The man who brought Ivan Cleary back to the Penrith Panthers has been dramatically rolled at the club’s Board election.
Chairman Dave O’Neill has fallen short of being re-elected to the Board, just four months after Penrith won its third Premiership.
Life Member, former player and long-time employee John Farragher has been successful in winning a Board spot.
Farragher spoke to the Weekender a short time ago, saying he was “over the moon” with the result.
“It’s a very humbling experience and I wish all the other nominees well,” he said.
“I look forward to working with the other directors for the next two years and doing the best for the club, the members and staff.
“It’s a challenge for me. I’ve had a few challenges in my life prior to this though so I’m definitely up for it.”
With six nominees vying for five positions, O’Neill ultimately finished with the least votes.
The rolling of O’Neill could create a huge shift within the club. He is very close to the Cleary family, current CEO Brian Fletcher and the rest of the existing Board.
“Unfortunately I have missed out,” O’Neill told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“But I wish the current board and John Farragher all the best. I’m sure the business will be successful under the guidance of [CEO] Brian Fletcher. I’ve enjoyed my time on the board since January 2013.
“I want to say thankyou to Ivan Cleary and the football department who have been incredible ambassadors for our club and wish them all the best in going back-to-back [as premiers].
“I want to thank the players for giving me one of the happiest days of my life in 2021 when they won the grand final. They are great ambassadors for the club and the district.”
Farragher also noted O’Neill’s departure and service to the Panthers.
“I wish Dave all the best and thank him for his service to the club over the past nine years,” he said.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.