Lynne Anderson's three-year reign as chair of the Canterbury Bulldogs football club is over and she says it's now up to the entire club to "cease with any negativity".
The daughter of club patriarch Peter "Bullfrog" Moore does not want the club dragged through any more headlines and has formulated a letter to Canterbury members.
More than 100 disgruntled members had signed a petition to hold an extraordinary general meeting to vote on the future of Anderson, and two other directors Paul Dunn and John Ballesty.
Anderson confirmed to NRL.com that she was sad about not being able to finish the job she wanted to do, but would not see the Bulldogs name damaged by further in-fighting.
The club has issued an official statement to say Dunn and Ballesty would also be standing down.
In her message to the club members, Anderson said it had been her privilege to serve as chair of the Bulldogs, "having twice been elected by a vote of the full membership in that time".
"Whilst standing down means that I and two of my fellow directors, John Ballesty and Paul Dunn, won’t be around to finish the job we started, we will always put the interests of the club before our own.
"To that end, our decision clears a path for the club to move forward and build on the platform for future success we have laid, without the unnecessary disruption of an EGM before the 2021 season."
It is now up to every person that loves this club to cease with any negativity.Lynne Anderson
Anderson said after they were elected in 2018, her board "immediately set about developing a strategy to deliver what our members and fans told us they wanted most – success on the field and to rebuild the Bulldogs into a respected NRL powerhouse".
"To put it simply, we would return to becoming a development club. We made no secret of the fact we inherited some challenges, the most pressing being how to ensure we could field a competitive roster with the salary cap debacle that handicapped retention and recruitment plans for several years.
"We always said it was going to take some time to turn the corner – that it would not be until 2021 that we would be in control of our destiny. I’m proud to say that has been achieved."
Anderson acknowledged "there have been challenges and mistakes along the way" but said there had been many achievements which made her proud, including:
- Clearing up the salary cap mess by making some hard decisions to create room to start the rebuild of the roster;
- Putting in place a terrific new coaching team to lead the rebuild from season 2021;
- Adding two marquee signings in Luke Thompson and Nick Cotric for 2021;
- Introducing a recruitment committee to deal with new signings transparently, putting the days of backroom deals and back-ended contracts behind us;
- Introducing good governance with the creation of new sub-committees to cover all parts of the business;
- Commitment to the strategy of once again becoming a successful development club through a renewed focus on junior league and the broader rugby league world.
"It is now up to every person that loves this club to cease with any negativity going forward and put their full support behind the coach and players for next season," she added.
"I implore everyone to now get out of the way and give the club a chance to fulfil its potential without any further interference. That is the only way this club can prosper going forward."
Former Manly coach Trent Barrett will coach the Bulldogs next season, taking over from interim appointment Steve Georgallis, who saw out the final two months of the season after Dean Pay left the club in July.