AGM Thursday 20 March 2014

sharkyboy

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I'm just trying to get my head around this.

So they are going to announce a loss of 1.627mil.

And they say it could've been worse with the interest repayments etc etc.

But then the say marketing exp were up 1.125mil (4.256mil) (what did you spend the money on).

There has to be an investigation, I thought we were run by businessman.

Geoff Toovey?

more to the point who the **** is going to stand in opposition at the next election?

Sharksforever?
 
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support the storm then
I'm pretty close to half way between the two this wouldn't work either haha.

You know what I mean though, there has got to be an easy way for people outside the area to have a say IMO.
 

Gil

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Is anyone from here there.

Would like to know how it's going.

Cheers
 

SF

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A much smaller crowd than normal, but a lot more questions and statements in general business.

One of the members ran out a long well written letter questioning the board's commitment and motivations, and attacking complacency. Whatever your views, she showed a lot of courage.

After a shaky start in replying (basically reaching the point of "call an EGM if you're not happy") Damian Keogh handled the rest of the meeting pretty well, helped by some well timed mediating words by IronShark and others.

In the end I wasn't overwhelmed with confidence, but got the impression of a board doing their best in the face of a lot of challenges. They admitted communication has not been good between the board and members. Keogh comes across as honest and down to earth.

Renumeration is still $0, and board completely denied any interests, direct or otherwise, in the development. One key challenge is financing the leagues club redevelopment.

Dr Givney was voted life member of football club.

Will write more later
 

Born&bred

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Thanks SF, much appreciated.

Did the $4M+ Marketing expenditure get addressed at all?
 

SF

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Thanks SF, much appreciated.

Did the $4M+ Marketing expenditure get addressed at all?
No it wasn't raised actually.

Damian Keogh mainly covered revenue where I believe he said membership and sponsorship revenue were already up on last year.

Some more random points. I don't record this, so doing my best from memory and subjective interpretations:

  • Keogh mentioned that there will likely be constitutional change later in the year, some of it being pushed for by the NRL. No information as to what it would be, but it sounded like it could be some independent directors similar to Wests Tigers. He mentioned previous board had started on it, and they were considering introducing around this time, but with the NRL involvement (which is partly related to the "good governance" requirements for the suspended fine) they will likely wait for an EGM later in the year.
  • He looked a bit worn out by all the issues, when he said "call an EGM and vote us out," I almost got the feeling he would welcome it. But that may just be the fact he is clearly not a real "politician" in his answers. You could see some of the other board members wanted to get up and talk, Dino Mezzatesta eventually did. However, I still got the impression Keogh would be good with dealing with the NRL etc, he mentioned regular meetings with the NRL, and discussions with hundreds of companies for sponsorship... just ASADA.
  • When introducing the renumeration motion, he read the whole long-winded thing out, then came to the honorarium, "and the honorarium.... which is $100,000 for the President." After a well-timed pause: "No just joking, we won't be taking any money again."
  • Peter Gow said something along the lines of all Sharks boards started behind the 8-ball, and the current board were doing their best and needed support. Several others expressed similar.
  • Craig Douglas raised the issue of how the new leagues club would be funded, saying it was the elephant in the room. Keogh in his reply mentioned that it would likely cost from $7-8 million up, and they were investigating all bridging finance options, until the development money ($40 million +) starts flowing in January 2016. He said they would likely look at a model where the club could have another floor built on top once things improved. He also mentioned that every board has challenging negotiations, noting that the $10 million upfront payment we traded for 2012?/2013? would have probably been worth $20-25 million to the club if done today. Douglas responded that St George gave them no choice. Keogh said they can always get finance via negotiations with Bluestone, but there are likely better finance options.
  • In regard to the refinancing of the $3+ million in January/February, St George wanted the debt discharged. Keogh said they looked at lots of options, but this was the best deal, with the lender having security only over the leagues club building (compared to the previous loan which was over all assets).
  • IronShark asked Damian Keogh for reassurance on various fronts - ASADA, the development, relocation, the dedication of the board etc. - saying the fans/members needed more confidence. I thought Keogh answered those questions as well as he could (though with the clear worries over ASADA litigation hanging over it all)
  • The general sense was more reactive than the proactive meetings of a couple of years back.... but that's ASADA again.
  • Keogh mentioned Lichaa, and said something along the lines of "it looks like he signed with the Bulldogs several months ago."
And some random thoughts:

  • In hearing all the things Dr Givney has done for the club and achieved in other fields, to me the life membership (and last year's apology) were very well deserved.
  • Still amazes me how few people (<100) go to these meetings. I know a sunny Thursday night is not the best for it, and maybe it's a sign that things aren't as panicked as other years where the auditorium has been full. Still...
 

Shark

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Can I say that I am pleased that the board did not attempt to re-introduce honorariums - I give them credit for that.
 

stevie013

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Can I say that I am pleased that the board did not attempt to re-introduce honorariums - I give them credit for that.

If it was there in the first place when the letter got sent out like it should have been, we wouldn't even have been discussing the thought of them asking for it in the first place.
 

El Coconuto

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Thanks for the update, SF.

Was very interested in hearing (reading) how it went from all the way down here in Melbourne.
 

Born&bred

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This concerns me - I don't rate their thinking...

Craig Douglas raised the issue of how the new leagues club would be funded, saying it was the elephant in the room. Keogh in his reply mentioned that it would likely cost from $7-8 million up, and they were investigating all bridging finance options, until the development money ($40 million +) starts flowing in January 2016. He said they would likely look at a model where the club could have another floor built on top once things improved. He also mentioned that every board has challenging negotiations, noting that the $10 million upfront payment we traded for last year would have probably been worth $20-25 million to the club if done today. Douglas responded that St George gave them no choice. Keogh said worst case they can always get finance via negotiations with Bluestone, but there are likely better finance options.
 
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