Wrong ticket: Steve Mortimer has protested against being named as a supporter of the faction of incumbent director Paul Dunn.

Wrong ticket: Steve Mortimer has protested against being named as a supporter of the faction of incumbent director Paul Dunn. Photo: Steve Christo

Canterbury legend Steve Mortimer will resign as a director if a rival ticket he is falsely advertised as supporting ousts chairman Ray Dib at Sunday’s board elections.

Some members of the current board are split in two factions – those supporting the chairmanship of Dib and those supporting a coup by incumbent director Paul Dunn.

Mortimer, a man synonymous with the blue and whites, has been claimed as a supporter of both tickets standing for the vote on the day of their ‘Back to Belmore’ trial against South Sydney.

However, he is firmly aligned with Dib’s ticket, which also includes fellow candidate Anter Isaac.

But it hasn’t stopped the Dunn faction from publicly claiming Mortimer as a backer of their campaign. A letter sent to Bulldogs members – and signed by Dunn, Chris Anderson, Simon Gillies, Steve Folkes, Geoff Robinson and board candidates Philip Charlton and Mitch Newton – states: ‘‘In the best interests of the club and future success of the Bulldogs, we therefore ask your support in retaining Paul Dunn and Phillip Charlton on the board and also electing Steve Mortimer (Life Member) and Mitch Newton (Life Member) to the board ...’’

The letter also states that the ticket is ‘‘totally opposed to the chairmanship of Ray Dib’’.

Mortimer is a staunch supporter of Dib, whose campaign is being backed by Dr George Peponis, the chairman of the Canterbury Leagues Club. Mortimer is so upset at being falsely advertised as running against Dib that he will resign if he is successful at the polls but the remainder of Dib’s team is not.

‘‘I will stand down,’’ Mortimer said. ‘‘There’s a big difference between the tickets. What I want to see is stability maintained after the last three or four years.

‘‘I hope common sense prevails and the chairman’s ticket is afforded the opportunity to govern the Bulldogs for the next two years.’’

Mortimer even took the extraordinary step of writing a letter – obtained by Fairfax Media – to Dunn and Charlton demanding he not be further misrepresented ahead of the crucial vote.

‘‘I do not wish to be part of the 'ticket' you are running,’’ Mortimer wrote. ‘‘Please do not include me on your ticket. Please do not represent to anybody that I support your ticket because I do not.

‘‘I am sorry you will not support the Chairman at the AGM. It is disappointing because the existing board has achieved a lot over the last few years ... The Club would have benefited from having the board remain united.’’

Mortimer’s support is crucial, as the former player and administrator is a revered figure likely to poll strongly at the ballot box.

Sunday’s vote shapes as one of the most important in years. The board has sailed through recent elections virtually unopposed, providing the ‘Family Club’ with stability off the field. But the split between Dib and Dunn has prompted members to make a call on the Bulldogs’ future direction.

Canterbury have enjoyed a period of success on and off the field under Dib’s chairmanship. Des Hasler has just re-committed as coach, the Dogs made good on their promise to return to Belmore and further federal funding has been procured for the community precinct.

In their own letter to members, Mortimer and Peponis quoted an independent study that rated the club as ‘‘the third most valuable sporting brand in Australia’’.

‘‘Good corporate governance has been the foundation of our success and we need it to continue,’’ the former Bulldogs captains wrote.