New group takes control of Eels board - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New group takes control of Eels board

14/12/2008 08:26:46 PM Comments (0)

Former Eels great Ray Price said he would seek to return power to the football club after his faction claimed the majority of places on the Parramatta District Rugby League (PDRL) club board.

Price and former teammates Eric Grothe Snr and Brett Kenny were elected along with John Chidiac to give the Parramatta Pride and Passion ticket control of the seven-member football club board on Sunday.

But Price admitted his group had only started to "climb a mountain" with any decision-making effecting the National Rugby League team still made by the leagues club board.

His group's next step would be to explore the possibility of amending the club's constitution in order to return control of the Eels from the leagues club to the PDRL.

"They (the leagues club) took the NRL side away from the football club and we start now the fight and battle to get the NRL side back to the football club," Price said.

"It is the football club's team not the leagues club's."

The PDRL is only responsible for supervising the area's local junior league and representative teams and has no say in the running of the Eels' NRL side.

If a constitutional change does not occur Price's ticket would likely seek to gain control of the board of the Parramatta Leagues Club at their elections in April.

On Sunday, Kenny (203) polled most votes from former teammates Grothe (201), Price (199), Ron Hilditch (176), property developer Chidiac (172), ex-player Geoff Gerard (168) and Dr Michael Johnson (165).

The incoming quartet ousted long-serving Parramatta Leagues Club chairman Alan Overton (163), while Chris Jurd, Don Ritchie and Gary Morris also failed to get re-elected.

Long-standing Parramatta chief executive Denis Fitzgerald said he was surprised rather than shocked by the result.

"I'd been saying for the last few weeks that I was quietly confident that the seven current members would be returned," Fitzgerald said.

A minimum of three members of the PDRL board could offer themselves for election to the leagues club board, Fitzgerald said, but stressed the leagues club had around 40,000 members as opposed to just 650 for the PDRL.

Kenny said he was pleasantly surprised to get as many votes as he did, while Grothe said he was "a little bit overwhelmed" by events.

Price, meanwhile, took umbrage at the suggestion his faction was a "rebel" group.

"Rebel is a crap word, as far as I'm concerned we're not rebels we played for Parramatta," he said.

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