Sport ‘Hands off’ NZF president quits
Deryck Shaw wanted to lead New Zealand Football’s response to the Muir review, but after a week of reflection he realised that wasn’t going to happen.
His resignation from the governing body’s executive committee (ExCo), which he has been president of since June, 2015, was confirmed yesterday.
It came after Muir found ExCo to have been ‘‘too hands off in its governance . . . in recent years,’’ and the resignation of recently-elected ExCo member Jon Ormond, who described Shaw’s position as ‘‘untenable’’.
Shaw’s departure follows those of chief executive Andy Martin, who resigned at the end of June, the week after the Muir review was instigated, and technical director Andreas Heraf, who resigned at the end of July.
Muir found that Heraf had engaged in ‘‘bullying behaviour’’ while coach of the Football Ferns. She was limited in what she could say about Martin, despite receiving ‘‘strong feedback’’ about him, owing to the terms of his departure. Half of Muir’s 22 public recommendations involved ExCo, whether directly or indirectly. When they were announced last Wednesday, Shaw said he was intent on continuing as president to oversee their implementation.
Shaw wouldn’t comment on Ormond’s ‘‘view of the world,’’ nor would he say if any discussions were had at board level as to whether he should continue as president.
Over the past week, he has reached out to leaders in the football community, including the chairs of the seven regional federations.
In doing so he repeated his commitment to embracing Muir’s recommendations, stressed his leadership credentials, and asked for feedback on his role as president.
Shaw said one piece of feedback had been that ‘‘when something doesn’t work out as it should, maybe the head of the organisation needs to step aside’’.
Ultimately, he decided to resign ‘‘to allow football to move forward’’.
‘‘It’s been a hard decision, I’ve had to balance everything up, and I’m not a person that steps back from commitments. I’m still personally committed around the findings of the review and the journey of football in New Zealand.’’
ExCo has unanimously agreed to adopt Muir’s public recommendations and it will be up to its eight remaining members and the staff at NZ Football to implement them moving forward.
Shaw said the Muir review had ‘‘created the opportunity to make the changes that are required’’.
‘‘Sometimes, unless you have something like a review, then there’s no mandate to do stuff.
‘‘Now is the key time to look forward, make the changes that are required, and engage with the football community in an active way.’’
It was notable that Shaw fronted after announcing his resignation, given that Heraf and Martin didn’t.
‘‘Ultimately that’s been their decision,’’ Shaw said.
‘‘I’m a different person in terms of where I sit in terms of understanding my role and the accountability that I have around that and today it was critical for me to front this.
‘‘It’s not been an easy process and it’s not been an easy decision for me.’’
ExCo vice-president Philip Barry has been elected to succeed Shaw as president until the governing body’s next congress in May next year.
Its eight remaining members will have to appoint two replacements for Shaw and Ormond for the same period.
NZ Football president Deryck Shaw, left, has joined former chief executive Andy Martin in resigning from the organisation.