Manly boardroom explodes

Max Delmege Scott Penn Grant MayerIt’s been quietly rumoured for weeks now, but the boardroom battle at Manly has erupted and it seems the involved parties are happy to go public to ensure their victory in the battle.

The Manly Sea Eagles were under seige on Thursday night after a board meeting where all the dirty laundry was aired; it seems now that owners Scott Penn and Max Delmege are at loggerheads; and current chief executive Grant Mayer will lose his job at the end of this NRL season.

Both Max Delmege and Scott Penn spoke publically on Radio 2KY this week; with Scott Penn alleging today that Max Delmege apparently owes money to the club as it stands today.

While the Scott Penn is the majority stakeholder in the Manly Football Club, somehow his move to resign Grant Mayer past 2009 was defeated at board level 5-2. When you own the major chunk in something and don’t get the influencing vote – their is generally major problems. This is no doubt just the beginning for Manly.

The tenions erupted as Scott Penn went public saying Max Delmege currently owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to Manly in the form of sponsorship.

While  initially there were fears that either one or possibly both parties could walk away from the club, Penn has confirmed this morning that his large investment was ’emotional’ and in no danger of being pulled by him or his family.

The cutting of Grant Mayer was believed to be instigated by Delmege, who apparently hasn’t seen eye to eye with Mayer for over 6 months.

The relationship between Penn and Delmege, along with the board has gone past the point of ressurection.

“This board is totally dysfunctional at the moment,” Penn confirmed.

“This place is in jeopardy. Absolutely it is at risk.

“There are four parties on the board – the Penns, the Delmeges, the football club and the Leagues Club.

“We (the Penns) are the only ones putting money in.

“We will be doing everything we can to stop this place falling over.

“But I can’t guarantee that.

“Max Delmege hasn’t put in any money for a long time.

“He’s painting this picture but he’s not meeting his obligations.

“He still owes the club for sponsorship and equity.”

It seems if Manly had not won the Premiership last year, then things may have erupted even sooner. While the actual football team of players and staff is harmonious, the back office has been fighting their own internal battles.

“If Max can’t stump up then he shouldn’t be at the table,” Penn said.

“He’s not contributing at the table. How is that fair?”

Asked was his club in crisis, Penn said: “Absolutely.”

“We are waiting for hundreds of thousands of dollars to be paid.

“Max has promised everything but delivered nothing.

A furious Delmege fired back at Penn’s accusations.

“We have put in $12.75 million to Manly, he has put in $2.175 million,” Delmege, who was not at Thursday night’s meeting, said.

“I am very disappointed with his comments.

“My intention has always been to save Manly.

“That has been proven by the amount of money I have put in.”

On the topic of Grant Mayer not being resigned past 2009, Max Delmege confirmed: “We asked him for a three-year business plan and it didn’t happen.

“Then he spat the dummy and resigned.”

Mayer confirmed that he hadn’t ‘quit’ – he had simply chosen not to extend his contract, obviously not comfortable with his position and the surrounding warfare. Whether or not he had the option to resign is unclear.

“I haven’t resigned.

“I simply haven’t sought a contract extension,” Mayer said.

Never will results be more important for Manly in the 2009 NRL year. Should they experience a form lapse and lose the strong crowds in recent seasons, along with a drop in memberships and merchandise – their already public financial woes could seriously harm their existence.

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