Lions' Springfield base plans forces resignation of chairman
BRISBANE Lions will appoint a new chairman at December's AGM after incumbent Bob Sharpless informed the board of his intent to resign.
Sharpless has been chairman for four years but has opted to step down from the board to provide clear air around the club's plans to move to a new base at Springfield.
He is the deputy chairman of the Springfield Land Corporation - who are major partners in the Lions' planned relocation - and Sharpless has been the subject of claims of a conflict of interest throughout his term.
Sharpless was parachuted into the role by the AFL at a time of great conflict within the club and has successfully delivered a period of stability.
The board has nominated deputy chairman Andrew Wellington to be his successor but he must first be re-elected.
Members Christopher Raleigh and Douglass Warren have also nominated for election and the trio will contest the one vacancy through a postal ballot that will go to voting members later this month.
Although Sharpless has stood down, there is only one position vacant after the board voted recently to reduce the number of elected directors to six.
There are currently seven member elected directors and two expertise directors.
Springfield Land Corporation has donated the land for the club's new training and administration base for an annual $1 peppercorn lease and will also contribute $18 million towards civil works.
Springfield is clearly the best option for the club's long term future and Sharpless has decided its chances of success are enhanced if he is not involved.
"It is the most significant project the club is involved in and absolutely critical to our future and it doesn't make a lot of sense that the chairman has to excuse himself from board meetings every time the matter is discussed,'' Sharpless said.
The Lions are after $30 million in additional funding, to be shared between State and Federal Governments, to build a boutique stadium and erect broadcast quality lighting that would provide a home for their AFLW side.
Sharpless said he is confident of securing the money.
"In all our meetings I have not heard anything negative from either side of government, both at State and Federal level,'' he said.