The 1993 Crawford Report

On August 11th 1992, the AFL Board of Directors adopted a recommendation from the AFL Commission to conduct an independent review of the AFL administrative structure examining specifically:

  • the respective roles and responsibilities of the Commission, Board of Directors and management of the AFL.
  • the structure of the Commission, Board of Directors and management of the AFL
  • the relationship between the Commission, Board of Directors, management of the AFL and the clubs.

Mr. David Crawford, a senior partner in the firm KPMG Peat Marwick, was subsequently appointed to conduct the review.

On March 1, 1993 Mr. Crawford presented his report to the AFL Board of Directors and the AFL Commission. The Key Recommendations in Mr Crawford’s report were as follows:

Recommendations of the Commission

1. The Commission should be retained.

2. The clubs should be given the right to appoint part-time Commissioners who would be appointed for 3 years at the annual general meeting of the AFL. While the clubs and Commission may nominate people to become part-time commissioners for election at the General Meeting, only the representative of a club may vote in the event of an election.

3. The Commission be restructured to provide for up to 8 commissioners to be appointed, including at least two Executive Commissioners. There should always be a minimum ratio of part time commissioners to executive commissioners of 2:1.

4. There should be a Chairman appointed by the commissioners from amongst their number who should not be the Chief Executive Officer. The Primary role of the Chairman would include:

  • Chairing meetings of the commission – if necessary he would have a casting vote
  • Chairing meetings between the commission and the clubs
  • Being a sounding board for the Chief Executive Officer

5. The Chief Executive Officer appointed by the commission would be a commissioner as a matter of right while retaining his position as CEO and would therefore not be subject to re-election as a commissioner. He would be a voting member of the AFL Commission. The role would include being

  • responsible for the operating performance of the AFL.
  • responsible for the implementation of policy as decided by the Commission.
  • the public face of the Commission.

6. Executive Commissioners, other than the CEO shall be appointed commissioners by the Commission but shall not be voting members of the Commission.

Recommendation: Method of Future Appointments

Two part-time Commissioners retire each year and may be eligible for re-election. In order to ensure in the initial three years of the restructured Commission the clubs may annually appoint a minimum of two part time commissioners, transitional arrangements will need to be implemented. It is suggested that the following transitional arrangements apply to the retirement and re-election of part time commissioners.

  • End of year 1 – the two longest serving part time Commissioners retire
  • End of year2 – either the longest serving part time commissioner and/or one or two of the yet to be appointed
  • part time Commissioners as agreed between the Commissioners retire (but not the Chairman)
  • End of year 3 – two of the remaining commissioners yet to be appointed part time Commissioners as agreed between the Commissioners, retire.
  • End of year 4 – the two longest serving Commissioners retire.

Recommendation: Powers of the Commission

With the exception of 1) the appoint of Commissioners at Annual General Meetings and 2) the implementation of a Commission decision to admit, expel, relocate or merge a club without clubs being consulted;

The Commission be granted the power and authority to take all decision relating to all aspects of the AFL.

Other recommendations included

  • Holding quarterly information meetings between the Commission and representatives of the clubs
  • continuing the monthly meetings between the Commission and club general managers.

The 1993 AFL Annual Report, page 3.