You know, I had this massive post in the pipeline about this, my most favourite South related event of the year. And then, just like that, another anti climax. For you see, this year is an election year. Last time elections were due, a month or two before this blog was born, there were rumours of a rival ticket being formed. They were allegedly seeking to take the club back to its Greek roots, which they had claimed had been tossed aside.
Concerned supporters met up in a semi-clandestine fashion to prepare themselves for this challenge. But no rival ticket emerged. A couple of people joined the board, and that was it. The fretting was not for nothing, as there were other pursuits this half-arsed supporter group managed to, er, pursue before internal divisions and apathy took their toll, but the immediate threat from one of the many reactionary contingents at South failed to even materialise.
Three years down the track, the rumours started again, this time from the people allegedly seeking to run for office. The threats and the clash of ideas, while they lasted, were more obvious. Not only had the club thrown away its Hellenic soul, it had been run by incompetent fools who thought they owned the club. The time was ripe for people who actually cared about the club to take over, or rather take back the reins.
But who were these people exactly? Seemingly none other than people who had been involved during the NSL years, such as Manny Anezakis and George Vasilopooulos. For many fans these names, while associated with the club's glory years, are also inevitably linked - and not without justification - to where the club found itself in the post-NSL era.
While ready to listen to the arguments put forward by representatives or supporters of such a faction as to how they could run this club better than the current mob, the personal attacks made by them don't make me think highly of such candidates. As much as I have and do disagree with many of the actions and positions held by members of the current board, the reality is I don't think I could honestly say that anyone of them considers the club their personal fiefdom.
And as to the argument that they are incompetent, the obvious riposte is if they are incompetent - and if this is true it has surely been so for a long time - why have no others in the many years following our exile to the VPL taken up the cause for the club and against the incumbents? The timing of the redevelopment deal money coming in makes such moves seem suspicious. For all their faults, this board has been the only one that has been prepared to do something to keep the club afloat.
Extended tenure is not a good enough reason to vote for or against something. It is the the vision and the arguments that count. But does that even matter, when it actuality, no rival tickets have put their names forward? It doesn't preclude from a surprise on Sunday - this is South after all - but it does seem to mean that perhaps this year's AGM will follow a slightly more predictable course - the pitch invasion; the court case; the sacking of Vaughan Coveny; the hiring of Eddie Krnecevic; looking for a general manager; fixturing; and hopefully all sorts of interesting discussions.
Lastly, it appears that apart from the current members of the board who are seeking re-election, only one person outside of that group has put their name forward for nomination - one George Kouroumalis, who has been involved with the club for several years principally with the club's multimedia and marketing wing. If that's true, there are few people I would like to see on the board more than George, as his dedication to the club has been prominent for several years at a volunteer level - and it shows also that there is a place for those volunteers to make the step up.
It won't require a popular vote, as South's unwieldy constitution - which still doesn't exist in a computer friendly format - allows for a ridiculous amount of members on its board. Though to place a caveat on that claim, as the former Morwell Falcons president Don Di Fabrizio once explained to me, it doesn't matter how large your board is, as long as everyone is actually doing something then it's not an issue.
The merits of this board's tenure are up to each South member to judge for themselves - for what it's worth, I think they could have done better. But they could have also done worse. Finding themselves in the most difficult position the club has ever found itself in, they've managed to keep the club together long enough, through the disappearance of our sporting, social and media profile, perhaps even our relevance, to the point where there is a light at the end of the tunnel - a possible future prosperity from which who knows what possibilities are available.