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SBD Global/September 27, 2013/Franchises

Brisbane Supporters Group The Lions' Roar Angered At AFL 'Ransom'

Brisbane supporters group The Lions' Roar said that "it would be a 'slap in the face' to members" if the Australian Football League "sweeps aside a rival boardroom ticket and fails to give supporters a right to vote on the club's future," according to Phil Lutton of the BRISBANE TIMES. The AFL "remains in the middle of tense negotiations as it tries to sort out a deeply fractured Lions board." Lions standing chairman Angus Johnson "continues to try to stave off a rival faction" led by directors Mick Power, Paul Williams and former coach Leigh Matthews. It had appeared the Matthews ticket "had a mountain of popular support among members," but Johnson "appears to have the stout backing" of AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou. Matthews is now looking "less and less likely to find a spot on a revamped board." Meanwhile, Demetriou has said that a financial grant to Brisbane "would be at risk if members were determined to take the boardroom battle to a popular vote." Demetriou said, "Our position is very clear -- if the members want to call an EGM, they can do that. They can appoint who they want. But they shouldn't rely on the AFL's financial support. And we've done that with the Melbourne Football Club." The group said in a statement, "If Mr Demetriou is suggesting that financial assistance is incumbent upon the members not exercising their rights, then it is a slap in the face of the many members and supporters who have called loudly and consistently for the right to have their say on the future of the Board" (BRISBANE TIMES, 9/27).
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