President Report

President’s Message to Members and Supporters – June 2019

I am pleased to provide this update following our most recent board meeting, which was held on Monday 24th June. We were honoured to host representatives from SANFL who presented the board with updates about future strategies and planning for SA footy, as well as commentary about how our own club performs relative to some overall key performance indicators. It was highlighted that we are still well behind expectations of revenue and cash-flow generation, noting however that some improvements are starting to flow into our results. I note that the gala auction event exceeded financial expectations, which is a real positive, and I thank all those who contributed to its success. We are currently working on realigning our financial budget so that it is more realistic, and so that it can be used more effectively as a planning tool for improvement.

The board is also working towards holding a strategic planning day for the board, to be run by a professional facilitator, very soon. This will help us to crystallise our overall goals for the club, and will result in clearer and better-defined plans for long term growth and stability. I will keep you informed of the progress of this in the weeks ahead.

Some of you attended our member forum evening on 12th of June, where you were able to discuss matters of concern face to face with the board. I thank those who were able to be present, and trust that you gained some benefit from the event. I know that the board was pleased to receive your valuable input and is working through it to ensure each item is addressed as soon as possible. I announced at the event that the West Torrens council has just approved the development of a master plan for our club’s facilities. This plan will be the start of laying the pathways towards improvements so we can become a hub of football and other community activities in our area. We have the support of our local council in this venture, and we look forward to working with them on this project.

Sadly I must inform you that our oval precinct director, Vice President Richard Sykes, tendered his resignation last weekend. This created a casual vacancy on the board, for which we are currently seeking a candidate who is suitably qualified to oversee the oval precinct activities. Football director, Graeme Barton has accepted the role of Vice President in the meantime. The board will appoint a replacement for Richard as soon as possible, as the role of oval precinct director urgently needs to be filled. There is much to be done in this area.

The board meeting held on 24th June considered the financial results as at the end of April, and noted that we are approximately $110,000 short of our cash earnings budget for the financial year. This continues to place the club under pressure. Your directors are exploring every avenue to turn this around. Unfortunately we have identified approximately $27,000 of debts owed to the club which will never be collected. Some of these go back as far as 2015. Accordingly, it was resolved to write these off as bad debts in the month of June. This will have a one-off impact on the June reported profit, but will realign the balance sheet to reflect the position that should have been shown as at 31st October 2018 in the Annual Report of the club. Steps are also being taken by your current board to ensure that this situation is not allowed to reoccur in the future.

In the meantime, our club committees have been very busy, under the leadership of your board of directors. A major point of focus in the immediate future is to re-engage with club sponsors to ensure that we are meeting their expectations. Our club cannot succeed without sponsor support, so the Marketing and Commercial Sponsorship committee has designed several initiatives to address this critically important aspect of club activities. Additionally, the Assets and Venue Management committee is working closely with our newly-appointed Venue Manager, Tony Waterman to make sure that we consistently offer quality and value experiences to members and visitors. Our People, Culture and Governance committee is currently putting together plans so that the club is in the best position to minimise risk, while our Finance committee has been working hard on preparing a three year financial plan to pave the way for future sustainability. Our Football committees are working very hard to ensure that the right strategies are put in place for the rest of the season and beyond.

As I’ve stated several times before, I’m a great believer in open and transparent communication. It is my intention to keep members and supporters informed as much as possible about important issues in our club. Of course, communication is a two-way street so I welcome feedback and comments at any time.

Murray Forbes