Summers: Saints must work together

Written By Unknown on Senin, 14 Oktober 2013 | 23.40

St Kilda president Peters Summers flanked by Port Adelaide chairman David Koch and Hawthorn supremo Andrew Newbold. Picture: Tim Carrafa Source: Tim Carrafa / HeraldSun

ST KILDA president Peter Summers knows there are issues at his football club.

From Scott Watters' contract talk, to the unease between Watters and football boss Chris Pelchen, to the scuttlebutt about the trading seasoned stars, to membership, to finances, to list management and to dealing with life in 2013 as a bottom-three club as compared to 2010 when they played off in two Grand Finals.

It's why the club's vision statement to be presented this week to the board -- on the back of a fierce club review -- is the foundation for the future and, hopefully, good times ahead.

"There's been this perception we've had a couple of those crises, but from my point we need to get the right blueprint in place," Summers said yesterday.

"What has been portrayed as everything up for grabs, that's not really what it is. This isn't about survival.

"I wanted to make sure the club -- and that's why I was pretty strong on the vision statement -- that everyone from bottom up is aware of what our targets are going forward and how we're going to get there."

He hopes the vision statement will be presented to the board on Thursday and then that meeting would be rolled into a secondary meeting where the statement is discussed in-depth with senior staff, including the coach.

Summers is a new president, but he's also a realist, meticulous, a goalsetter and not one to back away from a tough topic.

He knows there is unease between Watters and Pelchen.

He also knows the two work well together in list management, but that there's issues surrounding the execution of Pelchen's role at the club.

He also knows other staff find the relationship between Watters and Pelchen is unsettling.

How significant is the issue?

Summers: "Significant. And identified. But I honestly think there has been too much made of it. We've had some tension in the place, you don't mind some tension because it's an indication of active successful people, but there just can't be too much.''

How do you fix it?

Summers: "Like most things in life when you have a problem it's called communication."

Watters' contract extension has been talking point, but Summers can't understand why.

"I found the whole thing around Scott's extension the wrong way round, it's been seen as an uncertainty (his future), but it's got nothing to do with it," he said.

"I can't see how you can put a contract extension to somebody, whether it be one year, two years, five years, how would you put that to them until they see where you are taking the list management. How could you put that to them until they see the whole structure you're trying to achieve at the club over that period?

"I can't see how you can do it ... Because you'd be buying into it for your own reasons and not club reasons."

This season, the Saints finished 16th with a 5-17 win-loss record.

Summers said it was "one of those years you had to go through to get a better consensus on where you're heading".

"As a club, we are very anxious and anxious people tend to act in a negative way, anxious people want to hide, get scared, they go to ground, and what I'm trying to do through this vision statement is to empower and encourage people to lift themselves out of that,'' Summers said.

"The worst thing in life is not to have a go."

It's not all doom and gloom, he said. Nine debutants this year was a major plus, for example, and while not wanting to discuss the contents of the vision statement, he was confident in its depth.

"Having done the review, we can be pretty strong in our reviews, we set our targets, debate them and, most importantly, own them,'' he said.

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