The former Premier of NSW, Barry O’Farrell, who led the Coalition Party to victory in 2011, has been appointed as the new chairman of the Wests Tigers for the 2019 season. He replaces Marina Go as the chairman of the joint-venture club. Go resigned in December of last year; however, she stayed on for an extended period of time until the NRL finished their investigation into the ambassadorial role offered to hooker, Robbie Farah.
O’Farrell touted as likely replacement
O’Farrell was always seen as a likely replacement for Marina Go so it’s no surprised he has now taken over the top job. O’Farrell now joins ARL Commission chairman, Peter Beattie, as the second ex-Premier to be in a high-ranking position of power in the game of rugby league.
O’Farrell has always had solid board experience. He served as a director for Diabetes Australia and Obesity Australia. Nonetheless, his position with the Wests Tigers is definitely his highest-profile directorship thus far in his career.
Tigers’ fans yearning for stability
Both the fans and the club will be hoping that O’Farrell’s involvement can bring some degree of stability to the club, who have been grappling with off-field dramas for the past several seasons. Having said that, considering the off-season dramas that have plagued the NRL and its players, it really shouldn’t be too surprising for many fans of the game.
The Tigers haven’t made the finals since 2011 and have had three coaches in as many seasons: Jason Taylor, Ivan Cleary and Michael Maguire. The Taylor-Farah saga was a particularly low period for the club. There has also been a high turnover in playing staff; however, with the return of club favourites, Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah, fans will be hoping that their beloved team can leapfrog into the finals.
With Marshall and Farah likely to retire at season’s end, it would be a nice way for the club to send off its heroes.