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Club Statement

Friday, November 13, 2020 - 2:40 PM

Earlier this year our board advised the WA Football Commission (WAFC) of our failure to undertake some reporting relating to our Total Player Payments (TPP) in 2019.  A subsequent investigation by the WAFC has found our Club did in fact breach rules around by making a cash payment and providing benefits to a player that were not officially recorded or reported. There is no suggestion of the ‘salary cap’ being breached.
The board and I are deeply disappointed that this has occurred as it does not reflect our values or the way we do business. We have also undertaken our own review to ensure we have identified any potential administrative weaknesses and have the best possible governance at our Club. 
The Club fully accepts responsibility and takes ownership for the situation and will be making all administrative and governance reforms outlined by the WAFC.  Along with these reforms, the WAFC has also issued the Club a $50,000 fine, and a reduction of 20 player recruitment points (10 of those being held over as a suspended penalty) and a reduction of 16 premiership points (16 of those points being held over as a suspended penalty).
While the board were unaware of this action, we acknowledge it was a serious mistake and an unacceptable breach of the WAFC rules and our licence. 
Prior to the WAFC finding, the board had implemented a number of significant governance and administration improvements which were in progress prior to the WAFC recommendations.  These include;

  • Creation of a new General Manager of Football role to oversee all player communications and negotiations.
  • Greater oversight of TPP reporting by the board.
  • Transfer of responsibility for all player communications, contracts, negotiations and payments from the CEO to the newly appointed General Manager of Football.
  • Outsourced HR and staff contracting to an external HR company with transparency to the board via a web portal.
  • A board sub-committee review into weaknesses and improvements in TPP reporting and record keeping and implementation of those findings.
  • Acceptance of recommendation by the Governance and Finance sub-committee for the Club’s board to sign off monthly TPP reports by the football operations committee.

Since being advised of the WAFC findings, our CEO has tendered his resignation. We are working with John to ensure a smooth transition and acknowledge and thank him for his passion and hard work on behalf of our Club.

Our board and executives have cooperated with the WAFC throughout the investigation and have committed to ensuring those reforms not already implemented are in place as soon as possible.

The board deeply regret the impact this has had on our players, staff, sponsors, and supporters who in no way were involved in this breach.  However, we are confident recent changes made by the board will ensure good governance within the Club is maintained and we can now focus on the future on the 2021 season.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, I urge you to contact myself on 0403 482 819.
Kind regards,

Bob Ryan