Former Tennis Australia director Harold Mitchell pushed to create a board subcommittee to oversee negotiations for broadcasting rights for the 2013 Australian Open, then shut it down and told board members the subcommittee recommended it take Seven West Media’s deal, the corporate regulator has alleged.
The subcommittee, which Mr Mitchell chaired and also included TA chief executive Steve Wood, never met and conducted no business, ASIC’s barrister Michael Pearce SC told the Federal Court of Australia on Wednesday.
However, Mr Mitchell then told the board it was “the subcommittee’s recommendation” the Seven West Media offer be accepted in draft meeting minutes that were subsequently corrected to replace the “subcommittee” with “his”, Mr Pearce said.
Mr Pearce said Mr Woods would confirm Mr Mitchell said it was the subcommittee’s recommendation that the deal be taken. There was no discussion of interest from Channel Nine, Network Ten or IMG at that board meeting, the court heard.