The Crawford Report

Please click here for a copy of the Crawford Report

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

  • The Commission should be retained
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

  • 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

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

Recommended 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 decisions 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 VFL Board of Directors accepted the report’s recommendations on March 9, 1993.

Acceptance and Implementation

On July 19, 1993, the Board of Directors unanimously approved new Memorandum and Articles of Association which reflected the recommendations of the Crawford Report.

The date was effectively the last meeting of the Board of Directors as the Crawford Report recommended that all powers and responsibilities to run the competition be referred to the AFL Commission.

The clubs however retain specific powers in relation to the admission, relocation and merging of clubs.

Any decision by the commission to admit or relocate a club or approve the merger of clubs can be reversed by the clubs at a duly constituted meeting of clubs called within 14 days of receiving formal notice of a Commission decision to admit, relocate or approve a merger of clubs.

A two thirds majority is required to overturn any such decision by the commission. Three clubs may requisition a meeting of clubs to reverse a decision by the Commission to admit or relocate or approve a merge of clubs. Clubs cannot be merged unless the clubs who are party to the merger first agree.

Clubs also have a reserve power on the possible expulsion of a club from the competition. Any decision by the Commission to expel a club must be ratified at a general meeting of clubs by a simple majority.

While the AFL Commission was given wider powers to run the game when the recommendations of the Crawford Report were adopted, clubs retained the right to appoint the Commission.