Friday, 10 August 2007 3:58 PM
Forfeited Match awarded 3 – 0 to Melbourne Knights
The club wishes to advise its sponsors, members, supporters and the football public that over the past few months it has been actively seeking to reverse the decision of Football Federation Victoria (FFV) made on 13 April 2007 to forfeit the match and award it as a 3-0 win to Melbourne Knights.
After the completion of an investigation of the matter commissioned by the FFV and conducted with the cooperation of the club and following representations made by the club to FFV, the matter was referred by FFV and South Melbourne to an arbitration conducted by Mr A Garantziotis SC and Mr A Nolan SC as the first step in the formal appeal process.
The Melbourne Knights were given the opportunity by the arbitrators, as an interested party, to make submissions to the FFV. Melbourne Knights chose not to make any submissions.
The arbitrators’ decision, dated 9 August 2007, was that the FFV has power to cancel any match it has scheduled and therefore had power to cancel the Round 6 match between South Melbourne and Melbourne Knights and that the FFV acted honestly and reasonably in doing so. The arbitrators did not consider that they had any power to vary the FFV’s decision to award the match as a 3-0 win to the Melbourne Knights once it determined that the FFV had power to cancel the match.
Both the FFV and South Melbourne, in their submissions to the arbitrators, had agreed that the FFV did not have any express power under the Rules of Competition and the Regulations to award the match as a 3-0 forfeit to the Melbourne Knights.
The arbitrators, in their reasons for decision, did not find that any Rule or Regulation made by the FFV under the Constitution, applied to the decision. Rather, the arbitrators determined that the FFV has power under the FFV Constitution to schedule and therefore cancel matches because the Constitution gives the directors of FFV powers to regulate the effective management of football competitions and to act in the best interests of football.
South Melbourne is disappointed with the decision of the arbitrators. The club’s legal advice is that the FFV did not have the power to award the match as a forfeit in favour of Melbourne Knights. The club and its legal advisors are presently carefully considering the decision of the arbitrators.
The club is entitled to appeal to the Football Federation of Australia and will consider all its options at its next board meeting.