South Melbourne FC is delighted to announce that it has secured a 40-year lease on its Exclusive Areas at Lakeside Stadium.
South Melbourne FC President Leo Athanasakis believes that “this is one of the biggest days in the history of our Club as we have now secured our future at Lakeside Stadium for the next 40 years.” Mr Athanasakis wishes to thank his Chairman Mr Nick Galatas, as well as the rest of his Board Members in Andrew Mesourouni, Nick Maikousis, Tom Kalas, Tony Margaritis, George Triantos and Peter Parthimos, who have all worked tirelessly throughout difficult times to achieve a fantastic result for the Club.
Mr Athanasakis also wishes to thank in particular Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Greek Community of Victoria and the Club’s lawyer throughout the process of securing the lease. “Bill was invited to lead the negotiations with Government on behalf of South Melbourne FC and advise on the legal position of the Club. His appointment has been instrumental in securing the 40-year term, especially as the Club had seemingly hit a major stumbling block in negotiating with the State Sports Centre Trust (SSCT). What Bill and his team have been able to achieve is nothing short of extraordinary and the Club is blessed to have had him represent us. The deal could not have been done without him.”
Mr Papastergiadis himself is thrilled with the announcement. “We have been working tirelessly in pursuing a transformation of the Club. Leo, Andrew, Nick, Tom and the entire Board of Management are committed to taking the Club to the next level. Negotiating a resolution with the Government on the stadium lease was one of the last remaining pieces in the puzzle. The legal issues involved were very complicated, however the Napthine Government demonstrated a sincere approach to dealing and resolving these issues with us.”
Mr Papastergiadis added, “We understood the importance in securing a lease deal for the Club’s future and accordingly worked through all of the issues carefully and methodically. Minister Ryan Smith’s announcement today marks the constructive approach taken by both sides. The Coalition Government demonstrated a willingness to engage, which the Club applauds. Minister Smith has been constructive and proactive at all times in his approach.”
Mr Papastergiadis also acknowledges other Ministers involved in the process. “Many people worked behind the scenes to make this announcement happen, particularly Minister Matthew Guy, who was instrumental. Minister Guy was quick to support the Club and the Greek Community. His involvement was critical to this process and the end result. We thank Minister Guy and equally government advisers Matthew Berry and Peter Lemonis.”
Finally, Mr Athanasakis wishes to thank the South Melbourne FC members for their patience and support during the past few years whilst negotiations continued over the lease and redevelopment of Lakeside Stadium.
Upon execution of the lease, South Melbourne FC will immediately commence building its long-awaited Social Club and Futsal Centre.
Photo above includes from Left to Right the following:
Nick Maikousis (Director of Football & Sponsorship), Shannon Eeles (Liberal Candidate for Albert Park), Bill Papastergiadis (President of GOCV and Club Lawyer), Leo Athanasakis (President South Melbourne FC) Minister Ryan Smith (Minister for Environment and Climate Change) Nick Galatas (Chairman South Melbourne FC)
Tom Kalas (Board Director) Andrew Mesourouni (Director of Youth & Football).