he has agreed to join this thread to put his case and to answer any questions.

I trust you will show the correct amount decorum.

Thanks for the invite, had to reactivate my BigFooty account, it's been a while.

Happy to answer questions from Pies members here, I've been discussing issues with members on Twitter @seancallanan and on my Facebook page

I'm running independently, offering my digital and sports technology expertise to the board and I want to be a voice for the members on the board.

More info on me via my website -
https://seancallanan.com/collingwood-board-nominee/

Fire away, I'll do my best to answer all of your questions.

#gopies
 

76woodenspooners

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I’ll copy this discussion from the other thread which included my takeaway from one of Sean’s interviews (to give him a chance to confirm / expand / correct the record)

What’s happening with the term limits or is that off the agenda now
Callinan … As long as we continue with the members voting for board seats, term limits are no longer so important *

Browne (+Roberts, Holgate, Carp) … Is supporting some constitutional change (eg: expanding eligibility) but term limits are not part of his platform

Febbraio … As far as I can tell, he seems to treat the constitution as being it is what it is, and I haven’t seen him express any support for constitutional reform.

Others … don‘t know.

* I disagree with Callanan on this for a stack of reasons

(1) At elections candidates can use their incumbency to hold onto power. Consider Ed as an example, he effectively defined the Collingwood Presidency in his own image (not a criticism). Consider all the angst over Korda. IMO, a lot of his unpopularity was that people felt he was a poor version of Ed (even those who wanted Ed gone). They expected somebody who had charisma and a public profile (like Ed) despite there being no evidence that it’s a requirement for success. Look around at the successful footy clubs and their President’s profile.

(2) Giving a leader a deadline focuses their attention.

(3) There become periods where there is no risk of the leader making decisions to simply get re-elected because they’ve exhausted their re-election options (and rather, hopefully, focusing solely on the best interests of the organisation)

(4) Term limits limit the amount of stuff that can be swept under the rug and left to accumulate and stink.
 

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Pie eyed

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Thanks for the invite, had to reactivate my BigFooty account, it's been a while.

Happy to answer questions from Pies members here, I've been discussing issues with members on Twitter @seancallanan and on my Facebook page

I'm running independently, offering my digital and sports technology expertise to the board and I want to be a voice for the members on the board.

More info on me via my website -
https://seancallanan.com/collingwood-board-nominee/

Fire away, I'll do my best to answer all of your questions.

#gopies
Thanks Sean.
 

SeanC

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I’ll copy this discussion from the other thread which included my takeaway from one of Sean’s interviews (to give him a chance to confirm / expand / correct the record)



Callinan … As long as we continue with the members voting for board seats, term limits are no longer so important *

Browne (+Roberts, Holgate, Carp) … Is supporting some constitutional change (eg: expanding eligibility) but term limits are not part of his platform

Febbraio … As far as I can tell, he seems to treat the constitution as being it is what it is, and I haven’t seen him express any support for constitutional reform.

Others … don‘t know.

* I disagree with Callanan on this for a stack of reasons

(1) At elections candidates can use their incumbency to hold onto power. Consider Ed as an example, he effectively defined the Collingwood Presidency in his own image (not a criticism). Consider all the angst over Korda. IMO, a lot of his unpopularity was that people felt he was a poor version of Ed (even those who wanted Ed gone). They expected somebody who had charisma and a public profile (like Ed) despite there being no evidence that it’s a requirement for success. Look around at the successful footy clubs and their President’s profile.

(2) Giving a leader a deadline focuses their attention.

(3) There become periods where there is no risk of the leader making decisions to simply get re-elected because they’ve exhausted their re-election options (and rather, hopefully, focusing solely on the best interests of the organisation)

(4) Term limits limit the amount of stuff that can be swept under the rug and left to accumulate and stink.

I'll clarify my thoughts on term limits as I was not up to date on the conversation around it and I was focused on ensuring elections continue and are not the exception, that is where my answer was coming from. More people should be allowed to vote and they should be challenged and voted by all Collingwood members. In that environment, board members will either be voted out (worst case) or challenged/replaced by better candidates (best case).

Understand the arguments of term limits, happy to include them in the many changes that the clubs constitution requires.

Hopefully, that clarifies my thoughts, thanks for pushing back.
 

76woodenspooners

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I'll clarify my thoughts on term limits as I was not up to date on the conversation around it and I was focused on ensuring elections continue and are not the exception, that is where my answer was coming from. More people should be allowed to vote and they should be challenged and voted by all Collingwood members. In that environment, board members will either be voted out (worst case) or challenged/replaced by better candidates (best case).

Understand the arguments of term limits, happy to include them in the many changes that the clubs constitution requires.

Hopefully, that clarifies my thoughts, thanks for pushing back.
Thanks Sean!

Not sure if you’re aware, but term limits is a policy of the current board and doubt that it’s something they’ll be able to push through during the current term. When it came out, it seemed to be very popular amongst supporters (I can’t speak for others, but that was my take). I’m surprised none of the candidates has run with it.

This CFC article included a paragraph near the end about term limits …

https://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/1012367/mark-korda-to-step-down-in-2022
 

76woodenspooners

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Thanks for the invite, had to reactivate my BigFooty account, it's been a while.

Happy to answer questions from Pies members here, I've been discussing issues with members on Twitter @seancallanan and on my Facebook page

I'm running independently, offering my digital and sports technology expertise to the board and I want to be a voice for the members on the board.

More info on me via my website -
https://seancallanan.com/collingwood-board-nominee/

Fire away, I'll do my best to answer all of your questions.

#gopies
This thread has a ‘poll’ capability. So if there’s anything you want to poll from us then reply to Pie eyed (as the thread starter) with details and he can add it. It’ll appear at the top of this thread.

(junk example to illustrate: Question “Do you love the design of the Collingwood scarf?” options: “yes”, “no”.)
 

SeanC

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Thanks Sean!

Not sure if you’re aware, but term limits is a policy of the current board and doubt that it’s something they’ll be able to push through during the current term. When it came out, it seemed to be very popular amongst supporters (I can’t speak for others, but that was my take). I’m surprised none of the candidates has run with it.

This CFC article included a paragraph near the end about term limits …

https://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/1012367/mark-korda-to-step-down-in-2022
Thanks for highlighting. I don't have any issue with what Mark proposed.

In keeping with best governance practice, we intend to set a limit on the tenure of a director to three terms, or 9 years, and limit the maximum tenure for a president to two terms, or six years.

Most of the discussion I've had has been around voting rights and finding a way for AFL Members and MCC Members to be welcomed into the club after changes to social club memberships.
 

Obese Arachnid

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I'll clarify my thoughts on term limits as I was not up to date on the conversation around it and I was focused on ensuring elections continue and are not the exception, that is where my answer was coming from. More people should be allowed to vote and they should be challenged and voted by all Collingwood members. In that environment, board members will either be voted out (worst case) or challenged/replaced by better candidates (best case).

Understand the arguments of term limits, happy to include them in the many changes that the clubs constitution requires.

Hopefully, that clarifies my thoughts, thanks for pushing back.
Thanks Sean, like they way you haven't demanded to be on the board & straight up Pres.

I mean that would be arrogant, especially if you have hidden in the shadows (using a mouthpiece) with no agenda & are using media machine connections to now poke your head up & say base level words like "premierships" & "20% more" to the huddled masses.

My question is do you like pineapple on pizza?
 

sr36

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SeanC , This is a test of your diplomacy skills 👆

Hint: if you answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ you’ll instantly lose half of the supporter base.

No Pressure 🤣
He can't dodge the question either - I'm not voting for someone not willing to commit to one of the great dilemmas of our time.


This is a remarkably hollow threat considering I don't have a vote.
 

SeanC

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My question is do you like pineapple on pizza?
Bloody hard-hitting questions.

I don't mind pineapple on pizza, but understand that it can split a crowd of people in two.

The good thing about Collingwood when we enter the MCG we can all agree on Black & White.

You might be sitting next to someone who hates pineapple on pizza but they will cheer just as loudly when Daicos slots one from the boundary (Peter, Josh or Nick).

I hope I can help more member opinions - pizza or non-pizza related - be represented on the board.

While I'm here tomato sauce stays in the fridge, not the pantry.
 

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sr36

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Bloody hard-hitting questions.

I don't mind pineapple on pizza, but understand that it can split a crowd of people in two.

The good thing about Collingwood when we enter the MCG we can all agree on Black & White.

You might be sitting next to someone who hates pineapple on pizza but they will cheer just as loudly when Daicos slots one from the boundary (Peter, Josh or Nick).

I hope I can help more member opinions - pizza or non-pizza related - be represented on the board.

While I'm here tomato sauce stays in the fridge, not the pantry.
Reading that, I was thinking we had our new president ... until the final line.
 

Obese Arachnid

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The good thing about Collingwood when we enter the MCG we can all agree on Black & White.

You might be sitting next to someone who hates pineapple on pizza but they will cheer just as loudly when Daicos slots one from the boundary (Peter, Josh or Nick).

I hope I can help more member opinions - pizza or non-pizza related - be represented on the board.

While I'm here tomato sauce stays in the fridge, not the pantry.
Almost had my vote, politician answer.

Noticed you didn't address my super subtle Browne dig. Understand you may be a little afraid to take that on.

Personally would love to see someone call out his "application" for the job.
 
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76woodenspooners

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SeanC

… 9 years ago - end of the 2012 season - if the question was asked of a new board member at the time “In what state do you expect Collingwood to be in at the end of 9 years of service on the board?”, in retrospect the answer would have been:

- Exit from the financial black hole that is the pubs fiasco

- Building of the stage (4?) of the Westpac Centre with the New Glasshouse building and oval (not sure what stage the funding / plans were at, but it was around about then, IIRC it was all opened around 2016)

- Our teams competitive on the field and challenging for Premierships

- Financially stable

- Club to extricate itself from pokies revenue and gambling sponsorship,

- Establishing women’s sporting teams and being competitive (I had a chat with our CEO circa 2011 and he mentioned back then that in was in their vision to have a netball franchise)

- VFL / Women’s teams playing at Victoria Park with the best of facilities. VFLW girls to win a Premiership.

- Club to establish a reconciliation action plan, and take a path to repair historical instances of racism.

- Club to establish end-of-season members forum to give members an opportunity to understand what happened behind the scenes.

- etc, etc

Question: If you’re elected to the board, and serve 3 terms taking you to the end of 2030, what state would you expect Collingwood to be in then ?
 
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76woodenspooners

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Almost had my vote.

Noticed you didn't address my super subtle Browne dig. Understand you may be a little afraid to take that on.

Personally would love to see someone call out his "application" for the job.
I’d imagine that there is some kind of gentlemen’s agreement between the candidates that they won’t criticise each other. It would probably reflect poorly on a candidate if they did.
 

Mkcaptain

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Hi Sean. I posted these same questions to Chris in the other thread.

1. What attributes and strengths do you think you'd bring as a board member?
2. Do you have any particular changes you would be seeking to make to the constitution?
3. As an outsider looking in, what are your observations about the current Collingwood Football Club operations and governance? How do you think we need to improve?
4. How would you measure the success of the Collingwood Football Club?
 

Scodog10

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Howdy SeanC thanks for taking the time to engage!

My philosophy on the core function of an AFL board is that they’re there to maintain good governance, develop the strategy to achieve our aspirations and provide the most important people at the club (the football department) the tools to achieve our goals.

A strong board will let the FD do their thing and focus only on whether they’re meeting KPI’s which was often lacking over the past decade. I also believe the greatest strength the previous president brought to the role was his salesmanship in a time when we needed to grow brand Collingwood, but in a national game where exposure is at unprecedented levels it often felt like that salesmanship wound up doing more harm than good as time went by.

If elected considering your background what would you like your involvement to be in the FD? And do you believe we as a club need to be more humble or continue to grow the brand at every opportunity? I like your platform because it speaks of an understanding of what the club is built on, the fans, and I wish you well.
 
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SeanC

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Almost had my vote, politician answer.

Noticed you didn't address my super subtle Browne dig. Understand you may be a little afraid to take that on.

Personally would love to see someone call out his "application" for the job.
I let the dig go, that's your opinion, not afraid to take anyone on. Doing my best to follow the Election By-Laws which can be interpreted as quite restrictive. I'd prefer more open conversation and even debate. https://resources.collingwoodfc.com...0b-81ca-12bcb6085b80/CFC-Election-By-Laws.pdf

I'll let the media say what they will about the election and the potential result, I'm doing my best to talk to members.

Question: If you’re elected to the board, and serve 3 terms taking you to the end of 2030, what state would you expect Collingwood to be in then ?
First of all, I wouldn't presume to serve 3 terms and I'm not going to be so bold as to instruct the club without consultation with key club staff & board and knowledge of current plans.

That said, good boards are like good umpires, you don't notice them when they are doing their job well.

In my first 3 years I'd like to address with the help of my fellow board members & club staff (on & off-field):
  • Governance & constitution - expand votings rights, clean up term limits and update to reflect the whole of club.
  • Do Better - make implementation and communication a priority. This will be a slow, tough cultural change but it must happen.
  • Membership - Focus on engaging members with a strategic focus, not just tactics. How to ensure members are happy and turning up across multiple membership categories to solidify our attendance numbers. Big crowds are the best matchday experience, that has to be a focus. (Tactics will be implemented like pre-match events, changing scarf design, etc but without the focus to engage members they can be disjointed & ineffective)
  • Support on-field - Ensure the resources powered by members are used to give AFL, AFLW, Netball coaching teams every single advantage we can possible. Rather than fighting the AFL about footy operations tax, I'd like to see the club be so successful that paying the tax is not a concern, that is true strength and leverage.
I know there is further development underway with our facilities that will continue, and I expect multiple Collingwood teams to be challenging for success. I admire what Graham Wright has done in a short amount of time and Craig McRae will help drive cultural change on-field that will help when attracting new talent to the club as long as the club's actions match that change.

There are big opportunities across sports technology that the club could take advantage of, once I understand the club's financial position and appetite for innovation I'd be happy to present them to the board.


1. What attributes and strengths do you think you'd bring as a board member?
2. Do you have any particular changes you would be seeking to make to the constitution?
3. As an outsider looking in, what are your observations about the current Collingwood Football Club operations and governance? How do you think we need to improve?
4. How would you measure the success of the Collingwood Football Club?
1. I understand the digital and sports technology landscape, now is the time for the club to be a global leader. I am a team player willing to work with anyone on the board for the best outcome for Collingwood. I am unafraid of change. I'll be sitting in the Ponsford stand seats with members and will remain accessible via social media.
2. In short voting rights need to be widened and a review of the constitution is required to better reflect the club in 2021.
3. Answered above - good boards are like good umpires. When I see success at Richmond & Melbourne that is reflected in how their board goes about it. As per 2 updating and then adhering to the constitution are key to good governance.
4. Ultimately as a club are in the business of winning, but the key to sports business especially in Australia is membership & sponsorship as those revenue streams enable the club to explore opportunities to enable that success. The board's job in my opinion is to help all Collingwood staff to chase down those goals with all the support they need.
 

SeanC

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Howdy SeanC thanks for taking the time to engage!

My philosophy on the core function of an AFL board is that they’re there to maintain good governance, develop the strategy to achieve our aspirations and provide the most important people at the club (the football department) the tools to achieve our goals.

A strong board will let the FD do their thing and focus only on whether they’re are meeting KPI’s which was often lacking over the past decade. I also believe the greatest strength the previous president brought to the role was his salesmanship in a time when we needed to grow brand Collingwood, but in a national game where exposure is at unprecedented levels it often felt like that salesmanship wound up doing more harm than good as time went by.

If elected considering your background what would you like your involvement to be in the FD? And do you believe we as a club need to be more humble or continue to grow the brand at every opportunity? I like your platform because it speaks of an understanding of what the club is built on, the fans, and I wish you well.
I will support the FD in any way they need me. Graham Wright and Craig McRae have more qualifications and experience in football than me (and most on the board) they don't need my unqualified opinion. Happy to provide my advice on technology solutions and help identify inefficient systems that may impact decision making. Additionally, I would open up my sports technology network to allow FD to explore solutions that can give the FD an advantage. Australia is a leader in sports technology (especially on-field) the club should be in the thick of that.

On your second question, I would prefer to focus on what we can do for members rather than broader sales. The brand will grow again with an engaged membership turning up producing big crowds and TV ratings. The best sales especially in membership are current members, we don't need a member-get-member campaign when members are recruiting their family & friends as they are proud of the club and enjoy going to games.
 
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Scodog10

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I will support the FD in any way they need me. Graham Wright and Craig McRae have more qualifications and experience in football than me (and most on the board) they don't need my unqualified opinion. Happy to provide my advice on technology solutions and help identify inefficient systems that may impact decision making. Additionally, I would open up my sports technology network to allow FD to explore solutions that can give the FD an advantage. Australia is a leader in sports technology (especially on-field) the club should be in the thick of that.

On your second question, I would prefer to focus on what we can do for members rather than broader sales. The brand will grow again with an engaged membership turning up producing big crowds and TV ratings. The best sales especially in membership are current members, we don't need a member-get-member campaign when members are recruiting their family & friends as they are proud of the club and enjoy going to games.
Thank you. I personally think the sports tech network you can provide is a big selling point. Whilst I believe we’re one of the best at computer sciences come trade and draft time I think it remains an area we can get an edge on the competition.

To me this is all softball stuff, which you handled expertly, but the reason I ask is that I think we’ve been getting it wrong up until 2021. One final one from me and more of a curiosity about you the person than what you can bring to the club (in a sense though it probably does provide an insight into that).

How would you handle a person in a senior position within the FD that is very good at what they do from a football perspective, but has the complete opposite stance to you on engaging with fans? Basically how would you have handled Geoff Walsh’s mushroom attitude (keep us in the dark and feed us sh*t) towards the fans. For what it’s worth I think we’re ok with our current heads of the FD.
 

barrackers

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Hi Sean,

I’m reading a lot from candidates about expanding the voting base, but what does that look like? Access to MCC and AFL members has been mentioned, however I’m not sure how much they financially contribute to the club currently and if this contribution will be broadened (eg. Social club add on) in exchange for voting rights.

Also will voting rights be expanded to include others who hold direct club memberships, but may not hold a men’s membership for example AFLW and netball members? If so, will this be via add ons or different membership levels (eg. perhaps a AFLW or netball social club)?

Currently some (most?) of the voting members hold higher cost memberships is there a concern that their value for money would be diminished if voting is freely expanded? Do you feel there’s a need to offset this and if so how?
 

SeanC

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How would you handle a person in a senior position within the FD that is very good at what they do from a football perspective, but has the complete opposite stance to you on engaging with fans? Basically how would you have handled Geoff Walsh’s mushroom attitude (keep us in the dark and feed us sh*t) towards the fans. For what it’s worth I think we’re ok with our current heads of the FD.
Understand your question, they don't need to be mutually exclusive. Engaging members does not mean opening the doors to everything, a lot of the FD does need to be protected for competitive advantage, but a shift in mentality to be more open would be welcomed and be part of a cultural shift.

Also will voting rights be expanded to include others who hold direct club memberships, but may not hold a men’s membership for example AFLW and netball members? If so, will this be via add ons or different membership levels (eg. perhaps a AFLW or netball social club)?

Currently some (most?) of the voting members hold higher cost memberships is there a concern that their value for money would be diminished if voting is freely expanded? Do you feel there’s a need to offset this and if so how?
I am for expanding voting rights, the how and who is not yet decided and would require more consultation with the members and the constitution.
There are several levers to pull on deciding who gets to vote including financial & length of membership.

At the moment the current voting rights are too skewed to financial commitment and membership type (people who are AFL members for various reasons they don't love the club any less).

It is a mix of constitution changes and developing appropriate member products that can improve access for all.

One point that hasn't been raised even as a marketing exercise, if you are an 11-game GA member right now, you can upgrade to a Social Club Add-On for 2022 today and vote in the election. Understand it may not be affordable for some members which is why we should not be putting financial restraints on members' voices but the marketer in me would be promoting that fact as it is how the current voting rights stand.
 

76woodenspooners

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Hi Sean,

I’m reading a lot from candidates about expanding the voting base, but what does that look like? Access to MCC and AFL members has been mentioned, however I’m not sure how much they financially contribute to the club currently and if this contribution will be broadened (eg. Social club add on) in exchange for voting rights.

Also will voting rights be expanded to include others who hold direct club memberships, but may not hold a men’s membership for example AFLW and netball members? If so, will this be via add ons or different membership levels (eg. perhaps a AFLW or netball social club)?

Currently some (most?) of the voting members hold higher cost memberships is there a concern that their value for money would be diminished if voting is freely expanded? Do you feel there’s a need to offset this and if so how?
+ interstate members?
 

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