So this dude wants to go on the Board and he starts his campaign off by talking to the Rage, Interesting start to the silly season.
The president of Essendon’s most powerful coterie group is pushing for a seat on the club’s board, declaring there is work to be done to improve “inclusiveness and communication” and ensure the Bombers become a “true destination club”.
Dr Peter Hughes, the president of the Essendonians, revealed to Fairfax Media on Wednesday that he was running for election. Nominations opened this week.
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Nomination: The Essendonians president Peter Hughes is pushing for a seat on the Bombers’ board.
Nomination: The Essendonians president Peter Hughes is pushing for a seat on the Bombers’ board. Photo: AAP
The Bombers have three spots to fill. Catherine Lio and Paul Cousins were elected in 2014 and are up for renewal, while former player Chris Heffernan is stepping down after two terms as a nominated director. It’s understood the Bombers could nominate a replacement for Heffernan.
Heffernan had a particularly important role to play in terms of the club’s on-field performance, as he was football director and a member of the list management committee. The Bombers, after a successful trade period, are already undergoing change in this area as general manager of football, Rob Kerr, opted to leave.
Hughes, who has spent five years guiding the Essendonians through a period marred by the supplements saga, said there were several areas the Bombers needed to focus on.
“The club has done a tremendous job in turning around an adverse situation over the last few years through a dedicated focus on key areas of corporate activity, such as debt and cost reduction, brand rebuilding, sponsor retention, membership growth, promoting a diversity and equality agenda and enhancements to governance, but there is still further work to be done,” he said.
"Despite our progress, we have still not won a final in recent years, we do not have an AFLW licence, we have a major redevelopment project to fund and implement and we still need to keep growing our membership base and our ability to attract new streams of revenue and capital raising.
"I would never be critical of our club as I know all of its people truly have the organisation’s best interests at heart but I still believe we can improve our levels of inclusiveness and communication, staff and player development-education programs, our reach into other demographic corridors, levels of support to past players and the building of wider commercial and industry relationships.
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“We must have a clear focus on building a benchmark football program and department that can deliver sustainable success as this will effectively underpin other corporate objectives and consolidate our ability to become a true destination club.”
It’s understood former Melbourne Storm chief executive Ron Gauci, who challenged former president Paul Little’s board in 2014, is one of two other potential candidates weighing up a bid to join the board now run by Lindsay Tanner.
Voting will open on November 27 and close on December 11.
“I am nominating because I feel I have an ability to add a deeper level of value to the club after spending over five years guiding the Essendonians through a very challenging period,” Hughes said.
Despite our progress, we have still not won a final in recent years, we do not have an AFLW licence, we have a major redevelopment project to fund and implement and we still need to keep growing our membership base and our ability to attract new streams of revenue and capital raising.
- Essendonians president Dr Peter Hughes
"During this period, the coterie actually grew in numbers and produced consistent returns to the club, despite the environment that we had to operate within. I feel that I can bring many of the experiences, learnings, and key relationships made during this time to the club to assist it in delivering its key strategic objectives. I also have a wide range of corporate skills, having successfully founded and run my own companies after working in a number of diverse and well known organisations."