De Rauch accepts Kangaroos election result - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

De Rauch accepts Kangaroos election result

By Roger Vaughan 16/02/2011 11:16:06 PM Comments (0)

Former North Melbourne director Peter de Rauch will accept the result of the AFL club's board election, despite calling it "a disgrace for democracy".

The long-time club benefactor and fellow challenger David Wheaton were well-beaten in the election, which came after a divisive few weeks for the Kangaroos.

De Rauch received strong support at Wednesday night's annual general meeting from maverick club figure Ron Joseph, who prompted a mixture of cheers and boos when he said chairman James Brayshaw did not "embrace" everyone at the club.

Joseph walked out immediately after making an impassioned speech during general business, where he revealed the club's real debt was closer to $6 million than the stated $4.75 million.

Joseph, who resigned as a board member before this election, received strong applause when he said he was "appalled" with how de Rauch was treated over the last month.

Before the AGM, de Rauch had spoken about a legal challenge to the election because proxy voting forms mailed to members last month did not feature himself and Wheaton.

But he was pleased it had highlighted the need for a reform of the election process at the club.

"It's probably a perfect time to quote Tony Abbott and say 'shit happens', but the way this whole thing was run, this should be on Channel Nine's comedy program," de Rauch said.

"Today was a disgrace for democracy, but next year we should be able to force them to accept the fact that this is a members' club and the members have a say."

Brayshaw polled 1559 votes, while his brother Mark (1454) and fellow incumbent Trevor O'Hoy (1787) also easily won re-election.

De Rauch received 479 votes and Wheaton polled 424.

Brayshaw said he was relieved the fractious election campaign was over and said the club would overhaul the voting system.

"What we'll do is fall in line with a lot of the Melbourne clubs and end up doing it online," he said.

"That way, the vote will be known a week before the AGM and we won't put up with any of the circus, I guess, we've seen in this instance."

De Rauch said his election bid had also forced the board to think more about debt reduction.

Brayshaw said the extra debt, above the stated $4.75 million, was due to a "standing issue" with Etihad Stadium and he was also confident it would be solved soon.

He also criticised Joseph for being so vocal about board matters, saying they should stay confidential.

"But his right to say it is absolutely fine," Brayshaw added.

Joseph, a long-time North administrator, accused the board of not respecting the wishes of the club's members.

"I wonder, have your board got the power to just say 'we're going to go and play three games in Hobart' without referring to the membership?," he said.

"There are an enormous amount of anomalies that need to be sorted out because the only way this club is going to survive - and James, with all respect, I just don't think you do embrace everybody - we must embrace the whole club.

"The AFL don't want us to survive, the 15 (sic) other clubs don't want us to survive and it's going to be up to us and the heartbeat of this club in this room tonight to ensure we do survive."

The club announced a profit of more than $233,000, the third-straight year it has been in the black.

But the club directors' report said the Kangaroos still must raise sponsorship and membership revenue.

Also at the AGM, long-time property steward Greg Ryan received a special services award.

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