Geoff Gerard joins Eels board as peacemaker

Parramatta hall-of-famer Geoff Gerard has appealed for peace among the warring boardroom factions after replacing Eric Grothe jnr as a club director.

Grothe has stood down from his role on the Parramatta District Rugby League Club board after coming out of retirement to play for Cronulla. Gerard has taken his place and is set to be offered a spot as one of three PDRL directors on the League Club board, which controls the Eels. That appointment is expected to be ratified at a board meeting on Thursday.

The Eels have been plagued by boardroom bickering since the previous elections. While Gerard has previously served as a director, he did not stand for the recent 3P or ParraFirst Tickets.

A life member and a faithful servant of the club, Gerard quipped that people have ''questioned my sanity'' after agreeing to again become involved with the wooden spooners. However, the former NSW and Australian forward said he couldn't knock back the chance to help unify the blue-and-golds.

''I'm happy to come back on and see what I can do for my club,'' Gerard said. ''In the past there has been 3P and the new guys, but I'm not aligned to anybody. I just want to bring some peace to any warring or factionalism that goes on. Whoever puts something up and wants my vote needs to convince me it's the right thing for the club.

''From what I've seen there hasn't been peace since the last election. We just need to get them in the right direction. Everyone on that board now has their hearts in the right place, we just need to back up the words with actions.

''I'm somewhat apprehensive about going back on but it's my club and I want them heading in the right direction. I was willing to put myself forward to try to help.''

Gerard is also a board member of the NSWRL but won't have to relinquish that role. ''I will assess everything on its merits and if I agree with it I'll give it my tick of approval, and if I disagree I'll ask for more information or might even vote against it,'' he said. ''I've told everyone on both boards that's the way I run and will continue to run.''

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