By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
THE administration of the newly formed North Coast Football Zone (NCFZ) has been thrown into turmoil following findings that suspect procedures occurred at the the zone's inaugural management board elections.
An investigation from NCFZ president Jim George confirmed the rumoured allegations and he and the board were left with no choice but to declare the results of the previous elections null and void and act only as an interim board until a new election can be held.
"I'm gutted actually, the board is such a good group," George said.
"They're terrific people who've come from both in and out of football and we were really going well, it's so disappointing for this to happen."
It is alleged that a former board member of Holiday Coast Soccer who was running as a candidate in the new zone's election, butted into the counting of votes and interfered with the decision making process and skewed the results.
The time consuming procedure for holding another election must now be revisited and the new members of the board need to get themselves re-nominated should they wish to again stand for the positions.
"The board members can stand again but to do that they need to get themselves nominated by the clubs again," George said.
"I sent out a letter to all the clubs about what has been found and what will be done in the future and in it I praised the people that were on the board.
"I don't want to be seen to be telling the clubs who they should vote for but I hope they bear it in mind the quality of the people that were elected."
George laments the fact though that as the board is now only acting on an interim basis they're unable to make plans for the future or even conduct any new business as they are only in acting position.
"The impact that this will have on the clubs and players is negligible but unfortunately it stops us as a board from looking at zone-wide issues that we want to get stuck into such as marketing the game across the area as well as sponsorship."
Complaints about the voting procedures at the initial election were made to the board and after a thorough investigation of what occurred, George found that his hands were tied as far as what the correct course of action that needed to be taken.
"The board has acted responsibly given the situation, very credibly in fact," he said.
"We took advice after finding that it was tainted and we decided that the election can't stand."
It was rumoured that as part of the backlash from the findings that legal action would be taken but George denies that this an option being considered.
"We're not going to go down that road," he said.
"There'll be no legal action, it's not even in the frame. All we want to do is get on with the show."
At this stage a new election date has not been set but the good of the game and the ability to progress the president hopes that the matter can be resolved quickly.