President’s Message to Members and Supporters – October 2019
It’s been two months since I wrote my last message, and it makes me realise just how busy the last couple of months have been. There have been some significant events in that period, including:
The finalisation of the Board’s three year strategic plan now provides a framework for the future, setting and formalising the pillars of the club. These are:
Community and Fans
Each pillar has a set of objectives, goals (key performance indicators), strategies and tactics for which Board members are responsible. The Performance Management Framework system will assist Directors as they strive towards achieving the goals that underpin each pillar. Directors are required to provide regular reporting at Board meetings about their progress.
On the 17th of September the club Finance Committee made a formal presentation to the SANFL Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, setting out our expected trading results for the financial year ended 31st October 2019 and the budget for the 2020 financial year, along with a three year planning document. We reported that 2019 has been a difficult year, with an expected reduction on last year’s result, caused in part by many extraordinary and unforeseen expenses. We advised that we are budgeting in 2020 for a lift in statutory profit but that we will continue to need the assistance and support of SANFL as we implement the changes necessary to return to sustainable cashflow. Generating enough positive cashflow to meet all the club’s obligations continues to be a challenge, but the Board and management of the club have a clear plan to turn things around. In particular, we believe there are many opportunities for improvement in the way that the licenced venue operates. In preparing next year’s budget, we built in an assumption that we would return to a full salary cap, have an extra allowance for transfer fees, as well as allowing for full-time employment of the Senior Coach. We received a very encouraging reception from SANFL and expect to hear the results of their deliberations in the next few weeks. They understood that the Board had already made many changes to the operations of the club and that positive financial results will follow in due course.
I’m very pleased to announce the appointment of Marteine Edwards to the casual vacancy on the Board. Her tenure is until the February 2020 Annual General Meeting, so she will be working very hard to come to grips with her portfolio in that short time. The Board appointed her in the capacity of Membership and Marketing Director, as we believe that this is an area of the club where more focus and resource is needed, especially as we review our membership strategies for next season in line with our target for growth in member numbers. Marteine is highly skilled and experienced in the role, and I know she will make a difference to our club. In the meantime, the portfolio of Oval Precinct Director has been absorbed into the activities of the staff, and our CEO Ben Hopkins is currently overseeing this role.
The footy season is over for 2019. But there are many tasks ahead as we prepare for next year. We are deep into recruiting discussions and salary cap modelling, as well as making sure we have the right support staff available. You’ll notice on our website that we are seeking expressions of interest for support staff, and that we are advertising the position of Football Director which will become vacant at the Annual General Meeting in February next year. Don’t forget to check our club facebook page regularly, as it is a great platform for keeping us all involved in the day to day activities of the club. I look forward to reading your posts.