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

Kimon Taliadoros resigns – experienced CEO now needed for Football Victoria

Kimon Taliadoros

Last week, Kimon Taliadoros resigned from his position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Football Victoria.

He also served as Chairman of Football Victoria for five years before his role as CEO.

Taliadoros stated in regards to his exit decision via media release confirmation; “After much reflection, I have decided to step down from my role as CEO of Football Victoria.  It has been a privilege to serve the game. I am grateful to the selfless volunteers and dedicated staff that provide the resilience and energy that drives football in Victoria every day.”

Throughout his tenure, Taliadoros played a strong part in guiding the development of the Home of Matildas facility at La Trobe University – which also acts as the governing body’s headquarters.

Stage one of the precinct, an overall $101.1 million investment by the Victorian Government, was completed just before the beginning of the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

An overview of what the facility is eventually set to include, is listed below.

  • FIFA and AFC compliant elite training facility
  • Five pitches including
    • Show Pitch – Premium FIFA standard Hybrid
    • 1 additional Premium FIFA standard Hybrid
    • 3 FIFA standard synthetic pitches 
  • 400m2 high-performance Gym
    • Cardio
    • Weights
    • Additional Rehab/pilates / yoga multi-purpose space
    • Sprint track
    • Hydration station
    • Med ball wall
    • Warm-up / kicking zone
  • Sports Science / High performance
    • Prehab/rehab zone
    • Sports science lab
    • Doctor / Physio / Psychologist consulting suites
    • 2 Massage spaces
    • Strapping bench
    • Coaching hub/office
  • Elite-level Recovery / Wet Area
    • Hot & Cold Plunge Pools
    • ‘Endless River’ recovery pool with swimming jets
  • Multiple change rooms including a purpose-designed circular Matildas locker room
  • Referee change-room 
  • Auditorium / Theatrette and 3 configurable team meetings rooms with pitch markings in the carpet (team walk-throughs)
  • Approximately 800 seat grand-stand with additional terrace/balcony for standing room and/or functions – overlooking the main pitch
  • Function spaces and bar overlooking the main pitch (with commercial kitchen attached)
  • Public Café and match day canteen
  • Matildas and FV historical/interactive displays and memorabilia
  • Media production centre
  • Broadcast spaces and capability
  • Players dining room
  • Player’s lounge, study space, and 2 sleep rooms (sleep/meditation/prayer / quiet rooms)
  • Property office and laundry
  • Football Victoria offices within the main administration building
  • Public amenities throughout – including Changing Places, all abilities, gender neutral and parents facilities
  • Purpose-built international standard Futsal pitch (Stage 2 – subject to funding)
    • This facility will support wheelchair football, rugby, and other indoor events
    • The Futsal pitch will also provide an indoor training/game warm-up space

Taliadoros was also was responsible for the governing body’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, working around the impacts of lockdowns and reduced competition across the state. The organisation was also the first sporting entity to commit to 50/50 gender equity under his reign.

In the interim, the FV Board has installed Karen Pearce OAM – the current Head of Equity, Growth and Inclusion at the governing body, as acting CEO. She will continue in her current role as well taking on responsibilities of the CEO’s office in an acting capacity.

The board has initiated a recruitment process for a permanent CEO – and it’s an opportunity for the governing body to appoint an experienced individual, with fresh ideas, to take the game forward in Victoria.

The success of other governing bodies, such as Football Queensland, are an appropriate guide of what to do next for Football Victoria.

Rob Cavallucci and his organisation recently delivered a new home for football in Brisbane’s North, after an agreement between the governing body and the Brisbane City Council.

The facility will provide young footballers in the state with further development programs, to improve their skills at a young age.

It is just one of a number of initiatives that Football Queensland have implemented, since Cavallucci took over in 2019.

On the back of a hugely successful Women’s World Cup, participation numbers are set to soar in Australia and it’s important for the governing body in Victoria especially, to take advantage of this.

Increased funding from governments should be on the agenda to cater for the boom, with a lack of suitable football pitches across the state still an issue for many participants.

Improvement on a commercial front is also necessary.  The organisation should be focusing heavily on signing sponsorship deals for their major competitions and events across Victoria – something that they can definitely capitalise on.

To accomplish this, the game in Victoria needs a CEO with a wealth of commercial experience, with an extensive network to tap into – to take the state’s game to the next level.

Transformation is needed in the governing body now, before the momentum of the Matildas’ home World Cup achievements wear off.

Proactive business decisions must be made by the incoming CEO, instead of reactive, if the game is to grow into its full potential across Victoria.

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