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ParraFirst plays down Fitzgerald link

"Denis [Fitzgerald, pictured] offered to explain why everything was the way it was" ... ParraFirst candidate Phil Sim.

"Denis [Fitzgerald, pictured] offered to explain why everything was the way it was" ... ParraFirst candidate Phil Sim. Photo: Brendan Esposito

FORMER Eels supremo Denis Fitzgerald introduced some of the candidates on the ParraFirst ticket for the upcoming football club elections, but they insist he will not play an influential role in the future.

The launch of the ParraFirst ticket has sparked rumoursthat Fitzgerald, whose 30-year reign as Parramatta chief executive ended when the Roy Spagnolo-led P3 Group won a landslide victory at the 2009 leagues club elections, may return to power if control of the board changes hands.

But ParraFirst candidate Phil Sim responded to the speculation on the 1EyedEel website he runs, saying Fitzgerald's only involvement had been to introduce him and Matt Hollier to Steve Sharp and to provide advice on the constitution of the club.

''We've been asked a few times on Facebook and personally whether this is a 'Denis Fitzgerald ticket','' Sim wrote. ''Matt and I met Denis midway through the season because Matt bumped into him at a game and at that time we were looking at putting together our own ticket and we wanted to change the constitution and restructure things.

''Denis offered to explain why everything was the way it was and we had coffee with him. He then suggested we hook up with Steve Sharp and what he was doing and that was how we became involved.

''However, from that very first meeting we attended this has been Steve Sharp's ticket and Steve has made all of the final decisions about the candidates. Once the candidates were decided on, it's been our decisions as to what policies we've taken forward, campaign decisions.''

A number of candidates supported change in 2009, and Sim said Fitzgerald opposed the restructure that ParraFirst was campaigning for at the December 8 election and April's leagues club ballot, which would give the football club more power.

''We fully support the current administration,'' Sim said. ''We are 100 per cent committed to putting in place a new structure and new boardroom processes that take Parramatta forward into a new era, and we're certainly not interested in going back in time.

''Past administrations have had their time to put their stamp on the club. We want the chance now to do likewise because we think we can help make this club great again.''

Meanwhile, rugby league's move away from suburban grounds gathered momentum following the release of the state government's stadium strategy.

The strategy effectively ends the prospect of suburban grounds such as Brookvale Oval and Leichhardt Oval being given government funding in future. The government will instead ensure funds are put towards the upkeep and possible upgrading of the larger stadiums.

The move is likely to mean more matches are funnelled towards ANZ Stadium, Allianz Stadium and Parramatta Stadium. Hunter Stadium and Wollongong Stadium are regional grounds that will benefit from the strategy.

Four Nations 2014

Round 1
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 14 vs SAM 12 Report Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 16 vs ENG 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 16 vs ENG 14 Report Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 44 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Final
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 22 vs AUS 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Four Nations 2014
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 22 6
Australia 3 2 1 0 12 4
England 3 1 2 0 0 2
Samoa 3 0 3 0 -34 0
View all
 
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