100 Days until our Season Begins

Hello to all Sydney FC Members and Fans.

Hello to all Sydney FC Members and Fans.

It is coming towards the end of my second week in the CEO-s Chair and I wanted to make sure that I communicated with you as soon as possible and give you an update as to what I have been up to and the direction we are heading.

Firstly, I am very excited to be saying that it is only 100 days until the commencement of Sydney FC-s campaign in the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season. This draws a distinct line in the sand in regards to the timings associated with key initiatives and also represents that symbolic concept of the first 100 days in the job for a new CEO.

Make no mistake there is a great deal to do and the team is working at speed to get the house in order for the start of the season. Achievements in the first two (2) weeks include:

• Held one-on-one meetings with all staff
• Reviewed all financial documentation for the last five (5) years
• Reviewed all product portfolios and associated marketing collateral
• Workshopped brand positioning with ad agency and developed our ‘tag line-
• Held two (2) ‘Football Recruitment & Retention- meetings
• Met with a number of our key stakeholders to get a feel for what people think about the Club. These included people from ‘The Cove-, the media, our venue, past sponsors, past players, player agents, community groups, our lawyer and the FFA; with many more people from each to meet over the next few weeks
• Presented draft strategic plan to the Board

The ‘Plan- presented to the Board consisted of three (3) key sections (the details of which we will share at our ‘Member Forum- in about six (6) weeks):

1. The five (5) core competencies we need to develop in the next 12 months to create a foundation for growth
2. The twelve (12) most important brand drivers that we need to monitor and measure to enhance our communications
3. How we need to engage our key stakeholders and why

I am happy to say that not only did the Board sign off on this plan they also agreed to the required organisational structure and the first phase of roles we need to recruit to successfully implement the strategy.

I spent two consecutive days with the Board which has been recently bolstered by the addition of Jeremy Nicholas, MD of ad agency BMF, and Jamie Samaha, MD of Pinpoint Marketing. The outstanding marketing expertise they bring to the board will complement existing Board Members; Chairman Paul Ramsay, Deputy Chairman Scott Barlow, Chris Rex and Elliot Rusanow.

All admin staff have been taken through the plan and have embraced it to the point where they have got together to create a project name and internal communication plan. I can-t wait to hear what they have come up with! Naturally next year they will have significantly more involvement in the planning process however time constraints meant that I needed to make some quick decisions.

A very interesting start to my tenure as CEO began on the Saturday morning prior to my first day. I awoke to front page headlines in the Sydney Morning Herald that certainly got the heart racing. Allegations in regards to a $100,000 breach of the salary cap made against the Club were not based on any substantiated facts.
Sydney FC fully complied with all FFA requirements for the 2009/10 ‘Salary Cap- and ‘Additional Service Agreement- audit processes. The Club received a clean bill of health from the FFA and were actually more than $180,000 below the maximum level.

On the Football side of the equation the A-league Team are about to embark on pre-season training. Not only do we have new players joining the squad we have had a number of new family additions during the off season. These include Captain Terry McFlynn-s wife Emma giving birth to their second child and first son Alfie, Nicky Carle-s wife Melissa giving birth to their third child and first daughter Monique and John Filan-s wife Emma giving birth to their second daughter, Molly.

The signing of Pascal Bosschaart was the first piece of recruitment that I was involved in for the Club (whilst on Bulldogs time – sorry TG!). It is not every day that A-League clubs sign a player of his standing – 357 games in Holland-s premier league – the Eredivisie. He arrived on our shores with his agent on Monday and with the help of our Football Operations Department he is checking out schools and houses.

We have a strong squad for the 2011/12 season with significant depth. There are spots for two more players including a marquee signing. We will be endeavouring to fill these places with the right players to complement Vitja-s strategy.

The vast majority of our squad have begun the many community visits we have scheduled and this is something you will see grow exponentially over the next 12 months.

This is just the start and I am excited about what lies ahead.

I look forward to updating each week over the next 100 days and meeting you throughout the season.

Dirk Melton
Chief Executive Officer