South Radio has put up a rather good interview with club president Nick Maikousis. For those not keen on listening to the full 30 minutes, here's a brief summary, though I won't have done the interview justice.
Maikousis notes that all operations at the club have shut down at all levels. Seniors mens, womens, juniors, the lot. Senior players are still training in isolation, under a stressful situation. Some players are entirely reliant on football income to make a living, but all of our contracts are game based.
Maikousis does not foresee the season resuming. That's interesting in itself, because as yet I have not seen anyone in any senior position in Victorian soccer making a statement like that, despite its obvious plausibility. He does throw up a rough scheduling model under which he believes that the 2020 NPL Victoria season could resume, but the time-frame would be tight - and it would be difficult for clubs whose grounds become unavailable in the off-season to maintain access to grounds, should the season be extended.
(largely left out of the discussion is what impact such a catch-up model would have on the condition of grounds having to take up at least two senior and reserves matches a week)
With his belief that the 2020 season is unlikely to resume, Maikousis goes on to discuss modelling of what a season without football will look like for South across the board - in terms of sponsorship, membership, costs, etc. He goes on to make the claim that for South, match day revenue is less important than it is for other clubs - which makes the idea of resuming under a closed-doors system less likely to happen in his opinion. The line that the club's revenue focus is now on sponsorship sits in line with comments made at the most recent AGM, but it is a comment which also downplays somewhat the fretting over lost match day revenues due to both our recent (past two years) poor form, and especially the impact of the live streaming og every NPL game.
While nothing has been settled yet, there is the possibility that those who have already paid sponsorship and/or membership fees, may have their benefits rolled over into next year, especially in the event that the entire season is called off. This would be an interesting move, with quite a few variables. What if a junior player does not return next year? If a sponsor's business is effected so much that they cannot continue into next year, if say, they've only made part payment? Still, best to wait and see what actually happens with the rest of the season, and event what Football Federation Victoria will end up doing with its operations.
The club is working through the ramifications of the shutdown on our various facilities, which includes the Middle Park and Caulfield grounds as well as Lakeside, and the rental and financial obligations related to those. The club will also investigate the various government subsidies which have emerged as a result of the corona virus shutdown. There was no mention of the effects on the sub-lease of the social club operations. Maikousis did note however, that the club's external debt repayment plan - originally slated to be complete by the end of 2020 - would likely be pushed out by three months.
After the broadcast was published, there was going to be a meeting between the various NPL clubs to discuss the situation.
Maikousis also provided an update on a meeting with PFA head John Didulica, regarding the recent accusations of unpaid wages. Maikousis made the point that the issue was not about wages, but rather about end of contract terms regarding players who left during the middle of the season - an issue which is being resolved, or close to being resolved. The president also claimed that the club and the PFA are in agreement about the lack of an adequate dispute resolution process when issues arise between clubs