Thursday, 1 May 2008

A Tale of Two Federations

First up, a press release from the FFV:

COMMUNITY Football in Victoria received a boost with the announcement of a $750,000 commitment from the Victorian Government on Tuesday at a pressconference held at Telstra Dome, one of the first steps in Football Federation Victoria’s Strategic Plan for 2008-2011.

A host of Melbourne Victory stars were on hand at Telstra Dome as Football Federation Australia, FFV and the Victorian Government, through its Department of Sport and Recreation, confirmed the funding.

Victorian Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs James Merlino made the announcement alongside FFV CEO Mark Rendell, FFA Head of Game Development Matthew Bulkeley, and Melbourne Victory CEO Geoff Miles. Rendell said the financial commitment fell directly in line with the initial stages of the FFV Strategic Plan for the next three years.

“We believe the funding made available by the Victorian Government will have a direct impact on football in this state,” Rendell said.

“We outlined in our Strategic Plan earlier this year the need to generate additional revenue to invest in the growth of Victorian Football, and this falls into line with that.

“The commitment of $750,000 from the Victorian Government is a great start to what we are trying to achieve.”

The funding has been allocated to initiatives and programs that will benefit Victoria’s football community, both in a club and school context, and has provided the FFV and Melbourne Victory with a unique opportunity to conduct new and exciting projects.

The new projects, which include the Melbourne Victory Schools 5-a-side, a Volunteer Recognition Program, Grassroots Certificate Training and Small Sided Games Communication Strategy, have already received excellent feedback throughout the state.

FFV has been a major force behind the success of the projects, which also aim to strengthen the connection between Victory and Victoria’s football community and encourage participation in school football by teachers and students alike.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be involved in grassroots football through the Melbourne Victory Schools 5-a-side,” Miles said.

Next up, an open letter from the CEO of Football NSW, Michael Quarmby, to his constituents.

There has been a lot of talk recently on the viability of clubs competing in the Premier League. Football NSW (FNSW) itself is receiving a fair share of criticism in this regard. While we do not have any control over the spending of clubs, we do have a level of responsibility to help clubs compete with an economically sound model.

The biggest expense item is players salaries. As an ex player many years ago it was nice to receive hundreds of dollars per week but the reality today is there is not enough revenue streams for clubs, ie. supporters and level of sponsorship, to sustain the costs of players wages and the rest of expenses that go towards putting a team on the park.

Part of our responsibility to help the clubs is to have the highest level of promotion that we can do. The one thing I am sure you will agree is that this level of promotion has increased dramatically over the last few years. The players and clubs are promoted on TV (Football Stars of Tomorrow), magazines (FourFourTwo), newspapers (The Daily Telegraph, Australian British Soccer Weekly, local Cumberland and Fairfax papers), radio and our website.

We receive fees from each Club for the conduct of the first grade and Under 20 competition. However, these funds fall well short of the expenditure incurred in the administration, marketing and promotion of the TeleChoice Premier League. As part of our overall responsibility to the game, Football NSW underwrites the gap between fees received and expenses. This underwriting is made possible from commercial revenues generated by Football NSW from activities separate from that of the TeleChoice Premier League competition. With the administration costs of running the League (ie. Referee fees, processing registrations and contracts, general daily correspondence and communications, match commissioners, judiciaries, fulfilling media commitments above including journalists, staff etc), there is a significant net cost to FNSW that we budget for each year in the interest of the competition and the pathway to the A-League for the players and coaches.

As I mentioned earlier, our responsibility is to help minimize the costs of clubs. The Premier League Standing Committee represented by all Premier League clubs and our competitions department are assessing all income and expenses in this regard. They are currently working on a player points system linked to a salary cap which would help in financially running their clubs for next year.

I expect that and other initiatives from the committee over the next couple of months in order that they may help the clubs for next season.

I intend where practicable to make this a regular column where I can address your issues as well as communicate initiatives we are working towards. So please do not hesitate to speak your mind in relevant issues affecting our game.

Next week a snapshot of Football NSW and what we do….

Notice any difference? Now, one wouldn't want to generalise about other federations and their motives, and make grass is greener statements. There's plenty of hatred directed at Football NSW from its own constituents to make that mistake. But look at the first article. Pay attention to how Melbourne Victory is mentioned no less than six times in about a dozen sentences. Then see the other piece and how it's all about promoting the local scene, minimising costs for clubs etc. Take note FFV. The Victory is not your concenr, They run themselves, for a profit, and will use any means and anyone necessary in order to attain it. You are there to support the people who pay your wages. Comprehende?

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