BRUMBIES BOSS TO KEEP TOP SPOT FOR NOW
Michael Jones will remain Brumbies chief executive for the time being, but the ugly backroom battle at the Super Rugby club is far from over.
The ACT Supreme Court on Thursday upheld an injunction that, under whistleblower protection laws, allowed Jones to keep his job after the board stood him down in March over a scathing radio interview.
But Justice Richard Refshauge, in his judgment, noted the Brumbies were still entitled to sack him.
That’s provided it’s for any other, unrelated reason and they give him five days written notice.
The chief executive was stripped of his duties last month, barely 48 hours after he made claims about a report into the Brumbies’ finances and sale of their Griffith headquarters on ABC Grandstand.
He believed he had been targeted by people outside the club linked to the KPMG document, which is the subject of a police investigation and remains suppressed.
Jones insists he has always acted properly and professionally despite underlying tension and ‘ugly tactics’ from some.
He hopes to stay on as chief executive long-term, having moved his family to Canberra on that basis.
‘Right through this I’ve had the complete support of all the employees and players and we’re trying to focus on the job of running a rugby club,’ he said outside court.
‘The speculation has no doubt been a bit harrowing and a massive distraction.
‘It’s not over, there’s still a long way to go, but today is the first step.’
Jones said there was still some water to go under the bridge before he would be completely vindicated – including the release of the KPMG report.
The document will be made available to voting members at an extraordinary general meeting on Thursday night, where motions to dissolve the Brumbies board and elect a new one will be put.
He said the board, led by chairman Robert Kennedy and director Carmel McGregor, will need to explain to those who elected them what’s in the report and why they’ve been fighting to keep it quiet.
‘There’ll be a lot of questions that’ll be asked about their involvement over the last seven years and hopefully this is the first step in the process of clearing up what’s been a really unsavoury period for the Brumbies,’ he added.
‘I certainly want all the information to come out because I feel absolutely, 1000 per cent confident that once all that information (is out) there will be a big ‘ah ha’ moment from a lot of people about what’s transpired in this whole process.’
Jones is confident the saga hasn’t affected the Brumbies team – who lead the Australian conference – nor fans ahead of Sunday’s blockbuster against the Crusaders at GIO Stadium.