Club Statement

Presidents Message

Dear WAFC Members & Supporters,

Re: Important Club Update

Firstly, it was with much pride and excitement that we saw two West Adelaide FC players, Chris Burgess and Izak Rankine, selected in the AFL Draft and now on their way to an AFL career with the Gold Coast Suns. Izak and Chris have been wonderful ambassadors for the Bloods and testimony to the pathways to the AFL that we offer. These Draft selections should be seen not as a loss to our club but rather as a feather in our cap as we now look forward to following their progress in their AFL journey.

Independent Club Review

The West Adelaide FC is built on a rich and proud history, however in a constantly changing world of football, we recognise a need to be more progressive and diverse in our skills set to improve our off-field performance and thrive as a successful Club in the future.

Earlier this year, the WAFC Board agreed for SANFL to engage auditors KPMG to undertake a review of our governance model and board structure, following on from similar reviews of a number of other SANFL club boards. This review identified a number of areas where the Board could improve its operations and transition to a more relevant best practice board structure.

We took these recommendations on board and subsequently established a Governance Review Sub-Committee to look at how the Club could best position itself for the future by improving both its business and board operations. This Sub Committee comprised Adrian O’Dea, John Kantilaftas, David Shipway and current Board members Graeme Barton and John Levy – all dedicated WAFC people who have both the business skills and football experience outside of the Club, as well as intimate knowledge of the strengths, the weaknesses and the character of our great Club.

This group came together over the past few months and consulted with other SANFL clubs to gain an insight into their organisational structures. The sub-committee subsequently made a range of recommendations which were last month accepted unanimously by the Board. Importantly, throughout this entire process SANFL was fully informed of the KPMG review findings and also endorsed the sub-committee recommendations. In general, these recommendations address:

  • The size of the Board
  • The appointment process
  • The required skill set of Board members
  • A need for greater diversity
  • Ways to attract the best people available

To enable these recommendations to be implemented, majority support of members is now required, as well as some amendments to our Constitution.

We will therefore be holding a Special General Meeting at 6pm on Monday, December 17 to discuss the recommendations. Further details will follow shortly, but on behalf of the Board I encourage you to make yourself available to attend this meeting and actively participate in assisting your Club to establish a more effective structure for a successful and sustainable future.

Update on the position of CEO

Further to this independent review, it was also agreed by the current Board that the role of CEO should be considered in any restructure of operations and, because of this, we have not extended the current contract of CEO David Grenvold. As we embark on implementing change, SANFL Executive staff member Ben Hopkins will step in as interim Club CEO for a period of six months, by which time we expect to have completed the Board restructure process and have a clear direction on future Club executive roles.

David has enjoyed the experience of being back in the SANFL environment and his efforts in recruiting strongly over the past few months will no doubt stand the Bloods in good stead for season 2019. David will depart in early December and we wish him and his family all the very best.

As a valued Club member, we thank you for your ongoing support and hope you can appreciate the need for this Board review and transitioning process.

Yours sincerely

Lee Harradine

WAFC President