Football Victoria (FV) have released an update to the Victorian football community on Friday.
In a letter from FV CEO Peter Filopoulos and FV President Kimon Taliadoros, the governing body thanked the community and those who have supported the game during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Firstly, on behalf of Football Victoria, we would like to take this time to thank you for doing all you can to help your fellow Victorians during this unprecedented period. It has been a time like no other and never before has our community been so determined to do the right thing,” FV said in the letter.
“The efforts made by the entire football family allowed us to get many of our competitions back onto the pitch – or within days of returning in metropolitan areas, before the return of Stage 3 lockdown. It was an extraordinary collective community effort.
“Football has been greatly supported by the State Government, Sport and Recreation Victoria, Vicsport, our 79 Local Government Areas and a range of other stakeholders, who did all they could to provide support and ensure that football could resume at the appropriate time. Likewise, our commercial partners have stood with us every step of the way.”
The organisation provided details in regards to its refund policy for the season and will assist vulnerable clubs in securing government relief packages.
“We are very close to finalising the FV refund policy for our portion of participants fees. Emergency committees of football stakeholders have been created to work through the incredibly complex matrix of issues. We are working with clubs to ensure their input in developing a reasonable, transparent and fair FV refund policy. Each individual club will need then to take into account their own circumstances when developing their own club refund policy.
“We will be continuing to consult directly with clubs in coming weeks, all of which face significant challenges. We will make sure clubs are aware of any government relief packages available and will continue to provide assistance in unlocking funding opportunities. We are also working very closely with the state government to ensure opportunities for facilities funding are maximised at this time.”
Data collected by the Australian Sports Federation (ASF) of 2,700 sporting clubs around Australia, estimated a total loss of up to $1.5 billion due to the current crisis.
“This is not some imaginary, ‘worst case scenario’ projection. This is right here, right now. After six months with hardly any football, our sport and the clubs that play it are on the edge.”
The governing body did restate its intention to have competitive football played before the end of the year, if possible to do so.
“Even though the situation changes week-to-week, we remain determined to get the ball rolling this year.”
“Football will survive and it will again thrive. And when it does, we promise to be ready, just as we know our football community will be,” FV concluded.