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Thread: 2020 AGM

  1. #1

    2020 AGM

    The Club's AGM is coming up Thursday 27 February 2020 5.30 pm at Moore Park HQ, Driver Avenue. Members welcome and can ask questions. (This includnes, and I think this may be limited to, members with full membership i.e. 11 home games - not just 3 or 5 game packages. Can anyone confirm?) https://www.sydneyswans.com.au/news/552074/agm-notice

    The Agenda will be

    1.Chairman’s welcome and address to members
    2. 2019 Annual Financial Report including the Directors’ Report and Auditor’s Report
    3. Retirement and re-appointment of non-executive Directors
    4. Football update
    5. General
    6. Close

    I'm not sure that I will be able to make it. I would be interested for reports about how it goes. I'm sure at least a couple of you will attend. In particular of interest:

    * Anything interesting in the finances? Any explanation of the loss over the last financial cycle? Just a consequence of some accounting practice or other, or actually meaningful? Related to costs with new Hall of Industries?

    * Any changes in the Directors? Additions, departures, promotions, demotions? Are they all in attendance?

    * Of course, most importantly, the football update

    * also of particular interest: the Q&A.

  2. #2
    So, in the end I did make the AGM last night. Were any others of you in attendance?

    Overall, it was a bit disappointing. Andrew Pridham, Tom Harley and Charlie Gardiner presented. John Longmire was unavailable, as liz had surmised, so the football knowledge and commentary was less than it might have been otherwise. There was some discussion of training related issues but nothing really about strategy and tactics.

    Most of the directors were present: Andrew Pridham, Rob Morgan, Robert Pascoe, Andrew Ireland and Sam Mostyn at least. Brad Seymour was not present and has retired. I didn't catch if there is a replacement for him.

    In terms of finances, Andrew Pridham confirmed what we knew that after revenue of about $52m we made a $500K odd loss. This is the first time we have made an operating loss in many years. The loss is explained by (a) costs associated with taking over the Hall of Industries (and the associated bureaucracy and red tape across three levels of government); and (b) not making finals. Given the size of the revenue, the margins are small and it doesn't take a lot to turn a (small) profit to a (small) loss. If the coronavirus disrupts the season, that may be a problem. Depending on the level of disruption it could be a big problem and require some kind of assistance from the AFL. In that case, we won't be the first club to experience problems as our financial position is stronger than some other clubs.

    Crowd sizes averaged over 31,000 last year and membership topped 60,000.

    Currently membership is somewhere approaching 45,000 this year, which is ahead of where we were at the same time last year despite the fact that we didn't make finals last season. That' a credit to both the fans and to the club's membership team.

    Overall, our board is apparently of higher quality than those of many other clubs because we have a bigger and better talent pool to recruit from (Sydney being the business capital of Australia and the Swans and the Giants being the only teams in town) - kind of the converse of the problem we face when it comes to recruiting coaching and football staff.

    AFLW - we are hoping we may be able to join the competition for the 2023 season. We will need 24 months notice to prepare. Obviously having the girls in the Academy (about 1/3 of the kids in the Academy are girls) will give us a talent pipeline.

    Tom Papley - question asked but no clear answer given about whether he will be with the club beyond this season - it depends on the circumstances and what we might be offered for him to leave. Because he is contracted it requires the agreement of both clubs and the player. I.e. nothing we didn't know already.

    Re the discovery of the Joe Daniher deal - Tom Harley said he was as discreet as he could be. He pulled up directly outside the front door of his home with Joe Daniher. He said it was literally only 7 metres to the front door. Despite this at that exact moment, Adam Tomlinson happened to spot JD and the whole thing was subsequently blown open. I can't remember if this was the 'coffee date' early in the season, or something later. If it was the 'coffee date' (and I'm thinking it probably was) then why was he trying to be so discreet if it was all innocuous, as has been claimed. Maybe he wasn't trying to be discreet but he did say he couldn't have been more discreet if he tried.

    They don't think there is a developing problem with player retention (after the departure of Jones, Cameron and Papley's attempt to leave). Each had their own circumstances. Also, compared to years gone by, free agency was introduced about 6-8 years ago and is having the intended effect of increasing player movement.

    Generic answers were given to questions about air quality (yes, we monitor), mental health of players (yes, we monitor, have psychologist "embedded" in our program), mindfulness training (yes, it's an option and is part of a weekly yoga session) and general fitness (program is supervised by Rob Spurrs and we have high confidence in it and other clubs wouldn't know our GPS results etc).

    Andrew Pridham joked (I think it was mostly but perhaps not 100% a joke) about bias and corruption of umpires (in response to questioning about free kick differentials) and said there needs to be more resources put into training the umpires and there should be some whistleblowers in their midst (geddit?) to expose [the bias and corruption].

    Acknowledgment that higher salaries is the most common - but not only - reason for players to switch clubs - this is the salary cap in operation. Implied that Tom Mitchell and Nic Newman left for more money. We prioritised retention of other players and we didn't necessarily get all of these decisions right (here's looking at the Mitchell deal). Most clubs pay full salary cap and management of salary cap is "complicated". Any ways around the salary cap have all been explicitly ruled out in the rules that deal with that type of thing. Club has a strong focus on player welfare, led in that space by Dennis Carroll. They also work hard to help players transition into and out of their footy careers. They are trying to build a kind of alumni network of former players that relocated to Sydney and who have settled and remained in Sydney since finishing their careers.


    Overall it was a pleasant and low key and informal event. It took place in a modest space at the end of corridor with coaches' offices. There was perhaps about 30 people in the room all up and I'd estimate that at least half of these were Directors and staff.

    That's about as much as I can remember for now. What about you, liz? Can you add to that? If I think of anything important I've left out, I'll add it in.

  3. #3
    Thanks for that great summary, Bloodspirit. Much appreciated! Running a football club is a low margin business. Even in a good season we tend to make a small profit. This is also the case for most Clubs apart from the ones with really big supporter bases or who have developed large revenue sources elsewhere e.g. Hawthorn with the dreaded pokies.

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    It's Goodes to cheer!! Site Admin ScottH's Avatar
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    great memory bloodspirit!!
    And great write up. Thank you

  5. #5
    Update to the board members - apart from Brad Seymour, Rob Pascoe has also retired. They have been replaced by Leo Barry (You Star!) and Darren Steinberg who, probably not coincidentally, happens to be CEO of Dexus, the club sponsor: New directors join Swans Board. Leo has worked as an investment broker and with a fund manager since his playing days. Darren is apparently a property and funds management guy.

    Rob Pascoe's departure is pretty significant. He's been on the board since 2015 and seems to have been the third most senior board member behind Andrew Pridham and Rob Morgan (although, despite being newly appointed, surely Andrew Ireland's standing must be pretty high). Pascoe also seems to have been pretty involved with the club, sitting on the Heritage and Culture Committee, Audit and Risk Committee and Membership and Fan Engagement Committee.

    Board members deserve our thanks because they give of their time without remuneration as a rule, as best I can tell: see 31.1 of the Club's Constitution (available here: https://resources.sydneyswans.com.au...Swans_2019.pdf). Given that Rob Pascoe gave of his time and expertise over such a longer period he particularly deserves thanks.

    I have more to say about our Board and governance but I am collecting my thoughts and might put it in a separate thread. Incidentally, is anyone interested?

  6. #6
    And here is a link to what Andrew Pridham said in the formal part of the AGM:https://www.sydneyswans.com.au/news/...m-agm-address/. I think it covers agenda items 1-3. It confirms the directors in attendance were those I had nominated above. It also explains that two directors (Sam Mostyn and Greg Paramor) compulsorily had to retire (because they completed their three year terms) and were unanimously reappointed by the Board for further 3 year terms. I was there and had struggled to hear what Andrew Pridham said and so it was interesting to me to see the bits I missed.

  7. #7
    Yes - interested.

    On field success is noteworthy, but the off field success/stability is an integral part in creating the environment/culture for the on field.

    I knew Rob Pascoe in the mid 1990s; the company I worked for had box at the Carlton ground and I got to host it for the Swans match. A good bunch blokes and a good day out

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