The 2013 Annual General Meeting of the Eastern Suburbs Football Association was held on Monday, with ESFA reporting on financial stability and good governance.
Raff Del Vecchio highlighted that the focus of the current and incoming Board is governance, getting the competition right, and financial stability.
Del Vecchio acknowledged that the Board, along with members Clubs, are all custodians of the game who hold the Association in trust to improve football in the Eastern Suburbs.
“As you can see from our Annual Report and our Treasurer’s AGM Presentation, ESFA has been relentless in reducing our costs,” he said.
He praised the Council Chairs for their hard work and ensuring that our programs and competitions constantly improve. Recognising football across all skill levels, Del Vecchio discussed the much refined talented player pathway that in 2014 will include the Skills Acquisition Program and, for the first time, a Regional League program.
“In the coming year we will be building up our development structures in partnership with local State level clubs to provide maximum opportunities for local kids, whether they are looking to excel at the highest level or add to their experience of community football.”
Del Vecchio commended the hard work of his fellow Board members and the ESFA staff that has paved the way for an Association with a refreshed and reformed governance, tightened competitions and finances in order.
“As an organisation we are stronger and more stable at Board level than at any time in recent memory, with capable and passionate people who bring a deep love of the game along with their many talents and bright ideas.”
On a farewell note, Del Vecchio thanked outgoing Treasurer Emmanuel Alfieris for his services on the Board of ESFA.
“It’s a testament to his strategic thinking and sensible stewardship that we have addressed the difficult situation we faced two years ago and brought the Association around to a healthy, strong and sustainable financial situation.”
Alfieris announced to the members that he would step down from the Board, following four years of service.
Delivering on its financial commitments the Association reported on an operating surplus of $87k, bringing expenses down a further $30k whilst keeping revenue from Clubs flat.
“Our net Assets are now at its highest level ever, giving a strong financial footing for ESFA,” he explained.
A focus on controllable expense has been relentless, with continuous reductions over the past three years. These have primarily revolved around employment and office rental costs.
“We’re running a tighter ship with both receivables and payables in better order.”
Financial pass-throughs (affiliation fees and referee fees) were excluded to show the true financial position of ESFA and demonstrate the efforts and achievements since 2009.
“Our expenses peaked at about $650K in 2010. It was the budget I inherited when I was elected in November 2009. By mid 2010 we identified the issue with escalating costs and took immediate remedial action. That focus and action has continued for four years – the cost base of ESFA is now almost $200K or 30% less than 2009.”
With the, biggest end of year surplus ever reported, it has provided the Association with a buffer to deal with ‘shock events’ and begin to add strategic value in new initiatives.
“We did it the hard way, by reducing expense instead of just simply increasing fees,” he explained.
“We took decision to increase reserves, or ‘net assets’ to 30% of our expenditure.”
Alfieris proudly hailed the Association’s governance as “best in class”, based on the quality of reporting and transparency.
Recognising the relentless focus on cost, Alfieris congratulated the hard work of the General Manager, Aaron Dibdin, a diligent Board and the hard working staff.
Acknowledging that there is more work to do, Alfieris highlighted that a 30% surplus on expenses had been a key policy driver for the Board.
“[ESFA] is now in a position to start adding broader value beyond just running a good competition.”
“It has been a privilege to serve on the board for last four years. After 15 years club administration I found contributing to the game at a broader level rewarding and I encourage you to also consider doing the same,” he concluded.
“I wish my successor all the best and hope that he too has the same emotionally rewarding experience as I did by serving this great organisation.”
Considerations of Motions
Two motions were passed by the membership during this year’s Annual General Meeting.
The intention of both is to empower the Board to ensure the good management and harmonious organisation of the Association for years to come.
“Working together, we are a force to behold; we have thousands and thousands of players in this region playing football and every one of them is an advertisement for our game. It is time to bring everyone together under a united banner that belongs to all of us. It is time to build a bigger and stronger association for the benefit of the entire football community,” Del Vecchio said.
Election of Directors
The election of directors saw four positions open for nominations.
Raff Del Vecchio and Ron Ogilvie were reelected with uncontested nominations. With Emmanuel Alfieris stepping down from the Board, Mark Puterflam departed his role as Small Sided Football Director as the new Treasurer of the Association.
With the Small Sided Football Director vacant, Sean Fenton accepted a nomination from the floor to take up the role, with huge support.
Induction of Life Member
Andrew Field was inducted as a life member of the Association for his services to football in the Eastern Suburbs.
Field has made a very substantial and important contribution to ESFA and football in the Eastern Suburbs and beyond for over 20 years. His nomination was received with a standing ovation.
You can read more about his induction here
Ted Simmons Junior Medal
The Ted Simmons Junior Medal was awarded to two teams, the Easts G14A and Heffron Hawks U18s, who both demonstrated the most outstanding excellence, and example of sporting conduct in an ESFA competition.
You can read more about their Award here
You can download a full copy of the 2013 ESFA Annual Report by clicking here