Seven West Media CEO, Tim Worner, may have the full support of its board following the ongoing fallout from his extra-marital affair with employee Amber Harrison, however, it appears he’s not going to get through this unscathed.
There are now repeated calls for Worner to stand aside as board member of the Sydney Swans. Many believe his ongoing presence as a board member is inappropriate following the AFL’s concerted – and very successful – push into the women’s game. Worner is a relatively new member to the Swan’s board and his elevation happened after the affair with Harrison concluded.
Seven, of course, is also the AFL’s chief broadcast partner.
Things could take a nastier turn for Worner tomorrow when he presents the company’s annual results to shareholders and media. Anything less than numbers in the black will renew calls for him to stand aside.
In a column piece in today’s Fairfax Media, commentator Caroline Wilson has called Worner’s position on the Swans’ board “untenable”and cited a long held view at the club that “nobody is bigger than the football club.” It is believed club officials will meet with Worner in the coming days.
Wilson wrote: “The Seven Network’s handling of the Worner affair is a corporate issue for Kerry Stokes and his board but at a time when the AFL is holding its players, coaches and officials to higher-than-ever behavioural standards surely club board members also must remain accountable.”
The affair was between consenting adults, Wilson noted, but the damage to the Swans and the AFL wasn’t about the sex scandal but from the way Seven had far dealt with it and, for most parts, attempted to cover it up.
Thus far the Swans have backed Worner and the club’s chairman, Andrew Pridham, said publicly last December when news of the affair broke: “I think he’s (Worner) a fantastic guy and it’s really unfortunate there’s so much hysteria around it. We shouldn’t make judgments until we have the facts. We have no facts.”