From the Frankston Standard Leader - www.localfooty.com
The Dolphins have done it!
Frankston on Sunday claimed its first win in the VFL in more than a year and its first under coach Danny Ryan when, sparked by small forwards Corey Rich and Yilber “Bella’’ Zijai, it defeated North Melbourne at SkyBus Stadium.
And the Dolphins did it in style, savouring a 16.14 (110) to 8.12 (60) victory in front of chuffed supporters.
From the Frankston Leader
Reported by Paul Amy
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Gary Buckenara at Frankston Football Club today.
And the Dolphins have set themselves to sign 1000 members — a league best — in the next three months to prove their community support.
The club says its ability to boost membership is a key point that AFL Victoria will consider as it weighs up Frankston’s bid to regain its VFL licence.
The Dolphins went into administration before the last match of the 2016 season with debts of more than $1.5 million.
It has been reduced to $410,000, to be paid off in the next four years.
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.
Frankston Dolphins Football Club back from the brink after creditors accept deal for partial payment
“The mood of the meeting was reasonably positive. There was only one creditor against the proposal,” he said.
It’s understood Tabcorp — owed for poker machine licences — was the sole objector.
Dolphins great and steering committee member Peter Geddes said supporters were delighted they could now focus on regaining the club’s licence so it could re-enter the VFL in 2018.
Mr Geddes thanked Worrells and Frankston Council for their support in getting agreement on the deal from creditors.
This process has been formalised with a legal letter sent to the Administrators.
The decision was made following deadlines provided by the Administrators and the report they tabled revealing substantial club debts which were far in excess of our previous understanding.
The Administrators were unable to provide AFL Victoria with sufficient confidence for the viability of the club in 2017, therefore not meeting criteria for the continuation of a VFL licence.
AFL Victoria CEO Steven Reaper said while the club has provided a pathway for a number of footballers to reach the elite level, and despite AFL Victoria providing significant funding support to Frankston over a number of years, the financial troubles of the club were too hard to ignore.
“Frankston has had a rich history of providing a pathway and opportunities for footballers in the region, but without the necessary off field structures in place, AFL Victoria was not confident financial projections provided could be met,” Reaper said.
“We have a strong willingness to ensure that there is a VFL presence in the region into the future, but it must be viable and sustainable both on and off the field long term.
“We have had preliminary meetings with key regional stakeholders on what this can look like and are also engaging the City of Frankston and the AFL South East Commission about what the future can hold for both the facility and football in the region.
“The region has been and will continue to be very important to us from a pathway and development perspective and we are hopeful that a solution that is both sustainable and viable can be considered going forward for a VFL presence potentially from 2018.
"This decision provides the region with more time to better plan a more sustainable VFL presence moving forward."
THE Frankston Dolphins Football Club can survive its dire financial woes and kick on in the VFL, a packed meeting has been told.
“We are not putting mission impossible on the table. It’s all doable,” former Melbourne Storm boss Ron Gauci said.
Speaking to supporters, members and players at Frankston Park last night, Mr Gauci — who has
been called in to help save the club — said it was essential the right people were put in the right positions.
He noted that community support was vital for the club, which is about $1.5 million in debt, to continue.
In a passionate speech, coach Pat Hill said players and coaching staff wanted to see more support.
“If everyone stands up behind us, we are all on board,” he said.
He made the comment after several people questioned whether players would stick with the club or quit.
Several Dolphins legends including former president Alan Wickes said it was essential supporters showed the same spirit that enabled the club recover from a grave financial position in 1977 before going on to win the Division 2 premiership the following year.
Administrators last night outlined a plan for the club to survive including boosting membership by 25 per cent and increasing sponsorship by $100,000.