President’s Message to Members and Supporters – October 2020
As I write this message we are at the start of the finals season for footy. It is so disappointing for our Club not to be competing in finals at any level this year, and I know how much this hurts everyone involved. The hard work that has been done across all sections of the Club seems to have gone unrewarded, particularly in the on-field results. It’s been a year of disruption, uncertainty and dissatisfaction and I completely understand the impact this has had on players, coaches, employees, volunteers, members, supporters, sponsors and the whole Westies community.
The Board of Directors, along with the CEO and Club Management, want to assure you that we are not taking our lack of on-field success lightly. We understand that our player recruiting will be critical over the next few months and that it is imperative that we retain players too. Much is being done by our Football Director to ensure that full support is being given to everyone involved in recruiting and player management. I must commend our playing group this year for their high level of effort and engagement, despite suffering from the inevitable fatigue that sets in when the win/loss ratio is not in our favour. I’m sure that our fabulous win in the final round at The Parade, however, will give players a great springboard as they start preparing for next season. Stay tuned for further footy updates over the coming weeks as we work towards a stronger 2021.
I must also say an enormous “thankyou” to Club members and supporters who have stuck with us throughout the whole year and beyond. I understand how difficult it is to remain positive during the hard times. It takes character and belief to stay the course. Westies people have always had a deep loyalty to our Club and this is what will ultimately underpin the positive results that will eventuate. I want you to know that the Board and the CEO appreciate all the support that you give the Club and that we are working as hard as possible to create the outcomes that we are after. I particularly want to acknowledge all those who made donations to our “Keep The Pack Running” campaign which raised in excess of $33,000 for the Club. It is wonderful to see the generosity of spirit that this represents.
It’s important that I let you know about the financial position of the Club at this time. You’ll recall that the Finance Director published an update back in July in which he reported that the Club was in a good position, despite the problems caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. Since then, we have continued to trade well and I’m confident that we will report a strong profit for the financial year ending 31st October 2020. Our balance sheet is the strongest it’s been for many years with amounts owing to creditors being the lowest I can recall and certainly well within trading terms. This puts us in a position where we can invest more in footy in the months ahead. Next financial year will continue to be a challenge however, and the Club will still rely heavily on improving its revenue streams to fund more footy investment. The Board recognises that on-field results must improve if we are to gain more revenue. It’s also worth noting that, at the time of writing, the amount of player salary cap across all SANFL clubs has not yet been set by the Commission. However, we are budgeting to take advantage of the full amount available once the salary cap is announced for next year.
I encourage all members to visit our website regularly. It’s our main method of keeping you informed. You’ll notice that it now displays the number of active members following a suggestion made at the Annual General Meeting this year. It’s pleasing to note that we have more members now than at the same time last year. We need to keep member numbers growing, so I encourage all of you to talk to friends and family and ask them to get on board. By the way, keep an eye out for notice of our upcoming member forum and start preparing your questions for the Board – more details to be announced soon.