Sydney Swans president Andrew Pridham has been under sustained pressure of late after supporting Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner staying on the Swans board for almost four months after the Amber Harrison scandal first went public.
Worner finally fell on his sword last week after a campaign by Fairfax journalist Caroline Wilson and a group of female Swans supporters led by feisty recruiter Esther Clerehan, who has family form when it comes to fighting the good fight.
However, Pridham hasn’t exactly been enlightened in the way he went about it, lavishing praise on “terrific Tim”, even after he’d gone.
Perhaps someone should send him a copy of Charlotte Wood’s prize-winning novel The Natural Way of Things, which explores a tale of corporate punitive control to remove (read: disappear) women whose sexual encounters with powerful men had become inconvenient to the men. It’s chilling, gripping and very familiar.
Pridham, a veteran investment banker from Adelaide who successfully floated his boutique outfit Moelis Australia on the ASX this afternoon using the ticker “MOE”, is proving to be a sensitive soul. A number of Amber Harrison supporters on Twitter found themselves quickly blocked by the Swans chairman when his praise of “terrific Tim” was challenged. Who knows, with a Moelis shareholding worth about $50 million, he could find the issue coming up in debate at this year’s AGM.
Pridham’s Worner performance was in stark contrast to his brave defence of Swans legend Adam Goodes, when he fearlessly took on Alan Jones and the racists who were booing him in 2015. Sadly, Jones remains a director of the SCG Trust despite the Swans push to remove him in 2015.
Pridham has been a Swans director since 2002, but only became president in late 2013, meaning he served an 11-year apprenticeship under former president Richard Colless. This wouldn’t be possible at rival clubs such as North Melbourne, which run a strict nine-year tenure limit on all directors.
As the following list shows, when it comes to tenure, Pridham is the 11th-longest serving AFL president.
As part of this new list, we’ve also identified the number of female directors on each of the 18 AFL club boards, which is now up to an impressive 36. It’s hard to imagine any of them would have gone public describing Worner as “terrific Tim”:
Ranking the AFL presidents based on tenure
1. Eddie McGuire, Collingwood: joined what is now a seven-person board (two women) as president in 1999.
2. Rob Chapman, Adelaide Crows:joined the nine-person board (two women) in December 2006, became chairman in December 2008.
4. Colin Carter, Geelong Cats: Previously served from 1987-93, then rejoined the eight-person board (two women) in 2008, becoming chairman in 2011.
5. Peter Gordon, Western Bulldogs: joined the eight-person board (two women) in 2002, became chairman in December 2012.
6. David Koch, Port Adelaide: joined the 10-person board (three women) when he became chairman in 2012.
7. Glen Bartlett, Melbourne: joined the 10-person board (two women) in June 2013 and then pipped former Victorian Treasurer Alan Stockdale for chairman in August 2013.
8. Bob Sharpless, Brisbane Lions: joined the nine-person board (two women) as chairman in October 2013.
9. Peggy O’Neal, Richmond: joined the nine-person board (three women) in November 2005, became chairman in 2013.
10. Peter Summers, St Kilda: joined the nine-person board (two women) in August 1998 became chairman in 2013.
11. Andrew Pridham, Sydney Swans: joined the nine-person board (two women) in 2002, became chairman in December 2013.
12. Mark Logiudice, Carlton: joined the eight-person board (two women) in February 2010, became chairman in June 2014.
13. Lindsay Tanner, Essendon: joined the nine-person board (one woman) in December 2015 when he succeeded Paul Little as chairman.
14. Richard Garvey, Hawthorn: joined the eight-person board (two women) in October 2010 and became chairman in February 2016 when he succeeded Andrew Newbold.
15. Tony Cochrane, Gold Coast Suns: joined the nine-person board (three women) in March 2014, 3 years after the club joined the national competition, and succeeded foundation chair John Witheriff in March 2016.
16. Russell Gibbs, West Coast Eagles: joined the six-person board (one woman) in November 2011 and has been chairman since October 2016, succeeding Alan Cransberg.
17. Ben Buckley, North Melbourne: joined the six-person board (one woman) in 2015 and replaced James Brayshaw as president in October 2016.
18. Dale Alcock, Fremantle: joined the eight-person board (two women) in 2011 and became president in November 2016.