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Following the Dally M Awards last night, reality is beginning to set in – the 2014 NRL season is coming to a close. We have one more game this weekend to determine who will be crowned premiers for season 2014.
To all the Canterbury Bulldogs and South Sydney Rabbitohs fans, enjoy this very special week. There is nothing quite the same as grand final week and it is certainly something which should be relished.
However, the reforms which have been introduced by Dave Smith this year will remain a topic of debate over the summer. Earlier this year, Smith hinted that clubs would suffer financial penalties in the future unless they have at least one woman on their board.
We have written about the importance of diversity several times this year, so this article is not going to repeat that sentiment.
Instead, this article is to voice my disappointment in regard to Channel Nine’s ‘poo-pooing’ of Erin Molan potentially sitting on the Canberra Raiders board.
Earlier this week, an attempt by the Canberra Raiders to appoint Erin Molan to their board was dismissed by her employer, Channel Nine. The reason Channel Nine have offered for this dismissal is conflict of interest.
We are not here to discuss whether Erin Molan is suitable for the position. Clearly when the Canberra Raiders considered appointing her, they saw a young, professional woman who is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about rugby league.
On the face of it, Erin is someone who should be considered for such a position and it comes as no surprise that the Canberra Raiders were interested in appointing her. Apart from being passionate about the sport, Molan is a long-time Raiders supporter and is extremely passionate about the Raiders.
Congratulations also to the Raiders for showing a genuine interest in promoting diversity and embracing the call by the NRL to include more women in its higher ranks.
What I take particular issue with is Channel Nine’s reasoning. If Erin Molan being appointed to a board is a conflict of interests, then surely so is Phil Gould’s position as General Manager at the Panthers.
Gould’s role should be called into question, as should Andrew Johns’ coaching role as well as the positions held by Ben Ikin and Greg Alexander. Most disappointing of all is David Gyngell, Nine’s CEO, who has been a director at the Sydney Roosters.
The reasoning behind Channel Nine’s dismissal are hypocritical and harmful to the future of rugby league.
Every person put forward for a board position should have the ability to bring something to the table. We are certainly not advocating appointment for the sake of gender – but here, the Canberra Raiders had an opportunity to make an appointment which they saw to be in the best interests of their club and it has been quashed by feeble reasoning from Channel Nine.
So Channel Nine, we’d like an answer please. What is the real reason you don’t want Erin Molan to sit on a board. We’re itching to hear it.