Monday, 26 May 2014

The Sad State

I don't really want to write posts critical of the management of the game all the time, but what is the alternative? If you accept poor standards, you are just as complicit as those who deliver them for the sad state of affairs we find ourselves in.

A sad state it is indeed. When two Directors step down from the Board on the same day, in the same week as another CEO is turned over we are in a similar condition to the state of Denmark circa the 1500's.

To me this poses many questions. Why? What is going on? Who is to blame? Is the Board of the FFV dysfunctional? And more and more, why aren't more people demanding answers? Without any real scrutiny, it is not hard to see why the situation seems to be getting worse rather than better.

In an age when journalism increasingly seems to involve rehashing official press releases (no different to Year Seven students changing a few sentences around when copying their homework from someone else) perhaps I'm being optimistic to expect any better.

Without delving into innuendo, what we do know for sure is that:

FFV CEO Mitchell Murphy has resigned

His tenure was hardly longer than that of the previous interim appointment, Peter Gome.

FFV Director Kimon Taliadoros has tendered his resignation

From his candidacy statement we know he wanted to focus on governance. Are things that bad that he wants to disassociate himself from them after a relatively short time on the board?

FFV Director Aldrin De Zilva has also tendered his resignation

This is less surprising. Given that he is facing charges of misconduct from an Under 13's NPL fixture one may have thought that he would have been temporarily stood down immediately pending the hearing for that matter.

What adds to the intrigue in this case is that he had reported concerns about the disclosures of the financial situation of the FFV to Consumer Affairs Victoria and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. That has given the conspiracy theorists plenty to work with.

Without a media prepared to investigate or ask the hard questions, who knows when we will get any answers? The FFA has only ever proven to put in token interest in the problems of the game at the lower end of the food chain. These issues are secondary to shifting as much Socceroos merchandise prior to the World Cup as possible. No one there must care about grass roots football. As long as Timmy Cahill's fashion gear isn't made in dodgy Asian sweatshops, there's no real scandal that would concern them.

On twitter a few weeks ago I sarcastically expressed concern that Zagame's should be the naming rights sponsor of the NPLV junior leagues.

Though billed as a family restaurant, it was the connection to gaming venues that raised my eyebrow. A week later an AFL player is arrested after a fight involving security guards in which crutches were allegedly used as weapons at their Caulfield venue. There is currently no naming rights sponsor for the senior NPLV Leagues. Even if the sponsorship deal did not meet the expectation for naming rights of the senior competition, why you wouldn't have given a chain associated with gaming and alcohol the naming rights for the senior league rather than risk the junior competition being linked with drinking, gambling and violence baffles me.

I'm also taken aback that the South Melbourne television crew should be made to assemble a scaffold gantry themselves for their fixture at Werribee this week. I would have thought that if a venue didn't meet requirements, the hosts would feel more obliged to assist in overcoming any deficiencies. Throwing someone some pipes and parts and saying "there you go" does not come up to scratch in my opinion. Especially when you have some clubs being docked points for upholding the letter of the law in terms of fielding junior teams. The old saying is "rules are rules". Under the FFV it seems that some rules matter, and others don't. How's the governance on that?

Finally, it was good to see the FFV get involved in the DON'T STAND BY. STAND UP! campaign against racism. I suppose they don't have anyone there anymore who refers to "you people" in reference to ethnic clubs?


  1. Millions of dollars and thousands of participants, but no one from the mainstream press interested in what's going on. Could blame the AFL dominance for that, but it's not like our mainstream soccer press is doing their job - they'd rather be in the tent and comfortable than outside of it and a nuisance.

    1. A lot like the racing industry journos, who are all in someone's pocket. It took the crime/investigative crews to delve deeper into the Bill Vlahos fraud, with the supposed experts only joining in after the horse had bolted.

    2. The timing of Kimons resignation would most likely bevpragmatic as he sees himself alone on the Board if rumours are true. The whole notion of financial mismanagement now seems to be an argument that doesnt stack up as he has left rather than stick around to be the alternative at the next election so id have to doubt his commitment to the cause. This view is probably shaped by his attempt at power in NSW before Victoria so ive never been fully trusting. Finally, we should leave it uo to oarents to decide whether to take their kids to any establishment and i dont see zagames being a moral issue. I mean afl clubs mostly have gambling, its all over the tv, rsls have gambling and they are social institutions...

    3. I think your comment regarding Kimon is not entirely without merit, because having failed to win in New South Wales, and appearing to bail at this crucial time in Victoria, he comes across as opportunistic, even if that's not the reality. His lack of public comment upon leaving the board may be regarded as reflecting professional conduct on his behalf, but the lack of comment and his prompt departure also adds to appearance that the FFV board is dysfunctional.

    4. Anon, if a parent of a junior team who ran a bottle shop offered sponsorship would you be happy to have an alcohol logo on the front of an Under 12's shirt? I don't think it would be a great look and isn't in line with recent trends in alcohol and tobacco advertising legislation. I just don't think it is a great fit. There was a huge backlash at Melbourne Knights when Matt Thomas picked up a sponsorship from The Daily Planet, lots of it from people you wouldn't exactly call wowsers.

      Late night television is full of ads for nasal sprays, it doesn't mean people would find it acceptable to see that advertised on the kit of kids either. I still think our governing body should have put a little more consideration into this naming rights deal.

  2. Last year, Kimon Taliadoros was the sole FFV rep who bothered to attend co-sig meetings. Aldrin De Silva questioned financial management. Mitchell attended more games this year then Rendell and Gome did in the last 5 years. 2 weeks ago I actually thought to myself that things were looking up!

    Fast forward, and alas! Here we go again! Just when we seemed to take a couple of steps forward, we've now taken 10 steps backwards...

    Call it a conspiracy, call it whatever you will, But I cannot help but think there is more to Murphy's resignation than family reasons; and clearly Aldrin and Kimon viewed themselves as a package deal. Finally the big FFV wheel has eaten them, churned them and spat them out... And we, the football public will be worse off for it! One could argue that they should have stuck around and continue to fight the good fight, but I can understand that fighting the battle alone would ultimately be mind sapping with the lot they would have to work with down there.

    Unfortunately, it seems as though The Don has done it again.

    Will the FFA stand up this time??? Will they elect to remove the dysfunction or will they wait for us (zone reps) to do their work? I presume the latter....

    Sorry to lose Mitchell, Kimon and Aldrin! Wish you'd stuck it out for all of us!