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This evening, Wednesday 19 October 2016, the Parramatta Leagues Club Members received a letter from Max Donnelly, Parramatta Leagues Club Administrator and Chairman, Parramatta Eels National Rugby League Club around the PNRL Governance reforms Member consultation period.

See the letter below and click through to read the PNRL Proposed Future Governance Arrangements below with more details.


Dear Members

As communicated in July 2016, the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) appointed me as the Temporary Administrator of the Parramatta Leagues Club (PLC) and subsequently I was appointed the Chairman of the Parramatta National Rugby League (PNRL) Club.

A key area of focus since my appointment has been a review of the long-term governance arrangements for both the PNRL and the PLC.

The first part of the process has focused on reviewing the current governance provisions within the PNRL constitution. This has involved extensive consultation with key stakeholders including ILGA, Clubs NSW, the National Rugby League, current senior management, a variety of Eels supporter groups and individual members.

I have now identified a number of improvements to the PNRL constitution intended to ensure that the Parramatta Eels has a strong governance platform from which to build from over the coming years.

Key Reforms

Attached to this correspondence is a paper that outlines the proposed changes and then compares them to the existing governance arrangements currently within the PNRL constitution.

While there are a number of areas covered in the document, the key changes that I would like to highlight include: -

·       Former Parramatta District Rugby League (PDRL) life members will become life members of PNRL. This ensures their status is officially recognized by the constitution.

·       All directors of the PNRL Board must be independent and cannot be appointed without satisfying the independence criteria specified through the constitution.

·       There will be two PLC nominated directors and five external directors who will be nominated and appointed by the PNRL Board. This will be following a merit based selection process using the skills matrix set out to the schedule at the end of the paper.

·       Director candidates will be reviewed by a nominations committee that will be chaired by a person with recruitment and remuneration experience who is not a board member.

·       The performance of the directors will be the subject of an annual review to ensure accountability. Directors to have 3-year terms of office with one third of Directors retiring each year (2,3,2). Retiring directors can stand for re-election to a maximum term of 9 years.

·       PNRL Directors will not receive remuneration for their service on the Board or any committee.

·       Future amendments to the PNRL constitution must be approved through three separate stages:

o   Recommended by a majority of the external Directors of the PNRL

o   Approval by postal ballot of 75 per cent of PLC members who are entitled to vote and who cast a valid vote in the ballot

o   A majority of the PLC Board exercising voting rights as sole shareholder.

Click here to view the PNRL Proposed Future Governance Arrangements 

Member Consultation period

Despite being a wholly owned subsidiary of the PLC, member input into changes to the PNRL constitution has previously been minimal. It is my view that the reform process should be transparent and involve a period of member consultation.

Members have the opportunity to provide written feedback to the proposed reforms up until Friday 4 November 2016.  There will be three feedback methods as outline below: -


Fax:                       (02) 88330781

Mail:                      Eels Reform

                                PO Box 2666

                                North Parramatta 1750.

Members who have initial questions or queries regarding the reform paper can either direct them to the email address or by phone to Joshua Drayton, PNRL Head of Communications and Brand on (02) 8843 0325.

None of the proposed changes are “cast in stone” and I will consider member’s comments and suggestions.  I will also make myself available to meet with individuals or groups who wish to convey their concerns directly during the consultation period.

Once the review is completed and I am satisfied that all relevant feedback has been addressed, the changes will be adopted and the Club will begin the merit based selection process for new directors.

Football Club Update

I would like to provide an update on the recent activities of the Football club.

Due to the $300M redevelopment of Parramatta Stadium that is not due for completion until 2019, next season the Eels will have 11 home games at ANZ stadium in Homebush and 1 home game in Darwin.  2017 Eel’s members will also receive entry for up to 4 additional games at ANZ stadium as part of a reciprocal arrangement.

Eels membership’s are now on sale and I encourage you all to renew or purchase a package for 2017 by visiting or contacting the Eels membership department on 1300 258 346.

The key highlights include: -

·       The appointment of Bernie Gurr as the new Eels CEO from 24th October 2016

·       The re-signing of Head Coach Brad Arthur till the end of the 2019 NRL season

·       The re-signing of key Eels players for 2017 and beyond including:

o   Corey Norman (until end of 2019),

o   Danny Wicks (end of 2018),

o   Kenny Edwards (end of 2019),

o   Isaac De Gois (end of 2018),

o   Brad Takairangi (end of 2019)

o   and 2016 Ken Thornett Medalist Manu Ma’u (end of 2019).

·       New player signings for 2017 and beyond include:

o   Josh Hoffman (Gold Coast Titans)

o   Nathan Brown (South Sydney)

o   Siosaia Vave (Manly)

o   George Jennings (Penrith)

I would like to conclude this correspondence by thanking members for their support for the Club in 2016 and particularly their loyalty and encouragement to Brad and the players throughout the recent season.

Please consider this attached paper carefully and I look forward to hearing from members over the next couple of weeks.

Yours Sincerely

Max Donnelly

Administrator, Parramatta Leagues Club

Chairman, Parramatta Eels National Rugby League Club

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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