Prospective Collingwood president Jeff Browne has released a searing public letter taking aim at current president Mark Korda and the club’s board, insisting he still intends to make a run for the presidency.
A push from fans to force an Extraordinary General Meeting — and potentially hand Browne the presidency — hit a hurdle this week when 40-year member David Hatley said he’d pulled the pin on his campaign despite playing a vital part in setting the push in motion.
Browne, who earlier this month officially announced his intentions to make a play at the Collingwood board, used the Herald Sun as a forum to launch an attack on the sitting board.
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JEFF BROWNE’S MESSAGE TO MEMBERS
“As Collingwood members continue to collect the signatures required for an extraordinary general meeting for the election of seven directors to the Collingwood board, I reiterate that once that meeting is called, an alternative ticket of highly qualified, motivated and deeply caring Collingwood members will offer themselves for election.
“All of this takes place against a backdrop of mistakes and actions by the current board, including:
“A botched miscalculation of the salary cap, overseen by the current president as chairman of the finance committee;
“An undignified ejection of four very good players (Adam Treloar, Jaidyn Stephenson, Tom Phillips, Atu Bosenavulagi) forced out because of the salary cap blunders;
“The botched appointment of a so-called director (Bridie O’Donnell), with no past passion for, or engagement with Collingwood;
“The inherent instability that surrounds replacing a coach mid-season, an episode only saved significantly by the class and dignity of the coach himself;
“Apparent meetings with some supporters pledging long overdue improvement to members benefits and facilities, offered amidst a plea not to give the members their right to elect a new board to represent them;
“Unprecedented low attendances at Collingwood home games at the MCG; and
“A devaluation of the Collingwood brand that has seen the broadcast of non-feature matches, relegated to graveyard television broadcasting slots.
“These things collectively contribute to the growing lack of confidence in the leadership of our club, which can only presently be addressed by giving the members their democratic right to vote on all seven positions at a general meeting and only thereby, give them direct input into helping restore Collingwood to the great club it should be.”
Reacting to Browne’s statement, Collingwood legend Tony Shaw said on 3AW the push from Browne was well overdue and that a board meeting should be fast-tracked in order to get the club’s future solidified and remove the distraction of board turmoil.
“We need to hurry up now that he‘s gone through and made this statement, which I thought should have happened weeks ago. We need to hurry it up more,” he said.
“This isn’t against Mark Korda at all but if it was to go to a vote right now with Jeff Browne and what he’s going to offer I think … they will win.
“We need this done ASAP and now that he’s come out and got on the front foot blog have been asking for a month, maybe we’ll see some action.”
Originally published as Powerbroker blasts ‘botched’ Pies board