Monday, 12 November 2012

3XY Radio Hellas stick to its guns...

... and fires a few more shots across the South Melbourne bow.

Last night's sports program on 3XY Radio Hellas was some of the most incredible radio I've ever heard. Among the many feelings the program evoked were fascination, disbelief and incredulity. It was also often an unnerving listening experience. The stakes have been raised.

Throughout the extraordinarily lengthy coverage given to the issues covered in the Ta Nea's recent articles - I would hazard that at least 70-80 minutes of their alloted 130 minutes was spent on the matter - there was the constant and very defensive catchcry about the lack of a personal agenda in pursuing these matters.

What was particularly mind boggling to them (and to me, although for different reasons) is the way that the Ta Nea articles have created a sense of panic among South's supporter base. They're confused because they believe they are reporting the truth - however I'm confused as to why they're confused about the panic that's spread which is an inevitable result of the articles they've written.

The great swathe of South supporting family, for better or worse, relies on either the South official site or the local Greek press for its information. The former has been near silent on the issues as covered by Ta Nea, excluding whatever material they've published before. The latter saw a chance for some cheap thrills, and have run with it.

The net effect? People brought up in a culture where corruption from authority figures is seen as de rigueur - indeed those who are not corrupt are as σουρδοι, a word from Kozani meaning naive, innocent, with an unusual negative attachment to it - buying into these conspiracies.

One major breakthrough is that the Greek Media Group, in one of its guises, finally put names to the disaffected former committee members. These are now confirmed to be George Koukoulas, Lucky Chrisomalidis and Tom Karatzas.

Among the other claims that the program made either directly or indirectly:
  • That the club disrespected the two people who loaned the club money back in 2004, Chris Christopher and Tony Toumbourou.
  • That the club has disrespected former president Leo Anezakis and his family.
  • That the club was being run like a dictatorship.
  • That anyone who agreed with the board is a sycophant. 
Prominent longtime supporter George Karantonis (who also hosts a Greek sports radio show on community radio station Southern FM) was also on the show. Karantonis is a regular contributor to the 3XY sports program. He complained about:
  • The fact that South no longer controls Lakeside.
  • The $2.50 Ticketmaster ticket surcharge on games at Lakeside.
  • That South is the only club not working with the other clubs to, I assume, oppose the NCR reforms (an approach other supporters are also concerned with).
  • Treatment of life members (one of his favourite causes)
  • Regarding the $300,000 annual government stipend (I suppose about it not being used correctly), acting as if it that money is clear profit.
  • About the changes to the junior academy, berating both the costs, while claiming that the club will pocket about $30,000 profit from the program.
  • Smoking bans inside the stadium on match days (though he was corrected by one of the hosts, who mentioned that this is no different to AAMI Park or the MCG)
Another longtime supporter and volunteer, named Argiri, was also given time to air his grievances. His main complaint was that the club's plans for the social club would be disastrous, having being attempted before under previous administrations with no success. This was the same position he took at the meeting where the club's plans for the social club were detailed - for details of that meeting, see this post.

There was no mention however, that rightly or wrongly, most of the supporters in attendance were supportive of the club's direction on this matter. The way the matter was presented on the show was thus incredibly skewed toward Argiri's (and George Koukoulas') minority position.

Equally, when they had asked people to call in, the reaction to those callers (all off air) that seemed to criticise the Greek Media Group's approach was noticeably hostile. If this is the 'Greek community's team' (a laughable and long outdated notion), surely those who support the current committee have just as much right right to have their views heard fairly as do the naysayers?

The presenters and contributors also asked what the board have achieved in the past seven years. The focus was often on on field results, and well, who hasn't been annoyed by them? Equally they could ask their frequent guest Aki Ioannas of Oakleigh what they've achieved in the same time period. Or any of the big spending clubs who haven't managed to snare a title.

If we're talking about off-field issues though, well, including those persons who are now on the outer, the board has actually done a pretty decent job of keeping the whole thing afloat for as long as they have, to the point where it seems we've turned things around and are ready to build again instead of just survive.

What's odd though, is that despite all the problems and mistakes the club has made over the past seven years, and all the enemies and enmities that they've racked up, that not one of those three aforementioned persons, who have spent varying amounts of time on the committee since the end of the NSL, are apportioned any of the blame for these failures.

I Hope You Guys Know What You're Doing Department
The relative silence on all these issues being undertaken by the club is intriguing, and not without risk. By not responding, they're obviously taking the chance that the momentum of this anti-committee campaign will eventually run out. Combine that with a belief that the proof will be in the pudding - Toumbourou's sons dealt with, social club and lease sorted, balance sheets in the black - and the hope that news of these possible successes will filter through to the hoi polloi.

Mud sticks. But I suppose getting dragged into a street fight isn't worthwhile either - you end up lowering yourself to the level of those making vague accusations, hiding behind phony anonymity, and you lose anyway. And what chance is there of actually changing people's opinions, when people would rather believe the worst?

The notion that 3XY/Ta Nea has offered an opportunity to the board to tell their side of their story, and that they've knocked it back, won't play well in the sticks. But if the board wants to stick to their approach, especially after reportedly being black banned from the program for about a year anyway, that's their prerogative.

Here's hoping that it all goes to plan.

Also interesting was later on they had a representative from Bentleigh Greens on the show, who was at a loss to explain the poor crowds his team got in 2012 despite playing well, making finals etc. He seemed to put the blame squarely on Joe Public (and in my mind, not necessarily without good reason), but I couldn't think of why the hosts let him get off so easily for making that call, and especially how $12 was not expensive in terms of ticket prices, when earlier assertions were made that South's current committee were to blame for poor attendances since the end of the NSL, and that the Ticketmaster surcharge, which the club does not control nor receive, was somehow excessive.

Lastly, Hellenic Cup committee chairperson/president (and a 'χωριανό' of my dad) Jim Massis stated that the Hellenic Cup would not be held next year, as the organising committee had not received any expressions of interest to host the event. He appeared to apportion blame towards the restructure of the league system, rather address the issue of host clubs not making any money from the competition. Is this the end of the tournament? Wait and see I guess.


  1. Sth Fans & people are being taken for a massive ride.

    You've got the Stamoulis Press that has black banned any positive news from Sth. Stamoulis has private interests in a football Academy run by his muppet Dallas. Who in fact was sacked from Sth for incompetence.
    Stamoulis is obviously a shareholder of Victory who is having a massive fight over there & is on his way in being kicked out.
    He has an axe to grind with Sth over Dallas. & is trying to convince Victory hierarchy that he can bring all the Greek community to Victory including Sth Stadium & grounds.

    Next , Steve Agi that wrote the defamatory article tin The Stamoulis press, tried to screw Sth for thousands. Luckily they shut him out & pissed him off.

    Next, those 3 ex committee clowns Karatzas Lucky Koukoila were thrown out for being incompetent, & mismanagement.

    Now you have these 5 so called upholders of community morality conspire & use the Touburrou evil son's attempt to sink the club as a means of trying to damage those that have acted appropriately in banishing them from Sth.

    Sth fans are not stupid. They can see right through these clowns

    Deep Deep Throat

  2. This George Koukoula tried derailing the members forum with his own personal agendas.

    Seemed bitter and twisted that night and his sidekicks tried having a go as well. Then an old school member went off and put him in his place.

    Looking forward to my first AGM, if the members forum was anything to go by.. The AGM will go off!

  3. Funnily enough, the old school member was George Karantonis.

  4. My father in law is a Victory shareholder, Stamoulis has told him if he supports his attempt to overthrow the current Charirman (who he in fact intiially supported) he can get Lakeside Stadium & Melb Greek community to Victory and the business will grow for all their benefit.

    The guy is a snake

  5. I would just like to ask the people posting comments in this article to be careful with their statements.

    Do not be surprised or alarmed if they get deleted, or not put up at all. At the very least, please try to be civil.

  6. No South Melbourne, no A' League. Is this the right forum to express this?

    1. Slightly bizarre, but your statement is noted.

  7. Thank goodness for this blog. This place seems to be the only reasonable and reliable source for South talk.

  8. Having a team in the VPL is one of the hardest gigs...everyone give the Sth Melbourne committee a break. Its near impossible to attract crowds to the VPL these days.

    1. People should be able to go in hard, but they also need to be fair and responsible. The people coming up with these articles have been in the media game for a while now, and a lot of their work on these matters has been sloppy and unprofessional. They can do better, even if they come up with conclusions myself, supporters or the committee doesn't like.

    2. Valud point but the reason that these articles are sloppy & unprofessional is because they are written with intentional malice to create a perception that there is 'mismanagement' at the club. When in actual fact we all know that they've been working like buggerry to keep things afloat and now after 4 years or so they've turned the corner and professionalising the club.

      The agenda being pushed by those ex committee men, Stamoulis, Toubourou & Steve Agi is way too obvious.

      All they have really done is pissed everyone off. If I was a betting man, I'd put my money on Sth.

  9. Sth are preparing legal cases against that Peter Toumbourou that will make their success against the FFV look like childs play.
    The old man Toumbourou was a gentleman and great benefactor to the club.
    Whereas the son is a half wit being manipulated by Stamoulis for his own ends. The club has made offers to the son as early as last year, and the clown has gone public to the newspapers after consulting with his mate Stamoulis. Why didnt he accept the Sth offers? Why try and take the club on? Who benefits by this approach apart from his mate?
    He will get what he deserves now.

    Whereas the 'sloppy/unprofessional' defamatory remarks by that other clown Steve Agi, pretending to be a journalist, will be dealt with I am sure.

    The 3 stooges, Koukoula Lucky & Karatzas, are so far out of their depth its not even funny. Doesnt surprise anyone that they've aligned themselves with the Stamoulis Press. Well done boys.

    This is going to be fun to watch, even beats the 'Bold & the Beautiful'on TV.

    Deep Deep Throat

    1. A few people seem quite confident of success. Me, I think we've seen too many surprise turns while following this club to be so bold. To borrow from your analogy Deep Deep Throat, I'm still waiting for the appearance of the long lost evil twin brother to show up.

  10. I'am buying the popcorn :))

    SMFC v Stamoulis Press (with OPA magazine, the 3 Stooges, & Junior Toumbourou)

  11. South has the best footballing set-up in the country. A world class boutique stadium to play out of, a social club to be redeveloped and junior pitches/facilities in a prime central location. The current board has done the hard yards in regards to all of the above as we were basically fucked 7-8 years ago. NOW we have the situation of all the leeches, hustlers and scumbags trying to muscle into the gold mine that is Lakeside Stadium. Forget about the results of the senior team over the past few years, it's basically irrelevant to this issue. South's 'wealth' lies in it's venue and the deal struck with the govt something that others with agenda's want to get their grubby hands on. The club must do everything in it's power to protect it's assets.
    Ta Nea and the Stamoulis press is a joke of the highest order. Simply amatuer hour they are. Any reasonable person would laugh at how they are 'reporting' this issue.

  12. It really upsets me to read such disunity that has resurfaced at our club. It reminds me of the mid 90's when we were bottom of the NSL ladder and everyone was after Frank Arok's head and calling for the sacking of the board.

    I truly believe that we will once again grace top tier football in this country again however as the bickering continues we will still play against teams like Oakleigh and Thunder instead of Victory & Sydney.

    Maybe that's what we deserve anyway.

  13. I need another bucket of popcorn!!
    Yesterday the Stamoulis press has demanded Smfc stop ignoring their demands to reply to rumours & falsehoods.

    Then you had the Sydney paper expose Stamoilis'3XY for outright vindictive bias when they blocked multiple calls of support for the club's position on Sundays program.
    Wonder what happens today ??

  14. Now that there is a steady income streaming into the club it's sad to see vultures circling up above.

    Deep deep deeper throat.

  15. Paul you arxidi, you sound just like koukoulas the mounopano. Justice is coming your way

    1. OK, I think that's the first time I've ever been compared to Koukoula. I'm interested of course in what kind of justice is coming my way, and why. Can you elaborate on both these points?

  16. The only justice coming will be to the smiling assassins that are trying to destroy a childrens soccer club, a volunteer based non profit organisation doing they best they can by a bunch of volunteers with heart and soul, something that those greedy manipulative underhanded snakes do not possess, hence why they have come after South like hungry snakes. Grow up this isnt a devils playground this is a childrens playground!!!
    Karma will hit you like a tsunami! YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CANT HIDE!
    (especially now that you have all been exposed)

  17. Giannh Vithoulka geia :),
    Pareme se parakalw sto 0426569377 thelw na sou milhsw :) ...

    Me agaph Xristou,


  18. John Vithoulkas is not associated at all with this website. Who knows though, maybe he'll look back at this thread one day and give you a call.

  19. Wow! If it was possible, this should be pinned!

    I got here via the video from last night posted by Tony Danilis. I then clicked on your tagged name, and found some 2012 3XY rants. Then I came here and found this!

    Curiously, Koukoulas tried a similar thing at last years AGM.


A few notes on comments.

We've had a lot of fun over the years with my freewheeling comments policy, but all good things must come to an end. Therefore I will no longer be approving comments that contain personal abuse of any sort.

Still, if your post doesn't get approved straight away, it's probably because I haven't seen it yet.

As usual, publication of a comment does not mean endorsement of its content.