Management of a National Level Sporting Organisation

Legal Structure and Management of a National Level Sporting Organisation

Sports activities in the world today are becoming more popular and are attracting huge crowd. This is one of the reasons that have made sponsors to come in so as to help such clubs that are not able to support themselves financially. Through sponsoring, the sponsor is able to market and advertise its products within the stadium where the club is playing among other benefits. It is worth noting that sports are viewed as a means of income to each stakeholder including the players. Essendon football club has made Australia to be known worldwide because of the good performance the club has exhibited over the years.

Essendon Football Club is rated as a dynamic world class club in the Australian sporting arena. The success and competitiveness of the club is dependant on its set legal structure and proper management that foresees its functioning among its members. A stringent analysis is carried out by the club and all the proposed approvals are considered for the future success of Essendon Football Club as these will facilitate the process of retaining its image and position in the sporting industry of Australia (Lloyd, 2011). This in turn guarantees the club its prosperity and competiveness at all the levels of the industry. The paper focuses on the legal structure of the club, its governance procedures and that of the election system put in place for the office bearers. It also addresses other issues that affect the performance of the club in its performance program. It is evident that the above aspects play a crucial role in the overall operation of the club. This will enable the club to point out the departments that are working towards attaining the set objectives and also those who are derailing the performance process among its loyal members.

The paper will try to look at the election board process and issues that revolve around sponsorship and governance of the club. It will also look at the professional conducts of the board members and other members of the club including their commitment and dedication to their roles regardless of their positions in the club. It is worth noting that the election of the members should include interstate members since they play an important role in the process of election. Cases of indiscipline should be dealt with utmost caution as this ensures that the club is successful.

As we speak the Essendon Football is believed to be a household name when it comes to football leagues in Australia. In addition, it has been very successful and well organized since it came into existence as a junior club in the year 1871 and as a senior club in the year 1873. It is a club that has a deep and rich history. Over the years, it has had a number of ups and downs that has made the club what it is today.

Generally, the industry of sports is very competitive and is continuously growing at a high rate hence requiring more money to run the sector (Maine, 2012). More money is being channeled to sports as is the case in Australia because clubs are investing heavily in glamorous uniforms, music, videos and other things so that they can stand out. It is due to this fact that sports organizations are constantly and continuously adapting to the ever changing environment of sports. This is the more reason that Essendon Football Club is working hard so as to maintain its superiority in Australia by regularly checking and changing with the current aspects so as to ensure they are always ahead of the game to its competitors.

In this regard, for Essendon to maintain the top position among sporting organizations in the Australian Football league and the general sports industry in Australia, the club should look at those things that make it not to function well. Some of these things will include things like the legal structure of the organization, elections and governance of the bearers of offices together with the sponsorship among other issues. It is important to note that these factors are essential and important to the functioning of the club. By closely examining these factors, the club is able to come up with necessary changes that are needed to ensure the club is running effectively. Regularly and constantly these factors at Essendon football club will ensure that the club runs smoothly, effectively and successfully.

Legal Structure

A legal structure in the Essendon Football club was incorporated because these would ensure that it is legally recognized in the laws and regulations of Australia. Hence, Essendon Football club is legally recognized by law (Books, 2011). In incorporating the club into the administration, it simply meant that there were more advantages as compared to the disadvantages. It is worth noting that the sports industry is growing and the club being incorporated means that it will receive legal protection in the event something happens considering there is a lot of money and other resources that have been pumped into the industry. One of the main advantages of being incorporated into the law is that the club is legally recognized by law.

The clubs administration will also have the advantage of performing different many functions unlike those clubs that are not legally recognized. This means that the club is in a position to invest, take loans and sue in its own name. The other benefit that comes with registering the club is that the members of the club and various stakeholders are protected. The other thing that the club benefits by being registered is that it allows the club to earn revenue from sponsorships (Jozsa, 2004). The other thing the club benefits by being registered is that it is exempted from paying taxes considering the task in Australia is high. By legally being registered, the club made the right decision so as to ensure that the club is successful. The other thing worth noting is that the club is registered as a limited company which basically means that the member does not need to contribute more than the amount that the member has undertaken in contributing to the club.

Governance and Election of Office bearers

Essendon Football club is not a profit making club hence the profit accrued is not shared amongst members, instead it is returned back to the community or club. Members join sports clubs because of the social aspect that comes with it like attending the clubs events and games.

The sports industry has significantly grown over the years. The marketing and sponsorship in the sports industry has also grown immensely. All over the world, Australia is ranked third when it comes to sponsorship (Murray, 2009). The club enjoys sponsorship from high sponsors who have a good support base with high membership numbers like Emirates and Adidas. With this in mind, it is therefore essential that Essendon as a club maintains high levels of excellence so as not to disappoint the sponsors. Essendon as a club is largely and widely known in Australia hence many sponsors come into the club so to offer their support. It is due the excellent performance of the club that many sponsors are willing to support the club and stay there for long. However, there have been incidences where there have been disagreements within the club that might end up affecting the club’s overall performance hence chasing away sponsors.

Some of the recommendations being put forward to ensure that the club retains the current performance level and sponsors and also to attract new sponsors and win more titles include things like continuing being a non-profit organization so that they can be exempted from paying taxes. This in turn ensures that the members of the club and employees are highly motivated hence good results and more sponsors. The other recommendation being brought forward is that the club should ensure that members of interstate are issued with the right to vote because they are part and parcel of the club. In addition, the club should ensure that they increase the annual general meeting quorum because some members do not truly represent the members in the board. It is also mandatory for the club to ensure that the sponsors are fully satisfied so as to be assured of long-term sponsors and a good relationship between them and the sponsors. It should come up with a clear and concise process and procedures that will reduce indiscipline cases and unprofessionalism among club members as this is bound to affect the reputation of the club in general especially negatively. This is not a good thing as it might drive away sponsors. Lastly it should come up with an independent committee that will nominate the committee members. This is done with the aim of ensuring that the elected members are qualified and are credible enough to be members of the board.

Constitution Issues

The management process of sporting organizations is viewed as similar across all the global sporting arenas just as in Essendon Football Club. The club’s office bearers are elected through democratic means where the members vote using secret balloting method to all the respective positions available in the Football Club. Majority of the Australian sporting organizations have given their members the mandate of electing their respective leaders who spearhead the club’s activities (Bools & LLC, 2010). However, the governance system and electing process seems to differ from one organization to another. Some of the main differences that have been visible in the sporting organizational processes include the eligibility of members on the voting right, the categories used in the nominations and voting in the club, the total number of Club members to be elected to operate on the Club’s board and how the board is structured (Devaney, 2009). There are also differences on the mode of approaches on various organizational issues like the proxy voting and quorum rations in the sporting clubs of Australia. All these differences in the structure of the clubs are clearly stated in the Club’s constitution and all its members are expected to abide by it.

Affiliation Issues

Essendon Football Club constitution has been laid clearly all the aspects of governance that all its members are expected to observe in their daily activities in the club. This act of stipulating clearly the club’s regulation to its members ensures transparency in the Club’s elections processes and requirements put in place by the Australian authority on all the sporting structures. The process enlightens the clubs members on their responsibility in the management of the club (Books, 2011). Essendon Football Club constitution states all the roles of the members and their respective legibility on per-taking on the board’s elections at the club’s Annual General Meeting. The roles of those working in the board are highlighted clearly while those not legible to sit in the Club’s board are also given their role to play in the club’s structure. Both the ordinary and pensioner members’ role in clearly passed to them. According to the Essendon constitution, not all its members have the right vote as the minors (junior members) are not entitled to vote in the club’s election. This is viewed as inequality to the junior members is they are denied their voting right yet they are full members who are ale to undertake a postal vote in the club’s election board.

These junior members ought to be accorded the same rights just like the other ordinary members in the club’s election board as their active participation in the club should be given considerations (DiSisto & Murray, 2007). This is contrary as the other ordinary members have been awarded the voting right while the juniors have been denied that right. There is need to restructure the voting criteria of the club’s constitution. The previous research conducted on the management of the other sporting organizations allows eligible members to cast their postal votes thus the club should also do the same.

There are also differences among the sporting organizations in their nomination process among its members during the election to the club’s board. Some of the nomination procedures in the sporting organizations include the written, oral or a nomination selected committee that spearheads the process. The Essendon Football Club constitution requires that the nomination of a member to the election board should be clearly written on the prescribed form that is signed by minimum of two members that are entitled to vote in the club’s election. Essendon club has opted for the nomination process of the board members through writing. The club’s constitution views the written process as a formal procedure as compared to the oral one at the club’s annual general meeting. The oral nomination is criticized for not putting into consideration the credential merit and experience for the position. The Essendon club technique of nomination of its members provides mandate to its members on all the club’s operations. However, this system is criticized by other members as they argue that all the support provided to members gives an opportunity of selecting an under qualified irresponsible member due to the qualification in the board performance.

This in the long run may bring about significant ramifications for the performance of the sporting organization in the country (Miller, Vandome, & John, 2010). There is need of formulating a nomination committee to spearhead the process on all the aspiring candidates for the positions in the club. They ensure that the candidates’ posses the right credentials for the position and also have the required experience in performing in the club’s board. Essendon Football Club is rated among the powerhouse clubs operating in the Australian Football league. The organ handles all the monetary related activities and is proposed as the best organ to facilitate the functioning of the nomination committee in the club as it would ensure transparency in the management of the club’s activities.

The club’s constitution states the required number of members to form a quorum necessary for the election process of their office bearers in the sporting clubs in Australia. The quorum stipulates the recommended number of members that should attend the board in order to facilitate the business being conducted by the clubs. If the quorum number is not attained before the meeting, it is termed as unofficial thus they call for postponement of the meeting. The Essendon constitution has stipulated strict rules that only a minimum of 75 ordinary members to be present on an occasion who have the right to vote for the required quorum. 75 is the minimum number of members of any given club in Australia recommended to be able to convene a quorum as indicated by T. O’Connor, Personal Communication October 21, 2008 while referring to Clubs with over 40,000 members. This has however been termed as ironical as it is the club’s expectation that only 75 members have the capability of representing all the personal views of the other members of the club (Clark, 2007). This number should be raised as the current is very minimal in convening a quorum as the act of raising the numbers required will ensure transparency in the membership representation in the electoral board of Essendon Football Club.

In conclusion we can say that sports in general are playing a crucial role in ensuring that the country is recognized globally. Essendon as a football club has over the years made Australia a proud country because of the good work they have done. It has proved to be a successful club that has won and made sponsors proud. The club has managed to be successful because of the good governance that has been put in place by the board members. In addition, the club is recognized by the law hence giving the go ahead to run without any interference whatsoever. The success of a club therefore will depend on the good governance that is being put in place. As a club, Essendon has ensured that the board members are carefully scrutinized and examined before they are appointed into the clubs board. This is the reason why Essendon is a household name in Australia especially when it comes to football despite the fact that it has faced many challenges before being what it is today. A sport in general is being used as a marketing tool by sponsors and a unifying factor of individuals and countries that compete amongst one another. It is also being viewed as a source of entertainment and some people earn money out of participating is such sports medication. Australia is one of the countries that have fully supported sports activities in the country by allowing clubs not to pay taxes, to be registered as non-profit making clubs. In addition it has ensured that it has instituted laws that govern and protect such organizations from being exploited either by the sponsors or by the club. It is through good governance, management and determination that has ensured Australia and Essendon club are successful.


Books, H. 2011. Articles on Essendon Football Club Including: List of Essendon Football Club, Honours, Anzac Day Class. America, AM: Hephaestus Books.

Bools, L., & LLC, G.B. 2010. Essendon Football CLub: Essendon Football Club, List of Essendon Football CLub Honours. United States, U.S.: General Books LLC.

Clark, T. 2007. Stick This in Your Memory Hole. Doncaster East Victoria, VIC: aduki independent press.

Devaney, J.P. 2009. Full Points Footy: Encyclopedia of Australian Football Clubs. Lincoln, LN:

DiSisto, P., & Murray, J. 2007. The illustrated History of Essendon Football Club. Australia, AU: Slattery Media Group.

Jozsa, F.P. 2004. Sports Capitalism: The Foreign Business of American Proffessional Leagues. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Lloyd, M. 2011. Straight Shooter. North Sydney, NS: Random House Australia.

Maine, J. 2012. Aussie Rules for Dummies. Hoboken, HN: John Wiley & Sons.

Miller, F., Vandome, A., & John, M. 2010. Essendon Football Club. Germany, GER: VDM Verlag.

Murray, J. 2009. Glory and Fame: The Rise and Rise of the Essendon Football Club. Victoria, VIC: Slattery Media Group.

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