As many of us are aware, as part of a personal push to improve member/board relations, president Nick Maikousis had promised to instigate regular member forums to inform members of ongoing matters at the club - as well as receive more prompt feedback from the membership rather than wait for an AGM.
Regular member forums also reduce the time needed to be spent at AGMs as well, of course, but I guess that's more of a fringe benefit.
If you haven't noticed these promised member forums, it's because they haven't been happening this year, for obvious reasons. Still, after giving an update via the re-booted South Radio in early April, Maikousis has not made any further appearances or made any further announcements until yesterday.
As a matter of fact, South Radio also seems to have disappeared again.
All of this is understandable, because there's been both nothing happening, and a lot of stuff happening. The nothing is both on field, because no one's playing any games, as well as off field, because there'd been little obvious progress being made on a resumption until recently. But the lots of stuff happening is also true, as the club's senior teams had returned training, and there was constant talk about how the competition would resume.
Either way, it's nice to have official word on a number of issues. Of course you can all watch the video on Facebook - it's only about ten minutes long - but if you don't like the usage of the generic dance music that the club's media wing has made its signature, you may as well as read this summary instead.
This summary also has the benefit of being easier to find for future reference.
First cab off the rank is that all teams and all age groups have resumed training, which is nice I suppose. In regards to the men's season, Maikousis noted the difficulty of getting even this far into agreement to resume the season, remembering that just three NPL clubs (ourselves, Hume, and Gully) wanted to resume, and that Bentleigh have withdrawn from the 2020 season. Our club pushed for as much football as possible to be played - and thus we will (probably) have a completion of the remainder of the first half of the season, and an expanded eight team finals format.
The proposed finals format will include home and away legs. Maikousis makes no mention of matters relating to promotion and relegation for this year. It appears though that there will be a Dockerty Cup played for this season, which is nice.
The issue of a mid-season transfer window remains unresolved, though Maikousis noted that clubs may be able to use players signed for next season, for this season. How that actually works I'm not sure. No mention was made of any of our players potentially leaving for other clubs during whenever the mid-season transfer window may look like.
There was brief mention made of the women's NPL and position in that. As expected, the plan is for a full home and away season, with finals series. At any rate, there are no fixtures set for either competition at this stage.
While no direct mention was made of the possibility of crowds returning to games this year, in the event that clubs are allowed to host crowds at games in 2020, the club will extend the rights of members to use their memberships for home Dockerty Cup ties as well as home NPL games.
Though I think we can safely assume that under the current circumstances, a return to crowds is a tad unlikely.
As noted in earlier dispatches, the club is exploring the option of providing discounts to current members when renewing their memberships next season. I just hope the club's membership database is up to scratch.
Maikousis noted that Eric Zimmerman has joined the board, with his immediate remit being the building up of our sponsor portfolio and business networks. Again, this has been a stated goal of Maikousis that's been oft repeated.
The president noted that there are no outstanding payments owed to members of the current senior men's squad. I don't know what that means for members of previous squads. The club is also seeking an overhaul of the player contract and dispute resolution process, and is working with bodies such as Football Victoria and the PFA in order to avoid having an "Avondale situation" happen again, as well as I assume avoid having wage dispute matters dealt with through the media for want of appropriate dispute resolution channels.
The Chris Taylor matter has been resolved, though the nature of that issue's resolution will remain undisclosed and confidential. No surprise there. All one can say is that I'm glad that's finally over, though who knows what the monetary costs were, as well as the costs to our reputation and success on the field.
Lastly, the club is pushing ahead with trying to get the second division up and going - something about "seizing the opportunity", and offering all the resources the club has at its disposal to FFA, in order to make the dream of aspirational clubs all over the country come true. Who knew we had that many resources?