THE interim chairman of the Floreat Athena Football Club says the club appears to have avoided immediate financial collapse after donations reduced a $213,000 debt to less than $90,000 in an appeal that started last month.
“The only real risk was of all those people calling their debts in,” interim chairman Paul Kotsoglo said.
A November 24 letter to supporters and members claimed the club had only until this Tuesday to survive, otherwise receivers would be called in.
It said a review of the 1951-established Leederville club’s finances were “shocking” and its survival was at stake.
The letter said Canberra bureaucrats demanded “good governance and strong plans” to claim a recently announced $3 million Federal Government grant, which followed lobbying by club member and WA One Nation Senator Peter Georgiou.
It did not detail the financial problems, but did follow a total change of the board’s membership at the club’s October annual general meeting and asked for contributions from a “sizable donation” or “$10 or $20” towards the emergency fundraiser.
A later letter said writedowns, write-offs, sponsorships and rearranged payments had also helped reduce the debt.
Mr Kotsoglo was not a member of the club until the meeting and previously chaired the board of the St Andrew’s Grammar School in Dianella.
He said the club’s debt was the result of operational costs, including fees to Football West, rubbish collection, the bar and power bills. He was not qualified to comment if the club had been mismanaged by its previous leadership.
A review of its accounts was being conducted and the club would work with Canberra departments so all requirements were met in the submission for the grant.
Mr Kotsoglo said it was planned the club would have a draft new lease for Litis Stadium ready for the City of Vincent in the first three months of 2019.