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How clubs can manage their finances

The ability for a soccer club to control their finances is make or break for the long-term success both on and off the pitch.

For local level teams, it can make all the difference to have an adequate system in place.

Club staff have to think on a day-to-day basis about ways to improve their finances and in turn grow their income. It’s something that needs consistent maintenance, otherwise it can all get out of hand.

That’s why organisation is the ultimate key to success. The main thing to do is review finances at the end of each month. This is assessing all incomings and outgoings and checking if these are at typical levels.

Getting the club to have an account on its own will prevent errors or mix ups, which could happen if it’s a joint account with a board member.

When the financial year comes to an end, annual reports must be prepared by an accountant or checked by someone with relevant expertise.

Another aspect to the financial process is budgeting, both for short term and long term. Budgeting should take place on both a short term and long term basis. The short term budget would outline both daily, monthly and quarterly outgoing and incoming funds, while the long term budget shows funding for 3-5 years.

It’s important to keep it realistic, ensuring a club knows what they expect to spend. Being able to stay under budget means it can be revised for the following year. When formulating the budget, what was spent last year versus income will be taken into consideration. It will highlight where spending for supplies may need to be cut, or even negotiating for a better deal.

The club treasurer is normally the one in charge of maintaining the budget, but all senior figures at the club can look over it.

Gaining as much income as possible will point a club forward in the right direction. There are many factors which can contribute to income growth, with clubs encouraged to review the following areas to maximise their profit:

  • Membership and subscription fees.
  • Finding and sticking with key sponsors.
  • Fundraisers and events.
  • Commercial activities.
  • Acquiring grant funding.

Optus secures FIFA Club World Cup rights

Optus Sport

Optus have become the new rights holders of the FIFA Club World Cup, during 2019 and 2020 which are hosted by Qatar in both years.

Optus, who already have major competitions English Premier League and UEFA Champions League exclusively, have added the FIFA Club World Cup to bolster their football coverage for their subscribers.

After claiming live and exclusive rights to the top tier of English women’s football, the Barclays FA Women’s Super League for the next three years in Australia, Optus have pounced on the FIFA Club World Cup as the competition is not far from starting.

Optus’ coverage won’t be the first time a FIFA tournament has been on their network, as they broadcasting the full 11 days pf the FIFA Women’s World Cup earlier this year in France.

Optus’ new venture of the FIFA Club World Cup is an international club football tournament that pits each winners of the six different continental confederations from last season, as well as the host nation’s (Qatar) league champions.

So for example, Liverpool will participate in this year’s tournament for winning the UEFA Champions League.

Ahead of Optus commencing their new area of coverage, Richard Bayliss the director of Optus Sport spoke about their commitment to providing Australian’s with the world’s leading teams in the top competitions on Optus Sport.

“We are extremely pleased to add this tournament to our football schedule and we’re confident our 700,000 plus Optus Sport active subscribers will enjoy the format,” Bayliss said.

“Broadcasting Liverpool’s sixth Champions League triumph was a massive moment for Optus Sport, and it will be a privilege for us to show the Reds’ attempt to overcome the best of South America, Asia, North America and Africa. Brazil’s Flamengo had a stunning Copa Libertadores win in November, so they too will enter the World Cup in ominous form.”

Coming into this year’s tournament, Real Madrid are the reigning FIFA Club World Cup champions and are the most successful club in this tournament’s history with four titles.

In their place are Liverpool this time as the last UEFA Champions League winners in 2019, and will appear in the FIFA Club World Cup for the second time, since losing the final in 2005.

As part of the coverage, Optus Sport will stream every match live and exclusive, as well as offering on-demand and mini-matches combined with various highlights packages throughout the tournament.

They’ll be a new live show called Scores on Sunday hosted by various presentations including Mel McLaughlin, Richard Bayliss and Niav Owens, while they’ll be plenty of analysis and opinion from some of Australia’s leading pundits such as Heather Garriock, Mark Schwarzer, John Aloisi and Alicia Ferguson on all that happens during the tournament.

Ange Postecoglou’s trail blazing J-League success finally silences the critics

Former Socceroo manager Ange Postecoglou stands just 90 minutes away from potentially the most significant achievement by an Australian football coach.
For the past two seasons, the 54-year-old has been at the helm of J-League club Yokohama F Marinos. With a three point lead on the ladder heading into the final round of play and a comfortable seven goal advantage in the tie-breaking for and against column, Postecoglou’s men appear sure things; a done deal and J-League champions.

Barring some sort of bizarre final day flake out or the most stunning of all victories by their opponent this weekend and second placed FC Tokyo, an Australian manager will for the first time, have his hands on one of the most valuable pieces of silverware in Asian football.

The club is emerging as a potential Japanese powerhouse, with the City Football Group investing in a minority share in 2014. It had an obvious eye towards leading the club back to J-League success after what had been a ten year stretch of disappointment.

Not that the club could ever have been described as a minnow of Japanese football. Three league championships and a J-League Cup in 2001 are testament to its success. However, aside from a second place finish in the league in 2013, Yokohama has recently done little more than sniff around the fringes of the top rungs.

It’s most proud achievement is quite probably the fact they have played in the top flight of Japanese football since its inception. Never suffering relegation and always being competitive.

The involvement of the City Football Group usually signifies immediate change, thanks the increased investment and resourcing undertaken at the clubs with which they become involved. There are now eight such clubs across the globe, with trophies and more trophies a clear motivation for the owners.

A key part of the new investment in Yokohama and a potential change in fortune was to find the right mentor and Postecoglou, after successfully qualifying Australia for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, accepted the challenge laid out before him. He would follow in the footsteps of the now Melbourne City manager Erick Mombaerts in Japan, who was unable to produce the results which City Football Group demanded.

For the Aussie, it required a forgoing of another trip to the world’s biggest football tournament, something for which Postecoglou took much criticism. Many believed there was a sense of desertion. However, the manager had been explicit that his term was to only ever cover the four year period for which he had signed. When family ramifications, an attempt to sure up his long term future and his continued development as a manger were also considered, Postecoglou had a simple choice to make.

Yokohama it was to be and after moments of promise in 2018, his first season saw the club finish in 12th place on the J-League ladder. In truth, there were moments late in the season where they appeared a far better team than that result indicated.

Consistent with his past, Postecoglou was content to experience two steps backwards to eventually take a commanding three forward. It has long been his approach. Postecoglou has a plan, vision and philosophy about football. The chances of him stepping into a role and continuing with the style and methodologies of the previous boss are slim and none.

It was the approach he took with Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory in the A-League. It brought about multiple championships. At the helm of the Socceroos he took the same approach, starting from scratch and trialling a vast number of players before settling on the men he knew had completely bought into his way of thinking and could best execute his plan on the big stage.

Such an approach will potentially be the greatest legacy he leaves when the clip board is eventually shelved and his career is done and dusted.  An Australian with the confidence to back his own systems and without the need to replicate the approaches of managers at the helm of some of the biggest European and South American clubs, is a new phenomenon.

Postecoglou never sought the tick of approval from those whose methods are supposedly the ‘right’ and ‘tested’ way to approach the game. He always had a clear plan and had the courage to back it no matter the outcome, fallout or any personal criticism that may come his way because of it.

Even Postecoglou’s critics, and there were many at times, would applaud him for having the courage of his convictions.

Now the Greek born manager will have a rather impressive J-League title to add to his resume. In a week where Soccerscene’s own Philip Panas’ interview with Phil Moss as Australian football coaches deserve better explored some of the challenges faced by domestic coaches, Postecoglou’s success is timely.

With Moss correctly identifying the limited opportunities presented to Australian coaches and the need for a solid support network to aid them in their development and growth, Ange Postecoglou has once again set the bar, broken the glass ceiling and pioneered the way forward.

It is a success most Australian football fans will celebrate, whilst a few doubters may be forced to eat a rather large piece of humble pie.

Hakeem al-Araibi takes up full-time role at Football Victoria

Hakeem al-Araibi

Football Victoria (FV) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) have announced that Hakeem Al-Araibi’s role as FV’s Community and Human Rights Advocate will now be a permanent full-time position.

Al-Araibi was released from a Thailand prison earlier this year, after being detained there for a period of more than 70 days. His story garnered attention in Australia and around the world, with former Socceroos captain Craig Foster leading the charge to bring al-Araibi home.

Read More: How Hakeem Al-Araibi’s triumphant return to Australia demonstrates the beauty of soccer

He was released from the prison in February after a worldwide campaign.

The 25-year-old returned to play for Pascoe Vale FC in March, whilst also representing FV at community football clubs, gala days and various other events in Victoria and around the country.

Al-Araibi received his Australian citizenship after his return to Australia this year.

“I am very proud and happy to be able to work in the Victorian and Australian football communities full-time to share my story. I want people to continue to play football because it’s a very important part of the community and our lives,” Mr al-Araibi said.

FV CEO Peter Filopoulos and PFA Chief Executive John Didulica claimed Hakeem’s work inspiring Victoria’s multicultural football communities was extremely successful and that it was important to put him in a full-time position in the FV setup.

“Hakeem’s story shows the true power and positive impact football can have both here and around the world. His strength and resilience make him truly an inspirational person and emerging young leader,” Mr Filopoulos said.

“We are very proud to continue to work with Football Victoria to ensure Hakeem’s ongoing employment. Hakeem’s campaign was a great demonstration of the power of the game united, so to be able to continue to work with Hakeem and our colleagues within the football family at FV is genuinely important and of great benefit to so many young players,” Mr Didulica concluded.

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