The rifts that threatened to tear the North Sydney Bears apart have been repaired, resulting in the foundation club’s chairman being reinstated by the same disgruntled faction that overthrew him just a week ago.
Chairman Daniel Dickson was ousted in a political coup staged by a cohort of disaffected members at a fiery annual general meeting last week. His removal via the ballot box, and the appointment of Ros Dare as a director, angered key people across the organisation.
Chief executive David Perry resigned, as did high-profile directors Billy Moore and James Bracey, while major backer Stonemasons & Landscapers threatened to sever their $150,000 per annum sponsorship.
The AGM fallout had the potential to leave a huge leadership vacuum at the Bears at a time when there was renewed interest in the team due to the interest in rising teenage star Joseph Suaalii.
In a bid to heal the rifts, the very same members behind Dickson’s demise have convinced him to return. The development is the result of a series of meetings between Bears powerbrokers and members, some of which were attended by club legends Josh Stuart, Michael Buettner and Mark Soden.
The members who were agitating for change have now been placated after the club’s recent achievements – including a turnaround from a deficit of $74,000 to a profit of $184,000 during the COVID-affected financial year – were better communicated to them.
Perry will still depart as chief executive, a decision he had made some time ago, but will remain involved in a volunteer capacity if there is no conflict with his next employment. Life member Dare has stepped down from the board spot she just earned to take up a role as a members’ liaison officer, providing a link between the fans and the board. Moore will remain involved in some capacity, as a member of various Bears committees, while Stonemasons & Landscapers will stick solid following the conciliatory moves.
“At the end of the day, this was a small hiccup,” Dickson said. “The club has had a great cleanse from this process. Unfortunately Dave is departing and we need to celebrate his achievements because he’s done a great job with the club and getting it as professional as it is.