South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South Lives On And Gears Up For Vpl And Beyond

South Lives On And Gears Up For Vpl And Beyond

Wednesday, 4 August 2004 12:00 AM

The South Melbourne name will continue to be part of Australia’s soccer landscape after securing its financial future and launching plans to compete in the Victorian Premier League (VPL) from next season.

Australia’s most successful soccer club has retained its home base at Bob Jane Stadium, and is focused in the immediate term on the appointment of a senior coach and a player recruitment campaign in preparation for the 2005 VPL season.

“It’s great news for the thousands of people who, over the past five decades, made South Melbourne one of the country’s iconic sporting clubs”, said interim president, Peter Mitrakas. “And, it’s great news for Australian soccer that it will continue to have among its ranks a club of the stature and achievements of South Melbourne.”

South Melbourne was placed in voluntary administration in April this year after accumulated debts of almost $1.8 million, with the club’s financial situation coming to a head following the dismantling of the National Soccer League and the Australian Soccer Association’s decision to not offer South Melbourne a place in the proposed Australian Premier League.

An intensive fund-raising campaign by friends and supporters of the club over the past few months netted more than $450,000, a target set by the administrator after facilitating an agreement with creditors.

“It’s been a tremendous effort by many people to raise the necessary funds, and it demonstrates the passion and dedication that is such a part of South Melbourne’s rich history.”

A six-person board has been installed, including four new directors, complemented by a number of sub-committees to focus on key aspects of the club’s on and off-field operations. Immediate past president Peter Mitrakas is acting in an interim capacity to oversee the club’s transition from voluntary administration to an ongoing concern.

“There’s much to do in the coming weeks and months”, he said. “We’re focused on doing everything we can to draw together the best available people on and off the park”.

Mr Mitrakas said the club holds long term aspirations of competing at the highest level.

“It’s a new chapter in the history of a great club”, he said. “While our short term focus is on ensuring a strong and sustainable organisation to succeed in the VPL, we owe it to our supporters to put the club in a position where we can reclaim our place among Australia’s soccer elite”, said Mr Mitrakas.

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