In what continues to seem an ever mounting debacle, one thing is becoming increasingly clear - we dont have the leadership to take this club forward. By this, i mean our day to day leader, the CEO.
Mayer is a PR guy, not a professional CEO - often, but not always, loving to attach his name with the good news and trying to distance himself from the bad at times. I believe he has done a decent job at times, but we need more from this position. We dont need someone who wants to see their own name in lights, we need someone who wants to do the dirty work behind the scenes that will often go unnoticed.
A CEO has to be a good manager of people underneath him obviously, but just as importantly he has to manage those above him, the Board. This is clearly not happening.
Have a look at his last few years at Manly - strained Board relationships, in-fighting and the like - very familiar story here.
Its also clear he has a strained relationship with Farah and the stories of the players calling him “hollywood” make it sound as if he doesn’t have much respect from the players either.
I think there he also has received more credit than should be bestowed for a number of items:
Recruitment - he has been seen as the saviour of recruitment, however the reality is that all of the talented juniors that have been signed, have been in the system for many years before Mayer arrived and never was there any indication that the club would let them go. To be seen as the saviour is a little over the top.
I can assure you that Mayer was also heavily against the signing of Martin Tapau and also said Pat Richards was not worth bringing back.
New Board - This was clearly instigated by the old regime. They saw the issues with Balmain’s financial position and went to the NRL to review the governance of the club and ask for support. Mayer then picked up the benefit of the cash injection and new board structure that will soon come into place (well, hopefully it will).
Marketing - the club seems to have much less sponsorship this year with most of the year going without a sponsor on the back of the jersey and sleeves. This would have to be hurting their numbers. The club used to have the highest valued sponsorships. We have also had some terribly poor crowds in recent times, amongst the lowest in the NRL - i still recall the reports of him bursting in to call the crowd at Campbelltown before half time when it was just over 6000.
Leaks - personally to me i have huge questions over who is leaking information to the media. If you trawl back through exclusive stories and ‘inside information’, you will find that the majority of these are written by Dean Ritchie at the Telegraph and Adrian Prozenko at the Herald. Countless times there are Mayer driven stories in here (e.g. leading up to his appointment as CEO there were stories pushing his case, there were stories regarding strategic decisions for the club- new home grounds, the home base for the club etc) -all of these style of stories wouldn’t be written unless the information is provided personally. My view is that Mayer plants many of these stories with the journalists to see his own name in lights. Then when Weidler has a go at him he gets on the defensive.
It was then interesting to see a lot of the Potter gets the axe speculation to leak through these same sources. For this to happen with the club deep in the hunt for the finals is simply inexcusable.
I personally think Humphreys would have been better person to run the club at these times. I do think he made some mistakes, but was a slick professional operator that probably suffered from one bad season in 2012 when they were expected to win the comp. I couldn’t begin to imagine the financial turnaround from what they would have budgeted that year and what the result was, but thats how sports business operates.
I feel we need a strong leader who can take us forward - a professional operator that we dont hear much from in words, but actions. I am sure that with the likes of Dave Smith at the NRL selecting the directors for the new board, this may happen sooner rather than later.