Media Statement From Nick Takos! 8 December 2021
By Elle Jade
Media statement from Nick Takos!
8 December 2021
With great disappointment I announce my resignation from the Board of Directors at the Adelaide Football Club.
The AFL’s COVID mandate, and the club’s deeply concerning response to it, has left me with no choice but to step down.
I am passionate about the Crows and I have invested 21 years of service in one form or another to the club. I understand the challenging position that the board is in.
That said, I have made my position to the board clear that while I am not anti-vaccination generally, corporations should not tell their staff and footy fans what medical treatment is good for them through a mandatory vaccination policy.
Further, I have been increasingly concerned following news that one of Adelaide’s SANFL players has been diagnosed with pericarditis, a serious heart condition, as a result of taking the COVID vaccination at the direction of the AFL and club.
Based on this, I called a special board meeting to urgently discuss the player’s condition, the health and safety of all of our players and other associated risks. It was clear the board was immovable on this issue and key, reasonable questions are yet to be answered, including;
-What guidance or direction the AFL has provided the club following notification of the vaccination injury.
-What steps the club has taken to review its vaccination policy in light of the incident and any similar events.
-Potential consequences of such incidents on insurances against liability under contracts with players and staff.
-Whether the known risks of COVID-19 vaccines were considered when the vaccination policy was adopted and, given the player’s injury, proposing that the mandatory policy be reviewed as soon as possible.
I cannot support a coercive and forceful policy that does not consider the proportionate risk to players and staff. As a Member Elected Director, I cannot support a policy that unfairly discriminates against our highly diverse 60,000 members and over 650,000 fans who have a wide range of personal and medical considerations when it comes to vaccination.
There are many people who have good reason to carefully weigh up all of the risks and factors, and it is ultimately a medical decision that we each have to make for ourselves and in some cases with advice from our doctors. This is a personal and private process that no-one should be forced to share with a corporation, their employer, the media or the world at large.
The AFL has chosen to enforce its edict. The only option available was to fall into line at the expense of my personal (private) medical circumstances, including my unique health conditions which have been deemed significant by my specialists, and supported by my cardiologist in a request to the club for a medical exemption (which has been denied). I cannot agree to the imposition of that corporate edict on my health, values and convictions, and those of other staff, players and members, despite the personal cost.
While saddened to make this decision, I wish the club nothing but success in 2022 and beyond.
Club Statement: Board of Directors
Nick Takos has resigned from the Adelaide Football Club’s Board of Directors
The Adelaide Football Club can confirm the resignation of Board Director Nick Takos today.
Takos is not willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 which puts him in breach of the Club’s vaccination policy, and he is unable to fulfil his obligations.
In the wake of the AFL releasing its COVID-19 vaccination requirements for men’s and women’s players and football staff, the Crows developed and implemented an internal policy for their administration.
It required Directors and staff, as well as contractors and volunteers, to receive their first vaccine dose by November 19, and be fully vaccinated by December 17.
Last month Adelaide Oval management also announced anyone wanting to enter the venue, which hosts all AFL games in South Australia, must be fully vaccinated.
Crows Chairman John Olsen said discussions had taken place with Takos over a number of weeks.
“We have a duty of care to all associated with the Club and therefore, we developed a COVID-19 vaccination policy to ensure there were appropriate health and safety requirements to protect our people and the wider community,” Olsen said.
“As a Director, you are obligated to attend meetings at the Club’s headquarters and Adelaide Oval, as well as games and other events where players, coaches, staff and corporate partners are in attendance, and Nick is no longer in a position to do so.”
The Board vacancy created by Takos’ resignation will be filled when the Club conducts its annual nomination and election process for Member-elected Directors early next year.
It means nominations will then be sought for two positions, with incumbent Director Rod Jameson also nearing the end of his current two-year term. Jameson has confirmed he will once again nominate for the Board.
Commercial lawyer Shanti Berggren, who ran second to Takos in this year’s Member election, became a Board-appointed Director in March.
Adelaide’s Board Directors are John Olsen (Chairman), Linda Fellows (Deputy Chair), Mark Ricciuto, Richard Fennell, Kate Ellis, Warren Randall, Rod Jameson, Stephen Roche and Shanti Berggren.