Sup­port for NZF ExCo with­drawn

Taranaki Daily News - - Sport - An­drew Vo­er­man an­drew.vo­er­ Stuff

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.

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