The Cumberland Throw

The Tip Sheet – Episode 9: Max Donnelly, PLC Chairman


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In the wake of the all-encompassing review of the Football Department and with a crucial Leagues Club Annual General Meeting looming, The Cumberland Throw sat down with Parramatta Leagues Club Chairman Max Donnelly to talk all things Parramatta Eels.

Constitutional change will be the focus of the AGM, but it can only be achieved with at least 75% of voters agreeing to the change.

Join Chris, Sixties and Miatch as they delve into the future of the Eels off the field with Max Donnelly, discuss the findings of the football department review and touch on why the upcoming AGM on the 8th of November is such an important event for voting members to attend.


Proposed constitutional changes for the AGM.


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16 thoughts on “The Tip Sheet – Episode 9: Max Donnelly, PLC Chairman

  1. Anonymous

    Good job boys! Let’s hope the right numbers of the right people attend and vote next month.

    I know Max was pretty stand offish with some of the stadium stuff but rest assured this is much closer to being finalised than he was letting on.

    1. JonBoy

      Interesting to see the press release that has gone out since I posted earlier. Bernie is turning up the heat on the stadium operators after the way we got screwed by the previous boards lack of ability to negotiate a decent deal for the club.

  2. Colin Hussey

    Excellent interview Sixties and very Informative. A heck of a lot to take in with a lot already gone.

    Max mentions his costs each day are around the $25- 30K in money, does that come from the government or other source as it would be a huge figure for the club to be lumbered with?

    I would love to be at the meeting but, not 3 years on the round two memberships yet, maybe next year. I cannot see anything wrong in what he proposes here for the constitution as in the end even once past the administration stage it then goes back to the members to elect new board members every time with a set number having to drop off each time, but can stand again. Other words for me, once your in, doesn’t mean its forever and you can get bowled out.

    I certainly believe that there should be electronic voting allowed rather than the night time meetings, it would not hurt though for the meetings to be part of a streaming service for members to respond to.

    Having more scrutiny options available that would allow for feedback on the basis of those who are trying to set their own agenda’s on matters.

    There was something else but its taken flight.

    1. sixties

      Thanks Colin. This interview has resulted from Chris’ passion for constitutional reform for the PLC. Obviously the rest of us share that passion, but Chris has driven a lot of action around the club towards this goal. He had met recently with Max and this interview came from that meeting.
      As for Max’s fees, they’re detailed in the clubs financial statement, so it’s a cost to the PLC.
      If we only get 200 voters then we do need an alternative. At the Rosehill meeting when a vote on reform was last taken, we needed approximately 150 people to vote yes. But when so few turn up, it doesn’t take many to vote against it. A few family and friends and bang – voted down.

      1. John Eel

        I will need to listen to the podcast again but in listening to it the first time I thought Max said that his fees were $25,000 to $30,000 per month not Per day ($9Mil PA). From a financial concern it is also damning to learn that we lost money on each game at ANZ over the last 2 seasons.
        I have no doubt that we will claim bigger numbers when we return to WSS. ANZ is a soulless place with small crowds and needs to be demolished.

        Just one thing on Bernie’s contract dispute with Venues live. The current government is about to move into an election. It would be suicidal for them to enter that election without two anchor tenants that were the justification for the investment. This will put the ball squarely in the court for the Eels and WSW.

        1. sixties

          John, I didn’t notice that Colin had written per day. It’s per month. Yes, we only made money on one match, which was probably the 28K attendance.
          it makes no sense for VenuesLive to push for commercial agreements that aren’t viable.

  3. Anthony

    Great chat gents, very enlightening. Max’s comments re the stadium are quite poignant given the media and member release this afternoon re the rejection of the initial contract from WSS.

    1. sixties

      Thanks Anthony. We appreciated Max detailing that in the interview and even though we may have concerns about what will happen, it was important that the club provided that media release to inform as many supporters as possible. I believe that VenuesLive need to consider how this is viewed by people out in western Sydney.

  4. Milo

    Great interview TCT and thanks Max; Max is superb and to me speaks in real language and does not sugar coat things. He particularly made it clear about the leagues club board etc and the process.
    He also made good mention of previous agreements regarding ANZ, and reading between lines the people who did this seemed to have made a bad business call. Anyway i am glad he is here and with us, along with Bernie.,
    Great work TCT and thanks for your time and for posting this.
    I just hope the NRL and FFA also puts some heat on this Venues Live group, as it seems a sham tbh. Parra and Wanderers are western Sydney and this how they wish to treat a club that’s been around since 1947? No thanks. What other teams would possibly sell out this venue? Maybe Wests Tigers.

    What would be interesting and not that we want it, is if both us and Wanderers do not accept these contracts and we need to seriously look at elsewhere. We do not want this but it makes you question why these things occur.
    Food / transport is the main thing i look for when going to a game, particularly coming from the coast.

    1. sixties

      Thanks Milo.
      That last ANZ Stadium deal was a very poor one for the club, and it seems like VenuesLive were aiming for something similar. The new WSS is a 50 year build – I certainly won’t be around when a new stadium is needed. This is meant to be the beginning of a new history at what will be a great venue. The people of western Sydney deserve better from VenuesLive.
      It’s my understanding that the NRL have supported the club in their stance.

  5. Shelley

    Thanks for the interview. Two things stood out for me.
    1- changing the way people can vote. Many leagues club members can not get to the designated venue to vote as they do not live in Sydney. My grandfather is in his 90’s, has been a leagues club member for 29 years without a break but does not live in Sydney anymore and can not possibly get there to vote. He keeps his league club membership because he loves the club and is proud to keep supporting it. To think we have a system that stops him from voting is criminal. He is computer literate and could vote online or by postal easily. The voting system is archaic. He plans to attend the opening game at WWS (hopefully) next and go to the club for a drink. Let’s hope it is a club out of administration and with a new or soon to be new/ qualified board in place.

    2- Talking about the expertise on the footy club board and the need to have a constitution that requires any nominated director to have skill, not just friends in the media to spin for them.
    I shudder to think what deal the footy club would have signed with VenuesLive without skilled and highly qualified accountants, bankers and lawyers on the board.

    So while the review just released showed some poor decisions, re the football department, I believe those decisions can be turned around relatively quickly but bad financial decision can be disastrous for a club long term. If we want money to fund the best football junior programs and a centre of excellence we need a constitution that mandates a strong, skilled and forward thinking PLC board, one that can work with the football club board, because the PLC is realistically the body that the bulk of the money will come from for our footy club and future plans.

    I hope members who can turn up, do. I live in hope that people who are part of factions can see beyond themselves and vote for the club to move forward, it would be nice for a change.

  6. Pete

    Great interview guys well done. Max has the long term success of the club in mind and I back the changes in the voting and board elections. Hopefully, once the front ( and back) office is fixed it will flow onto the team. I also, support the clubs stance on the venueslive deal. $210,000 per game is a huge whack to the club. Is that the way to keep the club down for another 25 years. Interested to see how much the Roosters pay for their center of excellence and access to training at SFS.
    Thanks again for the great interview good way to keep us informed.

    1. sixties

      Appreciate you taking the time to listen Pete. I’m backing constitutional change too.
      The Stadium deal is almost insulting for a long term major tenant. I’m glad the club is sticking to its guns.

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