Eels fans attempt to oust board

A group of fans is hoping to this week force an extraordinary annual general meeting in a bid to oust the dysfunctional Parramatta board and end the endemic factionalism that has plagued the NRL club.

The Eels’ season plumbed fresh depths on Saturday when it was revealed Semi Radradra had left the country and was considering an immediate departure to French rugby union.

While it’s been reported he was considering a switch to Top 14 club Bordeaux, the club has denied he has expressed a desire to be released from the final year-and-a-half of his contract and expect him to return in time for Saturday week’s clash with Cronulla.

Radradra’s predicament highlights the leadership void left at the club following the preliminary deregistration of five officials including chairman Steve Sharp and chief executive John Boulous.

In their absence, there is effectively no one running the club.

First grade coach Brad Arthur has been forced to take on additional duties that would normally fall on football director Daniel Anderson, including dealing with the salary cap and player retention.

There are currently two pushes by rival groups to force an EGM.

One of them is headed by long-time member Chris Losko who is proposing to establish a working committee which would elect the board on merit rather than by the members.

Losko, a part of the Eels member council, is in the coming days expected to receive the last of the 100 signatures required to call an EGM where he would put forward his motion.

Under his plan, six directors would be stood down while Geoff Gerard would remain to oversee a committee to elect a new board.

Losco told AAP that the committee would be composed of an independent third party who has experience at recruiting board members, representatives from Clubs NSW and the NRL and potentially a representative from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He said by electing an independent board, who would be given six to nine months to clean up the club’s mess, it would put an end to the in-fighting and factionalism which has held back the club.

“That’s the key difference that we’re trying to do here, we’re trying to get individuals rather than groups on the board and in order to do that we need the members’ support,” Losko said.

“We believe that this way, the membership can have a greater level of faith that the team that is selected is the team to take the club forward.

“They will have six to nine months of clear air until the next election.”

The club has been effectively rudderless after Parramatta Leagues Club boss Bevan Paul was blocked by members of the current board from taking up a role as interim Group CEO.

A rival bid by local businessman Andrew Eagleston and backed by Macquarie Bank boss Bill Moss is hoping to oust the current board and install an alternative group of directors.

In on field action the Warriors held off a gallant fightback from Sydney Roosters to post a 12-10 victory.

Connor Watson scored with 10 minutes on the clock to set up a grandstand finish but the struggling Roosters couldn’t land the killer blow.

St George Illawarra kept in touch with the top eight after an uninspiring 20-10 win over a depleted Melbourne.

The Storm were without their spine of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Cameron Munster and Blake Green and it took until the final 10 minutes for the lacklustre Dragons to put the game to bed.

Parramatta put one nail in the coffin of South Sydney’s season with a 30-12 win with rookie winger Bevan French bagging a double.

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