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Pies board challenge delayed after fan petition hitch

Collingwood’s board battle between challenger Jeff Browne and incumbent president Mark Korda is expected to be shaped at the annual general meeting in December, rather than an earlier spill, after a member petition was found to be legally inadequate.

Lawyer and Browne backer Francis Galbally confirmed that the petition for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) had been abandoned and that he would seek a spill of all seven board positions of Korda’s board at the AGM instead.

Collingwood president Mark Korda (left) and challenger Jeff Browne.

Collingwood president Mark Korda (left) and challenger Jeff Browne.Credit:The Age

Galbally’s move to give up on the petition for a spill at the EGM came after he received legal advice that the petition – initiated by long-time member David Hatley to give members a say and in protest at the appointment of Dr Bridie O’Donnell – would not be accepted under the corporations law due to the way it was worded.

Hatley has since walked away from the petition after meeting with board members Paul Licuria and Peter Murphy.

Galbally said his lawyers’ view was that the petition “would not be sufficient” to trigger an EGM under the corporations law. The petition was signed by more than 1500 Collingwood supporters.

But Galbally said he would serve a notice on the club within the next fortnight to cause a spill at the December AGM. “My notice to the club requests them to have that election.”

He said he only needed 100 members to trigger that motion for an election. Galbally said an election should be held on the day of the AGM.

Supporters of Browne, the ex-Channel Nine boss and AFL lawyer, had sought to spill all seven board positions, while Korda has said candidates, including Browne, can challenge for three board positions at the AGM, which the board brought forward from February to December.

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