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Post by Lee Harradine on Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:21 am

It was a very positive step to hold the members’ forum last week. Many questions were asked and answered and at a time of x=crisis for our club we all need to stand up and give support.

I raised the question of our salary cap restrictions and our finances. From being at the centre of this question for some time, I think I can speak with a deep knowledge of our financial position, as a Chartered Accountant and 5 year Finance Director. We’ve made massive headway in recent years, going from basic insolvency to being potentially debt free in a few years, with continued good management. Our past two years’ results have been the best we’ve produced in the last ten years. I’m sure the current Board will manage our business interests well, so that should continue.

The question of our financial situation and when that can translate into football spend is the key question facing our club, as the Board rightly acknowledges. Our recovery is in no small part due to the efforts of previous Boards, with Richard Sykes and other Board members forming the Wolfpack. At the end of October, the club will all but have paid out the Wolfpack.

I think I’m correct that members’ rep Richard Sykes stated we couldn’t afford to pay the extra $20,000 salary cap even if the SANFL allowed it. I hope I have quoted that correctly, but I’m happy to be corrected if it was a different Board member. I have a different opinion. Our football spend is the lowest of any club and IMO we stand to lose far more by fielding a mediocre football team in terms of crowds and patronage.

The fault isn’t at our club level, though. Again it is only my opinion, but I think the restriction on our salary cap over the past 2 or 3 years by the SANFL has been one of the most short-sighted and misguided decisions a governing body could ever make. There is a restriction on the number of interstate recruits, the junior zone handed to us a few years ago was proven to be totally inadequate (now corrected, but it has cost us 3 years), and any transfer fees we pay for other SANFL players has to come out of our salary cap. All this is a guaranteed way to keep a club uncompetitive.

I stated that Glenelg are in a far worse situation than us financially, but refuse equalisation funds so they can remain masters of their own destiny. They are top and I’m sure don't regret their decision. Our Board’s concern to get our finances right is completely understandable, but with several new previously non-West Adelaide Board members, I hope they don’t lose sight of football in the pursuit of our business aims. It’s a difficult balancing act and I don’t envy them and I’m heartened by a good, long discussion I had recently with new President Murray Forbes. I know Murray is well aware of the issues involved and deserves the support of all of us.

Murray called for all members to put up their hand to support the club. I have done that and encourage all members to do the same.

This is just a short period in our chequered history, but decisions made now will affect us over a longer period. Don’t keep quiet, make your feelings on the salary cap known loud and clear, let the Board know your priorities, debate this issue vigorously, but always support any decision the Board finally makes.

I'm sure the Board is aware that we have lost a lot of football presence on the new Board. Regular and invested football members, Robert Tidswell, Mike Memmler, Kristen Demetriou and I are no longer there, leaving Graeme Barton as the sole 'football' person left. Graeme will represent our football interests well, but I hope business is balanced with football.

Whatever is decided, we need to be strong.
Lee Harradine
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Post by Lachlan on Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:03 pm

Lee,

A very good post by yourself.

As a Football club our major PRIORITY is to put a competitive and winning team on the field.
Over the past 4 years unfortunately this hasn’t been the case.
We won 4 games last year against Adelaide and Port who had at least 12 or more top up players when we played them.


We have the lowest Football spend across all SANFL clubs and this is a MAJOR Reason why we have been unsuccessful over the past 4 years. It is absolutely Paramount that we have a FULL SALARY CAP next year.
If what Richard Skyes said at the meeting is true that we couldn’t afford to pay the extra $20k Cap if the SANFL allowed is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.

In reality is Richard saying we will be unable to  Field a COMPETITIVE league team in the SANFUL as we CANNOT AFFORD it. If that’s the case we may as well close the doors.


$20k in the scheme of things isn’t a significant amount of money.

If we don’t start putting a competitive team on the ground then COACHES,RECRUITS,SPONSORS,MEMBERS and SUPPORTERS will drop off and therefore our FINANCIAL POSITION will suffer.

IF we keep doing the same thing we will keep getting the same results.

I have been in the Banking Industry for the past 35 years and involved with many successful SA Businesses during that time. These businesses were prepared to take a few risks to become successful.
It seems to me that at the present time the club isn’t prepared to take risks.
YOU HAVE TO SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY.


We have cut expenses to the bone which includes
1.Having only 2 full time employees at the club.
2.A Part time Coach. South and Central are the only other clubs that do the same. I think Laird likes it that way.
3.The lowest Football Dept spend in the SANFL.

This year I was prepared to donate money to the club for Recruiting and I would be happy to do the same again provided the club takes a MORE POSITIVE APPROACH to IMPROVE OUR ONFIELD PERFORMANCE. AND that means SPENDING MONEY IN OUR FOOTBALL DEPT.

Why would a Coach want to coach West Adelaide knowing he doesn’t have a full salary cap at his Disposal.

It’s time things changed at the club otherwise our onfield results will continue to be the same for years to come.


Last edited by Lachlan on Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:13 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by RODH2 on Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:47 pm

Thank you to Lachlan and Lee for keeping us informed in these, let's face it, dark days for the club.
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Post by olivertwist on Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:06 pm

I like the passion and deep thought put into both those posts from Lee and Lachlan, this is a challenging time for the club and your thoughts in my opinion are on the money. I also believe without a competitive team on the field everything else is likely to dwindle and is already doing so...the finances are important but cant be the "be all and end all" to the detriment of the footy on field by a choice of not spending in that area to succeed. In all great stories, there is some sort of risk taking done to succeed and even if its a calculated one I also believe now is the time to devise that path and set it in motion quickly before the crowds drop off and the sponsors disappear.

On that note I would like to congratulate the club on the increase in sponsorship achieved this year, that is a great start to the first 100 days of the new board being put in place which will benefit us immediately but now we need to not only address our short comings from the SANFL and AFL relationships we have, but also become bold in our quest for on field success again...give the fans something to cheer about!

We need another Goal kicking machine like Adam Richardson, another rugged ball getting midfielder like Salim Hassan and another Giraffe to assist Parella. Without any sign of success on field let alone money, we cant attract these or the return of any de-listed former Westies players from the AFL.


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Post by aldo russian on Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:52 am

I feel like the members are supporting a football club and the Board is running a business. These two elements need to be meshed together because ultimately members are passionate about a footy team, not a business.
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Post by mikeme on Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:47 am

Like all members i too want a competitive team on the field each week. as mentioned in a few post above mine the balance has to be found between Business (club) and Pleasure (team).
With the resignation of Richard Sykes there is a new opportunity for someone to put there hand up and see if they can make a difference.
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Post by Lachlan on Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:36 pm

If we don’t have a full SALARY CAP next year obviously the balance between Business and FOOTBALL isn’t BALANCED.

Surely having a FULL SALAY CAP is a Fundamental requirement of any BUSINESS In a Sporting Environment.

Lachlan
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