All good things come to an end as Marina Go has made a decision to resign as Wests Tigers Chair after serving a maximum 4-year term.
Speaking with Westslife Podcast, Marina Go spoke about her history as a Tigers fan, her role as Chairman and what it has been like to be involved at the club.
Growing up, Marina mentions that she had links with both clubs and actually grew up as a Western Suburbs supporter to begin with.
“I have history with both clubs,” started Go.
“When I was growing up – I was living in Western Sydney at the time – I grew up following the Western Suburbs Magpies.
“My brother played rugby league at school and on the weekends, so there was a lot of talk about rugby league in our house.
“There was a mix of clubs that we used to follow.”
Although she had an earlier affinity with the Magpies, it was not until meeting her husband that the love affair with the Tigers began to grow.
“It would have been in 88′ [when my husband took me to my first Balmain game] and my husband’s cousin is Neil Pringle,” continued Go.
“He took me to Leichhardt Oval, we sat on the hill and I got the full religious experience.
“We had my two sons wearing the Balmain jerseys until the merger, and then they wore Wests Tigers jerseys.”
As Go’s passion for the Tigers grew alongside her family’s, the time came when she was approached to be a club director.
“I was approach to become a director on a rugby league board initially and I didn’t know which board it was,” said Go.
“I was invited to interview for a rugby league board.
“Happily, and it was a coincidence, when I arrived there and it was the Wests Tigers, I sent a message to my youngest son and he said, ‘well, now you have to do it!'”
“I didn’t know if they were going to choose me but thankfully they did and I became mum of the year.”
Go opened up on her role and how being a Chairwoman in a club board differs from your every day CEO or COO roles.
“The CEO’s job is to run the club day-to-day and they’re basically the boss of the club and all the staff report through the CEO,” explained Go.
“The board’s role is to work the CEO and make sure that we have the right strategy to be successful and that we are measuring ourselves against our objectives to reach that strategic goal.
“Also along the way that we’re not taking too many risks or missing too many opportunities.
“You need to take some risks, calculated risks, in deciding where you’re going to take the club in order to become financially successful and to a point where you win games.”
With a lot constantly going on behind the scenes at the Tigers, Go said one main goal of hers when taking on the role was about viability.
“In my time in this role, the goal of the board was to ensure that the club was no longer financially desperate,” she said.
“Obviously, we wanted to get it to a place of profitability which is what we did last year.
“I guess the way you need to think about the board is that we offer a lot of advice.
“So we don’t decide on who plays which position but we do spend our time making sure we’re cap compliant.”
Also important to note is that the board make the calls about how they expect their team to behave off-field, as they set the standards.
“Zero tolerance and violence against women at our club, that’s a board decision,” explained Go.
“The CEO, the coach, they have to adhere to that. We set cultural policies and rules as to how we work within our club.
“We all share in the credit but we also all share in the failures.”
As Go’s time in the Chair role comes to an end, she also has numerous other roles she immerses herself in weekly.
“I’ve always been good at time management,” said Go.
“When I started as Tigers Chair, I was still in my executive role which was much harder.
“In the beginning, I had a lot of work to do. At this club, we had a lot of fixing and I was very directly involved personally.
“I’m really black and white so if I’ve decided I’m going to do something, I won’t stop until I’ve done it.”
Go’s passion for the Tigers is evident, as she remained determined to make a difference both to and for the club in her time as Chair.
“The club was in a difficult position; they spent a lot of time in conflicts rather than working together to solve problems,” stated Go.
“I think that’s just the nature of tribalism in rugby league. They didn’t want to be together, they were forced to be together.
“All those years later when I became the Chair, they were still at loggerheads with each other.
“I think having the independent directors helped that situation, they work together extremely well and there’s not the same level of mistrust.”
Marina’s work as Chairwoman has been praised by many Tigers fans with the club now in a more viable position financially to ensure their longevity.
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Tigers fans and rugby league fans in general, if you do not do so already, you can also follow Marina Go on twitter (@marinasgo).