Priest reconciles feuding Saints

Melbourne Catholic priest Fr Michael Sierakowski is believed to have mediated a peace deal between feuding St Kilda AFL club stalwarts, sacked coach Grant Thomas and president Rod Butterss.

The Age reports that Thomas, a Catholic, and Butters have also resolved a million-dollar-plus financial battle over a $1.14 million loan from the club president to the ex-coach.

Butterss made the loan to Thomas in 2001 when, as a fellow director of the club, he bought a home in Brighton for $2.3 million.

Butterss, whose leadership has come under increasing pressure since he launched his extraordinary public attack on Thomas last month, confirmed late yesterday that "all matters have been resolved" with the one-time close friend whom he last month described as a "virus" who needed to be "flushed out" of the St Kilda Football Club.

In the latest chapter of the relationship between the two men who took control of St Kilda in 2000, successful mediation finally took place over the past fortnight.

"We've shaken on it," Butterss said. "I have to tell you, it was a watershed."

The Age believes the Saints' chaplain, Father Michael Sierakowski, became involved at some point during the last month of the increasingly bitter feud.

"I'm very uncomfortable to talk about the 'how' part because I have an agreement with Thommo," Butterss said. "I am very relieved and any positive event has to be positive for St Kilda."

Asked whether a priest had been present, Butterss responded: "I'm not going to discuss it."

Asked whether he would be paid back the money he claimed he was owed, Butterss replied: "All matters have been resolved."

When Saints fall out, call a priest (Real Footy, 13/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Kilda Football Club
St Kilda Football Club (Wikipedia)

13 Jul 2007