NMFC AGM February 26, 2020

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longlivenmfc

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I'm also concerned about the "closed shop" approach to board member selections however, this is probably true for most/all AFL Clubs.
But most AFL Clubs don't have the Tasmania relocation hanging over their heads.

The original proposal to change the Constitution was to require a member vote of approval to play more than 4 home games outside of Victoria.
This was defeated. I can't find the exact result but from memory, we got a 58% positive on a small turnout. Required 75%+.

The AGM notice went out without any statement from us despite us asking what were the requirements for such a statement i.e. the number of words, supplied electronically, time frame, etc.

The feedback was that the AFL instructed the club to fight the motion i.e. they didn't want member involvement. We couldn't get traction in the media
where it appeared to be pro-relocation. JB was against the change as it would "tie the board's hands if they got an urgent proposal".

If this approach was to undertaken again, we would require some heavy hitter media people in support of us, plus an agreement that we could talk to the members.
To be fair and balanced, you probably should also point out that after your amendment was unsuccessful, JB proposed his own relocation protection clause which was successfully passed by members and is now included in our constitution. It essentially provides that a 75% majority vote is needed in order for us to no longer be a Melbourne based club (or words to that effect). Many on here might not be happy what we ended up with, but this whole conversation should acknowledge that we are THE ONLY team in the AFL that has any type of relocation protection built into our constitution.
 

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King Corey

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To be fair and balanced, you probably should also point out that after your amendment was unsuccessful, JB proposed his own relocation protection clause which was successfully passed by members and is now included in our constitution. It essentially provides that a 75% majority vote is needed in order for us to no longer be a Melbourne based club (or words to that effect). Many on here might not be happy what we ended up with, but this whole conversation should acknowledge that we are THE ONLY team in the AFL that has any type of relocation protection built into our constitution.
I'm going to guess most other Vic club's constitutions (or in-house procedures) already have safeguards against shifting home games at all so relocation as a concept doesn't even come into play.

As for us, the initial example given as a defence of refusing the 'Limerick' motion ie "a one-off cash bonanza from Singapore" was farcical from the get-go.
 

longlivenmfc

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I'm going to guess most other Vic club's constitutions (or in-house procedures) already have safeguards against shifting home games at all so relocation as a concept doesn't even come into play.

As for us, the initial example given as a defence of refusing the 'Limerick' motion ie "a one-off cash bonanza from Singapore" was farcical from the get-go.
Lots of clubs have played home games away from home without needing to get member approval, so I'm not sure that's right. Those that haven't probably haven't needed to.

I'm not critical of Limerick's proposal - my point is that if you read his post in isolation you would be left thinking that we have no protection and are left wholly exposed due to a club and AFL agenda, and so I think a balanced discussion (to the extent they are welcome on this board) should mention the follow up resolution that was passed and the protection clause as it currently stands.
 

King Corey

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Lots of clubs have played home games away from home without needing to get member approval, so I'm not sure that's right. Those that haven't probably haven't needed to.

I'm not critical of Limerick's proposal - my point is that if you read his post in isolation you would be left thinking that we have no protection and are left wholly exposed due to a club and AFL agenda, and so I think a balanced discussion (to the extent they are welcome on this board) should mention the follow up resolution that was passed and the protection clause as it currently stands.
Fair point re noting the degree of protection that was implemented.

Re other clubs what would be worth understanding is the mechanism by which they can shift home games.

Richmond as a sizeable Victorian club are a good example - I'm unaware whether they needed to jump through internal hoops to play a game in Cairns or could the board/exec make the call unchecked?
 

big_e

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I'm also concerned about the "closed shop" approach to board member selections however, this is probably true for most/all AFL Clubs.
True, and corporate boards, most NFPs, etc.

As much as I support Sonja Hood as being on the board, it is less than ideal that she and Arch were appointed two months before the AGM and are then presented as current directors seeking re-election rather than having to stand for election like the rest of us would. When was the last time we actually had more nominees than vacancies?
 

Limerick

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To be fair and balanced, you probably should also point out that after your amendment was unsuccessful, JB proposed his own relocation protection clause which was successfully passed by members and is now included in our constitution. It essentially provides that a 75% majority vote is needed in order for us to no longer be a Melbourne based club (or words to that effect). Many on here might not be happy what we ended up with, but this whole conversation should acknowledge that we are THE ONLY team in the AFL that has any type of relocation protection built into our constitution.
Hi longlivenmfc. When was this change made?

It does go part the way to what was proposed but my concern with it is that it doesn't specify any timeframe for the information provision nor the General meeting. Any group seeking to fight a relocation would be very disadvantaged if this process was executed over a short timeframe. I acknowledge that our proposal was also lacking in this area.
 

the big lebowski

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Hi longlivenmfc. When was this change made?

It does go part the way to what was proposed but my concern with it is that it doesn't specify any timeframe for the information provision nor the General meeting. Any group seeking to fight a relocation would be very disadvantaged if this process was executed over a short timeframe. I acknowledge that our proposal was also lacking in this area.
It’s definitely there, I just had a read.

It does provide some protection which is a positive, but doesn’t go far enough to satisfy conspiracy theorists like myself.
 

Tas

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Was it not my suggestion that somebody do this, the very thing which led to your reply in the first place?

You are one endearingly strange unit, Tas. And I mean that in the most respectful way possible.
Well, I told you what I remember hearing/reading, if that isn't good enough for you then go there yourself and ask whatever questions you want to ask, don't dump it on someone else you won't believe unless there is some evidence somewhere online that can convince you.
 

Tas

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There can be only one...
To be fair and balanced, you probably should also point out that after your amendment was unsuccessful, JB proposed his own relocation protection clause which was successfully passed by members and is now included in our constitution. It essentially provides that a 75% majority vote is needed in order for us to no longer be a Melbourne based club (or words to that effect). Many on here might not be happy what we ended up with, but this whole conversation should acknowledge that we are THE ONLY team in the AFL that has any type of relocation protection built into our constitution.
It should be 75%+ of the members must approve, there is a distinct difference between 75% of people who show up to an AGM and 75% of the entire membership, it still allows the club to be railroaded by a minority if it is well coordinated.

I think the issue at heart is that the executive shouldn't be deciding things like where we should be playing games or how many we play where, this should be something the club membership determines and the executive create policy and procedure around what the club desires. In my opinion, a club isn't a club if the executive is dictating what that club is and what it provides it's membership. If the membership do not want to play any games outside of Melbourne, then the executive should respect that and do everything within their power to make the club work within those constraints.

The whole argument that it would have impeded the executive in making a knee-jerk reaction which the membership would have to live with potentially permanently long after they are gone is moot, it was intended for it to be difficult/impossible to sabotage the club either deliberately or through incompetence by needing the member approval. It is intended to make it harder to sell more games because it shouldn't be something the executive does as a knee-jerk reaction or without consulting the membership.
 
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Tas

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To be fair and balanced, you probably should also point out that after your amendment was unsuccessful, JB proposed his own relocation protection clause which was successfully passed by members and is now included in our constitution. It essentially provides that a 75% majority vote is needed in order for us to no longer be a Melbourne based club (or words to that effect). Many on here might not be happy what we ended up with, but this whole conversation should acknowledge that we are THE ONLY team in the AFL that has any type of relocation protection built into our constitution.
We are the only club that is realistically under any threat of relocation and that has largely been due to the way the executive hasn't acted in the interest of the members. We had some directors who wanted to sell the club to the AFL to relocate to Gold Coast, we have had our board under JB be prepared to be dictated to by the AFL, they have publicly wanted to shift us there, blocked Richmond from playing in Hobart and told them they would approve it if we North would play there. Tried to buy out Hawthorn to make it easier for us to be railroaded there and we had a chairman who had previously wanted to shift our club there and said he couldn't promise he wouldn't do it again.

It isn't a fear of a conspiracy that our members have to worry about, it was the very real realisation that the executive wasn't working in the interest of the members. I like to hope things are different now, and I like a lot more what I hear from our Chairman/board/CEO than I did under the JB/Dilena team, but we as a club need protections while we have an executive that doesn't act in the interest of members.

Melbourne was a basketcase and needed the AFL to pretty much run it out of poverty and they weren't ever in a discussion for relocation, we have been the best managed club under no financial pressure to ever be put in a precarious position again and again by it's executive and it has to stop, we need to stop letting the AFL dictate our policy when it is against the interest of the majority of our members.
 

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tazaa

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The question is why?

If the motivation isn't sinister, then why hide it away rather than maximise attendance and spruik about the great job you're doing?
Personally, in April, I would prefer people at the club are concentrating on the season at hand.
In April the only thing people are thinking about is football.
AFL, local, any type of football.
People are more inclined to act on their emotive traits when it’s fresh and relevant.
Imagine what a member handing out flyers at one or two home game at Marvel could garner in terms of support when it revolves around North Melbourne and our future.
Very easily done and people are already at the footy. They don’t need to put in any additional effort.
The only way anything would get done would be to call an EGM but again who knows how these things work?
 

big_e

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It should be 75%+ of the members must approve, there is a distinct difference between 75% of people who show up to an AGM and 75% of the entire membership, it still allows the club to be railroaded by a minority if it is well coordinated.

I think the issue at heart is that the executive shouldn't be deciding things like where we should be playing games or how many we play where, this should be something the club membership determines and the executive create policy and procedure around what the club desires. In my opinion, a club isn't a club if the executive is dictating what that club is and what it provides it's membership. If the membership do not want to play any games outside of Melbourne, then the executive should respect that and do everything within their power to make the club work within those constraints.

The whole argument that it would have impeded the executive in making a knee-jerk reaction which the membership would have to live with potentially permanently long after they are gone is moot, it was intended for it to be difficult/impossible to sabotage the club either deliberately or through incompetence by needing the member approval. It is intended to make it harder to sell more games because it shouldn't be something the executive does as a knee-jerk reaction or without consulting the membership.
I like the thought but you know that's not how it works.

For those who don't, the members elect the board, who set policy and appoint the executive to act on that policy. The problem is there are no real elections, and while I get the nominations committee is there to weed out "non-suitable" candidates, it means the directors will be chosen from a very small pool of people who are essentially pre-approved. And while you don't want to have a board divided, a bunch of people holding the same opinions on everything is as bad, if not worse.
 

Kimbo

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In April the only thing people are thinking about is football.
AFL, local, any type of football.
People are more inclined to act on their emotive traits when it’s fresh and relevant.
Imagine what a member handing out flyers at one or two home game at Marvel could garner in terms of support when it revolves around North Melbourne and our future.
Very easily done and people are already at the footy. They don’t need to put in any additional effort.
The only way anything would get done would be to call an EGM but again who knows how these things work?
An EGM would be the way to go. There would be a minimum numbers threshold (eg 500) and you could collect signatures for that, and for the motion to tighten the relocation clause, at the same time. Follow up gathering more for the motion once the EGM date is set.
 

tazaa

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An EGM would be the way to go. There would be a minimum numbers threshold (eg 500) and you could collect signatures for that, and for the motion to tighten the relocation clause, at the same time. Follow up gathering more for the motion once the EGM date is set.
It wouldn't be hard to garner signatures in 2020 with the power of social media and you pretty much just need a few Facebook pages on board and to be pretty efficient outside gate 5 and during the breaks to get it done.
The lack of action is primarily based on a low threat level but North people are easy to sway when it comes to these things.
 

Snake_Baker

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I'll vote for anyone who runs against the current status quo, as long as they are about AFL and Norths consolidation at Arden Street as their overwhelming primary goals, and I'll deliver more votes for them as well.
 

Kimbo

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It wouldn't be hard to garner signatures in 2020 with the power of social media and you pretty much just need a few Facebook pages on board and to be pretty efficient outside gate 5 and during the breaks to get it done.
The lack of action is primarily based on a low threat level but North people are easy to sway when it comes to these things.
You would need to also anticipate the Board’s tactics, because they have the database and resources.
 

Tas

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I like the thought but you know that's not how it works.
It is not how it works at our club for sure. I think the disconnect that exists between the member and the governance of their club also exists between the member and disconnect between supporting the club on a day to day manner or week to week manner. We have a lot of people who are members on the books who are mostly people who were once passionate about the club but are no longer, who contribute to keep the club going but have checked out in most aspects and that is largely because the club has been a boys club for a long time.

I have said this before, nobody calls a successful boys club a boys club. We are called a boys club now because it has been a long time since we have been a successful club and there isn't a punter loyal to this club who knows anyone or has been involved in any part of the process of determining who is running the club and what direction it is heading for. We for the most part are just back seat drivers who have access to an in case of emergency button, sack everyone and the club abuses our reluctance to hit that button.

Our club doesn't encourage the members to be an active part of the decision making process and would prefer if nobody rocks up to an AGM, that no questions are asked and nobody expects anyone to be held accountable for decisions made or lack of action taken.

I do not think AFL clubs in general should hold not for profit tax exemptions, they shouldn't be considered as clubs or enjoy the lack of transparency that exists with NFP clubs, because I do not believe for a second that AFL clubs consider their members much more than an audience and they rarely act with the interest of their members.

For those who don't, the members elect the board, who set policy and appoint the executive to act on that policy. The problem is there are no real elections, and while I get the nominations committee is there to weed out "non-suitable" candidates, it means the directors will be chosen from a very small pool of people who are essentially pre-approved. And while you don't want to have a board divided, a bunch of people holding the same opinions on everything is as bad, if not worse.
This is part of the problem, we have a corporation mentality, all the lingo we hear is based on modern views of large corporations. It is the main reason we have shrunk our board down, statistically corporations run by smaller boards have outperformed the larger board companies, but it requires more active directors.

In general, most shareholders know nothing about the corporation they invest in, you can buy shares in BHP without knowing anything about metallurgy or any part of the process from exploration, extraction, processing, distribution, etc. You expect that there are trained experts in all these fields employed and the operation largely falls under the executive committee who work with the CEO/COO/CFO and are able to convene and quickly make executive decisions when a normal board meeting isn't scheduled.

You need people on a board capable of functioning as an executive committee, but the pace is a lot slower for a NFP club than it is for an ASX 200 corporation. There are things more important than how much money you have or how large a profit you make. Actions that would make sense for an ASX 200 corporation do not necessarily do so for AFL clubs.

Other committees exist like audit committees, development committees, etc. Some board members can sit in a number of different committees. AFL clubs would have committees specific to football clubs and AFL clubs specifically. You generally need people who have a diverse set of skills, having experience in various roles would be a significant benefit. Even if everyone stood for election, the number of realistic potential candidates would be quite small. Streamlining the process is a necessity. Lacking a difference of opinion isn't necessarily a good thing.

The point is someone like Aylett or PDR or other people are qualified to sit on our board should they choose to, but the sum of their skills isn't the most critical aspect of the application, it is the politics of the individual and what they stand for. I wouldn't want Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk on our board if their political position was to shift our club to Tasmania. It doesn't matter how competent they are at a boardroom level, if they do not represent your political or ideological position then they are unlikely to put their collective clout working the club in a direction you want to go. If they said we think going to Tasmania would be the best decision, however, we recognise our members do not want that and we will tirelessly work towards making Melbourne work out for the best then that is different. We know little to nothing about people the club shoves into board positions and expects us to rally the troops and have them removed if we do not like them. We do not know anyone's politics unless they have publicly stated it and few have.

Our major flaw is we appoint people to roles we know nothing about, we know a bit about Archer but I am talking about the whole show, from people who have come and gone in the past to most of the people in the present. We are at the mercy of the boys club unless we feel the club is in a crisis and we can't trust anyone running the club. We aren't going to rally to remove one board member that nobody knows anything about, it is going to be everyone or nobody. If we are going to be a boys club, it has to be a successful boys club.

For something like a for profit corporation, the bottom line is all that matters, it is the entire reason that the corporation exists, you do not give a sh*t who is on the board of BHP as long as the stock price rises and it pays a good dividend. Would we give two stuffs how much money the club makes if it is in essence a club we no longer identify with? I will never follow the club like the Fitzroy sheep who followed Brisbane as they were told to by a liquidator.

There are other, more important considerations for a football club other than how much money they make. What is important to survive and prosper are important considerations, but how you survive and in what form is the most important.
 
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tazaa

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You would need to also anticipate the Board’s tactics, because they have the database and resources.
Yep on top of your membership ripped up, your character leaked to the media as a troublemaker and a tap on the shoulder from club staff or Marvel security and told to move on.

Which is quite sad really.
 

longlivenmfc

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Hi longlivenmfc. When was this change made?

It does go part the way to what was proposed but my concern with it is that it doesn't specify any timeframe for the information provision nor the General meeting. Any group seeking to fight a relocation would be very disadvantaged if this process was executed over a short timeframe. I acknowledge that our proposal was also lacking in this area.
I can’t recall exactly when it was, but it came after your one didn’t get up. The constitution is on the club website and it’s in clause 9.
 

Jabba the Trump

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Melbourne was a basketcase and needed the AFL to pretty much run it out of poverty and they weren't ever in a discussion for relocation, we have been the best managed club under no financial pressure to ever be put in a precarious position again and again by it's executive and it has to stop, we need to stop letting the AFL dictate our policy when it is against the interest of the majority of our members.
Our revenue remains substantially lower than every other Victorian club and without the Tasmanian money, we'd be in a diabolical state. Trust me, there is plenty of financial pressure.
 

Tas

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Our revenue remains substantially lower than every other Victorian club and without the Tasmanian money, we'd be in a diabolical state. Trust me, there is plenty of financial pressure.
Financial pressure such as what existed for Fitzroy or South Melbourne, that pressure didn't exist for us because despite our situation, the only years we didn't break even was when our membership revolted against attempts to move the club. Otherwise, we were able to pay our own way and there weren't creditors at our door. AFL had to bail Bulldogs and Melbourne out so they wouldn't go tits up, yet these clubs weren't under any threat of being moved and they sold games as well.
 
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Zondor

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Our revenue remains substantially lower than every other Victorian club and without the Tasmanian money, we'd be in a diabolical state. Trust me, there is plenty of financial pressure.
Yes our revenue is one of the lowest in the league but why is that? We rank mid table from income derived from sponsorship. In part the Tasmanian Money helps with this. So when you consider that, where is the shortfall in revenue when compared to some of the other smaller Vic Clubs? Money derived from Membership and the Gate would equate to some but not all the difference. External revenue streams like Pokies would make up a fair chunk of the difference. :stern look

What’s more important than revenue is profit and not going into debt. It is fair to say that our debt has been reduced significantly over the last 10 plus years and that has been a result of making profits for most of those 10 plus years. StKilda with their large debt would be under more financial pressure than us if you were to ask an Accountant. :stern look
 

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