Antonella Care elected as President in Football Victoria AGM

Football Victoria's first ever female President was announced at the 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, May 12.

Football Victoria’s first ever female President was announced at the 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM), which took place on Wednesday, May 12.

The groundbreaking moment took place at Darebin International Sports Centre in front of a strong attendance including Members and Life Members from the Victorian football community, where Antonella Care was elected for Presidency unopposed. She has become the first female to be elected for the position in Football Victoria’s 137-year history and will serve a two-year term.

Care has been a Member of the Football Victoria Board since March 2016 and has over 20 years’ worth of corporate experience. She has proven to be a highly qualified professional, priding herself on a strong understanding on governance matters and having positive working relationships with many Local Government departments.

The democratic electoral process also saw the appointments of three Directors, who will each serve four-year terms. Their wealth of experience involves a range of unique skills that will bring fresh initiatives and ideas to Football Victoria.

Jo Bladen is an experienced commercial business and marketing professional mainly in the entertainment industry for The Walt Disney Company, Yianni Zaparas is a Partner of firm Zaparas Lawyers after spending time playing for a range of Victorian clubs in his junior days, while Steve Forbes has had an extensive career in technology, product development, marketing and strategy, in a career spanning 15 years.

Once the electoral results were confirmed, Football Victoria CEO Kimon Taliadoros spoke to the audience summarising the year just gone and targets for the future. He presented the 2020 report and went through the organisation’s key strategic goals for 2021 and 2022.

Taliadoros was followed by Matthew Green, Senior Executive Manager Business Operations – he read out a financial summary.

The impacts of COVID-19 ultimately took their toll, but Taliadoros and Green were equally confident for the future, signalling that stability is starting to return for Football Victoria and the wider community across the state.

Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program a key investment in Western Australia

Western Australia events are receiving significant support through the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24.

The WA State Government has invested over $630,000 to a host of sporting bodies across a vast number of codes.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • build capacity and capability of the sport and recreation workforce and volunteers to plan, secure and/or deliver quality sport and active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for talented WA athletes, coaches and officials to participate at a national and/or international level in their home environment
  • provide opportunities for the public to participate in sport and/or active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for regional Western Australians to experience and conduct major sporting events and sport development initiatives in a regional location.

The program comprises three categories:

  • event projects (up to $15,000)
  • event hosting (up to $50,000)
  • the Country Sport Enrichment Scheme (up to $30,000).

In Round 1 of the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24, one of the successful applicants was Football West, who ran 2024 Goldfields Regional Festival of Football – a seven-day community engagement event that improved football capacity in the wider Goldfields area. After receiving $24,200, Football West’s main goal is to increase participation in the region.

There is still time to apply for the next round of funding, which closes 5:00pm on February 26, 2024.

For full information and eligibility to apply, you can find it here.

WSL eyeing enormous 150% increase to broadcast rights deal

In a historic first for football in the UK, every single Women’s Super League match is set to be broadcasted live from next season across multiple channels.

The WSL tender document issued to broadcasters this month features all 132 league games, with 56 to be sold exclusively and the remaining 76 available on a non-exclusive basis.

Under the terms of the existing deal that expires at the end of the current season, Sky broadcast 35 matches-a-season and the BBC 22, with the rest streamed for free on the FA’s website.

The tender document is asking for a huge £20 million ($38.48 million) a year TV deal and this 150% increase to the value of its broadcasting deal is far from surprising following the explosion of the women’s game. This figure is set to be confirmed as soon as they can find the right suitors.

In an attempt to gain an increase from the existing £7.75 million ($14.91 million) a year deal, the WSL have responded by making every match available for broadcast, which the league hoped would attract bids from beyond current rights holders Sky Sports and the BBC, It looks to be working.

Sky Sports and the BBC are set to bid again on the rights and extend the current partnership whilst it is said that this potential deal is also attracting networks like TNT Sports and DAZN.

The Premier League and EFL have stood firm on the UEFA blackout that suggests all 3pm Saturday matches are not shown on TV, to encourage locals to attend matches in person. This means the WSL will have to work around it and it is likely that Saturday lunchtime and Sunday afternoons remain as the most common kick-off times.

There is little the WSL are having to do to persuade broadcasters into putting their hands up for these rights, which is a testament to the sport’s current growth and upward trajectory it is trending towards.

FA Director of Women’s football, Kelly Simmons, explained how important it was to secure this monumental broadcast deal.

“While we’ve been developing this it’s been so hard to sit on it because it’s so exciting for the women’s game. It is transformational,” Simmons said in an interview with Guardian Sport.

“When I first came into this role, we said that we really thought women’s football could really break into the mainstream and this is mainstream, this is prime slots on television, big audiences, week in week out.”

This deal in particular launches women’s football into the mainstream and helps improve the quality of the product which goes a long way to opening the eyes of a huge audience to its impact as a sport and socially.

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