50 prominent Hawks back Silk in club’s board battle

Gwen Crimmins, the widow of Hawthorn legend Peter Crimmins, is one of 50 prominent Hawks who have backed Ian Silk as he attempts to win a seat on the Hawks board.

The list of 50 names will be released on Friday by the Hawks For Change group who are supporting Silk’s candidacy for one of the two vacant board seats being contested at the election.

Former Australian Super boss Ian Silk and Hawks president Jeff Kennett.Credit:The Age

The names include 11 premiership players, former club directors including former president Richard Garvey, ex-staff members including former long-serving football manager John Hook and Jim King, a supporter who houses club recruits. Former female directors Linda Kristjanson and Lucina Nolan are also backing Silk.

Gary Ayres, Andrew Gowers, Peter Schwab, John Hendrie, Ian Bremner and Les Hawken are among the premiership players who have been clear in their support for Silk, who is running against current board member Tim Shearer and lawyer Jennifer Holdstock.

Shearer has the backing of the board and president Jeff Kennett, who wrote to members on Thursday. He also received support from club greats David Parkin and Peter Hudson this week with Shearer a key figure in the fundraising campaign to finance the Kennedy Community Centre slated for Dingley.

Hawthorn’s best-and-fairest award is the Peter Crimmins Medal, in honour of the Hawks champion and 1971 premiership player who died of cancer in 1976 aged 28, just three days after the Hawks won that year’s flag.

Gwen Crimmins, the wife of club legend Peter Crimmins, at a match in the1970s.Credit:Age Archive

Crimmins’ son Sam is also backing Silk, the recently retired head of Australian Super. Hawks For Change have run an online campaign to change the board’s composition and loosen Kennett’s control after a shambolic year on and off the field for the club that led to four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson’s departure.

Clarkson left with the club still having to pay him $900,000 to fulfil his contract after the club attempted to impose a succession plan that would have seen Clarkson work alongside Sam Mitchell for a year before succeeding him. Mitchell has the full backing of the Hawks For Change group.

Kennett has agreed to step down from the presidency at some stage next year with a nominations committee to be set up after this year’s AGM on December 14. It will make a recommendation to the board as to who should succeed Kennett.

Kennett read the play in recent weeks and decided to step away in the club’s interests after a recommendation was made and accepted.

Voting in the current board election is set to open today when a notice of the AGM is sent to members and the results of the election will be announced at the club’s AGM on December 14.

Disclaimer: The author is related to one of the 50 signatories on the list backing Ian Silk.

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