Coup will hinder coach search: Lions boss

Besieged Brisbane Lions chairman Angus Johnson believes a boardroom coup led by AFL great Leigh Matthews will only make the task of appointing Michael Voss’ replacement harder.


Johnson admitted he was surprised when Brisbane directors Paul Williams and Mick Power revealed on Wednesday they had recruited Matthews for a rival ticket and demanded he stand down.

Johnson said the pair were unhappy because he had “botched” the recruitment of former Sydney premiership-winning coach Paul Roos.

Four-time premiership-winning coach Matthews, Williams and Power had hoped to launch a fresh push for Roos – but they will have to wait until December’s annual general meeting to complete their coup.

The Lions board met on Wednesday to discuss the formation of a coaching selection panel to be headed by Hawthorn’s three-time premiership player and ex-coach Peter Schwab.

But Johnson said the panel now faced an even more difficult task due to the boardroom unrest.

“It is not going to make it any easier,” he said.

“I would be a fool to suggest this event this morning isn’t going to have a destabilising impact on our club.

“But I have the full support of the directors other than two of them, the management is still in place – we have very capable people here.”

Asked if he expected to defeat a Matthews-led ticket in December, Johnson said: “This isn’t a popularity contest.

“It is about our members making a judgement call on how this board has run the club over the last two and a half years.”

Johnson urged the Lions faithful to take a deep breath as they approached life without Voss.

But he admitted he may come to regret his call last week that members can “kick me out” if they did not agree with how they handled Voss’ dumping.

“I would just like Paul and Mick to let the dust settle, reflect on what’s happened and let’s see what happens over the coming weeks,” he said.

“I am hopeful that everyone will act in the best interests of our fantastic football club.

“(But) if the members want to kick me out then they have that opportunity at the AGM.”

However, Johnson said he was “extremely happy” with how he had handled his talks with Roos and claimed the board had unanimously agreed to ditch Voss despite not having locked up a replacement.

“Paul Williams moved the resolution that we would not offer Michael another contract and it was unanimously supported,” he said.

When he refused to stand down after being challenged, Johnson said he asked Williams and Power whether they wanted to resign but they declined.

“I was a little surprised by that,” Johnson said.

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