Support for NZF ExCo withdrawn
A second regional federation has withdrawn its support for New Zealand Football’s executive committee, as the fallout from the Muir review continues.
Auckland Football chairman Bob Patterson outlined his board’s position in a letter to executive committee [ExCo] president Philip Barry last Thursday, a copy of which has been obtained by Stuff.
‘‘We do not have confidence in the current membership of the ExCo to lead New Zealand Football through the vital period of change required in the coming months and years,’’ he wrote.
‘‘It is clear that under the leadership of the current ExCo . . . serious failures in judgment were made regarding recruitment and managing a positive working environment for staff and players.’’
Lawyer Phillipa Muir’s review of NZ Football’s conduct and culture was highly critical of ExCo’s performance in recent times.
She found it had ‘‘been too ‘hands off’ in its governance in recent years’’ and that it ‘‘needed to obtain greater reporting from NZ Football management’’. Half of her 22 public recommendations concerned ExCo, which consists of 10 members, elected at the governing body’s annual congresses.
Northern Football was the first federation to withdraw its support for ExCo and call for an extraordinary congress, with chairwoman Aimee Barwick outlining her board’s position in a letter to Barry on October 23.
The chairmen of the other six federations wrote to Barry the same day, expressing ‘‘a low level of confidence’’ in ExCo, but stopping short of calling for an extraordinary congress ‘‘at this stage’’.
Auckland Football has since split from that group, which also included the Waikato-Bay of Plenty, Central, Capital, Mainland and South federations.
Patterson did not wish to comment yesterday. In his letter, he said Auckland Football would support holding an extraordinary congress, ‘‘to ensure we have a competent and credible ExCo who has a clear mandate to make key appointments and ensure successful delivery of all recommendations from the review’’. Barry was unfazed, telling
Stuff "the great majority of members have stated clearly they do not want [an extraordinary congress]’’. He added that he wasn’t concerned other federations might follow Auckland Football in changing their position.
Since the publication of the Muir review, two ExCo members have resigned – Deryck Shaw, who had been president since April 2015, and Jon Ormond, elected for the first time in May.
Barry was unanimously elected president until next year’s annual congress by ExCo’s eight remaining members, while Johanna Wood was elected vice president for the same period. ExCo has the power to appoint replacements for Ormond and Shaw but has not yet done so.
New Zealand Football has 11 voting members – the seven regional federations, the Professional Footballers Association, the Wellington Phoenix, the national men’s league clubs as a collective, and the referees association. Each federation has two votes, making for a total of 18, which means 10 are required to call an extraordinary congress.
Patterson wrote that the Auckland Football board had a ‘‘serious objection’’ to the recruitment process for a new chief executive starting ‘‘under the oversight of the same governing group that were responsible for the previous appointments that have caused such issues’’. Barry told he had no reservations about starting that process. He said voting members were made aware in advance about that.