NRL Rd 18 - Cowboys v Wests Tigers
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: West Tigers Board Director Lee Hagipantelis and CEO Justin Pascoe look on before the start of the round 18 NRL match between North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers at Qld Country Bank Stadium on July 01, 2023 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The Wests Tigers have not featured in an NRL finals series since 2011, and club members have had enough, with fans launching a petition for an external review into the club's governance.

The joint venture franchise who last played off in a preliminary final in 2010 - and finished fourth the following season - won their sole premiership in 2005, but have struggled both on and off the field over the last decade.

The situation came to a head for fans last weekend as Wests entered the wrong side of the record books having been handed the worst beatdown since 1935, losing 74-0 to the North Queensland Cowboys.

NRL Rd 18 - Cowboys v Wests Tigers

A first wooden spoon last year and a change of coach with Tim Sheens' arrival left supporters hopeful of a turnaround, but still anchored to the bottom of the ladder after more than half a season, it's clear that won't be happening any time soon.

Frustrated fans who have stuck by their team are now calling for a full external review of the joint-venture's administration, which has come under increasing scrutiny from fans and pundits across media and social media.

CEO Justin Pascoe and Chairman Lee Hagipantelis, along with the rest of the club's board, have struggled to drive the club into gaining success during their time at Concord, and the continued lack of suitable signings to help the club move forward has been noticed by fans.

The Wests Tigers Podcast are leading the charge calling for an external review of the club's operations, launching an online petition that has generated almost 500 signatures in just a matter of days.

Long-time club fan, member, and podcast host Joel Helmes told Zero Tackle that high-level decision-makers at the club don't have the ability to turn the club around - a concern that has been repeated throughout the club's supporter community.

"I think there is a real concern among the fanbase that the people who are in high-level decision-making roles within the club don't have the ability to get things back on track," Helmes said.

"We have a board that features people who may be well-intentioned, but perhaps don't hold the right skillset to turn a struggling professional sporting organisation into a successful one."

The petition asks that all aspects of the club's management be reviewed, with numerous questionable decisions made over the last few years.

The axing of Michael Maguire led to Tim Sheens ultimately being appointed to return as head coach, despite the fact he had already once been let go by the club, and had struggled to find success in recent seasons during his tenure in England.

The situation around Luke Brooks has also dragged on. He has now signed with the Manly Sea Eagles, but the club had offered him a lucrative new deal despite eleven years at Concord without a finals appearance.

The Tigers, in that time, had a number of attempts to sign an experienced half go public, with all of Mitchell Moses, Mitchell Pearce, and Cameron Munster reportedly being chased by the club in recent times.

Comments from users who have signed the petition reiterated that the club needed change.

"I'm signing because there needs to be a thorough review of all operations, top to bottom in order to find out why the club I love is a continual failure," one user wrote.

"The club, which has launched new training facilities in recent times, has trumpeted itself as a destination club thanks to such investment. Still, another user said that doesn't cut it if results aren't being produced on-field.

"The objective of any NRL team is to win the premiership. No amount of off-field financial stability or training resources can substitute for on-field success and measured on this basis we are a failure as a club. A review must benchmark all aspects of the organisation and structure against industry best practice to understand what is wrong and how to fix it," the user wrote.

Other users suggested they don't enjoy watching the Tigers play anymore or were simply "sick" of losing.

The Wests Tigers Podcast confirmed to Zero Tackle the petition will be shared with senior management at the club.