Letter to FFV 7 08 13 .pdf

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Original filename: Letter to FFV 7_08_13.pdf
Author: Nicholas Tsiaras

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Open Letter to the Football Community of Victoria

7 August 2013

Mr Mitchell Murphy
Chief Executive Officer
Football Federation Victoria

Dear Mr Murphy

Re: National Premier Leagues - Victoria
Your interview with MFootball.com.au published today reveals clearly the reasons why the game has
reached this very low ebb under the stewardship of the current FFV Board and management.

Instead of addressing the concerns raised by an unprecedented union of clubs on a single issue, you don’t
even acknowledge the genuineness of their action. Rather, you express confidence that they will change
their mind and apply! That is a reckless and disrespectful approach. Reckless because if they don’t apply
(and they won’t), you are leaving our game high and dry with a paucity of applicants for the NPLV which we
agree should commence in 2014. Disrespectful because you still continue to ignore and effectively
disbelieve what the clubs are telling you.

Pressing on in a transparent attempt to try and frighten a number of clubs into applying for fear of the
alternative or even each other is unacceptable governance. Assuming that happens and you are proven
correct, you will have enticed a number of clubs to apply to join a process against their better judgement
and despite their serious concerns out of fear of the alternative. Irrespective of your view of the merits of
the FFV model for the NPL, these clubs are telling you they disagree with you and hold serious concerns for
it and how it will affect them. Your response is to seek to hold firm so that a number of these clubs might
reverse their decision for reasons which ought not be relevant.

This position adopted by the FFV comes on top of your recent invitation to clubs, at the eleventh hour, to
submit non-conforming bids, whatever that means. The process has now become an unedifying and
embarrassing shambles. Again, we call upon the FFV to stop and take seriously our concerns.

The clubs, individually and jointly, recently and over the past few months, have repeatedly sought to have
the FFV seriously consider their concerns. To say, therefore, that you have had an open door policy and to
imply that the clubs don’t want to discuss their concerns with FFV, is to effectively brand them liars and
allege they must be taking this difficult, frustrating and time consuming action for some other reason. The
fact is FFV has not taken the clubs’ concerns seriously at all which has brought the clubs, so many of us, so
diverse and from so many levels of the game, together.

Notwithstanding that yours and Tim Frampton’s invitation to attend the clubs’ meeting on 23 July was
revoked (as it was expected some sensitive matters might be raised), FFV Board member, Kimon Taliadoros,

did attend and remained with the clubs’ consent. Besides, to latch on to one meeting among clubs as
evidence of the clubs not wishing to discuss matters is disingenuous and displays bad faith. There have been
many opportunities before and since that meeting to discuss our concerns which the FFV has spurned. The
FFV weren’t denied access and anyway, that meeting wasn’t called for the purpose of discussing concerns
held by the clubs with FFV.

Rather than debating the merits of our concerns in the media, you might do it with the clubs. But you can’t
do that while at the same time letting the process run so that applications close on August 16. To do that
would just show, yet again, that you are not serious about addressing the concerns of the clubs and as with
your ‘extensive consultation process’ your understanding of consultation amounts to no more than listening
before forging ahead with your plans regardless.

If you want to talk to us, don’t do it via the media. Instead, suspend the process, come and sit down with us
and have the discussion. I think we would all prefer that. If FFV does not advise us by 4pm tomorrow that it
will suspend the process and meaningfully address our concerns, the clubs will unfortunately be forced to
take legal action.

On behalf of the 47 Co-signatory clubs

Tom Kalas


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