The challengers are independent of each other and not part of a ticket.
Carlton has three of their board facing the members – football director and ex-captain Chris Judd, recruitment executive David Campbell and QC Chris Townsend – in an election that is in defiance of the club’s nominations committee, which informed both Hollingsworth and Khatib that they did not want them to stand against the incumbents.
Judd’s exalted stature with the members means, like other greats, he is certain to be re-elected in the vote, which concludes on February 21.
Hollingsworth said he had been in conversations over the years with club president Mark LoGiudice “about playing a more active role” at Carlton, but the three-man nominations commitee had chosen to back the incumbent board members rather than his candidacy.
Hollingsworth, 56, who is on the board of several companies, also knows the club’s influential director and PricewaterhouseCoopers chief executive Luke Sayers, said he had no position on whether it was right or wrong to remove Silvagni, but that the club had not handled the matter well.
“The issue is how it was managed and the optics of it playing out in the media.”
Hollingsworth said the Blues had performed well in some areas – such as its financial position – but that he did not think “all aspects are operating at best practice.”
Khatib, who works in service management, said he too was “extremely disappointed with how the Silvagni exit was handled, including his performance appraisal” and wanted an upgraded role for Ikon Park, such as “AFL and AFLW featured games” plus more matches at the MCG. He also said the redevelopment of Ikon Park should only proceed with members’ approval.
Khatib, 42, also criticised Carlton’s nominations process, in which the club’s independent nominations committee endorses preferred candidates, saying that it should be up to members to decide whether Hollingsworth was the right candidate, not the board’s nominations committee. “I believe the best possible candidates should have access to run for election. Members can decide and receive unfiltered information about all candidates,” he said.
Carlton has followed other clubs such as Richmond and Collingwood in having a nominations committee, which the clubs say is designed to ensure that they have the right skill set, avoiding the situation where an accountant or lawyer, for instance, is running for the board when someone of that ilk is already present.
The members can vote online or request ballot papers. The club’s annual general meeting will be held on February 24, as LoGiudice has announced to members.
“It is important for the stability and future of the football club that we have the correct representation on the board,” LoGiudice said in a letter to members.
He said the INC provided “independent, objective and expert advice on the skill set knowledge, experience, diversity and performance of the current board”.
Jake Niall is a Walkley award-winning sports journalist and chief AFL writer for The Age.