Four women met with Mrs Anderson in February to complain about Mr Coorey’s behaviour which included suggestions women should “come and sit on my lap.” Mr Coorey also sent a text message to a female club member suggesting she “suck off” one of his friends. Mr Coorey has since suggested someone else might have used his phone to send the message, according to one of his associates.
Mrs Anderson informed Mr Coorey of the allegations and an investigation was commissioned by both the football and league club boards.
Without the women making formal statements, the matter was not resolved. The women later contacted the Herald independently.
Several influential members, who control large blocs of votes, have attempted to broker a peace deal to prevent the club degenerating into civil war. They had urged Mr Coorey to stand down as chairman – but still remain on the board – while the investigation occurs.
On Tuesday evening a meeting was held at John Ballesty’s house at Breakfast Point. Joining the host was Paul Dunn who, like Ballesty, sits on both the football and league club boards.
Also present were Bill Diakos and James “Gabby” Marroun, crucial if Mr Coorey didn’t stand down as chair, there would be a vote of no confidence in him on Wednesday.
Mr Coorey, 61, is refusing to budge. “It’s war,” said one of those close Mr Coorey, referring to the chairman’s plan to blow up his former friend, Mrs Anderson.
It is the leagues club which provides the financial muscle to the football club, which runs the Bulldogs’ football team. Last year the leagues club, which earned $74.5 million from gaming, gave $5.28 million to the football club.
But in reality the football club controls the leagues club as it gets to appoint four people directly to the seven-person board. In 2018 Mr Coorey, Mr Dunn, Mr Ballesty and Mr Marroun were the four chosen by Mrs Anderson to be on the leagues club. Mr Marroun fell on his sword after the Herald revealed he was a former bankrupt and had been banned from junior league.
Mr Coorey, a mortgage broker, earned between $60,000 and $80,000 per year as the chair of the leagues club.
The seven directors also receive substantial benefits including a hospitality account of up to $5200 for each director to purchase food and beverage at the club.
The club also picks up the costs for directors and spouses to attend Bulldogs matches or any “representative match conducted by the NRL” in Australia or overseas.
The directors and their spouses enjoy other perks such have their expenses paid for any pre-season or end of season tours.
Kate McClymont is an investigative journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.
Adrian Proszenko is the Chief Rugby League Reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.