Al Green Speaks out about being fired.
It's not easy being Green, or green&gold
AL Green is disappointed "the Woodville family" is being harmed by the ongoing dispute between the Hall of Fame legend and the Warriors' young club president Benn McDonald.
Green, a dual NBL Championship winner, MVP and a dual-Woollacott Medallist in SA, last week was axed as Woodville’s men’s coach in the SA State League despite taking the team back to the finals last year, winning this year’s preseason tournament and having a side hotly favored to win the club’s first title since 2005.
The intricate story of how the situation unfolded is complicated further by legal action Green is taking against the club committee members and McDonald specifically for unfair dismissal and defamation of character.
It also is muddied by the fact a petition with 30 club member signatures can force a special general meeting at Woodville and supporters for Green apparently collected 100 signatures in two days.
These were forwarded to the club’s executive yesterday and required the calling of a special general meeting within 48 hours.
The Green ticket will try to effect a coup of the club’s management, with a new president while reinstating Green as Warriors’ men’s coach.
“It’s not the Woodville family,” Green said.
“This is just between two people and I apologise to the Woodville family for bringing this situation into Woodville’s house.”
But Green feels there is no other course of action after last week being dismissed from his position as head coach by McDonald.
Green said problems first emerged when he sought a contract extension.
“I don’t feel it is ethical to try and recruit players for next year and beyond if you don’t know you are going to be in the position yourself,” he said.
He said McDonald had been resistant to an extension but Woodville’s management had agreed to have a sub-committee look at Green’s request and to hear its subsequent recommendations.
The sub-committee suggested Green should be reappointed and have the contract extension.
Green, who as the club’s vice-president has access to Woodville’s financials, said he was willing to take a pay cut to accommodate retaining the job.
When McDonald still baulked, Green admits he began gathering numbers for a coup of the executive.
It appears McDonald “got wind” of the plan and sacked Green as coach.
Woodville issued a statement at its club website on Thursday saying: “The Woodville District Basketball Club management committee wish to advise that it has released Al Green from all roles with the club, ABA Men’s Head Coach and Vice President as of this morning 8-May-2014.”
None of the club’s Facebook pages has carried anything further on the decision or given any explanation.
Green, who won Woollacott Medals with West Adelaide in 1982 and North Adelaide in 1985, has coached at a number of SA clubs but gave many years of service to Division 2 club Torrens Valley.
When he crossed to Woodville, he was appointed vice-president and was at the forefront of a revival at the ailing club.
Woodville’s website today still was showing Green as vice-president.
“I’m disappointed because Woodville is my family now,” he said.
“When I came over, I brought about 40 people across from Torrens Valley.
“I wanted this to be my basketball home.”