Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will have a new-look boardroom after Lynne Anderson’s Reform ticket swept to power at the club’s elections.
Anderson’s team won six seats on the board with club legend Steve Mortimer the only previous director retaining their position after the dramatic annual general meeting. She will become the club’s new chairperson.
Anderson and her husband Chris led the Reform ticket alongside former Clive Churchill Medallist in the Bulldogs’ 1988 grand final win Paul Dunn; two-time premiership winner Steve Price; long-time former manager of the Canterbury Leagues Club John Ballesty; a local businessman with 35 years’ involvement in junior rugby league, John Khoury; and former board member Nick Dimas.
Dimas failed to gain re-election this time around but he was the only member of the Reform ticket to miss out.
The stunning result means chairman Ray Dib has lost his place on the board after the club failed to make the Telstra Premiership finals last season for the first time since 2011.
In a major surprise, Dib placed 11th in voting.
He had been at the helm since 2010, overseeing a mostly successful era in which the club made the 2012 and 2014 grand finals but failed to win a premiership.
The other directors who are no longer on the board are Arthur Coorey, Joanne Farr, Anter Isaac, Anne Sinclair and Peter McMahon.
It also means there will be an overhaul of the Canterbury Leagues Club board, which has four football club-appointed representatives among its seven directors.
They were Mortimer, Dib, Coorey and McMahon, along with chairman George Peponis, Coorey’s brother George and former Bulldogs forward Barry Ward.
Dib, Arthur Coorey and McMahon will be replaced by three representatives from the Reform ticket. It places Peponis in an extremely awkward position after he lashed out at the rebel candidates at a forum at Campsie on Thursday night.
Dib and his board made the decision to sack Des Hasler late last year after claiming the coach had only agreed to a “heads of agreement” instead of a two-year contract despite the club announcing last April that Hasler would be retained until the end of 2019. Hasler has launched legal action against the club and the dispute is yet to be resolved.
Chief executive Raelene Castle also parted ways with the club at the end of last season and has since taken on the CEO’s role for Rugby Australia.
Andrew Hill has taken over as Bulldogs chief executive after heading up a successful Rugby League World Cup at the end of last year.
Several shots were fired from both factions in the lead-up to Sunday’s vote with Canterbury forward David Klemmer upset with Bulldogs boardroom candidate Dunn over an incident in which the retired player questioned his form at club level compared with his output in the representative arena.
The Bulldogs kick off their 2018 campaign with a pre-season trial against the Canberra Raiders on Saturday night on the Sunshine Coast in what will be the first match since new coach Dean Pay.