From the Frankston Standard Leader
Reported by Christian Tatman - Frankston Standard Leader
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Frankston state Labor MP Paul Edbrooke with club stalwart Bryan Mace at Frankston Oval. Picture: Andrew Batsch
FRANKSTON Dolphins Football Club has received a massive boost with the State Government waiving a huge chunk of its debt.
State Labor MP Paul Edbrooke announced today that 90 per cent of the debt owed to the government had been waived following tough negotiations.
Mr Edbrooke would not reveal the figure, however, the Leader understands it is about $450,000.
“I made it clear losing the Dolphins was not an option,” Mr Edbrooke said.
“After weeks of negotiations I have secured an agreement with the State Government — one of the Dolphins’ largest creditors — which waives more than 90 per cent of the club’s debt to the government.
“This puts the club in a remarkably better position to move forward and reclaim a VFL licence.”
Mr Edbrooke said the move went a “long way to saving the Dolphins Football Club”.
And council has also stepped in — relinquishing $50,000 owed by the Dolphins.
Council CEO Dennis Hovenden said any further reduction of the remaining $18,000 owed would be at the discretion of the newly-elected council.
Club stalwart Bryan Mace and Frankston state Labor MP Paul Edbrooke celebrate the news. Picture: Andrew Batsch
Dolphins great and steering committee member Peter Geddes said the debt relief was good news.
“We still have some final negotiations around aspects of the debt. We are hoping that the final negotiations go well,” he said.
Supporters were aiming for the club to come out of administration within several weeks, he said.
“If it all falls well we get the club back in a couple of weeks.”
Mr Geddes said it was likely a general meeting to elect a new board would be held soon.
The Dolphins were sensationally booted out of the VFL in September after AFL Victoria said its $1.5 million debt was too significant to ignore.
At the time legendary Frankston administrator Bryan Mace said he was staggered the AFL would not intervene and described the situation as a “kick in the guts for our community”.
Members are now adamant the club can be resurrected for the 2018 season.
High-profile former Hawthorn president Ian Dicker, who led the resistance to the Hawks’ proposed merger with Melbourne in 1996, is supporting the club.
AFL Victoria’s decision to boot the Dolphins out of the competition followed a multi-million dollar redevelopment of the Kars St social club.
Mr Hovenden said council was committed to ensuring its investment in Frankston Park was secured for the community to enjoy “now and into the future”.
“This includes allowing other users access to the facilities during the 2017 season and beyond,” he said.
Dandenong Southern Stingrays TAC Cup U18 team will make Frankston Park their home for the 2016/17 summer pre-season.