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Lions spend $1.8m on footy department

Lions' takeover a painful process New Brisbane Lions chairman Bob Sharpless and director Leigh Matthews describe how they took control of the club.
The man the award is named after, Leigh Matthews during the AFL Players' Association Most Valuable Player Awards 2010 at the Crown Palladium, Melbourne.
Leigh Matthews
THE BRISBANE Lions will spend $1.8 million of AFL funding to rejuvenate their football department.
 
The funding was granted by the AFL after the Lions' board reached a compromise on Wednesday and stopped the infighting.
 
The AFL was desperate for the club to avoid an Extraordinary General Meeting – slated for November 13 – and promised the cash if they could do so.

Lethal an Lions reunite as board battle ends
 
In his first full day as chairman, Bob Sharpless confirmed the majority of the money would be spent on the football department.
 
The Lions spent around 95 per cent of the salary cap in 2013, and will now have the ability to pay full rate.
 
Their coaching department is also expected to get a facelift, with two more development coaches on the shopping list.
 
"A lot of it is going to go to the football department," Sharpless confirmed.
 
"The Lions have got some unique challenges and the AFL recognises the need to assist us with that."
 
The Lions have lost Mark Harvey and Adrian Fletcher from last season's coaching staff, but in addition to new senior coach Justin Leppitsch, have already added Peter Schwab (head of coaching and development) and Mitch Hahn (development).
 
They have also made an offer to retired great Simon Black.
 
New football director Leigh Matthews said he would play a "backroom" role on the board and would have no direct say where the money went.
 
He will have no match-day involvement, will not coach again and is fully supportive of Leppitsch.
 
"You've got to have faith in your people," Matthews said.
 
"When I coached, I used to say to the board, 'have faith in me, let me do my job. If you lose faith in me, get rid of me'. That's the way it works.
 
"The job is to support and advise and govern … you've got to have faith in the people to do the job they're appointed to do. That's my attitude as a board person."
 
Sharpless said he was confident the proposed new Lions training base at Springfield would go ahead, despite concerns the Coalition federal government would not kick in $15 million of the $60 million project promised by Labor.
 
Sharpless is the deputy chairman of Springfield Land Corporation - another financial contributor to the project - and said it would take time.
 
"I don't have any doubt it won't happen," he said.
 
"We've gone through a change of government and you'd be naïve to think the new government would rubber stamp a project that had been approved by the previous government.
 
"This project has bi-partisan support and is a very strong project."
 
Matthews said despite the dramas of the past two months, he was confident the Lions now had a unified board.
 
"The pain of child birth is always painful, but then you've got the baby," he said.
 
"I'm not going on a factionalised board. I'm going on the board because I think there's five people of independent thought who will make their decision on that basis.
 
"It's been two months and you'd like it to have been two days. I don't think it's harmed the brand. You need renewal, refreshment, rejuvenation all the time. It's not easy.
 
"Change happens by evolution or sometimes it has to happen by intervention. I would have though the new baby is ready to go. The child birth has been worthwhile."
 
Twitter: @AFL_mikewhiting