Brisbane Lions boardroom showdown looms

Former Lions coach Michael Voss and club chairman Angus Johnson face the media. Photo: Chris HydeThe damaging standoff on the Brisbane Lions board is closer to coming to a head, with an influential supporter group set to send letters to members urging them to help bring about an extraordinary general meeting of the club.

Members advocacy group The Lion’s Roar has been busy garnering support for an EGM since the rival Leigh Matthews ticket emerged last week, with the board members now split down the middle as they side with either the former coach or current chairman Angus Johnson.

The group declares itself to be neutral but believes an ongoing coup, which could stretch all the way until December unless an EGM is called or one side retreats, will leave lasting damage to the Lions, particularly as they hunt for a new coach.

With the group now having collated interest from the required five per cent of eligible members, the next step is a letter from each to be forwarded to the club asking the matter be put to a vote at an EGM.

The group has put out an offer for both tickets to write a short sales pitch on the letter. The Matthews ticket had accepted that invitation but on Sunday night, the group was waiting to hear back from Johnson and the Lions staff.

Johnson has been conspicuous by his silence since fronting the media last week, where he said he was standing his ground and denied botching negotiations with Paul Roos.

Rival board member Paul Williams, meanwhile, has been active in selling the Matthews cause and explaining the reasoning behind the boardroom siege.

But Johnson was out and about pressing the flesh among players at the Gabba on Sunday night after the club’s near-thing against the Western Bulldogs, celebrating out on the field with the group as they took a collective deep breath.

He made it clear last week he wasn’t going anywhere without a fight, although the groundswell of support for a return of Matthews to the club he coached to three flags looks as if it will be overwhelming.

Johnson didn’t want a reminder but would have been given one if he looked up into the stands, where a group of fans had unfurled a sign that bellowed: ‘Welcome Back Lethal.’

He’s not back yet. But in the eyes of a significant number of fans and supporters, it only seems to be a matter of time.

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