This statement is made on behalf of the 64 major Victorian football clubs, identified as the Co-Signatory Clubs, which opposed the introduction of FFV’s model for the NPL. It responds to FFV’s statement released late last Friday.
In the view of the Co-Signatory group, the statement, which was expressly made by the FFV Board and not its management, was misleading, regrettable but unsurprising.
Nevertheless, the Co-Signatory clubs were very disappointed by it, as they had been engaged in lengthy and positive discussions with FFV, facilitated and attended by FFA. At the initial meeting, the FFA was represented by its senior management and the FFV by its President, CEO and NPL Manager.
Indeed, the FFV had publicly described the discussions as positive and as recently as last Monday, had moved to the point where FFV management was comfortable in proposing a resolution to its board which the clubs’ representatives had indicated was acceptable to the clubs.
Against that background, the board of FFV announced late on Friday that the NPL would not be introduced in 2014. Having made its decision early last Friday, it did not think it appropriate to liaise further with the clubs or the mediator, nor to advise the clubs that it had ended the discussions which its management had initiated and involved the FFA, which had made such substantial progress. Instead, it reverted to its high-handed and unilateral manner with which it has mishandled the implementation of the NPL in Victoria from the outset.
The Co-Signatory clubs view its expression of “regret” and “disappointment” as disingenuous and counter-productive and greet it with disbelief. What it meant by “unable to reach a sustainable agreement” remains a mystery and would be amusing if it weren’t so serious and if it didn’t reflect so poorly on those who purport to represent the game, to protect its proud legacy in this State and to promote its enhancement.
To revert to publicly seeking to reduce the dispute to being between the FFV and two zone representatives, after all that has occurred in recent times, demonstrates bad faith. It knows that the zone representatives have brought the court proceeding, (which now resumes in the Supreme Court on Tuesday), on behalf of clubs and that it is supported by very many clubs representing a broad and diverse cross section of the game and includes all VPL and most State 1clubs. It is also supported by a majority of the zone representatives and FFV members.
It also knows that the court proceeding has been brought in this way because of the provisions of the Constitution and that its negotiations have been conducted with the clubs.
The Co-Signatory clubs remain committed to establishing the NPL in Victoria from 2014 in a manner which meets FFA criteria, is financially viable and protects the great legacy of Victorian football as it moves to the next level of development in step with the national advancement of the sport.
The Co-Signatory clubs will continue to pursue this commitment purposefully, professionally and cooperatively, free of any distraction caused by the so-called ‘Strategic Plan’ of the FFV which is irrelevant to it and an impediment to the successful introduction of the NPL. They will not be inhibited by those few individuals currently frustrating the successful introduction of the NPL in Victoria from 2014.
The Co-Signatory clubs are meeting on Tuesday 12th November. At this meeting the clubs will determine the next course of action – Supreme Court Directions hearing is scheduled for Tuesday 12th November to determine a court date in 2014
Nicholas Tsiaras – Vice President – Box Hill United SC
Tom Kalas – Director – South Melbourne FC