South Melbourne FC and the Victorian Government formally executed the Club’s new 40-year lease and license on both its Lakeside Stadium exclusive and non-exclusive areas earlier this morning.

SMFC President Leo Athanasakis described the executing of the documents as a historic moment, with the Club finally able to commence building its new administrational offices, museum, futsal court and bisto / social room in its exclusive areas.

Mr Athanasakis thanked Mr Bill Papastergiadis and his legal team at Moray & Agnew Lawyers for finalising the legal documents. “Bill applied not only expert legal knowledge to the enormous difficulties faced by our club, he also utilised his significant connections with Government to ensure that an excellent deal was achieved. There is no doubt that we would not have achieved this result without Bill’s contribution.

“This has come at significant personal cost, with Moray & Agnew Lawyers not charging any legal fees whilst Bill was on the SMFC Board of Management, therefore saving the Club over $200,000 in fees. History will record that as a significant turning point for us and I am sure that the entire South Melbourne family is extremely grateful to both Bill and Moray & Agnew.”

Mr Papastergiadis thanked Mr Athanasakis and the SMFC Board of Management for their commitment in seeing the agreement through. “Without Leo’s dedication and his participation in all meetings, this great result would not have been possible.”

Mr Papastergiadis also noted that the Greek Community of Melbourne is obliged to step in and assist any Greek entity in Victoria. “The Greek Community of Melbourne has to play a strong advocacy role for any Greek-based organisation. It became involved with the negotiations due to the rich contribution that SMFC has made to our Greek community for over fifty years and it wanted a positive result for the club.”

Mr Papastergiadis then elaborated about the new agreements executed this morning. “These agreements allow SMFC to invest towards securing the Club’s ultimate goal of playing top tier football in Australia. The infrastructure offered by the new Lakeside Stadium agreements are essential towards securing the long-term support of Football Federation Australia.”

Mr Athanasakis also thanked State Labor Member for Albert Park, Mr Martin Foley MP. “Minister Foley’s involvement was critical in achieving such a positive outcome for our club in the agreements that have been executed today.”

A very proud Mr Foley congratulated Mr Athanasakis, the SMFC Board of Management and Mr Papastergiadis. “South Melbourne FC’s new 40-year lease gives the club the security and certainty that it needs to build for the future. SMFC has been a great club for many years and today’s agreements now give it the opportunity to take its on-field and off-field activities to an even higher level.

“As the Local Member for Albert Park, I want to congratulate SMFC in negotiating such an excellent deal that secures its future at Lakeside Stadium and I look forward to visiting and utilising the Club’s new facilities when they are completed.”