As usual, I'm conflicted about how much I should spill into a public forum about matters which the general South member would prefer remain in house. Of course, I have my principles about openness, but the process must also be respected. Then again, people will blab anyway.
Membership includes an entitlement to attend AGMs, an entitlement of course denied to non-members. Non-attendance of members complicates the issue - either people had more pressing issues to attend to, or just couldn't be stuffed coming. How do you cater to both? So once again, here are some general thoughts on what happened at yesterday's AGM.
It was good to see, for the first time in several years, a proper membership list and security presence at the door. Unlike previous year, this AGM was not hampered by the board trying to rush through the different points. Indeed, this meeting went to the other extreme, lasting for four hours, with a small break somewhere in there. 90 minutes was spent on the financial statements alone.
It was an exhausting process, but for the most part unavoidable, since there were so many crucial issues to discuss. However, going over old issues, such as the signing of the MOU (which happened four years ago) and the Toumbourou affair (which was settled last year) didn't help matters. Still, this is what the day is for.
A motion was put up by former board member George Kapnias, that in future years the annual financial statements would be mailed out along with the notice of an AGM. The reasons given were that it's not like they're not available from the ASIC website anyway, and that unlike the Melbourne Knights AGM, papers aren't collected at the end of a meeting. The motion was carried.
The lease situation remains much as it was, though I fancy things are likely to come to a head sooner rather than later. If we took the government's offer of a 21 year lease, we could sign tomorrow. But we agreed four years ago to 40 years, and the general consensus around the place is that we have a right to the 40 years as stipulated by the MOU. The intention is to fight for that part of the agreement, and rightly so.
There was an NPL Victoria update, presenting the picture and the possibilities which may unfold depending on several different outcomes happening. This week will be fairly important, with the co-signatory clubs meeting again this week, a further response by the FFA, and a court date of sorts next week.
The board explained the kind of workload they're dealing with, and the way they've split up the different projects among themselves. The double whammy of the NPL and lease issues has meant that resolving the women's team issue, or working on reform of our constitution, has basically been impossible.
With regards to players staying and players going, the big news is that apparently Fernando De Moraes has finally called time on his outdoor career - though I would like to see an official announcement of that before we get all justifiably misty eyed. Nothing beyond that was divulged, though we have apparently signed a couple of players.
There was discussion of the youth program and its alterations with regards to costs and coaching. Mistakes were admitted. Integration of the under 16s and up with vocational qualifications is a welcome development.
Lastly, George Malamas joined the committee. Over the years, Malamas has been one of the more vocal people at AGMs. I often disagree with his positions, but never doubt his passion for South. It will be interesting to see what impact he will have on the committee.
The mood overall was passionate and generally positive, especially with respect to the effort the board members put in, as well as for many of the decisions that they have made over the course of the year. A variety of people asked questions, to the point where afterwards I was told that I wasn't as vocal as in previous years.
One Last Thing
This was from after the meeting. Looks like the Hellenic Cup will once again not go ahead. Or at least, that seemed to be the chat going around, as little to nothing has been heard about it. There are apparently offers from interstate to go and play a game or two during the pre-season. We'll see how that develops.