‘Terrific’ Tim Worner not pressured to resign from Swans board
Mr Pridham, who also heads the boutique investment bank Moelis, said he and Mr Worner had spoken constantly about his future with the Swans since news of the Seven West Media sex scandal broke in December.
Mr Worner had been on the board only since February last year and quit late on Thursday night ahead of the Swans’ third-round AFL clash with Collingwood in Sydney last night. He had been absent from the club’s first games of the season.
The club has been keen to highlight that Mr Worner’s affair with former Seven executive assistant Amber Harrison and alleged drug use had occurred before he joined the Swans board.
“I had always said ‘Take your time’; he is a terrific person and has attracted a lot of criticism — some of it is warranted, some of it isn’t,” Mr Pridham said.
“He has always put the club before him. I said ‘Take the time out, deal with the issues, get your head together and in the fullness of time we can deal with this’.”
Mr Pridham downplayed reports Sam Mostyn, one of the club’s two female directors, was unhappy with Mr Worner remaining on the board after his affair came to light.
Mr Worner and Ms Harrison are locked in a drawn-out court process that is likely to remain unresolved until late this year.
Mr Pridham denied Mr Worner had buckled to pressure from the club’s members to quit. “Clearly there was a small number of members unhappy with Tim being on the board, and I would say to them ‘We need to deal with everything’.
“We needed to be in the possession of the facts, and part of the process is to understand what’s going on and not just read what’s in the paper.
“A football club is about loyalty and you need to look after people and treat them fairly, especially when they’re going through a difficult time. And that’s what we did.”
Mr Pridham said the embattled media executive was keen for the club’s reputation not to be damaged by the saga.
“I would have rather it didn’t happen but I understand, given everything he’s going through, that it was the right thing to do,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s hurt us in the short term. It’s a very small number of people upset that we hadn’t taken action but the outcome is what they wanted.”
The Sydney Swans now has nine directors, who are not paid fees, on its board.