President's Message - DOCA
It is with a tremendous sense of achievement and relief that I write to inform all our valued members that after 4 years of tireless commitment to our club’s future we have finally been able to make the last payment of our Deed Of Company Arrangement (DOCA) and the last payments have started to be made to our creditors today. Importantly these payments were focused on paying our 2015-16 staff, coaches and players what was owed to them for their work during those two hard years. We have been in the hands of administrators since mid 2016 but we now regain full control of our Frankston Football Club. This has only been made possible due to the generous support offered to us by some of our club benefactors (who wish to remain anonymous). Our plans for a fantastic season of football and fundraising events were thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic as our competition was stopped, deferred, re-scheduled and then cancelled. Our heartfelt thanks go to those contributors who made the final payment possible. Be assured we will repay the generosity of our people by putting on a stellar season of football and club life in 2021! Frankston FC is an incredibly strong and resilient club that pursues success on and off the field, we now stand on our own feet and will continue to build a magnificent future.
As I look back over the last four years, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all our Board members, Club staff, Coaches, Support Staff, Players and army of volunteers for doing such a stellar job in refreshing our club. And most importantly I want to express my amazement at the commitment and loyalty of all our club members (even this year without football we attracted hundreds of new members who joined up to ensure our survival). Your faith in each other has been unwavering and I congratulate you all for achieving this most significant outcome. Special thanks go to those who were able to attend our DOCA fundraisers run by Dolphins In Business, Ian Dickers Athenaeum Club dinners and our Club Presidents lunches. Due to your support we are the only State League club to have had our licence revoked and then been able to regain that licence. It was achieved through enthusiasm, love of the club, hard work and diligence. Please celebrate this occasion (as best you can in current social distancing restrictions) with your fellow members. I look forward to us having a proper celebration at the club once it is fully open and we will schedule an on-line end-of-season close in the next week or so which we will invite all members to.
At this time, I must emphasise that regaining control of our club means we have only just begun to lay the foundations for sustained success. We are in the highest Second Tier football competition in the land and we must reflect that position in every aspect of our club, especially in having the financial stability to maintain our standing. We have given ourselves the chance to be a great club once again and we now need to take the next steps to establishing ourselves as a respected member of the VFL competition. A team that is feared on the field and admired off the field. Our destiny is (as always) in our own hands.
‘We need your continued support – We rise on your shoulders’
In closing I would like to highlight the role of the Frankston City Council, and our State and Federal Members and Governments in our renewal; they have been unwavering in their support of our club. Their assistance and drive to improve the facilities and the sporting precinct of the City of Frankston has seen our Skybus Stadium emerge as the best football ground south of the MCG which profiles the beauty of the great city of Frankston to all Victorian footy fans. As you may have seen this week our new broadcast quality lights are being erected and will become a beacon for our club and cap off the truly amazing transformation that has taken place over the last four years. The first night game at Skybus in 2021 will be a ‘must’ for everyone to attend. Can’t wait to see you there!
Sincere best wishes and high hopes for the future of the mighty VFL Dolphins.
DOCA History (Deed Of Company Arrangement)
For those of you who have recently joined our great club here is an outline of our DOCA debt repayment.
In mid 2016 our Board began negotiations with administrators to trade out of an insurmountable debt. As a consequence, the AFL revoked our VFL Licence but graciously gave us 12 months to re-apply for it.
By September a steering committee was formed with staunch Club members and representatives of Frankston City Council, Community Organisations, Local Businesses, State and Federal Government and AFL Victoria. A Facebook campaign (launched by State Member Paul Edbrooke) attracted over 3000 signatories. A tide of support was coming in for the Dolphins. On 5th October 2016 over 200 members attended a ‘save the club’ meeting to discuss our future. The club was on the brink of financial ruin and the DOCA that was created offered us a lifeline to secure the future of our club. A unanimous vote to accept the DOCA created a 4-year plan to repay the agreed sum of $410,000 (about 1/4 of our total accumulated debt) to our creditors.
On December 4th, 2016 we launched our campaign with a ‘Big Kick’ on our oval with over 500 former players, officials, members and supporters turning out in a show of strength to ‘Save the Dolphins’.
On 9th December ‘Dolphins In Business’ held its first event with former Hawthorn FC President Ian Dicker as our guest speaker. Ian is a local resident and business owner who spoke at our October ‘save the club’ meeting to throw his support behind Frankston FC. This event launched us into an ongoing series of Dolphins In Business events with a unbelievable list of guest speakers who rallied to support us. This list included:
Ian Dicker Gary Buckenara John Longmire
Leigh Matthews Luke Beveridge Anthony Di Pietro & Kevin Muscat
Peter & Paul Hudson Doug Hawkins Robert DiPierdomenico
David DeGaris Rodney Eade Alastair Clarkson
Tony Liberatore Russell Morris Jeremy Nichols
Fred Harrison Kristy Kendall Danny Ryan
Pippa Hanson Jeff Kennett Glenn Holland
Nicole Livingstone David Rhys-Jones David Glascott
Luke Breust David Parkin Stephen Kernaha
Craig Bradley Anthony Koutoufides Greg Williams
The premier events of the Dolphins In Business campaign were undoubtedly the massive event featuring former Frankston player and AFL Premiership Coach Luke Beveridge with over 200 guests and our prestigious dinners at the Athenaeum club hosted by Ian Dicker with Leigh Matthews, Alistair Clarkson and David Parkin.
And as we thank all our distinguished guest speakers who put on these tremendous evenings we also recognise and thank every person who brought a ticket and attended these events. Each of the dinners was a real ‘winner’ and your combined efforts raised the majority of the funds that allowed us to pay off our debt and free our club from the shackles of the DOCA.
As our club re-built we also looked to our club management team to create a road to success. This began with the appointment of football legend Gary Buckenara as our 2017-18 General Manager as he spearheaded a membership drive that attracted over 1000 members and got our team back on the field in 2018. Our 2019 CEO Mick O’Neil cemented our ties across the Peninsula and brought MPNFL-VFL ‘double headers’ to our oval, and our current CEO Adrian Lloyd brought a flood of sponsor and partner support to the club and also established the hallowed Hall of Fame. All three were well supported by our long time Operations Manager Tina Bremert, our Football Manager Peter Cranwell, Coaches Adam Skrobalak and Danny Ryan, High Performance Manager Chris Ross and our Functions By The Bay management team Yvette Barnes and Saree Bremert and staff. Our thanks go to Gary, Mick, Adrian, Tina, Peter, Adam, Danny, Chris, Yvette, Saree and all our club volunteers and staff for their dedicated and tireless efforts.
And now in 2021 our fundraising campaign enters a new era. We move from survive to thrive!
‘Get behind the Dolphins – Be Part of It’